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.

Horse-Meet Writers’ Workshop

Third Wednesdays at The Horse and Jockey 12-2pm A laid-back creative-writing session for adults of all ages with fun prompts led by Sarah L Dixon, prize-winning poet, experienced workshop facilitator and Mum to 5-year old Frank. Space and time to play with words. Five pounds per session (first session £3). 9th March, 13th April, 8th June, 12th July, 14th September, 12th October,  9th November + 14th December. May – moved to Weds 25th to coincide with Chorlton Arts Festival. August – Summer Break.    

Quiet Compere End of of Year Review (4/4) featuring Ulverston, Chesterfield and Cheltenham.

Ulverston – Committee of poets My poetry highlights: Mark Carson: ‘This poem is written in oils, I have been adding layers since May.’ Maggie How: Performed her set a tribute to her father. The heart-breaking phrase ‘You smudge my heart with your art of dying.’ Kim Moore was the 12th poet in the room: and her wolf poem was one of my highlights of the evening. ‘No sound I make will still be made of words.’ My non-poetry highlights: Having a committee (it was a Poem and a Pint takeover and Kim Moore was my co-host): Caroline invited me to her workshop and drove me to pick up some ales and by the time we arrived the rest of the committee were setting out chairs and the PA. We helped with the chairs and it was much quicker with 6-8 of us involved. Two Workshops by Caroline Gilfillan and Geraldine Green. I have some poems I really like from both of these and one I read regularly. The lines that stuck with me: David Borrott: From Pigeons: ‘pulling together to become a spun set of dancers…each giving way to the general pattern to become something more than themselves.’ Caroline Gilfillan: From, Things he loved the line ‘eyes limpid with chalky loss’ shone out. Sue Millard: Lines from Driver’s Girl: ‘I will let you go, trusting/ the otherness that swallows you.’ Kerry Darbishire: Posing for Andrew: ‘bearing stillness in failing sunlight’ Chesterfield – a blur of poets. My poetry highlights: Ailsa Holland: Someone stole into a garden on Paradise Street/discreet as an assassin/took down the clean washing/folded it with cold-blooded precision/ and left it in a basket under the back porch/just before the rain started./ (from ‘Fixer’ Strikes at Heart of Community) Charlotte Ansell: addressed the post-election malaise with: “This is why we can’t have nice things. It took just weeks to demolish the Bohemia… They will smash up what even in the first place wasn’t much…” John Mills: Little Louis, a poem about a brain-damaged child was tough on the audience and performer. The sing-song rhythm of it made the truth even more shocking. The damage happened because his Dad hit his head against a wall when he was 12 days old. I have written in my notes BASTARD!!!!! Mavis Moog: While listening to her poem Plum Sunday I could smell the mint at my feet and the feel the weight of the plums as I reached up to test their ripeness My non-poetry highlights: Sarah Thomasin: I loved The Quiet Woman and the story about the bus-stop being labelled the The Quite Woman and the reason she was Quiet is because her head chopped off. One way of stopping a compere going on, I suppose. Trying to capture Midnight Shelley on a still photo and the amusement of not doing! The lines that stuck with me: ‘A piece of me will always be in the forever space with you.” Midnight Shelley In ‘Black Holes’ he described people who are “taking everything from everything.” Chris Woods Cheltenham – a finale of poets I will start with a link to my guest blog on Sarah Snell-Pym’s site (more about here below) that explains why the final was in Cheltenham, several reasons including it being the first place I ran an event away from home (somewhere I had never been and knew no-one in the area) four years ago and I have run them yearly since – the night before Medicine Unboxed and a little about what that is and why I keep going back. Guest blog: My poetry highlights: Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s story about Tiberius being rubbed to death with scales of a fish: ‘rubbed til we bled each other out and lay milk-eyed on marble.’ Sharon Larkin: From Venit, vidit, fugit, about alien relations: ‘He came suddenly. / Departed in an instant / leaving a note: / “Recalled to my native galaxy. / Thanks for all the probings”‘. Michael Scott: His poem My Dad painted by Francis Bacon was striking “We wait all night for 3 studies of the human head to dry back into my Dad.” My non-poetry highlights: Another thoughtful and inspiring Medicine Unboxed Students event. As ever, Medicine Unboxed (Mortality) was a masterclass in how to run an engaging, varied and challenging conference on how art and medicine interact. Meeting Dan Cooper, designer of my logo and the flyers that have become so recognisable as part of The Quiet Compere tour. Sarah-Snell Pym’s space dress and mini pamphlet of her space set with a dedication to me. Big smile! Sharon Larkin’s husband also took over some of the photography for me, which helped me concentrate on taking notes and listening and timing poets. The lines that stuck with me: ‘nothing is all there is/ and silence feels as if it’s loud.’ Brenda Read-Brown ‘Maybe all these nothings added up to something and maybe that was me.’ Chris Hemingway. ‘Playing chess, you stripped to distract me. An illegal move.’ Mark Blayney Michael Scott on Quiet Compere format: “it was a lovely intimate night. I love the ‘Quiet Compere’ approach, there is so much fluff and noise attached to poetry that sometimes it just seems like a jumble of achievements and posing, minimalism wins every time for me.” ‘Never stop at endings!’ (Susan Castillo 2015)… Help The Quiet Compere continue into 2016: