Monday, July 31, 2006

Live Poetry in the Midlands this week

NIGHT BLUE FRUIT: Tuesday 1st August at the Tin Angel in Spon Street, Coventry: 8pm (?) launch of 4 new collections of poetry from local press Heaventree, plus Open Mic as usual

WORD: Wednesday 2nd August at Bambu in Leicester. 7.30pm (?), an Open Mic with a guest poet slot. Don't know who the guest is this month, alas, as the Leicester arts/lit events email arrives in the first few days of the month, so the Word event has usually occurred by the time it arrives. How's that for organisation!?

SIX OF THE BEST: Wednesday 2nd August, Birmingham Library Theatre, 7.30pm, central Birmingham near the Rep Theatre and the Eye wheel, six of the best poets in the Midlands performing on stage for only a fiver (or FREE if you're active in live poetry in the Midlands). Two hour event.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poems & Pints in Cheltenham: Saturday 29th July

This Saturday, 29th July, at Cheltenham College (in one of the cricket festival marquees) in Cheltenham:


7.30pm start

Ann Drysdale, Bob Mee & others

Open mic spots available

Raffle and Bar

This is a fundraising event for 'Buzzwords at the Beehive', Cheltenham's only regular live poetry event.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Open Mic in Galway: Wednesday 26th July

Westside Arts Festival: Poets & Writers Corner

This event is to be held at Westside Library, Galway (off Seamus Quirke Road) on Wednesday 26 July, 7:00-8:00PM.

Open Mic night for all aspiring writers and poets to share their work, with readings by Kevin Higgins, Susan Millar DuMars, Margaret Cullagh and Eamon Kelly.

For further details contact Westside Library on 091 520616 or The Westside Arts Festival on 091 587691 or 087 2066190

Friday, July 21, 2006


Please Note: This site is now officially on GO-SLOW FOR SUMMER. That means posts will be less regular, probably appearing either weekly or every four to five days rather than daily. This mirrors the general situation across the UK where live poetry slows down so that us hard-worked poets can head for the nearest beach, catch a few rays, smoke a few ... well, you get the general picture.

Normal service to resume around the start of September. But if you'd like your event to appear on this site, do please email me as usual. I am not dead, but sleeping.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Poets' Cafe in Reading: Friday 21st July

Friday 21st July
Poets’ Café at South Street Arts Centre, Reading.

With special guest poet Helen Farish, who will be gracing the Poets' Cafe with her presence and giving a reading alongside the usual open mic opportunities for the rest of the punters.

8pm doors, 8.30pm poetry. £6/£4 (or £5/£3 if they’ve not put the price up yet – it’s happening but AF Harrold doesn’t know when).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Speakeasy in Nottingham: Wednesday July 19th

Complex Trout Productions and The Alley Cafe present

speakeasy 51: performance poetry and spoken word

@ The Alley Cafe, 1a Cannon Court, Nottingham (opposite Angel Row Library)
Wednesday 19th July, 2006
8pm onwards
***floor spots available***

with special guest
Sara-Jane Arbury
Host: Steve Carroll

It's summer at the Alley, and this month we're aiming to be in the alley enjoying the evening with fantastic guest Sara-Jane Arbury and lots of you lovely people. Cool beer, smoothies, crisp white wine, cocktails and Nottingham's longest running, most entertaining performance poetry night. Free (at least the poetry is...). Does it get much better? We'll be there with our 51st raffle and our 51st selection of rabble rousing anecdotage. There are floor spots available if you're early, and seats for your tired legs. Why not come down and soak up the summer evening with us? You know it makes summer sense. Hope to see you there. Did we mention that it's summer? All together now - Heatwave...

Monday, July 17, 2006

London Irish Centre Reading: Thursday July 20th

Thursday 20 July
Poetry Reading
Paddy Bushe, Simon Barraclough, Mick Delap, Vivienne Fogle, Beatrice
Garland, Luke Heeley & Liane Strauss

The London Irish Centre
50/52 Camden Square
London NW1
8pm (Bar open at 7.00) tickets 5.00 Concs 3.00

Tube Camden Town Northern Line, Overground Camden Road Silverlink, Bus 29
253 274 31

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Reminder: QI Club Open Mic in Oxford this week

Tuesday 18th July
£5 entry
Quiet It’s… Hammer & Tongue at the QI Club, Oxford.

Guest Poets & Open Mic Poetry & Sophisticated Drinks & Glorious Food

"One of Oxford’s most sophisticated poetry open mic nights, with a feature spot this month from Baba Brinkman and his Rap Canterbury Tales. It’s at the QI Club in Turl Street in the town centre, kicks off by 8pm and costs £5 to get in. Go along, they’re nice folk there. As far as I’m aware this is the last Hammer & Tongue event of the summer in Oxford (I don’t know about Brighton), so don’t go along to any after this until September or you might find yourself alone."

LOCATION: QI Club, Turl Street, Oxford
Turl Street links Broad Street and the High Street in Oxford. Broad Street is where Blackwell's huge bookshop is, just down from the King's Arms. The QI Club is a swish-looking bookshop with bars/club rooms, opposite the extremely useful row of cashtills at the Broad Street end of Turl Street. Just step in armed with a fiver and some poems, you'll be fine.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Coffee House Poetry in London: Monday 17th July

"please lock me away"...a themed poetry-party
Locks and keys, bolts and window bars, shackles and chains, dungeons, keeps and high towers have long fascinated storytellers, dramatists, filmmakers, songwriters & poets

Monday 17 July 2006
at The Troubadour Coffee-House, 265 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

at Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP
or e-mail:

The publicity material for this event says:

"...from Rapunzel, Tennyson?s Lady of Shallott, Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo, Dante's Ugolino and Dickens' Dr. Manette, the gaol writings of Bunyan, Wilde, Papillon, Gide and Cheever, Burt Lancaster in The Bird-Man of Alcatraz and Akhmatova waiting outside Leningrad prison for 17 months... to astounding escapes in The Wind in the Willows, Michael Collins, The Wooden Horse, Colditz, Great Expectations...

Come and listen to guest poets with their own and others' favourite poetic imprisonments & escapes, real or imaginary, actual & emotional, listen to some low-down prison blues and try our Alcatraz prize-quiz (with time off for good marks...)

Readings MONDAYS from 8 to 10 pm, tickets £5.50 concessions £4.50,
season tickets 40% off...
cheques payable to Coffee-House Poetry, no credit cards

265 Old Brompton Road LONDON SW5
nr. junct. Earls Court Rd & Old Brompton Rd
nearest Tube station: Earls Court (District & Piccadilly Lines)
for information, advance booking, season ticket & mailing list enquiries,
phone 020-8354 066

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Open Mic Poetry in Leamington Spa with Jane 'MC Virgin' Holland this Monday!



Open Mic Poetry
in Leamington Spa!

This Month’s Guest Poet Kei Miller, with Guest MC, Jane Holland

Come and share YOUR poems:
all styles, all standards,
seasoned performer or open mic virgin,
all are welcome ...

or just come, listen and ENJOY! at TOYK 102a Warwick Street, Leamington Spa

Bar and Kitchen: Free admission!
Relaxed atmosphere + great food
+ fine wine, chill at the bar
or call 01926 882249
to book a table for a great evening out

Monday 17th July 2006, 7.30pm

REMEMBER! Poetry Discussion Forum: POETS ON FIRE Forum
Register today at the Poets on Fire forum - it takes less than 3 minutes and is completely free!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Glasgow readings this Wednesday, 12th July

This Wednesday, 12th July, there will be readings by the poets Stephen Vincent (Stephen's blog) and Peter Manson (Peter's website) at 'Mono', 12 King's Court, King Street, Glasgow. The evening starts at 8.30pm for 9pm.

Find more information about Mono here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

QI Club, Oxford: Tuesday 18th July

Tuesday 18th July
Quiet It’s… Hammer & Tongue at the QI Club, Oxford.

"One of Oxford’s most sophisticated poetry open mic nights, with a feature spot this month from Baba Brinkman and his Rap Canterbury Tales. It’s at the QI Club in Turl Street in the town centre, kicks off by 8pm and costs £5 to get in. Go along, they’re nice folk there. As far as I’m aware this is the last Hammer & Tongue event of the summer in Oxford (I don’t know about Brighton), so don’t go along to any after this until September or you might find yourself alone."

Turl Street links Broad Street and the High Street in Oxford. Broad Street is where Blackwell's huge bookshop is, just down from the King's Arms. The QI Club is a swish-looking bookshop with bars/club rooms, opposite the extremely useful row of cashtills at the Broad Street end of Turl Street. Just step in armed with a fiver and some poems, you'll be fine.

Catweazle Club: every Thursday in Oxford

The Catweazle Club: EVERY THURSDAY, 8pm, at the East Oxford Community Centre, corner of Cowley Road & Princes' Street, Oxford.

Oxford's legendary performing arts club

An intimate and magical space for musicians, singers, poets, storytellers and performance artists of every imaginable hue, who grace the stage every Thursday night. A chance to sit, to listen, to connect, to inspire and to be inspired …

Website: Catweazle Club.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Poet's Letter: Monday 10th July

Poet's Letter Magazine Poetry Performance and Live Music

will be taking place at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street (nearest tube: Covent Gardent) tomorrow night @ 7 p.m (Monday, 10th of July).

Poets performing will include: Munayem Mayenin, Roi Kwabena, Maggie Sullivan (Poet in Residence for July), Nnorom Azuonye and Johnny Vallong in music. As usual there will be an Open Mic available for poets & performers.

People who would like to subscribe the Print Magazine can do so at the Poetry Cafe Reading.

The Cellar, London: Saturday 15th July

The Cellar
Every Saturday at The Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton Street
Covent Garden or Holborn tube
£5/3 concs
Floorspots available on the night (new and infrequent poets will be prioritised)

Saturday 15th July:
Guest Poets include Jonathan Asser, Claire Williamson & Dean Wilson

Jonathan Asser pops in tonight showcasing his tough but well crafted verse that deals with the violent prisoners he works with and the prostitutes he politely turns down while out for a jog. Claire Williamson will be making a rare London appearance, be sure to see more of her after she represents the south west on the next Apples and Snakes tour. Also on the bill, we have Dean Wilson, the sauciest postman in town and a true Cellar favourite.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Poets Anonymous: Wednesdays in Dublin

Wednesday evenings 7-30-9.30pm:

Poets Anonymous

A weekly poetry event in Dublin city centre which aims to provide a platform for up-and-coming poets to perform their work, to gain insight into the work of one featured poet each week, and to bring poetry to a wider audience.


Admission: 'pay what you can' basis.

Dublin: Harry's Bar, Nassau Street, Dublin 2

Thursday, July 06, 2006

SHORTFUSE: Thursday 6th July - THAT'S TONIGHT!

Thursday 6th July at SHORTFUSE, Islington.

SHORTFUSE Edinburgh Fringe preview of Invisible Ink - your final chance to catch our brand new unique spokenword show in London before it heads for Scotland featuring Suzanne Andrade, Rhian Edwards and Nathan Penlington - tear-up the boundaries of page and stage with a slickly staged scrapbook cabaret of darkly humoured writing, wry literate comedy, music and magic.

Plus star of Channel 5's 'Monkey Magic' and Channel 4's 'Dirty Tricks' magician Alistair Cook, and a welcome return from Newcastle's Domain Jane poet and ventriloquist.

Every Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1 (Tube: Angel)
Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

FARRAGO SLAM, LONDON: Wednesday 12th July

The Farrago School’s (almost) Out SLAM!

Wednesday, 12th July, 7:30pm in the RADA Foyer Bar, Malet St, WC1. Goodge St Underground.


OPEN TO ANY POET SLAM! Any subject or style. Read or Perform. Every poet wins a prize!

+ Features guests: Fran Landesman, poetry & jazz lyrical icon, accompanied by Miles Landesman + supporting singers, Zawe Ashton, back from finishing her degree in Manchester, Baba Brinkman, Canadian rap & poetry star, currently on tour with his hip hop version of the Canterbury Tales, Carolyn Staitus-Muller, final poetry set before heading back to Canada + Mat Lloyd, recently described as the coolest poet in the UK & Kit Noyes, the Easter SLAM! Champion, both making their Farrago feature debuts.

Emcee: John Paul O’Neill. Tickets: £6/£4

Other Summer Dates at The RADA Foyer Bar: Thursday, 27th July – The Farrago Summer SLAM!
Features include: Ascen Ariazu, Joshua Idehen, Anthony Joseph & Steve Sumner, others tbc.

Thursday, 10th August – Farrago Poetry Presents: Niall Spooner-Harvey’s Book Launch!
This event will feature Niall Spooner-Harvey and the London launch of his first poetry collection, 'Only Not Walking', with several guests performers including Abraham Gibson & Aoife Mannix, + musicians Simon Mastrantone & Bertel Haugen.

Info: 07905078376. http://

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Open Mic in Leicester: Wed July 5th (Apples & Snakes)

Apples & Snakes in association with Complex Trout Productions, Bambu and Phoenix Arts present


8pm onwards, Wednesday 5th July
Special guest Valerie Bloom
Host Steve Rooney
@ Bambu, 21 Welford Road, Leicester (opposite council buildings)

Open floor spots available.
For more info contact Steve Carroll (07870 608875 /

Word is Leicester's premier open floor spoken word event. It runs on the
first Wednesday of each month at Bambu café bar, and features a fantastic
guest artist as well as open floor spots.

Valerie Bloom

Valerie Bloom was born in Clarendon, Jamaica and came to England in 1979. She attended the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1982-84 where she gained a first class honours degree in English with African and Caribbean Studies and in 1995 she was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree by the same university for her work as a poet.

Valerie has performed her poetry extensively in Britain and abroad, in schools, universities, theatres, at festivals such as Hay-on-Wye, Cheltenham, and Womad, and on radio and television. She has run writing courses for the Arvon Foundation, in-service courses for teachers and librarians, and writing workshops in schools and colleges.

Her books include, Touch Mi, Tell Mi (Bogle L'Ouverture, 1983) reprinted in 1990, Duppy Jamboree, (Cambridge University Press, 1992) Fruits (Macmillan, 1997) Ackee, Breadfruit Callaloo (Bogle L'Ouverture and Macmillan, 1999,) Let Me Touch the Sky, Selected Poems (Macmillan, 2000) The World Is Sweet (Bloomsbury, 2000) and New Baby (Macmillan, 2000.) Her selected spoken works, Yuh Hear Bout? (57 Productions, 1997) is available on cassette tape.

In addition, her poems have been included in over one hundred adult and children's anthologies, in the Poems on the Underground, in The Independent, the CXC Examination Syllabus for Caribbean Schools, and in the NEAB GCSE English/English Literature Anthology. Valerie is presently writing, performing and conducting workshops full time.

Bohemian Words in Reading: Friday 7th July

Friday 7th July
8 - 8.30pm

Bohemian Words

at The Rising Sun Arts Centre, Silver Street, Reading.

This is Reading’s only totally open mic spoken word night, featuring a clutch of poets, a handful of comedians, and the many folk who’re going to come along and listen to what’s on display. Anything and everything goes.

It costs £2 to come in, FREE ENTRANCE for readers & performers.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Six of the Best": Birmingham, Wednesday 5th July

On Wednesday July 5th
at BIRMINGHAM LIBRARY THEATRE, central Birmingham (next to the Eye & The Rep. Theatre)

it's ..........


£5 -- or free if you've performed in the series or auditioned for it earlier this year

Here's Emma Purshouse, from an early Six of the Best. Everyone is welcome, kids included. Music from Phat Controller, a great ska band, and we need to fill the theatre if possible, so if you're in the area, do come and listen to these talented Midlands poets, on stage together for the first time:

Music and Visuals from Phat Controller and Pixalize.
Dreadlockalien READS new material! (drumroll, please, for the man with paper in his hand)
Godfrey salter and his invisible ducks
As seen on TV, Vince Gould
Matt Nunn
Yusseff Ahmed
Leeanne Stoddart.

Matt Nunn at Night Blue Fruit in Coventry, who will be performing on Wednesday July 5th at Birmingham Library Theatre, 7.30pm. £5/FREE.

Night Blue Fruit at the Tin Angel, Coventry: Tuesday 4th July, perhaps the best Open Mic Poetry night in the Midlands

Tuesday 4th July sees NIGHT BLUE FRUIT at the TIN ANGEL, Medieval Spon Street, Coventry - a monthly Open Mic poetry event with some major Midlands live poets & performers on board, first Tuesday of every month.

No guests, no special treatment, just a bunch of fantastic regular poets and brand-new startling voices, some well-known and published, some taking the mic for only their first or second time.

8.30pm sharp or earlier if you want to read or would like a comfortable seat! Donation now required, but nothing excessive, couple of quid maybe. Well-stocked bar, great acoustics, intimate atmosphere.

And I should be there too, if my car's working at last!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Ledbury Scribes: Monday 3rd July

Monday 3rd July 8pm - 10pm
LEDBURY FESTIVAL: The Ledbury Scribes & Open Mic

Local poets - an intimate reading at the Ledbury Festival. Get there early for this FREE event. Open mic available if you bring your own poems. Nibbles to eat, drinks at the bar.

Black Pepper Carvery (see for full details)

Foakies, Edinburgh: First Tuesday of every month

EDINBURGH: Poetry at 'Foakies'

First Tuesday of every month. Twenty minute spots featuring a singer-songwriter and then a poet followed by a forty minute spot featuring the main act, usually a singer-songwriter.

If you're a poet interested in performing at Foakies, please contact Tom Fairnie.

Edinburgh: The Royal Oak, Infirmary Street

Exploding Alphabets: Friday 7th July in Newcastle

Venue: Morden Tower, Newcastle upon Tyne
Organiser: Exploding Alphabets
Start time: 20:00 Fri 7 Jul 2006

Following demand from Newcastle's new breed of promising and vibrant poetic talent, Exploding Alphabets has been established as a platform for original and challenging artists to perform in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

This month, EA presents an informed, engaged, poetic look at terrorism and its echoes...

Admission: £1

Morden Tower
West Walls
Back Stowell St
Newcastle upon Tyne

Writers' Cafe, Stockton: Wednesday July 5th

The Writers' Café
taking place at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton
Wednesday 5 July 2006

Featuring top North East poet /publisher/writing activist Andy Croft,
plus the triumphant return of Saltburn singer-songwriter Izzy Isgate.

Plus up-and-coming young Teesside performance poet and writer Michael
Edwards, not to mention the funky acoustic songs of Paul Williams and
Paul Foxton and a mozaic of poetry from Paul Wilde, Alan Watkiss, Brian
Morton, Trev Teasdel, Katie Metcalf, Morbid and more.

Not sure of the time, as the round-robin email about Northeast events never tells you the time of events, but says you can find them at

Ard Fili: Become Ireland's High Poet for 2007

The first All Ireland Live Poetry Championships

Desmond Swords

"I am Desmond Swords, the organiser of the first All Ireland Live Poetry Championships. The winner will be crowned Ireland's Ard Fili, which means they will be Ireland's High Poet. Heats will be held from November 2006 and the final will be in October 2007, as part of the Patrick Kavanagh Celebration 2007.

Contact for details.

The 2006 Patrick Kavanagh Celebration is on 1 September, above the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin. This is a major spiritual home of Dublin literary life, where Kavanagh held court and sought employment from Dublin's post war head hacks, writing film and farming columns for the rags. In the mix with Brian O'Nolan aka Flann O'Brien aka Myles nag Copaleen, Behan, Anthony Cronin and the numerous scribes and bletherers of that town.

Kavanagh famously said that the standing army of Irish poets never fell below 20,000, which is a figure I can well believe, as if I heaved a brick from the top of Grafton Street it would be guaranteed to hit 10 before it reached the Phil Lynott statue outside Bruxelles boozer where Ronnie Wood has the occasional jam with the regular blues band there.

But enough idle chatter, Kavanagh also stated The Palace Bar. There was the gabble of poetry to be heard. And you can hear it on 1 September.

There will be a masterclass and workshop in the daytime from 12-4, all for the bargain price of 150 euros, led by He who shall remain nameless, but considered by many to be Irelands premier bard. Numbers are strictly limited and early booking a must."


See the Poets On Fire Discussion Forum for more details of live poetry events like this and some great craic!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Buzzwords in Cheltenham: Sunday 2nd July

BUZZWORDS: Upstairs at The Beehive, Montpellier, Cheltenham.

This is a popular open mic event for the Cheltenham area (I'll be reading there myself in early November this year). Don't forget the workshop from 7pm - 8pm: Sound practice led by Chloe of Midnight Storytellers.

Open mic and guest poet from 8pm

Guest poet: A F Harrold

entrance - £3
queries to or 07855 308122