Saturday, September 30, 2006

National Poetry Day at the Po Soc: Thursday 5th October

OCTOBER 5th, as I'm sure you all know, is NATIONAL POETRY DAY. This year's theme, as I'm sure you also know, is 'Identity'.

Celebratory live poetry events will be happening up and down the land, of course, on next Thursday. But here, as a taster, is what's happening in one small area of London. At the Poetry Society headquarters (22 Betterton Street, near Covent Garden) many famous poets & poet-performers will be massing together for an entire afternoon and evening of pure poetry and plenty of alcoholic beverages (I hope and imagine!).

The basic line-up:

From 3pm to 6pm: £4/3 NATIONAL POETRY DAY - IDENTITY PARADE hosted by Nii Parkes and John Hegley great line-up incl Rise Slam winners and Jackie Kay – drop in. See below for full details of who's on when.

And at 8pm, absolutely FREE, you can 'Celebrate NPD with The Organisers': Roddy Lumsden, Agnes Meadows, Adam O’Riordan, Nii Parkes, Niall O’Sullivan & l.k. robinson

Schedule for National Poetry Day:

3.00pm Intro Nii Parkes and John Hegley
3.03pm New Blood – Wayne Smith (one of the hosts), Sara Byrne & Ash tbc
3.22pm African Writers – Hisham Matar (Shortlisted for Booker Prize)
3.40pm Tall Lighthouse - Maria Morales & Asan Ugborogho
4.00pm The Cellar –Tim Wells (shortlisted for a Forward Prize)
4.15pm Loose Muse – Patricia Foster Ebele and Agnes Meadows
4.35pm Exiled Writers INK – Mir Mahfuz Ali
4.50pm Dodo Modern Poets - tba
5.05pm Broadcast – Ahren Warner & Roddy Lumsden
5.25pm Rise Slam Poets – Shadow 1 & Clown, Eltham Hill Technology College
for Girls & Cashman
5.45pm Jackie Kay

Do you know of a local live poetry event for National Poetry Day next Thursday? Email as many details as possible on your event to jane @ and I will post them up on this blog. Emails to be received by Wednesday 4th October at the very latest.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Poetry On Film: Friday October 6th

Poetry On Film. A rare experimental screening / performance where 4 artists explore Identity: Gad Hollander, Michael Horovitz, Mahmood Jamal, Malgorzata Kitowski

Friday October 6th, 8pm: The Artworkers Guild, Bloomsbury

(part of National Poetry Week 2006)

Gad Hollander: “My writing aspires towards the inarticulateness of music & silent film; whereas my films strive to articulate my writing, often in the form of on-screen text or voice-over. Having said that, I don't think I'm best placed to describe my own work. I don't really know what I'm doing. I'm guided by my ear & my eye, and what I know about it comes after the fact, from the work itself. The exception to that rule is that I eschew any political overtness in my work.”

Poetry Olympics torchbearer Michael Horovitz will perform excerpts from A New Waste Land (New Departures #23-24), and present footage of his William Blake Klezmatrix band, featuring songs, verse & music by Shakespeare, Blake, Annie Whitehead, Pete Lemer, Horovitz, & their fellow jazz & blues troubadours (see Music / text / identity.

Mahmood Jamal´s work speaks of division and its consequences. His visualised poems include Nostalgia, a piece examining identity. For information about his latest book:

Malgorzata Kitowski, author of Doppelgangers, will screen a selection of cut-up poems turned into films, and read text from Nuggets, a sequence about synchronicity. Her work looks at the ineffable and the point where language fails – how do we use language to construct identity, and how can we communicate the incommunicable, short of resorting to telepathy?

The Artworkers Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London. Tubes: Holborn / Russell Square. Tickets £8. Seating is very limited and expected to sell out quickly so please reserve in advance by emailing INFO@POETRYFILM.ORG

Best regards, PoetryFilm

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Buzzwords in Cheltenham: Sunday 1st October

Poetry Night with Workshop, Open Mic & Guest Poet

Upstairs at the Beehive, Montpellier, Cheltenham
Guest Poet - Sara-Jane Arbury

7pm - Writing time: Workshop led by guest poet
8pm – Guest poet reading and open mic
Come at 7pm if you want to write, 8pm if you don’t.
There will be open mic spots available; first come, first served.

Entrance: £3
Enquiries: 07855 308122

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poetry Pub Trail in Warwick: Sunday October 8th

Poetry Pub Trail in Warwick with Sean Kelly
Slam Poet

Sunday 8th October
FREE EVENT, in association with the Warwick Words Festival

Join Sean Kelly of Pureandgoodandright for a night of declaiming, versifying and rhyming in Warwick’s pubs – an evening of pure imbibition.

Bring your own poems or someone else’s to share. See you there.

7.45-8.30 Warwick Arms Hotel
8.45-9.30 The Zetland
9.45-10.30 The Roebuck

Monday, September 25, 2006

Horovitz etc. at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge: TOMORROW!

Urban Underworld Presents "A Poetry Happening"

Tuesday 26th September 2006 at the Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

A special event organised as part of the Urban Underworld conference
at Cambridge University featuring poetry by Michael Horovitz, Ian
Patterson, films by Rod Mengham and Marc Atkins and live jazz from
wild improv group Barkingside.

Doors open 8pm. Event runs till 11. Bar open throughout the night.
Tickets only £6 /£5 concessions.

For more information about the event and the conference check out
To purchase tickets please send a cheque for the requisite amount to:
David Ashford, Selwyn College, Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB3 9DQ.
Cheques should be made payable to David Ashford, and should be stapled
to a short note stating your name, address, email address, telephone
number, and ticket preference. For more information please contact
David Ashford:

Mark Gwynne Jones & PsychicBread: Leicester, Wednesday 27th September

Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychic Bread: Wednesday 27th Sept, 8pm
Phoenix Arts, Leicester

£8 / £6 concs - Box Office: 0116 2554854

Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread offer a fresh and original show that inspires and entertains. Here is an intertwining of voice, rhythm, world music and vivid poetry. A powerful act capable of transforming the mundane into magical landscapes and leading an audience through bewildered innocence to laughter and dance.Mixing contemporary narratives with ethnic percussion, piano, kora and flute, the Psychicbread underscore and empower the spoken word. The sound is fresh yet the form is an old one. It is that of the griot or bard, but one who has come not to merely repeat the words but to remind us what the words really mean. This is a show that draws on an ancient tradition yet tackles the complexities of our changing world with a beautiful and savage humour.

See the new Psychicbread film 'The Message' online at

'Astonishing*' The Daily Mail

'Mark Gwynne Jones is to poetry what The League of Gentlemen is to television scheduling.' The Independent

FARRAGO SLAM, LONDON: Saturday 30th September

Farrago Autumn SLAM! The Launch of Farrago’s New Season.

Farrago Poetry’s new season launches this Saturday with the Farrago Autumn SLAM! at RADA, we have moved into the George Bernard Shaw Theatre for the night, the same address as usual but for a change the Foyer Bar is just for drinking and socialising in. In the GBS everyone one gets a seat and the poets get to perform in a really special studio theatre space. This is the venue we use for the UK SLAM! Championship Finals.

As well as the usual open to ANY poet SLAM! with the usual excellent prizes for every poet who takes part we have a great feature line up with favourites Fran Landesman, jazz lyricist and spoken word legend, supported by Miles Landesman and Niall Spooner-Harvey, reading from his debut poetry collection, joined by FOUR Farrago feature debutants, Metis, winner of the Farrago School’s (almost) Out SLAM! Carmina, making her first feature performance anywhere! Annie Brechin, one of finest young poets on the London scene and Denise Atherley, top Trinidadian poet and organiser of Breakin’ Out.

Though we are holding tickets back for sale on the night you can buy them in advance from the RADA Box Office, using credit cards and guaranteeing your seat. If you’d like to slam or are coming to see a friend or feature please book up in advance. On the night we will try and fit as many people into the slam as possible, which will take up the majority of the second half of the show BUT we can not guarantee you a slot in the slam when you buy a ticket unfortunately. We will take the first eight slammers to sign up and put the rest of the signed up names into the hat. We will then draw out as many names as possible in addition to the eight poets guaranteed a slot. Sign up will take place in the theatre.

Doors open at 7:15.The show will start at 7:30pm. A running order showing when features are on will be posted outside the theatre on the night. No one will be let into the theatre before 7:15 except features and Farrago/RADA people working the night.

Last season we had brilliant audiences and performances in the SLAM! and from the features, I am looking forward for more of the same this season! We are going to continue to offer SLAM! winners feature performances, along with other new performers who do well and there are feature slots up for grabs in all of the forthcoming Autumn shows. So please come down, sign up if you are a poet/performer and spread the word!

John Paul

The FARRAGO AUTUMN SLAM! Saturday, 30th September, Doors open: 7:15pm. Show: 7:30pm

George Bernard Shaw Theatre @ RADA Malet St, London, WC1. Goodge St tube. Tickets in advance: £6/£5. Box Office: 0207 908 4800. Credit cards accepted. Features: Fran Landesman, Denise Atherley, Annie Brechin, Carmina, Metis, Niall Spooner-Harvey, others tbc.

Info: 07905078376.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

SHORTFUSE at Stoke Newington Festival: Sunday 24th September

This Sunday 24th September SHORTFUSE features at the Stoke Newington
Festival in Clissold Park. The performance stage is hosted throughout the
day by cult comedian Simon Munnery, the SHORTFUSE section starts at 3.30pm
and will feature comic american story teller Guy Jackson, the hypnotical
lyrical poetry of Rhian Edwards, local poet about town Tim Wells, and
resident SHORTFUSE host Nathan Penlington.

Events, music and stalls from midday - full information at - oh, and most importantly it is FREE.

"A Bloody Good Night!" : Apples & Snakes EXPOSED on Sunday 24th September

Sunday 24th September: "EXPOSED" Apples & Snakes National Tour

Claire Williamson, David J, Polarbear, Stickman and Yusra Warsama perform specially commissioned work on the theme of exposure. They explore inner feelings and clandestine emotions in an evening of truth telling, revelations and enlightenment.
Compered by: Jo Overfield & Cherryl Scott Guest poet: Simon Blackman
Also live music from Ross Palmer, sketch comedy film `Smear, Fear' from Bum Cigar, dj's Pootle and Hybernation & surprise dj.
There will be no open-mic poetry for this one because it's the apples & snakes tour extravaganza, but the organisers can promise you a "bloody good night!"

The Royal Hotel Ballroom - 1 High Street, Southend-on-sea, SS1 1JE
6.30pm £3

Friday, September 22, 2006

Black Horse Poets in Wakefield: Tuesday 26th September

Invitation to a Poetry Book Launch and Open Mic: on Tuesday September 26th at 7pm in the back bar of the Henry Boon Pub, Westgate, Wakefield

Michael Yates will be launching his new collection Life Class. There will be a free buffet and music by Libero. Members of the Black Horse Poets will be performing poems from Mick's book during the first part of the evening and in the second half there will be an open mic.

All are welcome and entry is free.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Thursday 21st September: SHORTFUSE

Every Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1. Tube: Angel. or click here for details of bus routes. Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

Liz Bentley the first ever Poetry Idol Rival Idol winner performs a
feature length set of her own brand of dark-edged life-affirming

"Superbly crafted character...The humour is wonderfully subtle... dark, a
little bit frightening, and definitely one of my fringe highlights."
THREE WEEKS ***** Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Sian Robin-Grace the winner of the 2nd Poetry Idol Edinburgh Fringe 2006
special brings her beautiful blend of observation, wit and well crafted
verse to N1.

Rachel Pantechnichon - runner up of both Poetry Idol Edinburgh and Brick
Lane Festival. Cat-fixated poet Rachel Pantechnicon presents a plethora of
verses and stories. Some with drawings.
'Disturbing' ***** Three Weeks

Paul MacJoyce - Winner of the Poetry Idol Brick Lane Festival Special -
verbal dynamics, off all four walls observation laced
with bite.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

London Shearsman launch: TONIGHT!

Ken Edwards & Mary Coghill launch their new Shearsman titles at the Poetry Society Studio, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London (1st floor)

Wednesday 20 September at 7:30pm

Free entry.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

FARRAGO SLAM, LONDON: Saturday 30th September

FARRAGO POETRY’S NEW SEASON: The FARRAGO AUTUMN SLAM! Saturday, 30th September, Doors open: 7:15pm. Show: 7:30pm

George Bernard Shaw Theatre @ RADAMalet St, London, WC1. Goodge St tube. Tickets in advance: £6/£5. Box Office: 0207 908 4800. Credit cards accepted.

Features: Fran Landesman, Denise Atherley, Annie Brechin, Carmina, Metis, Niall Spooner-Harvey, others tbc.

Emcee: John Paul O’Neill.


SLAM! sign up from 7:15pm. The first 8 poets will be guaranteed a performance slot. We will try and get as many poets into the SLAM! as possible! Come early to sign up!

Info: 07905078376.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Poetry in Galway: Thursday September 28th

Exciting line up for September ‘Over The Edge’ in Galway:

The September Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library break on Thursday, September 28th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Miceál Kearney, Robyn Rowland & John Throne.

As usual there will be an open mic when the featured readers have finished. This is open to anyone who has a poem or story to share. New readers are especially welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details contact 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the financial support of Galway City Council, Poetry Ireland and The Arts Council

Friday, September 15, 2006

Poetry Reading in Preston: September 20th

The Harris Library, Preston, Lancashire. September 20th. 7-8.30pm
Free event, refreshments provided. Tickets for admission from the Harris Library, Telephone: 01772 532676

William, a former Gregory poetry award winner, will discuss the poetry world, read from his poetry collection SURFACING (Spike Press, Liverpool) which is a recommended read at Preston Waterstones, and will discuss magazines and publishing. William is Magazine Listings Editor for

In addition, he will respond to comments, and answer questions from the audience on all these areas.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sean Kelly's PUREandGOODandRIGHT in Leamington Spa: Monday 18th September

Hello poets and fans of the ode!

Summer has gone - here's another month, so let's have another OPEN MIC night in Leamington!

We have our next PUREandGOODandRIGHT night on Monday 18th September at Toyk, Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, drinking starts at 7.30pm (or 11am if you're keen), poetry at 8pm sharp.

This month we're delighted to be host to poetry and stories from RACHEL PANTECHNICON, star of Edinburgh Fringe and too many poetry festivals to mention!

Rachel will be ably supported by some "stuff" from our mate SPOZ, who is gracing us with his poetic presence before hitting the stage (he has a play out in October!).

Of course, we'll also have as many open mikers as we can squeeze into Toyk - we're going for a record night!

Details and directions to Toyk can be found at

Hope to see you there!

Sean Kelly

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Craig Simon-David on Drop the Beat's First Anniversary in Leith: Wednesday 27th September

Hello All!

Well it is nice to be back in the land of communication! Sorry I've been off doing other stuff for the last while that I never even got time to give my thanks to everyone who participated in the last Drop night in July. It was a fantastic night, thanks go out to Marcello and the Senzalla Capoera school (, for their wonderful display of skill in their matial art form, and also to Emma Hamilton and the meanfeat crew for their sensational break-dance display.
The fantasic poetry of Milton Balgoni (well done Sir on the recent Bristol victory!), and hilarious and touching voice of Stephen Barnaby in his 50 word stories, both went down a treat. Special thanks go to Hazel Morrison, our headline music act on that gig. Beautiful voice, beautiful lady, tremendous..ahem.. talents :0) But seriously you were fantastic!

At the bottom of this message, you'll find a couple of things probably not seen before - first there's the quick map location finder for the Queen Charlotte rooms, and secondly, especially for the journalistas, (but others may find use for the format), the listing for the next Drop...

Which brings me, rather sweetly, to the purpose for this e-mail; namely the Next Drop. This next Drop night is on Wednesday the 27th of September(8pm), and yes, if you didn't already know or hadn't guessed from the subject line, Drop is One Year New, and still managing to be unique in content, performers and of course style! So thank you all for making this work, and making it worthwhile for us to put on, it's the encouragement you've all given that keeps this a FREE event, open to all and existing for Love of our Art!

So this month, come one come all and lets celebrate this first anniversary in style!

On the bill we have the welcome return of some of those who participated in the very first Drop at Sofi's including (fingers crossed on these two) Tickle and the inimitable Paul Reekie, and Mr Relax has also happily agreed, as has Chris Cantwell whose poetry has been missed greatly by all. In the line up for music we welcome a new duo from the One O Clock Gun party, as well as Drop first timers, but professional old hands, Andy Lang and the Well. A most heartily welcomed return from William Douglas as the Headline Musician will be fantastic, and McBrandy brings the local bawd and flavour. Others will be appearing, and, with the gracious aid of Miss Hope Eternal as Mistress of Ceremony, and the customary addition of another artform, this Drop promises to exceed all expectations!

Take care all, and we look forward to seeing you on the 27th.
(Dress code: "It's a party! wear what you like, although it is getting a little chilly for birthday suits out!")


Don't know where the venue is? Paste this link and when the map appears scroll it to find the arrow pointing to the Queen Charlotte rooms, Queen Charlotte Street, in Leith.

The journalistic listing here. Thank you to all who carry this and spread the word. Your support of the last year has been invaluable!

Drop - The Beat Cafe One Year Celebration

Drop - The Beat Cafe
The Queen Charlotte Rooms, Top Floor
56A Queen Charlotte Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 7BT
Wednesday / 27th / September
8pm until Midnight-ish
Music from Gun Duo, William Douglas, Andy Lang and McBrandy/Poetry performed by Chris Cantwell, Rodney Relax/More poetry and story-telling and a Surprise in the mix!
All original material, Poetry, Music and Storytelling
QCR's phone contact: 0131 555 6660/ Fax 0131 267 6660

Drop - The Beat Cafe make's it Bi-monthly return tonight to celebrate One Year of the most eclectic and unique night in the city! Music, Poetry and Storytelling abound with another Surprise Artform. Performers to include: Andy Lang, William Douglas, McBrandy, Rodney Relax, Chris Cantwell and many more with Miss Hope Eternal taking us through the jubilation barrier as Mistress of Ceremony.

Slam Poetry in Galway: Thursday September 14th

North Beach Poetry Nights

is pleased to present as Guest Poet

Michael D. Higgins

On Thursday September 14th at 9pm
in BK's Winebar, Spanish Parade, Galway
with guest MC: Dave Lordan

Michael D. Higgins is a Labour TD for Galway West and has twice been Mayor of Galway. From 1993 to 1997 he was Minister for Arts, Cultures & The Gaeltacht. He is currently Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs for The Labour Party. He has published three poetry collections, The Betrayal, published by Salmon, The Season of Fire, published by Brandon, both illustrated by Mick Mulcahy, and An Arid Season published in 2004 by New Island Books. He has read his poems on a number of radio and television programmes. He was a featured reader at Over The Edge in September 2004 and also read at the Baffle Festival last year. Michael D has always been a strong supporter of inovation in the arts, and this reading is a first for the poetry slam movement internationally. This is the first time anywhere in the world that a former Government minister has taken part in a poetry slam.

The North Beach Nights Slam is open to everyone. Newcomers are welcome.
Please bring two max. three minute performance pieces and be there early to get your name down. The prize for the winner is the honour and a bottle of red wine
generously donated by BK's Winebar.

Admission: 4 Euro

Monday, September 11, 2006

African Writers' Evening in London: Friday September 15th

Friday September 15, 2006
Start Time: 7.30pm

The African Writers' Evening welcomes writer, translator and activist Wangui Wa Goro (Kenya) for her first reading at AWE. She will be joined by Togara Muzanenhamo, a Zimbabwean poet who has just had his first collection published by Carcanet. Hosted as always by Nii Ayikwei Parkes.

Address: 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2
entry: £4
to reserve a seat: events [at] x-bout [dot] com

featured readers

September: Wangui Wa Goro & Togara Muzanenhamo

Wangui Wa Goro:
Wangui wa Goro is a writer as well as an academic social critic, researcher, translator and campaigner for human rights in Africa and Europe. She has been involved in rights for race, gender equality and democracy for over twenty years. She is a pioneer in translation of African literature and her translation of Ngugi wa Thion'o's work from Gikuyu to English brought her global acclaim. She also translates ground breaking and award winning authors from French to English.

Togara Muzanenhamo
Togara Muzanenhamo was born in Lusaka, Zambia in 1975 to Zimbabwean parents. He was brought up in Zimbabwe and studied in France and the Netherlands. His poems have appeared in magazines in Europe, South Africa and Zimbabwe. His first book of poems, Spirit Brides, is published by Carcanet Press.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

'EXPOSED': Apples & Snakes National Tour Dates

‘Exposed’ - Apples & Snakes National Tour

Performance poetry by David J, Stickman, Polarbear, Yusra Warsama and Claire Williamson.

Apples & Snakes has commissioned five artists from five regional areas to each compose a twelve minute piece on the theme of ‘exposed’. They explore issues of political, personal and environmental exposure through performance styles from hip hop through free verse to the luxuriantly lyrical. Each performance will feature the five commissioned artists as well as a local host and guest performer, unique to each venue. The artistic director is Lucy English, Bristol’s Queen of Slam.

EXPOSED is the company’s most ambitious collaborative project to date with twenty performances, sixteen partner organisations and five touring artists. This makes it the biggest national poetry tour ever programmed.

NATIONAL LISTINGS (split in to 4 regional areas – East Midlands, South West, London and the South East, North West)

venue: The Y, 7 East ST, Leicester, LE1 6EY

venue: Lincoln Drill Hall
date: 27/09/06
time: 20:00
box office: 01522 873 894
tickets: £5
guest acts: Guy Hudson and Dave Wright

venue: Canal House Bar, Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7GB ?
date: 02/10/06
time: 20:00
box office: On door
tickets: £5 / £4
guest acts: Michelle ‘The Mother’ Hubbard and Tony Hendricks

venue: Plough Arts Centre, 9-11 Fore Street, Great Torrington, EX38 8HQ
date: 14/09/2006
time: 20:00
box office: 01805 622 552
tickets: £6.50 / £5.50 (£5 Plough supporters)
guest acts: Colin Shaddick and Frances Thompson

venue: Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA
date: 15/09/06
time: 20:00
box office: 0117 917 2300
tickets: £5
guest acts: Peter Hunter and Sara-Jane Arbury

venue: The Merlin Theatre, Bath Road, Frome, BA11 2HG
date: 16/09/2006
time: 19:45
box office: 01373 465 949
tickets: £6
guest acts: Elvis McGonagall and Crysse Morrison

venue: The Royal Hotel Ballroom, 1 High Street, Southend, SS1 1JE
date: 24/09/2006
time: 19:00
box office: On door
tickets: £3
guest acts: Jo Overfield, Cherryl Scott and Simon Blackman

venue: Cherry Jam, 58 Porchester Road, London, W2
date: 28/09/2006
time: Doors open at 7pm
box office: On door
tickets: £2 before 8pm then £5
host: Patrick Neate (guest poet tbc.)

venue: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 80-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1
date: 05/10/2006
time: 19:00
website: ?
tickets: FREE
guest acts: Luke Wright and Byron Vincent

venue: The Vaults, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, OX1 4AH
date: 07/10/2006
time: 20:00
box office: On door
tickets: £6 / £4
guest acts: Steve Larkin and Lizzie Mac

venue: The Yorkshire House, Parliament Street, Lancaster, LA1 1DB
date: 20/10/06
time: 20:30
tickets: £3 / £2
compere: Ron Baker (guest poet tbc.)

venue: Bickerton Village Hall, Broxton, Chester, CH3 6ER
date: 21/10/06
time: ?19:30
box office: 01829 720 440 (contact Nigel Briers)
tickets: £6
guest acts: Harry Owen and John Lindley

venue: Goostrey Village Hall, Goostrey nr. Holmes Chapel, Main Road, CW4 8PE
date: 26/10/06
time: ?19:30
box office:01477 544 467 (contact Janet Ollier)
tickets: £3.50
guest acts: John Lindley and Harry Owen

venue: Brewery Arts Centre, 122A Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE
date: 27/10/06
time: 20:00
tickets: £5
guest acts: Marvin Cheeseman and Gill Hands (tbc)

venue: Chester University Campus, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 48J
date: 28/10/06
time: 19:30
box office: 01244 602 898 (contact Anne Sherman)
tickets: £5
guest acts: Harry Owen and John Lindley

venue: Contact Theatre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA
date: 31/10/06
time: 19:30
tickets: £6 / £4
guest acts: Cheryl Martin and Martin Stannage

venue: Lanternhouse, The Ellers, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0AA
date: 18/11/06
time: 19:30
tickets: £4 / £3
guest acts: Ann Wilson and guest poets Jo Stoney, Ross Baxter, Jennifer Copley and Gill Nicholson

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Poet's Letter at the Poetry Cafe: Monday 11th September

The Poet's Letter Phenomenon

The Poet's Letter Poetry Performance and Live Music Series at Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden (nearest tube) is resuming this month on Monday, 11th September, 7pm.

Everyone who loves poetry is invited to this regular evening of good poetry and music, which also provides an opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals in the friendly and intimate cafe below the Poetry Society's London headquarters.

Voice & Verse in Galway: Wednesday 13th September

This year's only Voice and Verse gig takes places upstairs in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway on Wed 13th Sept, 8.30pm. Following last year's successful series, Neil McCarthy is testing the water again with an exciting line up of Niall Connolly and Dave Lordan.

Dave Lordan was born in England in 1975 to Irish parents who soon returned to Clonakilty in West Cork where he grew up. He began writing in his teens and his chapbook -18- was published by the English literature society in UCC in 1994. While at UCC he gained a reputation as a strong and dynamic reader and performer of his own work and he continues to read regularly to great acclaim. He graduated in 1998 with an MA in English Literature. In 2001 he took the Mphil in Creative Writing in TCD and in the same year was featured as part on Poetry Ireland's Introductions series. He received an Arts Council Bursary in 2004. He was runner up in the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2002 and won it in 2005. His work has been widely published at home and abroad and been translated into Arabic and Serbo-Croat. The Boy in The Ring is his debut collection.

Niall Connolly is no stranger to Galway and performed on The Voice and The Verse last year at a packed Nun's Island Studio with Billy Ramsell. Following the success of his first two studio albums (Songs from a Corner, as tomorrow creeps from the east), Niall moved to New York to finalise his third album which is due out shortly. Described by the Village Voice in NY as 'too damn good to miss', Niall's well-crafted songs and poignant lyrics are starting to attract more and more attention. Released on the independent Cork based c.u. records label, Niall's music has already received airplay in Ireland, Toronto and Sydney. 'As tomorrow creeps from the east' has also bizarrely recorded internet sales in as yet untoured territories including
Japan and New Zealand

Doors 8.30pm
Admission 8 euro on the door.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Spoken Word at Birmingham Artsfest: Sunday 10th September

Birmingham Artsfest, Sunday 10th September

Performer: The Ex-men
(spoken word electronica)

The Ex-men are bringing their truly unique (and I mean it! – “a curveball” Richard Hodgson, Vibraphonic FM) brand of spoken-word electronica to Birmingham this Sunday as part of artsfest. They will be performing their electro-house and best-of-worlds/worst-of-worlds lyrics at The Custard Factory theatre stage at 2:30pm and Rooty Frooty’s at 5.

This messages comes to you via Jack Sims

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Writers' Cafe, Stockton: Wednesday 6th September

The Writers' Café
The Georgian Theatre, Stockton
Wed 6 Sep 2006

Featuring a presentation of Mudfog poets, including Tara Bergin, Gary
Newmarch, Syndou Diarrassouba, Shirley Hetherington and Gordon Hodgeon,
along with a number of local poets and musicians.

WORD at Bambu, starring Tim Turnbull: Wednesday 6th September in Leicester

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


8pm onwards
Wednesday 6th September
@ 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.

Tim Turnbull
Earlier this year, Tim Turnbull was awarded the first Performance Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation. His book 'Stranded In Sub-Atomica' (Donut Press, 2005) has been shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection in this year's Forward Prize. He has been performing at home and abroad for over ten years. He is developing a new show entitled 'Caligula On Ice'.
For more information, visit

Open Mic at the Rainbow, Birmingham: TONIGHT!

Wrote Under: Open Mic night at the popular Rainbow Pub in Birmingham tonight - Tuesday September 5th - starting 8pm - music, poetry, storytelling, comedy and general audience all welcome!

For more details of this and other Birmingham open mic events, contact Liz Smith at


Monday, September 04, 2006

Hammer & Tongue in Oxford, a monthly Poetry Slam on Tuesday evenings

Hammer & Tongue - First Tuesday each month, 7.30 pm, at the Zodiac, Cowley Rd, Oxford. Whcih means the next Slam is due to be held this Tuesday 5th September.

Monthly poetry slam on Tuesday evenings:

NB: It's probably best to check these details with the organiser, Steve Larkin, before making a special trip. Visit the website for contact details.

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

N.B: Next date: Thursday September 7th at 8pm

Saturday, September 02, 2006

OFF BY HEART - republishing a POF article from January 2006 on memorising your poems

OFF BY HEART - Does it make a difference if we perform from memory?

I still remember the sense of awe and stunned admiration I felt when, on an Arvon course back in the 90s, I first saw Philip Wells - the Fire Poet - perform some of his poetry. He’s a superb performer and his material is both deeply mythic and utterly contemporary, but it was not what he performed that made the most impact on me that day, but the way he performed it. For it was the first time I had ever seen somebody stand up in front of an audience and read his own work from memory. It was a wake-up call, but one I've been pushing back to snooze for the past ten years. Now that I’ve started looking more seriously at stand-up techniques in an effort to improve my own performance as a reader, perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of Philip’s book and memorise my work.

Let's face it, there are few things more terrifying than walking up to a microphone in front of a live audience and having to perform your own work, even with the poems written down for you. Just the knowledge that I’ve agreed to do that or decided to make an appearance at some Open Mic event can make me feel physically sick for days in advance. However, I used to feel like that before playing competitive snooker too, so perhaps that reaction says more about me and my own peculiar hang-ups to do with display and competitiveness than some common fear of public speaking.

It’s not always that bad, of course - small home crowds are easier to face than big city gigs packed with strange faces - but even when I think I’ve got my fear under control, it often resurfaces in some way: stomach cramps for a day or so beforehand, an inability to eat on the day, sudden cotton-mouth when I walk up to the mic, my hands no longer under my control, shaking so badly I’m sure even the ones asleep at the back must have noticed.

And my voice? Croaky, squeaky or shrill, or worse, suddenly slurred as though I’ve been propping up the bar in the interval. I’m sure I can’t be alone in finding that my tongue grows at least half an inch thicker as soon as I approach a microphone. It must be one of the laws of performance theory that you only notice how many ‘f’s and ‘s’s are in close proximity in your poems when you’re called upon to deliver a line which comes out like a drunk reciting ‘She sells seashells by the seashore.’

How much easier it would be if you didn’t have to hold a piece of paper in your hand, or a sheaf of papers, or a book. But of course, if you take away the printed word, it’s like taking away a security blanket. The usual reference point has vanished. Suddenly, the words have gone and you’re on your own. The audience is waiting. Your mind’s a blank. You don’t even remember which poems you wanted to perform, let alone how they start.

If it was terrifying before, when you had a book to hide behind, something to keep checking on while you read, nothing can describe how it feels to walk up to the mic empty-handed!

So what is the secret? How do performers like Philip Wells and many other stand-up experts manage to deal with this fear of losing the visual text? Well, I suppose the simple answer is that they can see no other way of performing and so they practise, practise, practise - alone and in front of an audience, even if it’s just the dog - until they’re word-perfect and have all those memory tricks down cold, the mnemonics or mental tags that help us remember what comes next in a verbal sequence like poetry. Nerves go with the territory, after all, and it must be liberating to feel confident enough to step up and perform from the page in your head, the open text in your memory, a text that relies on a poet’s innate sense of rhythm to keep rolling off the tongue without faltering.

Besides, text changes when it’s memorised, have you noticed that? Not in physical terms - the words are still the same on the page, still exactly where you left them - but in oral and auditory terms. The poem starts to ‘feel’ different in your mouth, starts to take on a new shape in your mind. It always makes me think of Tony Harrison’s poem 'Fire-eater': 'Coarser stuff than silk they hauled up grammar/knotted together deep down in their gut', reminding me of how you pull words and phrases, the sense and rhythm of your poem, out of your mouth as you perform, dragging them out from god knows where, some ancient inner reservoir that pre-dates the written word.

When you memorise, instead of remembering where lines end or begin, you start to think about where to draw breath, where the emphasis lies, where the silences are between words, between lines, even between poems. The memorised work starts to have a new presence, one that takes it beyond the printed page. Now it’s out there, alive in the space between you and the audience, and you can’t take it back.

But poetry can’t perform that dance, it can’t come to life in those terms if it’s just read flatly from the page, if it’s never allowed to find its own rhythm in your mouth, in the way your body moves in performance, even in your eyes, the expression on your face, the sounds rising and falling and finding their own dynamic pathways to the audience without reference to something as stolid and inflexible as print.

So yes, I think it does make a difference if we perform from memory. But it also takes courage and determination; courage to face the audience without the safety net of the page, and determination because you’re bound to make mistakes in the beginning - though most people are probably gifted with a better memory than me or are better able to hide their mistakes with some smooth ad-libbing! - and you have to deal with that possibility. Luckily, I think the adrenalin and energy that come from facing our fear are motivating factors, bringing us back to the mic empty-handed again and again.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ekko Words Inc. in Newcastle: Monday 4th September

Ekko Words Inc.

The Sports Café, Newcastle
Mon 4 Sep 2006

Open mic night with readings from Keith Armstrong, Kate Fox and Martin
Bloomfield, guest slots from comedian Ken Stott and charva hating rapper
MC Gizza Tab. Plus more guests on the night.

See for more details of this and OTHER live poetry events in the region.

Dodo Modern Poets: Friday September 1st

On Friday 1st September at 8pm, you can catch the Dodo Modern Poets at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London and their 'September Songs' with John Citizen, Tamsin Kendrick, Patric Cunnane & Maggie Oke.

Pay £6/£5 concessions to witness the Poetry Cafe kicking off the autumnal season after a quietish August with this new poetry event. And just when you thought live poetry in London was extinct ...