Quiet quiet LOUD! with copland smith and Hilary Robinson – Tuesday 12th April 2016

Guests: Hilary Robinson and Copland Smith.

Hilary Robinson:

A Saddleworth resident, Hilary has been writing poetry since 2008. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Hilary has been involved in several poetry projects, including Manchester Cathedral’s ‘Write the Cathedral’ and, most recently, A New Manchester Alphabet which was published in December 2015.
Hilary enjoys writing from her own experience and has been published by The Interpreter’s House, Avis and Beautiful Dragons Press. She has been long listed in the 2016 YorkMix competition and is involved in two collaborations with composers — the Rosamond Prize in Manchester and the Leeds Lieder Competition. Hilary loves attending workshops, readings and being a member of a local poetry Stanza and she is one of the Seven Spelks — a poetry group fuelled by friendship!

copland smith:

copland smith, always small case, poet, musician, playwright, Guardian letter-writer and creative writing teacher. Born in Liverpool in 1953, now lives in Manchester, as do his 4 daughters. • twice a runner-up in The National Poetry Competition. • published in many magazines including Ambit, Outposts, Orbis, The Rialto, North, The Cricketer, The South Manchester reporter… • first collection of poems, one-eyed seller of garlic, was published in 1994. currently writing a book called “The 42 rules of writing”. Rule 42 is Ignore all earlier rules. • He runs Manky Poets in Chorlton, Manchester. 3rd Friday every month.

Support Poets: Rachel Davies, Fokkina McDonnell, Penny Sharman, more TBC.

6 minute support spots available. £3 on the door to cover promotion and printing costs and refreshment for the guests.

The Quiet Compere and Thursday Lates at Whitworth Gallery – 4th February 2016

Firstly, massive Crowd-funder thanks and shout-out to Mary R Crumpton who could not make it on the night.

Secondly, a Big Crowd-funder hug to all that have supported to make this happen.

I planned a workshop and made suggestions of art-work and how attendees could use it to create a piece, pointers rather than directions. I wrote two pieces in this time and performed them both on the night. One was in response to a Greenhouse with words on the outside and light shining from within and the second was in response to a piece that was a map, but if you looked carefully the contours made up names at their highest points.

The Grand Hall lived up to its name with tall ceilings and windows and a screen with Quiet Compere logo on it. We even had a stage for me to attempt to fall off between introducing performers! Many of the audience were not regular poetry goers and had positive feedback and said they will go to poetry events again.

Reece Williams:
Reece told us ‘spin doctors still have my dreams on quarantine’. and that ‘I was already spent on grief. my web of mourning was already drawing’. Also the phrase ‘arsenal of ambition’ was a powerful phrase when used in a poem about a young black boy who was killed.

copland smith:
copland treated us to three art-themed poems. From copland’s piece, How to paint a poem: ‘first you hammer out the framework… …as if you’ve never seen the world before. Do not let people watch, they will say that world does not exist.’ and the ‘brushes dunked in clouded spirit.’

Anna Tuck:
Anna was assured and cheerful and made me cry with her poem about wanting more from lovers. ‘I don’t want to be one part of a roving eye.’ and ‘I want to be loved up full, made whole with you halves.’

Ken Evans:
Ken performed a response piece to an Edvard Munch woodcut (1899) ‘The Lonely Ones’ from The Whitworth collection – which depicted two people on a beach looking out to sea.
‘The only man-made thing seen/from space is the distance/between a man and a woman’ ‘she…shorn of understanding as the stone/that holds him.’


Ken Evans first collection ‘The Opposite of Defeat’, is due out with Eyewear in September.


Leanne Moden:
The promise in Leanne’s line ‘If you need me to I will lace my fingers to build your first step up.’ This is an assurance we could all do with sometimes. ‘we’re luminous with ambition.’ And Leanne talked of listening to music and it being a way to ‘take breaks from the aching of everyday lives.’

Blog here: http://tenyearstime.blogspot.co.uk/

Kate Bendelow:
I particularly liked the lines about ‘catch the wind and smother it until it is barely a cough.’ and in the poem My Girls a parent being as ‘pliable as Playdoh.’

Simon Howarth:
Simon’s ‘First Date’: ‘He cuts his pie as if his Mum’s watching.’ and his poem You’ve been to Bali, but you’ve never put a cigarette out on your arm. always gets me. ‘You’ve never seen the city from a bird-high lip.’ ‘cried yourself inside out watching the sun set and rise and set again … maybe if you had you’d feel more alive.’

Kate Garrett:
I knew Kate would take us into worlds of fairies and magic. She didn’t disappoint:
‘fairytale blooming / in the scrape of her nails / against my cheek.”, ” I love the alliteration and rhythm of: ‘we’re months and miles away from Monday night.’ and “And if the truth / had a bouncing soul / like my best pair of boots”

Editor at: http://threedropspoetry.co.uk/
First collection
‘The Density of Salt’  http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/kate-garrett/4591581784

Hannah Mackay:
From Roast Potatoes ‘For you, walnut tart is an act of devotion; I need more explicit expressions of emotion.’ ‘ and in Lavender – about parenting “Cross little boy, Red face Curly hair…I’m searching for something, Something I can give you; I can give you The smell of purple.”

Melanie Rees:
Mel gifted us a Lowry poem ‘with a tick-tock beat inside my chest, I understand Lowry’s need for vagueness.’ ‘so he painted love in the red of his matchstick men.’ ‘at shift end, going home to dance.’ I am entranced by the idea of holding a wasp: ‘I held a wasp. I wanted to hold the sun – one time.’

Melanie’s collection with Sara Miller: http://www.flapjackpress.co.uk/page20.htm/

This was a large venue with an attendance of around 100, high ceilings, a mic, overhead projector, stage and ten performers.

The next event will be at The Nutclough Tavern in Hebden Bridge, a much smaller venue, cosy and beautifully decorated on a smaller scale. There will be no stage, possibly no mic, definitely no need for overhead projection. There will be ten poets, an appreciative, if smaller, audience and a compere who enjoys the differences between venues and settings as much as she enjoys the variety in the performances and audience sizes.

The Quiet Compere at Worcestershire LitFest – Friday 17th June 2016 – The Hive

Guest poets: Jess Davies, Jasmine Gardosi and Adam Horovitz.

Jess Davies
Jess D

A Redditch based poet, Jess May Davies is a workshop facilitator, artist and host. She is currently a member of ‘Bellows’, a young poets collective supported by ‘Apples and Snakes’ and ‘Beatfreeks’. As a facilitator she has recently worked with ‘Pangaea Poetry’ and University of Warwick, as well as demonstrated the use of creative writing during CPD courses for Psychotherapists and Counsellors. She has performed at: ‘Morton Stanley Festival’ (Redditch, 2015), ‘Too Deep for a Monday’ (Nottingham, 2015), ‘Silent Word Up’ (Birmingham, 2015) and ‘Howl’ (Birmingham, 2014). She is also the host and producer of a monthly spoken word event, ‘Stirchley Speaks’.

Jasmine Gardosi
Jasmine Gardosi is the current Midlands Slam Champion, Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist 2014/15 and one of the five winners of the International Pangaea Poetry Slam 2015. Besides being an event host and member of the Birmingham-based Bellows Collective, she facilitates workshops in schools, leads the Yardley Female Writers’ Group and is the coordinator of West Midlands Poets’ Place. A speaker at TEDxBrum’s 2014 International Women’s Day, she continues to deliver talks about the taboo of menstruation around the country. In autumn 2015, she represented the West Midlands on the Apples and Snakes Public Address national tour and was shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Prize for Performance. She likes to write about weird things in unweird places – kind of like her, everywhere.


Adam Horovitz
Adam H
Born in London in 1971, Adam Horovitz moved with his parents to Slad, Gloucestershire the same year. He was the poet in residence for Glastonbury Festival’s official website in 2009 and was voted onto the Hospital Club 100 in 2010 as an emerging talent. His debut collection, Turning, was released by Headland in 2011. He was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012. His most recent book, A Thousand Laurie Lees, was released by the History Press in June 2014 to coincide with the Laurie Lee centenary celebrations. As poet in residence for Stroud Museum in the Park, he released Only the Flame Remains in 2014 from Yew Tree Press. In 2015 he was chosen as one of the Versopolis poets by Ledbury Poetry Festival and is the current Herefordshire Poet in Residence. He released Little Metropolis, an album of poetry and music commissioned by the Stroud Fringe Festival, at the end of 2015.

Support poets: Ken Evans, Holly Magill, Leon Preistnall, Bobbie Parker.

Ken Evans
Ken E
Ken Evans gained a Distinction in his poetry Master’s from Manchester University last year. The same year, his work was longlisted in the Poetry Society’s National Competition; highly-commended in the Bridport; and shortlisted in the Troubadour Competition.

Ken’s debut pamphlet is published in the Autumn by Eyewear Press. His poems also appear in Envoi, The Interpreter’s House, Glasgow Review of Books, The Morning Star, Island Review and Ink, Sweat & Tears.

Holly Magill

Holly Magill is a poet from Worcestershire. She has a BA in Creative Writing from University Of Birmingham and has had poems in various publications, including Lunar Poetry, The Stare’s Nest, Three Drops and a Cauldron and The Emma Press 2016 anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse. She is fond of cats and strong tea above most things.

Leon Preistnall
Leon Priestnall is a poet and performer currently based in Birmingham. He has headlined at hit the ode and level up at the Birmingham rep and also appeared on BBC radio west Midlands. He is also the compere of regular Birmingham spoken word night ‘Howl’

Bobby Parker’s poetry, artwork and photography have appeared in various reputable magazines in print and on-line. He has contributed weird poetry columns and articles to The Quietus. His debut poetry collection BLUE MOVIE (Nine Arches Press) was published Halloween 2014. His reading style has been described as “Gripping, weird, relatable but alienating, emotional, totally fantastic poetry.” – Café Writers (Norwich)

Open Mic spots available – 4 bookable in advance by those traveling a distance. Four first-come-first-served on the night.

Tickets £8 in advance through The Hive:


Current Publications and upcoming in April 2016


My poem Not Human Today has been published in The Interpreter’s House Issue 61.

This is now available here:


I have also had two poems accepted for publication in Three Drops from a Cauldron.

Unbecoming Someone will be published online on 1st April.
Woodland Wedding will appear in the Beltane issue due out mid-April 2016.

Check the site out here: 


A Chalk Zoo

I draw a pig, a bird, a cat.
He sketches an aardvark,
a dinosaur, a platypus.

You clap, leap, dance on these
at our instruction.
When we obey your tasks
you complain
when we dance quietly,
want our bodies to shout
like yours.

You have given it all
and with dusk fall
your retreat for a bath
and tale about Mama Bear.

I visualise the paving
filled with purple giraffes,
orange penguins
and turquoise moles.

I cancel plans, to sketch a zoo,
on our suburban avenue.

I sear Saharan camels on to
this Chorlton pavement
savannahs and jungles
grow from my chalked movements.
I bask green in rainforests
and snorkel in the only Coral Reef
in South Manchester.

A murmuration of starlings,
a wilderness of monkeys,
a sounder of wild boar,
a parliament of owls.

All intricate in imagination
ready to be realised

When I shake the packet
one small stub of white chalk
bowls forth.

I had grand plans.
Instead I draw you a smile,
a kiss,
a daffodil you dismiss
as messy,
and a shrew holding a heart
holding your name.

You are delighted
as if the road
was filled with feathers and snouts,
with talons, scales, dinosaur’s jaws
and the scent of evolution.

Quiet quiet LOUD! at The Lloyds, Chorlton, Manchester. Tues 8th March

Guests: Mark Mace Smith and Jackie Hagan.

Mark is a poet, painter and photographer. He studied philosophy and politics at the University of Central Lancashire and was awarded the Scott Trust Bursary from the Guardian to study journalism. He has won the Commonword Superheros of Slam and the Glastonbury Festival Slam and has been inducted into the British Library Sound Archive. He was BBC MediaCity writer in residence from 2011 to 2015 when he quit, live on air, via a poem. He was born in London and now lives in Mallorca and Manchester.

“…Never shy of challenging his audience or himself, Mark’s poetry is political, passionate and powerful. With undeniable stage presence, his mastery of exuberant and subtle theatrics mixed with his well woven language is totally engaging. Seeing his name attached to an event is a mark of quality and skillful, heartfelt writing.” Dominic Berry.

Jackie Hagan is a one-legged plastic-scouser who tours the country with purposely rubbish puppets and bedsit special effects. Her solo show ‘Some People Have Too Many Legs; (a Contact/NRTF Commission) won the Saboteur ‘Best Spoken Word Show 2015’ award, a literary award from Creative Futures and ‘Flying Solo 2014’.

Support Poets: Helen Lagoe, Wayne, Melanie Rees, Gerry Potter, Christopher Bainbridge.

6 minute support spots available. £3 on the door to cover promotion and printing costs and refreshment for the guests.

When nothing makes sense

It’s where I go
when nothing makes sense
when most people would go to cliffs,
contemplate jumping,
or drive to the sea
believing waves will heal.

I stand at the Appliances skip at Adswood Tip,
stare into the cracked screens of televisions,
the bent metal of redundant videos,
rejected, exposed blades of faulty blenders.

All these objects,
gadgets once grasped
ready to kit out a new house,
full of such promise.

The mangled future unknown.
Metal or plastic shaped for satisfaction,
now thrown with malice and unnecessary force
among the debris of broken ideals.