Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Roy Fisher reading in Manchester: Thursday November 2nd

Thursday November 2nd

Roy Fisher will be reading at Manchester Metropolitan University (in the Geoffrey Manton Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, opposite the Aquatics Centre).

£5/£3 concessions

6.30pm start

Jenny Joseph and more at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival: Friday 3rd November


8.00 - 9.45pm • Jubilee Hall • PF12 • £12

"Promise and achievement. From precise and lyrical to expansively philosophical, Jenny Joseph mixes mystery and plain statement in her researches into the human heart. Prize-winning Nick Laird displays a range of subject matter and tone, wit and seriousness, formal adroitness and colloquial panache. With stylistic aplomb, John Powell Ward’s continually inventive poems explore and extend our wider concerns."

The winner of the 2006 Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for £3,000 will be announced at the start of this reading.

Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Box Office
Snape Maltings Concert Hall
IP17 1SP
Tel. 01728 687110

UnCut Poetry in the West Country: November Dates

Thursday 2nd November at 7:30 p.m.

Uncut Poets. Rescheduled from October, their guest poet is Elisabeth Bletsoe. Also on Thursday 30th November, guest poets on a double bill will be Jennie Osborne & Karen Eberhardt Shelton.

Black Box, Media Centre, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter

Box Office: 01392 667080. Fully accessible.

Entry: £5/£3 concessions and open-mikers with confirmed bookings. Anyone wishing to book an open-mike slot, may call James Bell on 07879 888319.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Australian and Welsh Poetry: Dylan Thomas Festival, Tuesday 31st October

Dylan Thomas Festival: From Wagga Wagga to Roath.

Australian poet David Gilbey and Cardiff poet Lloyd Robson (pictured left) will be reading their work at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, 7.30 pm, Tuesday 31st October.

Tickets £6.00 / £4.20 concessions / £2.40 Swansea Passport to Leisure.

For further details contact the Dylan Thomas Centre box office on 01792 463980. The Dylan Thomas Centre works in partnership with Academi.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Duhig & Rollinson in Bolton: Monday 30th October

Ian Duhig & Neil Rollinson

at The Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton BL1 1SB
30 October 2006

Ticket prices: £4 (£2 concessions, Ticket office: 01204 520 661, Website: www.octagonbolton.co.uk

Ian Duhig has written four books of poetry, the most recent of which, The Lammas Hireling (2003), was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Best Collection Prize. Earlier collections include The Bradford Count (1991), The Mersey Goldfish (1995) and Nominies (1998). He has previously won an Arts Council Writers and Cholmondeley Award, the Forward Best Poem Prize in 2001 and the British Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition twice. Following 15 years' work with homeless people, he has held fellowships at Lancaster, Leeds, Durham and Newcastle Universities, was the Northern Arts Literary Fellow in 2000 and the 2003 International Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

Neil Rollinson was born in Yorkshire and studied Fine Art at Newcastle before dropping out and moving to London. After travelling around India and the Far East, he returned to England to concentrate on writing, and made his debut with A Spillage Of Mercury in 1996. Winner of the National Poetry Competition in 1997, he published his second collection, Spanish Fly, in 2001; both are Poetry Book Society recommendations. He is currently working with 57 Productions developing a series of virtual online creative writing workshops, including Poetry Jukebox, which can be found at www.poetryjukebox.com. He is also editor of the internet literature magazine Boomerang.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Simon Armitage at the Royal Festival Hall: TOMORROW

Simon Armitage at Poetry International, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank: Sunday 29th October

"Simon Armitage is one of the greatest poets of his generation. His new collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, engages with the matter of England, here and now, as never before."

Sunday 29th October

4:30 pm Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, London

£6 : Buy Tickets at www.rfh.org.uk.

Simon Armitage


NB: Apologies are due for the previous posting of this event as taking place on the 9th of October. The person responsible has been executed.


POETRY & CLIMATE CHANGE: Sunday 29th October

Poetry and Climate Change: a poetry reading & debate

Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London
Poetry International Festival
with John Burnside & George Monbiot

Sunday 29th October 2006

John Burnside

"The natural world and environment issues are at the heart of John Burnside's poetry and George Monbiot's writing. John Burnside's tender, lyrical imagination uses the Scottish rural landscape as a backdrop for metaphysical exploration. Following readings of their work, Fiona Sampson, Editor of Poetry Review, chairs a discussion on the subject of poetry and climate change."

Tickets: £6.00
Booking Fee: £1.50 Members: 75p
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Series: 08701 900 222 (not available online)

Website: www.rfh.org.uk/poetryinternational
For an interesting online debate on this topic of Poetry & Politics, see The Poem Forum; if the link doesn't work, try googling it.

Seren Launch Reading in Conwy: Wednesday 15th November

Mr Cassini
Lloyd Jones

Wednesday 15th November 2006

Please Note: This date was wrongly posted as Sunday 5th November, but actually takes place on the 15th.

Seren invites you to the launch reading of Mr Cassini by Lloyd Jones, at 7.00pm, The Beach Pavilion Café, The Promenade, Llanfairfechan, Conwy, LL33 0BU.

For further details contact Seren Books on 01656 663018 or email events@seren-books.com or visit the website:

John La Rose tribute: TODAY in Glasgow

John La Rose Tribute Night in Glasgow

Featuring Horace Ove, James Kelman, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard, Raman Mundair, Roxy Harris and others.

3pm: Slide talk by Horace Ove on his photography work which captures the emergence of Black politics and charting the rise of carnival in Britain over three decades from the 1960s onwards. Admission is free.

The Dream To Change The World
6pm: Film screening introduced by Horace Ove. The film draws on the visual archive of past events in the history of Trinidad's diaspora to tell the story of John La Rose's life, and includes excerpts from interviews with Gus John and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Poetry + Readings
8pm: Featuring James Kelman, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard and Raman Mundair.

Ticketed events. Please call or email gallery for ticket details, 0141 552 2151, or see www.streetlevelphotoworks.org for more information.

VENUE: Street Level Photoworks, 48 King Street, Glasgow.


Coffee and Couplets in Birmingham: Wednesday 1st November

Rendezvous of Poetry

Wednesday 1st November, 7.00 – 9.00
Starbucks, Martineau Place, Birmingham

"Building upon the popularity and profile of performance poetry in Birmingham, Starbucks poet-in-residence Roy McFarlane would like you to join him for a night of poetry, spoken word, rhythm and rhyme in a cosy front room setting at Starbucks, with plenty of coffee!

Guesting on the night will be globe-trotting poets Chester Morrison and Kim Trusty, Birmingham Laureate Spoz and local poet Jah Biggz and transferring the written word to the stage Writers Without Borders. But that’s not all folks, the stage will be alive with poetry flowing, challenging other poets to reel off as much poems as they can in three minutes."

1 Host
2 Hours of Poetry
3 minutes to go
4 Guest Poets
5 minutes and more of Open Mic Poetry
& lots more

At the Rendezvous of Poetry,
Starbucks the place to be for live poetry

For further information contact Roy McFarlane 07980 672733

Rap Poetry at London's RFH: THIS AFTERNOON

Arapiat, Zena Edwards + Kat Francois

Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London
Poetry International Festival
4pm, 28 October 2006

Arapiat are poetic pioneers: an Arabic rap duo whose lyrics have wowed audiences across Europe with their incendiary blend of social issues and attitudes on what it means to be Arab and female in the 21st century. Zena Edwards is the queen of the performance scene in London, mixing a capella, marimba and opulent lyricism and her complex, sensuous voice is music itself. Kat Francois won the BBC3 Poetry Slam and is an internationally acclaimed slam champion.

Ticket price includes free entry to the Festival Debate at 2pm

Kat Francois, performing at a Hammer & Tongue gig earlier this year at the QI Club, Oxford

Tickets: £8.50

Booking Fee: £1.50 Members: 75p

Website: www.rfh.org.uk/poetryinternational

Friday, October 27, 2006

Poetry in North London: Wednesday November 1st


Wednesday November 1st 2006, 7:30pm

Free wine AND poetry
Poetry@TheRoom, organised by Anthony Howell and Richard Tyrone Jones.

The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, Tottenham Hale, N17 9AS
Nearest tube: Tottenham Hale. BR: Bruce Grove.
£5/3 concs with free wine!!!

This month features:

Mark Ford
One of our foremost abstract poets with collections in Faber, Chatto and a biography of Raymond Roussel to his name; regular contributor to the TLS and London review of Books and senior lecturer at UCL. An addictive fusion of delirium and memory

Nathan Penlington
Glam host of long-running poetry/comedy/stuff night Shortfuse leaves the childhood photos and card tricks at home for an avant-garde set inspired by Joyce, BS Johnson, Oulipo and concrete, including stuff from his Eric Gregory award-nominated Roadkill on the Digital Highway

Anthony Howell -
Some compare him to Catulus, some to the Earl of Rochester. Others call him an abstract pervert; all are correct. Feature length set from his five Anvil collections and new work from the brains behind the Room operation!

The Room’s ‘New View’:

Tamsin Kendrick
Life and crimes of a free-verse, globe-trotting upper class lush plus some New New Apocalypstick, fresh back from her NYC mini-tour.

Plus Your host: Richard Tyrone Jones, host of 'Utter!', Clerkenwell Literary Festival Co-organiser and purveyor of cynical West Midlands gothic poetry. "uncompromisingly intelligent" - Observer.

Once again that's Poetry@TheRoom, Wednesday Nov 1st, 7.30pm, The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, Tottenham N17 9AS (Nearest tube: Tottenham Hale), 020 8808 9318, www.the-room.org.uk with FREE WINE ALL NIGHT (plus non-alcoholic alternatives, and biscuits!) Cost is £5/3 concessions.

Poetry@TheRoom is funded by the Arts Council England.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Poetry Readings, Matlock Bath: Thursday 26th October

Inaugural Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Anthology Awards

Masson Mill, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
26 October 2006
Readings by winning and anthology poets

"The Inaugural Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Anthology Awards are being presented by Jean Sprackland at Masson Mill, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire on Thursday 26th October, 7.00 - 9.00 pm. Three new pamphlets and the competition anthology will be launched. There will be readings by several of the winning and anthology poets from their work as well as wine."

Further details from www.awards@templarpoetry.co.uk

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Simon Armitage at the Royal Festival Hall: Sunday 29th October

Poetry International, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank: Sunday 29th October

"Simon Armitage is one of the greatest poets of his generation.

His new collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, engages with the matter of England, here and now, as never before."

Sunday 29th October
4:30 pm Purcell Room
Simon Armitage

£6 : Buy Tickets at www.rfh.org.uk.

NB: Apologies for the previous dating of this event as 9th October. The appropriate person has been executed.

Farrago Festival of Spoken Word 2006: starting Friday 3rd November

"Farrago’s annual Festival of Spoken Word was launched back in 1994 and features both the UK SLAM! Championships, started the same year, and the London SLAM! Championship Finals, the longest running poetry slam in Europe.

The 2006 festival launches on Friday, 3rd November with the Farrago Central London SLAM! Challenge and a great line up of feature performers. More information follows but for now here are some details about the first three events, all taking place at RADA Foyer Bar."

The Farrago Festival of Spoken Word 2006

THREE RADA FOYER BAR EVENTS in the RADA FOYER BAR, Malet St, London, WC1. Goodge St tube. Starting with Friday, 3rd November, 7:30pm -


OPEN TO ANY POET SLAM! Any subject or style. read or perform. EVERY POET WINS A PRIZE! Features: Peter Donnelly, The UK SLAM! Champion, Zawe Ashton, Annie Byfield, Saran Green, Pete Kallon, James O’Nuanian & Scroobius Pip. Others tbc.

Broadcast at the Poetry Cafe: Thursday 26th October

Thursday 26th October 8pm
Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London (Covent Garden tube)

Andy Brown whose Selected Poems, 'Fall of the Rebel Angels', is new from Salt.
'Andy Brown is one of our most interesting and exciting younger poets.' John Burnside

Helen Macdonald, author of Shaler's Fish (Etruscan Books)
'The poems are particular, discrete responses to particular events & objects, often places. They play with the tension between a high lyric voice...orienting the reader in a field populated by different versions of the self & its relation to the natural world.'

plus readings from two fine teenage poets:

Richard Osmond
Ahren Warner
(Winner of Shortfuse Poetry Idol 7)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Poetry 'Doubles' in York: Wednesday 25th October

Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker

Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, off Clifford Street, York
25 October 2006

Box office: 01904 613000
Admission £7.50, concessions £5.00
all major cards accepted

The publicity material for this event says:

Poetry Doubles is a series of readings featuring an established poet and his or her own choice of a second poet - an exciting, emerging talent - to present some of our most influential and our most promising new writers side by side.

The series, launched in May 2003 by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion with Colette Bryce, has since featured Douglas Dunn with Henry Shukman, Wendy Cope with Joanne Limburg, Fleur Adcock with Julian Stannard, Bernard O'Donoghue with Helen Farish, Anne Stevenson with Angela Leighton and Alice Oswald with Sean Borodale.

"I'm a strong supporter of the idea that writers who have been around for a long time and who are in a position to 'help' other writers, if that's the right word, should do so. The premise of Poetry Doubles is a very good one."
Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate

Monday, October 23, 2006

Shortfuse: Thursday 26th October


Thursday 26th October

Back to back feature length sets from cult comedian Simon Munnery and NYC's finest spokenword performer Cheryl B.

Plus London's very own Spinmaster Plantpot.

Shortfuse takes place every Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1

Tube: Angel.

Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

Arundhathi Subramaniam in Edinburgh: Tuesday 24th October

Arundhathi Subramaniam

in discussion with Jules Mann

The Scottish Poetry Library,
5 Crichton's Close,

Arundhathi Subramaniam is a critically acclaimed young Indian poet writing in English. Based in Mumbai, where she works as an arts journalist, she was awarded the Charles Wallace Fellowship at the University of Stirling in 2003. She is also editor of the India domain of Poetry International, a leading website for international poetry and translation. In conversation with Jules Mann of the Poetry Society, she’ll read from her work and invite discussion on issues that affect her as poet and editor, including questions of gender, cultural identity and internationalism.

Supported by The Poetry Society and Visiting Arts
£5/£3 (concs and Poetry Society members)

Tuesday 24 October, 7.30pm

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Poetry Open Night in Leamington Spa: Tuesday 24th October

Reading poet, compere and eccentric AF HARROLD will be the headliner this month at PUREandGOODandRIGHT, a regular open mic poetry night with Guest Poet(s) in the elegant Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa.

The venue has changed now, please note, and as a temporary measure will be at the Jug & Jester public house for this date, Tuesday 24th October.

Jo Bell will also be reading as Guest Poet this month. Plus I'll be there, with some new poems to test out on an unsuspecting audience, along with former Birmingham Poet Laureate Julie Boden and many other talented Midlands regulars ... so it's well worth a trip if you're into live poetry.

Get there for about 8pm to sign in and read.

Kwame Dawes at the South Bank Centre: Tuesday 24th October

Wisteria: Twilight Songs From the Swamp Country
Kwame Dawes

Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London; Poetry International
Tuesday 24th October

"In a stunning opening night, we present the London premiere of Wisteria: Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country, Kwame Dawes' prophetic account of the lives of women from South Carolina: lives of honesty, hardship and beauty which span the 20th century. His poems are both a personal journey of understanding and a creation of beauty and grace from a history of suffering.

Combining the lyrical depth of a blues threnody with a spiritual and emotional truth, the poems are heightened by a live musical and vocal score by Kevin Simmonds, and evocative images of the women whose stories we celebrate."

Tickets: £8.50
Booking Fee: £1.50 Members: 75p
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Series: 08701 900 222 (not available online)

Website: www.rfh.org.uk

Saturday, October 21, 2006

An Interview with Mark Gwynne Jones, poet, performer, musician and one of the most striking original talents on the poetry scene today

Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread are:

M G Jones on words, flute, harmonica and wind pipe
Deb Rose on vocals, piano, synth-bass, vibes, marimba, darabouka, groove box and gong
John Thorne on vocals, djun djun, djembe, udu, drum kit and all that can be struck
Nick L Pearson on vocals, kora, sitar, guitar, spring drum and kalimba


'I always stipulate that whoever is on with me hasn't got to be any good - this one got past me - I don't know how, but heads will roll.'
John Cooper Clarke


JANE: Welcome to Poets on Fire, Mark, it's great to have you here under the cyber spotlight. Kick off your shoes, let's get comfortable ...

So, what is PsychicBread, and how did such a strange collaboration come about?

MARK: When I still had a regular job – a colleague was a spiritualist, a medium and she used talk about attending psychic suppers. And it made me laugh ‘cos I pictured her sitting down to enjoy a bowl of plasma soup with a hunk of psychic bread. But I also thought what a good title. Something that was reinforced when I discoverd the word psyche comes from a Greek word meaning breath or soul.

Psychicbread, the show, is a melding of voice, rhythm, music and poetry into something which we believe is vivid and vibrant. Something that works as a whole. A living, breathing entity.

We've just recorded a new album, 'In the light of this', and are currently touring the show.

JANE: Wicked. And you've got a great website too at www.psychicbread.org - very colourful and full of odd complicated things to admire & goggle at. Plus some impressive endorsements from the likes of John Cooper Clarke.

That does seem to be the way poets are going these days, down the route of self-promotion and a strong web presence. Do you find it helps you to find gigs (and women) and have you any plans to expand your web presence?

MARK: The website is actually the work of film-maker Andy Lawrence and film-musician John Stephens who wanted an immediate way of publishing the film-poems we made. A space to share the work without having to chase the producers. So yes, it's a useful platform.

At the moment the website's focus is on poetry and music. Simply because of the new album and tour. So, alongside the films there are free mp3's to download, details of the tour and a link through to our publisher's website.

JANE: Can you talk now about yet another of your ambitious projects, PsychicBread Film?

For instance, who does the camera work, the writing etc., how do you fund such projects, and is there a market for the 'film poem'?

MARK: The films are largely a collaboration between myself and Andy Lawrence. We bagan by just going out with a camera and shooting quite spontaneously. So the early pieces are very performance lead. It was a gorilla style of no-budget film-making. And certainly some of it was all about public response. In 'Plasticman' for instance there's a great shot of a lady reacting with disgust at our 'tramp' ranting in the supermarket. That was actually the first take. We chose a quiet aisle and then got progressively louder until i was haranguing a huge check-out queue. At which point the management moved in. I don't think they liked the poem.

Of the films on the website a progression can be followed from the early performance pieces to later works such as 'Possession'. Which is more of a fusion of word and image. With each film we have tried to go beyond the last and our most recent work 'The Message' is a screenplay mixing poetry, image and drama. The story of a boy, a postman and an old man who are brought together by a message.

The piece was funded by the UK Film Council and North West Vision which is great but it suddenly changes the way you work. There's a crew you're responsible for, a timetable and a storyboard all of which, if you're not careful, can diminish the spontaneity. This said, it's probably our best film to date and the photography is beautiful.

JANE: I saw you perform at the Oxford Live Literature Arena earlier this year and you're a real storyteller. You've got this gripping Ancient Mariner-style delivery and you know how to use silence to control the punters. I particularly admire the way you can leave an audience laughing, yet inexplicably uncomfortable.

You come across as highly experienced on stage - and more than a little strange at times - so when did you and poetry first get together? Did you always tell stories - at school, for instance - and how has your technique evolved over the years?

MARK: As an adolescent i suffered from chronic anxiety. I suffered with it for about a year when someone gave me a book on meditation. I took up the practice and found that as my thoughts quietened all my fear evaporated. It made me realise how flexible our sense of reality is. We are what we think. A realisation that made me want to write.

On first writing poetry i would tell what i'd written to friends and before long i was supporting bands at pubs and clubs. Trying to engage half drunken audiences with poetry isn't the easiest thing in the world so i had to find ways of grabbing the audience by its ears.

JANE: Yeah, tell me about it. Though I actually prefer drunken audiences to the ones with old ladies and tea cups rattling. But maybe that's just me ...

So now you have two books available for purchase: 'The Natterjack Toad' and the rather glossy 'PsychicBread' with accompanying CD.

MARK: Yes, and our latest collection is the album 'In the light of this'. If i got a copy to you, Jane, i wonder if you'd be kind enough to review it?

JANE: I'm not sure about being kind, but I'll certainly do my best to review it!

Meanwhile, do you think that poetry can change the world?

MARK: No, but it can change us. Reveal to us the journey that we're really on.

JANE: That's a good answer, I think. Much truth there, and one which insists that poetry can still engage with readers in a society where political and social apathy are the norm.

Now, since this is a live poetry site, can you tell the punters out there which UK gigs you have coming up in the next few months?

MARK: Certainly, Jane. Click here for all the latest tour details and photographs.

[No, Mark didn't really say that, but it's simpler this way. Ed.]

JANE: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how do you write?

Do you wake up with a line in your head or does an idea come to you whilst pegging out the washing or - and this is often how it happens to me - when watching some other performer or reading something provocative that gets your head buzzing?

Does a poem come to you all of a piece or do you have to work at it over a period of days or weeks?

Oh yes, and just one more question on this theme of writing - as an experienced performer, do you change your poems with each different retelling/audience or do you always keep to the 'script'?

MARK: I'm a notebook writer. I always carry a notebook. Then if a good line or moment of clarity shows itself i'll search for a pen and after finding one and getting it to work i'll try to remember what the moment of clarity was.

It's often when i'm walking. The first thing to arrive is the idea or an exchange of ideas between things i'd previously kept apart. A sudden insight into where i am and what got me there and how stupid/blind i'd been not to see it before.That's often the impulse. I tend to think we compartmentalise our experiences in order to make sense of the world yet our subconcious self doesn't recognise the divisions.

Perhaps one of the functions of poetry is to reconnect our experience. You ask if i 'wake up with a line in my head' and yes i do but it's often in the middle of the day when i suddenly realise i've been sleepwalking.

JANE: Superb. I'm in the middle of writing a book about poetry - mainly writing and performing it - and I think I may ask permission to quote you on this issue of how poets work, if that's okay.

Thanks very much for agreeing to talk to me for POETS ON FIRE, Mark, and I hope to see you on stage again as soon as possible.

MARK: Thanks Jane.

Photography by Kevin Reynolds www.kevinreynolds.co.uk

Okay, click HERE to be whizzed away to Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread's website. Tour stops include Sheffield (29th October), Brighton, Oxford, Matlock Bath and London. But once you've finished there, don't forget to come back for the rest of the POETS ON FIRE listings ...

The Cellar & Poetry Unplugged: THIS WEEK at the Poetry Society

Niall O'Sullivan will be hosting another poetry night down in the Cellar TONIGHT (Saturday 21st October) from about 7.30pm onwards, charging £5/3 on the door. Guest poets unknown by me at this stage. Anyone who knows, could you please leave a comment below this post to indicate the poets' names?

That event is at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London.

Then, on Tuesday 24th October, Niall O'Sullivan be downstairs yet again at the PoCaff to host the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of POETRY UNPLUGGED, one of central London's oldest running and most popular open mic nights. This very special Open Mic with Niall O’Sullivan will also include the talents of John Citizen and Carl Dhiman, amongst many others, I'm sure.

This fabulous night's entertainment will cost you a mere £3.50/£2.50 concessions. Arrive between 6-7 pm if you want to read & sign up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Modern Poetry in Translation Launch Party: Monday 23rd October

Modern Poetry in Translation Launch Party
at Foyles Bookshop, 113-119, Charing Cross Road, London.

Short readings by poets and translators, to include Pascale Petit, Ruth Fainlight, Kapka Kassabova, and Bernard O'Donoghue, will be introduced by David Constantine.

Monday 23 October 2006

You are warmly invited to come and celebrate the publication of issues 4-6 of the Third Series of Modern Poetry in Translation.

No entrance charge. Free glass of wine

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sharon Olds in Edinburgh: Wednesday 25th October

Sharon Olds’ poetry sweeps all before her – a poet whose observation of the mysterious rules of families, relationships and sexuality makes her poetry ‘pure fire in the hands’ (Michael Ondaatje). Her poems are intensely readable and fiercely intelligent. Come and hear the work that has won her some of America’s major awards and international acclaim.

The Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton's Close, Canongate, Edinburgh
Wednesday 25th October, 7.30pm

A joint event with the Poetry Association of Scotland.
£3/£2 (concs), free to PAS members

Comedic Poetry in Manchester: TONIGHT!

Verberate/ Cats Cradle Comedic Poetry Special
Thursday October 19th
7.30pm - 9.30pm
FREE entry

Join Jo Dakin ('One of the most innovative and exciting acts on the national
circuit' XS Malarkey), Tony Walsh ('Our audience loved him and you will too" Wicked Words, Leeds), Julian Daniel ('A hilarious comic and poet, who you can watch time and time again' BBCi), and compere Cat Davies ("Opening comic Cat Davies's, blonde hair and cute looks shouldn't con you into stereotyping…she could be deadly" Blackpool Gazette) for an evening of fantastic cerebral comedy.

Venue: Matt and Phreds Jazz Club, 64 Tib Street
Northern Quarter, Manchester City Centre, M4 1LW

Turn up Tib Street, which is between Debenhams and Starbucks on the High
Street, follow the road up 100 or so yards past Afflecks Palace, and voila!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Speakeasy in Nottingham: TONIGHT!

Complex Trout Productions and The Alley Cafe present

speakeasy 54
performance poetry and spoken word

@ The Alley Cafe, 1a Cannon Court, Nottingham (opposite Angel Row Library)
Wednesday 18th October, 2006
8pm onwards
floor spots available, with special guest
World Slam Poetry Champion 2006 Elvis McGonagall
Host: Steve Carroll

Tonight, as part of Poetry In The City, we have the best performance poet in the world - and that's official! Elvis will be back in the building for this special Speakeasy, so be sure not to miss him. Or the raffle. Hope to see you later!
Complex Trout

Women Rising in SE1: Monday October 23rd

Rising presents Cheryl B, Megan Hall, Salena Godden and Annie Freud.

Monday, October 23rd
Scooterworks Cafe, 132 Lower Marsh, SE1 tel: 0207 620 1421
Door pressure, £5 (with an aperitif)

Tim Wells (editor of eclectic poetry magazine Rising) says: "Cheryl B is in town from New York City for just one week only, don't miss out on this rare chance to meet one of the US's finest.

Broadcast at the Poetry Cafe: Thursday 26th October

Thursday 26th October 8pm
Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London (Covent Garden tube)

Andy Brown whose Selected Poems, 'Fall of the Rebel Angels', is new from Salt.
'Andy Brown is one of our most interesting and exciting younger poets.' John Burnside

Helen Macdonald, author of Shaler's Fish (Etruscan Books)
'The poems are particular, discrete responses to particular events & objects, often places. They play with the tension between a high lyric voice...orienting the reader in a field populated by different versions of the self & its relation to the natural world.'

plus readings from two fine teenage poets:

Richard Osmond
Ahren Warner
(Winner of Shortfuse Poetry Idol 7)

ESSEX POETRY FESTIVAL: Saturday 21st October

The Essex Poetry Festival 2006

Venue: The Cramphorn Theatre, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JG

POETS: Hugo Williams, Charles Bennett, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Lorraine Mariner, Marita Over, The Joy of Six, Carole Satyamurti, Derek Adams, Philip Wilson.

Saturday 21st October (Saturday tickets £12 concs £10)
Box office: 01245 606505

"Saturday at 1pm there is a unique chance to improve your writing technique, at workshops with experienced, published poets, Anne-Marie Fyfe & Marita Over. Workshop Tickets £8, book now, numbers are limited. From 2pm readings by some of the brightest names in modern poetry. The Joy of Six, UK poetry ensemble present a dazzling show that has delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Chimera magazine presents guest readers. Followed by Essex Poets Marita Over and Lorraine Mariner.

The evening session starts at 7.15pm with the winners of the Essex Poetry Festival 2006 Open Poetry Competition, reading their prize winning poems. Then our very special guests: Hugo Williams, Charles Bennet & Anne-Marie Fyfe."


Poetry Launch in Camden: Friday 20th October

Launch of Two New Collections

Friday, 20th October
at the Trinity United Reformed Church, 1 Buck Street, Camden, NW1.
Camden tube
6.30 p.m. for 7

This is the launch of two new poetry collections: Joanna Boulter's Twenty-four Preludes & Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovitch and Katherine Gallagher's Circus-Apprentice by Arc Publications.

Info: 020 8881 1418.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

SHORTFUSE: Thursday 18th October

Thursday 19th October
This week at London's only weekly fusion of stand-up poetry, performance comedy and spokenword we bring you three top quality acts...

Susan Murray
Acclaimed stand-up, Finalist in Daily Telegraph Open Mic award and winner of Jongleurs new act competition, presents her new one-woman show...

"she has the mentality of a spiteful 14 yr old boy! very admirable in a young lady!" - arthur smith

“i like her jokes so much, i’m doing them now!” - scott capurro

Musa Okwonga
Winner of SHORTFUSE Poetry Idol 8, fuses intelligently construted poetry with an engaging performance. Definitely one of London's rising stars.

Ahren Warner
Winner of SHORTFUSE Poetry Idol 7, easily the most talented teenage poet in the UK. Well crafted poetry that has caught the attention of some of the most respected writers in the country...

With Resident Host:

'A natural performer, witty, inventive, stylish and original’ - Rob Newman
'...has little in common with Eminem...' - Metro
'...thinks he has something in common with Snoop Dogg' - Steph Healey, Poetry Cafe

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

Poetry London Magazine Launch: Wednesday 18th October

Poetry London Autumn Launch reading

The Gallery, 2nd floor, Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2

7pm, 18 October 2006

Autumn 2006 launch reading and competition prizegiving. Poets reading include: Alice Oswald, Tamar Yoseloff, Michael Symmons Roberts, Kathryn Simmonds

Free entrance
Free wine
(and presumably free poetry too).

Witness the Sickness: Poetry in London, TONIGHT!

Tuesday 17 October, 7.30pm

Witness the Sickness is upstairs at the Old Crown pub (air-conditioned), 33 New Oxford Street, corner of Museum Street. Nearest tube Tottenham Court Road.

"Admission is free! If you want to sit on a chair and everything then you might want to get there about 19.30, that's also when we start signing up for floor spots. This month we have the disturbed Lucy Leagrave with a medley of her unsettling uncle poems. We also have Dean Wilson who garnered the following glowing review from the Scotsman: 'Some of his stuff is a bit ropey but some of it is great.'

As ever the evening will be brought to you by the non-dispensing Kevin Reinhardt and James Ó Nuanáin; the inept in pursuit of the incontinent, everyone who doesn't come will regret it for the rest of their empty vivid imageless lives."

FROM: James Ó Nuanáin

POETS ON FIRE upgrades to Beta Blogger!

Expect some changes in the next few days as I complete the upgrade from Blogger to the new Beta Blogger. Unfortunately, in the switch, all the 'profile views' were accidentally wiped out, so now it looks like a virgin site. We were at nearly 500 views since January - that's not visitors to the site, you understand, but those who clicked on the View My Profile link. Visitors come here in their hundreds every week to find out what's going on in poetry, and that's only going to increase.

Anyway, I now have a chance to move things round and customize Poets On Fire. It won't look drastically different, since if it ain't broken, why try to fix it? But I will be jazzing things up just a tad, so don't get excited if the links move position or the header changes colour. It's only me, having fun with the template.

Keep posting your live poetry events to me at the email address - click on View my Profile! - and checking back every few days to see what's happening in live poetry across the UK.

Better still, why not make POETS ON FIRE your home page? This blog site was featured recently in the Guardian's 'Best of the Literary Blogosphere' so you know it's gotta be cool ...


Monday, October 16, 2006

Shamshad Khan in Manchester: Wednesday 18th October

Shamshad Khan at the Manchester Art Gallery
18th October 12pm

Manchester based poet Shamshad Khan performs her current work and responds to the exhibition, Beyond the Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan. Khan has co-edited two anthologies of poetry and serves as Literature Advisor to Arts Council England, North West, and is Associate Artist with the Green Room, Manchester. She was shortlisted for an Arts Foundation Fellowship in performance poetry (2006).

A free event: There will be three 40-minute performances in the gallery space, at 12, 1pm and 2pm. Booking required from Manchester Art Gallery on 0161 235 8888

See previous post on Sharon Olds for booking/venue details.

Sharon Olds in Manchester: Wednesday 18th October

Sharon Olds reads from her Selected Poems

at the Manchester Museum, as part of the Manchester LitFest (see below for more details)

Michael Ondaatje has called Sharon Olds’ poetry “pure fire in the hands”. This rich new Selected Poems (2005 Cape) is a powerful distillation of the best work from one of America’s most gifted and widely read poets, drawn from her seven highly acclaimed volumes.

Subjects are revisited - the pain of childhood, adolescent sexual stirrings, the fulfillment of marriage, the wonder of children - but each re-casting penetrates ever more deeply, enriched by new perceptions and conceits. In association with The Poetry School.

Tickets £7 / £5 concs. Book through the festival office. 18th October 7pm

Note: The Poetry School Manchester will be hosting a one-day workshop, New Poems by Ear, led by Sharon Olds on Thursday 19 October, 10.30am to 4.30pm in Didsbury. Booking information at www.poetryschool.com or phone 0845 223 5274.

For more on this event, try the Manchester Museum website.


Manchester Literature Festival 2006 12-22 October 2006. Celebrating new writing, new technology and new venues, the inaugural Manchester Literature Festival reflects the original modern city through an inventive and stimulating programme. Readings by some of the world’s finest authors in the best venues the city has to offer, freshly commissioned work and Freeplay, a series of events and happenings where literature goes high tech!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Poetry at the Torriano: TONIGHT!

Poets reading tonight will be: Frances Presley and Gavin Selerie. The reading takes place at the Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, LONDON, NW5.

Sunday, 15 October 2006, 7.30pm prompt.

Going Over the Edge in Galway: Thursday October 26th

The October 2006 event of Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Thursday, October 26th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured readers are Yvonne Green, Brendan Murphy & Niamh Ní Lochlainn.

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 and The Arts Council

Poets' Cafe in Reading: Friday 20th October

Friday 20th October – Poets’ Café with Carmen Bugan, South Street Arts Centre, Reading.

Poet & compere AF HARROLD SAYS:

"This month’s regular poetry night at South Street Arts Centre here in Reading features the usual open mic slots alongside our special guest, Carmen Bugan, whose collection Crossing The Carpathians is published by Carcanet (2004) and who teaches creative writing at Wolfson College, Oxford.

So that should be quite a good evening. I’ll be organising and compering. Doors open at 8pm for an 8.30 prompt start and it costs £6/£4 to come in."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Marilyn Hacker reading in London, Friday October 20th: limited tickets available

Marilyn Hacker, award-winning New York poet
This is a one-off book launch and reading by Marilyn Hacker which will be held at the Poetry Cafe next Friday October 20th.

The reading starts at 7.30pm and the ticket price is £6/4. There are still tickets available for this event, which is a rare opportunity to hear Marilyn read from her new collection - Essays on Departure: new and selected poems 1980-2005. Two of her new poems are dedicated to Mimi Khalvati.

The reading is part of the In Town Tonight series. Those of you who have been to previous readings in this series, will recall what memorable evenings they are. They offer a chance to hear in an intimate and conversational setting , poets who would normally read in a much bigger venue.

Jess York, Poetry Society, London

Poetry Cafe: 22 Betterton Street, London, Covent Garden

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mark Gwynne Jones & the PsychicBread Tour: launching this Saturday October 14th

The hugely talented and off-the-wall Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread will be launching their new album of voice, rhythm, music and vivid poetry at The Derby Dance Centre on Saturday 14th October (tickets £8/£6 :tel 01332 370911 / info@derbydance.co.uk).

You can also catch them at Sheffield City Hall on Sunday 29th October (tickets £7/£5 :tel 0114 2734716 /www.offtheshelf.org.uk )

For more Mark Gwynne Jones & the PsychicBread tour dates, see my previous posting on Poets On Fire.

Penned in the Margins: Thursday November 2nd


The Spitz, 109 Commercial Street, London E1 6BG
Thursday 2 November, doors 7pm

Cult novelist and poet IAIN SINCLAIR (photo credit Belinda Lawley) celebrates the release of City of Disappearances and a Selected Poems with an exclusive performance at The Spitz in Spitalfields Market. Joining Iain are indie rockers THE LOST REVUE, avant-garde performance poet SEAN BONNEY and electrospokenword duo APE HAS KILLED APE.

Tickets are £6 on the door and just a fiver if you book in advance at www.wegottickets.com/event/12626



Thursday, October 12, 2006

Small Press Fair Readings: 20th & 21st October, London

SMALL PUBLISHERS FAIR 2006, with readings
at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 (Holborn tube)
Friday 20th and Saturday 21st October
11am to 7 pm, admission FREE.

Participating presses include Arehouse, Bad Press, Coracle, Five Seasons, Libellum + Vanitas magazine, Moschatel + Cairn Editions, Poetic Practice Group / Royal Holloway, Reality Street, RGAP / aCAP, Colin Sackett, Veer Books, West House & yt communication.

Further details at www.rgap.co.uk/spf.php

Readings and events on the Saturday afternoon in the Brockway Room, adjacent to the Main Hall:

2.00 yt communication: Sean Bonney & Sophie Robinson
2.30 Bad Press: Emily Critchley & Kai Fierle-Hedrick
3.00 In memory of Stuart Mills: film by Rodger Brown of the reading at the Dead Poets Pub, 9th September 2006
4.00 Vanitas & Libellum: Vincent Katz
4.30 Coracle Press: John Bevis & Simon Cutts
5.00 Five Seasons Press: Gavin Selerie & Glenn Storhaug
5.30 Reality Street: Ken Edwards & Jeff Hilson
6.00 West House Books: Alan Halsey & Geraldine Monk
6.30 Veer Books: Adrian Clarke, Ulli Freer, Piers Hugill, Aodhan McCardle

Open Mic in Merthyr Tydfil: Thursday 19th October

Thursday 19th October
Open Mic opportunity in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales

Open Mic Poetry Night
Hosted by Herbert Williams
7.30 pm
The Imperial Hotel.

For more details contact Gus Payne on 01685 725382. Supported by Academi (contact 029 2047 2266 for information on funding for events).

New Poetry in Durham: Friday 13th October

Vane Women Book Launches: Celia McCulloch and Pippa Little
The Studio, Gala Theatre, Durham
Friday 13th October 2006

Celia McCulloch was born in Michigan and came to England in 1959. The
Laden Table
is her first collection, containing poems both old and new.

Pippa Little was born in Tanzania, raised in Scotland, and now lives in
Northumberland. She was a poetry co-editor of Writing Women and its two
anthologies published by Virago: her own work has appeared in various
pamphlets, magazines and anthologies.The Spar Box is a collection of her

More? Try www.literaturenortheast.co.uk/events.

Survivors' Open Mic at the PoCaff: Tonight!

Thursday 12th October

Survivors Poetry Open Mic
at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London

Poetry 'Rising': Monday October 23rd, SE1

Rising presents

Cheryl B, Megan Hall, Salena Godden and Annie Freud

Monday, October 23rd
Scooterworks Cafe, 132 Lower Marsh, SE1 -- Tel: 0207 620 1421
Entrance, £5 (with an aperitif)

"Cheryl B is in town from New York City for just one week only, don't miss out on this rare chance to meet one of the US's finest."
Tim Wells

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Anthony Joseph reads in Stockton-0n-Tees: Wednesday October 18th

Wednesday October 18th 2006

The Writers Cafe
at The Georgian Theatre,
Green Dragon Yard,
TS18 1AT

For £5, you can hear poet and novelist Anthony Joseph this night in Stockton, reading from his various poetry collections and his newly published novel THE AFRICAN ORIGINS OF UFOs (Salt).

More information from: www.georgiantheatre.co.u

For more on Anthony Joseph's work, and to hear podcasts, etc. try the Salt website.

Poetry to Music: Le Couteau Jaune

Le Couteau Jaune: remaining October 06’ Performances

LeCouteauJaune online

"If you should wish to experience the full wrath of a Le Couteau Jaune live show,
then please feel free to attend one or more of the following dates we have planned in our bibles for the month ahead."

Oct 11th: Tesco Disco @ 43 South Molton St, Mayfair
Oct 12th: Sancho, ‘Mystery Year,’ Album Launch @ The Spitz, Commercial St
Oct 15th: D.a.m.ned lies and allthatnoise @ The Macbeth, Hoxton
Oct 26th: Howl @ Catch 22, Kingsland Rd

“The future architects of chaos”

YAKS ‘N’ KILTS ‘N’ ROCK ‘N’ ROLL at the Cheltenham Festival (where else?): Thursday 12th October


at the 2006 Cheltenham Literature Festival
Thursday 12th October at 10pm

One witty English eccentric who drinks tea, and one shouty Scottish anarchist who drinks. Performance poetry pairing Elvis McGonagall and A F Harrold provide literary laughs for all the family except children, very old people or those who never pick up a newspaper, a book or turn on the radio.

AF HARROLD says: "We’re the late cabaret turn in the Café Theatre (behind the Town Hall) and we’re free, from 10pm."

To repeat that for the hard of reading, this event is FREE ENTRY. Turn up in a kilt and they may even pay you.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poetry in Galway: Thursday October 19th


LOUIS De PAOR as SPECIAL GUEST POET on Thursday October 19th at 9pm, BK's Winebar, Spanish Parade, Galway.

Louis de Paor is one of Ireland's foremost Irish language poets. Born in Cork in 1961, he emigrated to Australia in 1987, where he lectured at the University of Sydney, returning to Ireland in 1996. Louis is the author of several acclaimed collections of poetry; the most recent - Clapping in the Cemetery - was published last year by Clo Iar-Chonnachta. He is Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway.

The Poetry Slam follows the usual format and welcomes newcomers. Please bring along two 3 minute pieces. Admission 4 Euro.

Info: John Walsh 091-5932390

NBN gratefully acknowledges the support of Galway City Council.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Clare Pollard Performs: Tuesday 10th October

Clare Pollard at The Poetry Shack
The Old Crown, 33 New Oxford Street, London. 7.30 for 8pm.
10th October 2006.
Info 020 8882 7891 / 020 7254 8220 www.thepoetryshack.com email brettvt@btinternet.com --- £5 ENTRY FEE

The publicity material for this event says: "The Poetry Shack is pleased to present another evening of the best spiky, intelligent and funny performance poetry, comedy and other stuff. We are delighted to welcome Clare Pollard."

"Raw, sexy, exotic and compelling - ... wonderful reckless revelling in the language..." Mslexia
" a seasoned observer and a master technician ... like early Sylvia Plath re-interpreted for the Trainspotting generation" Daily Mail
"Pollard is a poet of the 21st century, a witness of the present and a shaper of its voice" John Sears Popmatters

Manchester Slam! Tuesday 10th October

Seconds Out! Slam

Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA; 7.30pm; Apples & Snakes presents Seconds Out! Slams; 10 October 2006

Special guests:
The Heavyweight Lyricist - shortMAN
In Ya Face Flava from JOEY

180 secs to rock or shock the mic!
Winners picked by audience response
Featuring All Star Special Guests

Slammers must book in advance!

£4/£2.50 concs. Box office: 0161 274 0600

TONIGHT, Monday 9th October: Two Performance Events at the Poetry Society, London

On Monday October 9th from 7pm, this month's Poets' Letter, hosted by Munayem Mayenin, takes place at the Poetry Cafe, downstairs at 22 Betterton Street, London. Nearest tube Covent Garden.

Guest poets & open mic slots available as usual. £6/4 entry.

Munayem Mayenin -- Editor: Poet's Letter Magazine
Poet's Letter Limited
75 Cannon Street
London EC4N 5BN
Tel: +44 (0)20 7556 7052
Email: Editor@poetsletter.com


ALSO at the Poetry Society on Monday night, but upstairs (in studio), London-based journal THE WOLF will be launching its new issue with live readings by writers such as Anne Rouse, Niall McDevitt, Ahren Warner, Linda Black, Robert Stein and Fiona Curran.

8pm start. FREE ENTRY.


Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread on National Tour: from Saturday 14th October

The hugely talented and off-the-wall Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread will be launching their new album of voice, rhythm, music and vivid poetry at The Derby Dance Centre on Saturday 14th October (tickets £8/£6 :tel 01332 370911 / info@derbydance.co.uk).

You can also catch them at Sheffield City Hall on Sunday 29th October (tickets £7/£5 :tel 0114 2734716 /www.offtheshelf.org.uk)

Further UK tour dates will include:
Brighton, The Komedia - Monday 6th November (01865 200550 / www.hammerandtongue.org)

Oxford, The Zodiac - Tuesday 7th November (01865 200550 / www.hammerandtongue.org)

Matlock Bath, The Fishpond - Friday 10th November (01629 581000 / www.fishpond.co.uk)

London, Express Excess (opposite Chalk Farm Tube) - Wednesday 22nd November (0207 4852659 / www.expressexcess.co.uk)

For movies, free mp3's and more visit www.psychicbread.org

To read a brand-new review of Mark Gwynne-Jones and the Psychicbread, visit the Leicester Literature site by clicking here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

An evening with Simon Armitage and Paul Batchelor: Monday 9th October

Venue: Durham Town Hall
Organiser: Durham LitFest
Start time: 19:30 Monday 9th October 2006
Website: www.literaturefestival.co.uk

Two poets for the price of one: Simon Armitage and Paul Batchelor will be appearing at Durham Town Hall as part of the Durham LitFest this Monday evening.

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire, where he still lives. Until 1994 he worked as probation officer in Greater Manchester. His first collection of poems, Zoom!, was published in 1989 by Bloodaxe Books. He has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes and a Lannan Award. He writes for radio, television and film, and is the author of four stage plays, including Mister Heracles, a version of the Euripides play The Madness of Heracles.

Simon has written for over a dozen television films, including Drinking for England and Song Birds (screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006). He received an Ivor Novello Award for his lyrics in the BAFTA-winning Channel 4 film Feltham Sings. His first novel, Little Green Man, was published in 2001. His second, The White Stuff, appeared in 2004. His new translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be published in 2007.


Northumberland poet Paul Batchelor received an Eric Gregory award in 2003 from the Society of Authors and in 2004 he was given the Andrew Waterhouse Award by New Writing North. He is currently writing a PhD at Newcastle University on the poetry of Barry MacSweeney and edits a website, Acknowledged Land, for writers in Northumberland.

Paul's poems, translations and reviews have appeared in various magazines including Modern Poetry in Translation, The North, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Shearsman, Stride and Tower Poetry. A pamphlet, Fighting in the Captain's Tower, written with JP Nosbaum, was published by Hawthorn in 2002. Paul's new pamphlet, To Photograph a Snow Crystal, is published by Smith Doorstop.


This event is part of the Durham LitFest and is hosted by veteran of the northern poetry scene Mark Robinson, poet and executive director of Arts Council England, North East.

Admission: £8 (£6 concessions)

Durham Town Hall
Market Place
Box office: 0191 332 4041(Monday-Saturday 10am-8.30pm, Sunday 12pm-8.30pm)

Further information is available on literary events in the north-east at WWW.LITERATURENORTHEAST.CO.UK

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Midlands Poetry News

Warwick Festival Slam Results
In Friday night's Warwick Words Festival Slam, organised and compered by the retiring Poet Laureate for Birmingham, Dreadlockalien (aka Richard Grant), equally stunning performances from poets Danni Carberry and Emma Purshouse meant they shared first prize of £50 each.

The magnificently talented Emma Purshouse, in full flow

Roz Goddard on Dismantling Hotel Rooms
For those in the Warwick area still hungry for poems, Roz Goddard will be reading from her latest collection How to Dismantle a Hotel Room tomorrow (Sunday 8th October) at 4pm, Bridge House Theatre. Tickets £5.

See www.warwickwords.co.uk for information on other events still available for booking this weekend.

Poetrailing in Warwick
Eager to spout a few poems yourself? Then try this free poetry event on Sunday 8th October: a Poetry Pub Trail (not Crawl, I notice, this must be the politically correct version where poets stick to mango juice all evening) which takes place around Warwick town centre. This will be one of the last events of this year's literary Festival, so don't miss it. I couldn't make it to this cracking event last year because of other commitments, but will probably work myself into the mix somewhere during the night ...

Martin Green, Midlands poet, doing his thang at the mic

Join Sean Kelly of Pureandgoodandright for this 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. Maybe see you there?

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

Electric Poetry?
-- Come to the end of the Birmingham Laureateship Party 2006

For real devotees of the spoken word, next Friday October 13th - hopefully not unlucky for poets - you can hear and see some of the finest performers in the Midlands at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham as one of the closing events of the Birmingham Book Festival.

Also celebrating the end of Richard Grant's busy and productive stint as Birmingham Poet Laureate for 2006, this is definitely an event for night owls, beginning at around 11pm and going on into the wee small hours, so go prepared for a late night but also to be entertained in Birmingham-style with talented poets versifying all over the place and the best six going through for a finale towards the end of the event. All performance slots have already been filled, alas, but audience members are definitely required.

Farewell, Richard! And thanks for a fantastic job pushing live and performance poetry in the region ... and far beyond!

Those details again: 11pm onwards, Electric Cinema, Birmingham, Friday 13th October. Tickets £5 approx.

New Birmingham Poet Laureate for 2006 - 07
Finally, the new Poet Laureate for Birmingham has been named as endearing local poet Giovanni 'Spoz' Esposito, with his long track record of poetry workshopping and hands-on involvement in the Midlands performance scene. Spoz will be known to most poet/performers in the area, and will be a popular choice for Laureate, I'm sure.

The new Birmingham Poet Laureate, Spoz, on stage at the Birmingham Library Theatre earlier this year

I'm also told Spoz has a new play on at the Artrix, Bromsgrove, towards the end of October. His play is called Make Poetry History and features the infamous World Slam Poetry Champion Elvis Mcgonagal, who is coincidentally performing "Yaks 'n Kilts 'n Rock 'n Roll" at the Reading Comedy Festival tonight, with AF Harrold, pictured here in pensive mode at the Oxford Live Literature Arena this April when I crept up on him with a camera. No doubt he was working out his moves for the act.

If you missed this bizarre double act - yaks in kilts?! - don't despair, for you can catch it again this coming Thursday, 12th October, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.)

Workshop with the New Poet Laureate
If you'd like to learn more from Spoz about the art of performing your poetry, you could try this workshop, also at the Artrix, Bromsgrove:

29 October 2005, 10.30 am - 5 pm - evening performance 7 pm
£25 (£20)
Spend the day with performance poet and slam artist Spoz who will give you the opportunity to have a look at a different side of poetry. His guidance and workshop programme will help you perform with gusto and attitude, write a piece of work you never thought you had in you and perform it to a live audience in the evening.

For more details, visit the Artrix, Bromsgrove.

* Any other live poetry news, email the details to jane @ poetrycornwall.demon.co.uk

Friday, October 06, 2006


FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER - 9.30pm WARWICK WORDS FESTIVAL SLAM, Unitarian Chapel, High St, Warwick, £5.00

Richard Grant aka dreadlockalien hosts a poetry contest where audience reaction helps decide the winner. If you've never been to a poetry slam, this is a great opportunity to see some cracking performance poets do battle for a £100 cash prize!

Anthony Joseph reads in Durham TONIGHT

Venue: The Studio, Gala Theatre
Organiser: Colpitts Poetry/Durham LitFest
Start time: 19:30 Fri 6 Oct 2006
Website: www.literaturefestival.co.uk

Trinidad-born writer and musician Anthony Joseph is one of the UK's most exciting voices. His dazzling performance art combines a post-modern sensibility with calypso rhythms, hip-hop and jazz and influences as diverse as science-fiction, surrealism and linguistics. He has two poetry collections to his name, Desafinado (1994) and Teragaton (1997), as well as the spoken-word CDs Liquid Textology and The Spasm Band, and he'll also be reading from his hot new debut novel The African Origins of UFOs (Salt), an experimental work of metafiction, myth and science fiction - an `afropsychadelicnoir'.

This evening will sing!

For more information about Anthony Joseph, see www.anthonyjoseph.co.uk

Admission: £8 (£6 concessions)

Gala Theatre
Millennium Place
Box office: 0191 332 4041(Monday - Saturday 10am-8.30pm, Sunday 12pm-8.30pm)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Poetry by the Camful: a weekend of women's experimental poetry in Cambridge


Friday 6th - Sunday 8th October 2006 in the University English Faculty on
West Road. Workshops on Thursday 5th and Monday 9th in Gonville and Caius College. Everyone is warmly invited - men and women equally.

Tickets available on the door:
£5 per session (£3 concessions / students), £25 or £20 weekend.

The book stall will be selling works by all those featured and associated
publishers including Barque, rem, Arehouse, Bad, Salt, Equipage, and many
more. We would still welcome more helpers. If anyone would be willing to
volunteer as a helper (staffing the door or selling drinks or books), then
they attend the corresponding session for free. Please contact Emily
(ec308) or Catherine (cb214) with offers of help. (See below.) Thanks.

This year's festival is dedicated to showcasing and developing the
experimental poetry of contemporary women from across the English-speaking
world. It features past and present local talent, as well as poets from
across Great Britain, Europe, New Zealand, and the United States. It
includes readings, performances, visual pieces /installations, films, and
responses to their work.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the groundbreaking book, Out of
Everywhere, produced by Wendy Mulford, Ken Edwards and Maggie O' Sullivan.
It was the first anthology, and one of the last, to recognise the
achievements of the female avant-garde.

Poets who have agreed to read their poetry include: Maggie O'Sullivan
(Yorkshire), Wendy Mulford (Suffolk), Ken Edwards (Sussex), Dell Olsen
(London), Tom Raworth (Cambridge), Kathleen Fraser (San Francisco),
Marianne Morris (Canada /London), Andrea Brady (US / London), Africa Wayne
(New York), Jennifer Moxley (US), Geraldine Monk (Sheffield), Carol
Mirakove (US), Susana Gardner (US), Susan Schultz (Hawaii), Cathy Wagner
(Ohio), Leslie Scalapino (San Francisco), Kai Fierle-Hedrick (Canada
/London), Lisa Samuels (US /NZ), Kaia Sand (Oregon), Marjorie Welish (New
York), Caroline Bergvall (London), Tim Atkins (London) and Bernadette Mayer
(New York).

The following will give talks about women's poetry: Ken Edwards, Carol
Mirakove (US), Peter Middleton (Southampton), Rod Mengham (Cambridge),
Susan Schultz (Hawaii), Peter Manson (Glasgow), Kristin Kreider (London)
and Lucy Sheerman (Cambridge).


Thursday 5th 2 - 4.30pm
Open workshop by Leslie Scalapino
(Gonville & Caius College)

Friday 6th
Andrea Brady - poetry
Lisa Samuels - paper
Kathleen Fraser - poetry + visual projections

Saturday 7th
Africa Wayne - poetry
Susan Schultz - poetry + paper
Rod Mengham - paper
Susana Gardner - poetry

Geraldine Monk - poetry
Peter Middleton - paper
Redell Olsen - poetry
Carol Mirakove - poetry + paper

Keith Tuma / Justin Katko - film
Marianne Morris - poetry + art installations
Tom Raworth - poetry
Catherine Wagner - poetry

Sunday 8th
Justin Katko & Camille PB - poetry
Kai Fierle-Hedrick - poetry + art installations
Kristen Kreider - paper + art installations
Tim Atkins - poetry

Ken Edwards - talk on Out of Everywhere
Wendy Mulford - poetry
Peter Manson - paper
Maggie O'Sullivan - poetry

Lucy Sheerman - paper
Caroline Bergvall - poetry
Kaia Sand - poetry
Leslie Scalapino - poetry

Concluding remarks. Dinner & good times..

Monday 9th 2-5pm
Open workshop by Kathleen Fraser
(Gonville & Caius College)

Contact Emily: ec308@cam.ac.uk or Catherine cb214@cam.ac.uk for further details.

EXPOSED Apples & Snakes Tour: Tonight and Saturday


venue: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 80-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1
date: 05/10/2006
time: 19:00
website: www.whitechapel.org
tickets: FREE
guest acts: Luke Wright and Byron Vincent
in collaboration with: Into Words

venue: The Vaults, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, OX1 4AH
date: 07/10/2006
time: 20:00
website: www.hammerandtongue.org
box office: On door
tickets: £6 / £4
guest acts: Steve Larkin and Lizzie Mac
in collaboration with: Hammer & Tongue

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.

‘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.

Celebrating NATIONAL POETRY DAY 2006: this year's theme is IDENTITY

This is my first NATIONAL POETRY DAY on Poets On Fire, so an extra-special occasion for me this year! Events are taking place all over the country today to celebrate poetry, far too numerous to mention, from pub open mics to the major poetry day schedule of workshops & readings getting underway in a few hours at the Poetry Society headquarters in London (22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, if you're in the area).

Running a Poetry Event?
If you know of or run a live poetry event, at any time of year, that you'd like to see posted up here on POETS ON FIRE, please email me (see sidebar for details) about 4 or 5 days before the event. Any earlier and I tend to forget. One day beforehand is usually a little late for my tastes, and on the day itself is a no-no. But otherwise, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Remember to include ALL pertinent details, such as time, venue, names of poets performing if you know them, entrance fee, any special rules or things people need to bring, and it would also be helpful if you could include at least a contact email or website for queries.


So have a great NATIONAL POETRY DAY, and if you can't get out to a performance, stay in and curl up with a poetry anthology or favourite collection or audio tape/CD. Whatever you're doing, think poem!

As for me, I'll be in the Great Hall tonight at Warwick Castle, where I'll be reading at the launch of this year's WARWICK WORDS FESTIVAL.

Maybe see you there!

And to finish up today's special posting, here's a poem of my own on the theme of this year's NATIONAL POETRY DAY: 'Identity', to be published this month in 'Boudicca & Co' from Salt Publishing

Hot Days in the Eighties

On hot days in the eighties,
you stopped for ices at Taunton Services.
Little did you know then, twenty-something
in the white Ford Escort Estate —
radio on full, heater too, blasting out
to keep the engine cool — the traffic jams
from Portishead to Liverpool.

That was the decade of the motorway.
You chopped your locks in the back
of the car one day, dyke-short.
Kept dental dams in the glove box,
grew the hair under your arms
to a mousey fuzz. Purchased
a map of the highways, went native.

You wore a suede jacket and a crucifix
in the ‘V’ of your chest, strode
like a man (and the rest). Drove
a Lancia Delta into the dirt. Years later
it was a Mercedes camper van,
seven berth, and beads, hippy skirts,
needing to get close to the earth.

These days you don’t get out much,
stuck in with a husband and kids.
But the road’s strong, it hauls on you
like a blackbird on the worm,
and you find excuses — friends ill,
time alone — for the grip
of the wheel, a licence to roam.

Jane Holland

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yaks in Reading: Saturday 7th October


This week Saturday 7th October sees the triumphal arrival in Reading of Yaks ‘n’ Kilts ‘n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll, the highly praised two-man festival show written and performed by Elvis McGonagall and myself. We’ve a support act coming up from London to make an evening of it and it should be a great night. Especially if you have a pint or two beforehand.

Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £7.50 for normal people and £5 for OAPs, students, the disabled, the unemployed and holders of those lovely Passports To Leisure (and since you won’t be able to use it for WOMAD next year (WOMAD having sadly left Reading), you might as well come and use it on us to get all the value you can out of it). All this happens at South Street Arts Centre, in Reading on Saturday.

click here for the official story!

Birmingham Laureates Celebration: Thursday 5th October

Ten Years of Laureates with Guest Poet Chris Tutton

Thursday 5 October
7.30 – 8.45pm
The Library Theatre, Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain Square: Thursday 5th October, which is National Poetry Day

A Celebration of Birmingham Poet Laureates 1996 – 2006 – with guest poet Chris Tutton plus the first public reading by Birmingham’s new Poet Laureate 2006/2007.

Hosted by Richard Grant, aka Dreadlockalien, Birmingham Poet Laureate 2005/2006

Birmingham honoured its first city Poet Laureate in 1996 with the irrepressible Brian Lewis. Since then nine other poets have taken up the pen to write for the city, along the way encouraging countless others to enjoy poetry. This event features ten years worth of Birmingham Poet Laureates, along with a special performance from guest poet Chris Tutton (the popular wordsmith with a unique blend of ravishing linguistic dexterity). We will also be presenting the first reading by Birmingham’s new Poet Laureate for 2006/2007.

Tickets: This event is free but please reserve a place with the Box Office, see the website Birmingham book Festival.

WRITE OUT LOUD in Bolton, Thursday 5th October

Write Out Loud
on Thursday October 5th 2006 at 7.30pm
in Bolton
at The Phoenix Youth Theatre, Bark Street
Entry: £3/£2

Write out Loud Presents its National Poetry Day Showcase featuring

Cath Nichols (“honest and sensitive…robust and elegiac”) and Abi Idowu (“spellbinding storytelling and earthy poems of love and life”)

Supported by a wealth of local poetic talent

Compere : Tony Walsh ("Our audience loved him and you will too".)

Twelve open mic slots available on the evening. Licensed bar. No Smoking.
For further information contact Dave Morgan on telephone number below.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

UK ALL STARS POETRY SLAM! in Cheltenham, Friday 6th October

Friday 6th October
The UK All Stars Poetry Slam! Qualifier
Town Hall • 8.30-9.30pm • Free

Fancy a starring role in the UK ’s slam extravaganza, the All Stars Poetry Slam tomorrow night? Then take a stanza on stage and see if your poetry and performance has what it takes to rival the best of the rest. Or come and join the applaudience – there’s all to cheer for! Fifteen poets only, first come first served, contact Elizabeth Robertson on 01242 263494 or email Elizabeth.Robertson@cheltenham.gov.uk
(All the competitor places have been taken, but come along to cheer them on!)

In connection with the Cheltenham Literature Festival (6 - 15 October)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Penned in the Margins: National Poetry Day, Kilburn

Phrased & Confused and Penned in the Margins presents

Emma Pollock (ex-Delgados), Chris T-T, Brendan Cleary, Sore Throat

5th October 2006 @ The Luminaire, 311 Kilburn High Road, London
Doors 7.30pm

Phrased & Confused brings together two of the UK’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters, Chris T-T and Emma Pollock, with poet Brendan Cleary and electro-spokenword duo Sore Throat for a unique and unmissable evening of words, music, lyrics and beats. The Luminaire, Kilburn was voted Time Out’s Venue of the Year and we concur! It’s a lovely space and perfect for Phrased & Confused, presented exclusively by penned in the margins, London’s top promoter of poetry and spoken word. BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!

Tickets £8: www.wegottickets.com/event/12423 -
Concessions £6: www.wegottickets.com/event/12424

Sunday, October 01, 2006

TONIGHT: Poetry in Newcastle, 8pm

Venue: Bridge Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne
Organiser: The Blue Room
Start time: 20:00 Sun 1 Oct 2006
Website: www.blueroom.org.uk

The Blue Room is back, presenting exciting, new work from Ellen Phethean, Carol McGuigan, Alison Gangel and Christie Ducker, with music from Bex Mather.

Christy Ducker is an editor, reviewer and poet. She has also taught creative writing since 1999. Publications include Acknowledged Land, Diamond Twig, Mslexia, Orbis, The Reader, Smoke and The Wolf. She is currently working towards a first collection. She lives and works in Northumberland.

Ellen Phethean is a sound artist, poet, playwright and editor. Her poetry is in Sauce (Bloodaxe Books) and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She co-founded Diamond Twig press with Julia Darling and has written plays for radio, Northumbria University, Live Theatre's Youth Group and for schools. In 2003/4 she was writer in residence with Seven Stories and wrote Wall, a teen novel in poems, to be published by Smokestack Books and is currently working on the next novel in similar style. She teaches writing for children at The Centre for Lifelong Learning in Newcastle.

Carol McGuigan has had seven plays broadcast on BBC radio and five produced on stage. In the last three years, she's been developing as a prose writer. She has short stories in Tyneside Tales, an Endpapers anthology and in the second Phantoms at the Phil anthology published by Side Real Press this year. Her novel in progress, How the Eye Works, won her a New Writing North Northern Promise Award in April. She will read a short extract tonight.

Award-winning Alison Gangel is originally from Glasgow. She is the single parent of a ten-year-old and teaches English in a secondary school in Newcastle. She is writing a `powerful and distinctive' autobiographical novel entitled Give That Girl a Spotlight.

Bex Mather is a singer songwriter based in the North East. Over the last year, Bex has been writing new material, performed with Nitin Sawhney and the Aftershock project and been part of a PRS project working with five UK singer-songwriters and five Danish singer-songwriters to create new work and performance. Bex has been recording her second collaborative album, Lowland, and has support to create an EP and compilation album on a new label this autumn.

Tickets: £3 (£2 concessions) on the door.

The Bridge Hotel
Castle Garth
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear