Quiet Compere Launch event 19th March


‘brilliant – an amazing line up of poets – I really enjoyed it – it was deep’ Anne Bailey

‘I liked the time of the day and the variety. Generally, a very good event.’ Linda Goulden

‘It was a terrific event, the detail and the reassurances; the reliability of meeting links being sent, the attention to detail is astonishing, the best I have seen’ Chaucer Cameron

‘The potent mix of hearing the poetry of so many styles and those with lived experience made an event a chance to not only experience poetry and words but also learn other perspectives and grow.’ Dalton Harrison

(Please note while this tour is Arts-Council funded, in my bid I factored in tickets, PAYF payments and workshop income. Two-thirds of pay to myself comes from these avenues – I have put around 100 hours work into the tour so far (since bid success). I cannot pay myself for work carried out before the bid success.)

Rainbow nails and roller banner – online is no excuse 🙂

First of all, I really hadn’t realised how much more work an online event would involve. Secondly, I didn’t have to worry about getting lost, delayed trains or getting caught in a downpour. The Quiet Compere Tour 2022 is well and truly launched. The morning workshop went well.

I got to wear my Quiet Compere t-shirt and put up the roller banner for the first time.

We started the event with a high-quality short open mic section. One of the many benefits of online events is that poems can be shared on the screen so we can see how they are laid out on the page as well as being more accessible. Several of the poets commented on the fact it introduced them to poets they had not heard before and there was no limits on distance, no travel costs and if anyone has fluctuating energy levels performing from home may be less challenging.

Daniel Sluman:

Daniel shared poems from his collection ‘Single Window’. I am not sure I can put it better than Michael Northern ‘In Single Window Daniel Sluman gives us a noir view into the world of disability, drugs and pain.’ Daniel shared with us poems about a year when he and his wife were unable to navigate stairs. They were isolated except for a single window where they watched the world. A line that particularly stood out to me was:

‘& our daily bread

is to not let ourselves bend

or break              

under the weight

of this light’

Rebecca Lehmann:

Hearing poems from ‘She is the wild’ added an extra dimension to poems I have read on the page. Rebecca took us with her to the sea, the birds, the trees.

‘you will learn one day,

disinfected, indoor child,

to build your own cage

from our neuroses:’                     has echoes of lockdown.

Chaucer Cameron:

Chaucer shared some poems from her book In an ideal world I would not be murdered. She shared these words with searing honesty, such as:

‘Crystal could’ve been a hoarder, but in fact she was a hooker. She was lucky, never murdered, she understood erasure, turned it into artforms, pinned it to the walls.’

Dalton Harrison:

Dalton tells us of ‘trauma like a map to never again’ and in The Catcher in the Rye talks of what seems such a simple need, a longing for a book and they write about that desire so well.  

‘All I wanted was a book

Each line of the spine

like somehow knowing I have this

would make me whole again’

Jessica Mookherjee:

Jessica inhabits such stories and histories, weaves them through detail and leads us into them totally.

‘In secret she collected his debris,

made candles from his ear wax, bottled him up,

spun his fur into balls of wool, created a museum

of his natural history. Kept jars of him in the pantry’

Tony Curry:

Tony was my co-host for the event and helped me relax by keeping an eye on the waiting room and sharing links. This kept most of the anxiety dreams at bay. Tony made me miss Manchester and I love the music in the lines:

‘Where work and suffrage

Is etched on our face’                                       and

‘The street sounds so far below

Are part of your symphony’.

Julia Webb:

I loved the way Julia described someone as ‘a ratty tennis ball, lost their bounce’ and ‘her mother was a bramble’.

Julia also captures perfectly the feeling after a good cry as ‘hollow hot.’

Holly Bars:

The grief is long is a stunning poem. ‘so many little deaths’ and ‘my body is an urn’. Holly’s poems are so well crafted and such sadness is distilled into the short pieces. Distraction is such a succinct comment on a lot of what is wrong with the world.

‘The problem is, most of us need stitches, and we’re not getting them. Just plaster after plaster, so many that the wound is now growing around them, encrusting them.’

Pete Jordan:

Pete makes such a generous description of unconditional love in ‘as strong as gossamer’,

‘without let or limit
a chalice that grows
in size and strength and capacity’.

The gentle spirituality of this set contrasted well with the often more intense sets.

Katy Mahon:

Nocturne was a brilliant incantation of a poem to start Katy’s set. Such strong rhythm and so many sounds captured in surprising phrases, once uttered they are totally recognisable, yet fresh and new.

‘There are songs which echo the ridiculous pheasant,

the wet clang of an ancient bell’

The character study of her father in Heart of matter is rendered with such exquisite detail but a light touch and I love the ‘swallowing guilt and rebellion’ of G & T. It took me right back to Boxing Day gatherings of neighbours and stealing the lemons from glasses to suck the bitterness and the alcohol from them. I was always surprised people did not eat the lemon flesh.

Adrian Salmon:

Being able to see In the air as it looks on the page definitely added a new dimension to hearing it. Adrian captures music and character skilfully in words, so we are the in the room/space of the poem, watching, listening, there

‘and as his hands moved 

sketching the loops and mazes,

his harp, golden in sunlight,’

and he had me grinning with:

‘Sometimes it’s enough just to be young and full of fire, to love cheesy pop’.  

The next event will be the first online one of the tour at The Library Hub in Chatham, where Barry Fentiman-Hall is my co-host. There will be a workshop, six showcase poets, a short open mic section, an appreciative audience and a compere who is a bit giddy about making things happen out in the world again (online and live). The next online workshop and showcase events will be Wednesday 17th August.  

Thanks to Nina Lewis for the seamless screen sharing too to help us make this event accessible to more people.

Quiet Compere Tour 2022 online and live is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Quiet Compere Tour 2022 – Stop 2 – 23rd April Chatham Library Hub, ME4 4TX

Workshop 1030am-midday. Showcase and open mic 1.30-4pm FREE EVENTS

Book here: 01634 337799 or visit any Medway Library

Please note spaces for the workshop and open mic are limited and we could do with having an idea of the audience capacity so please book as audience too.


Barry Fentiman-Hall is a Medway based poet and mythwalker who is an indeterminate fraction of Wordsmithery. He is also the editor of Confluence Magazine. His works include City Without A Head (2013), The Unbearable Sheerness Of Being (2016), England, My Dandelion Heart (2018) and Sketches (2020) which are all available from www.wordsmithery.info/books He has an affinity with hares, cats and moomins.

Showcase Performers

Setareh Ebrahimi is an Iranian-British poet. She has been published numerous times in journals and magazines, including Proletarian PoetryThe Menteur and Ink Sweat & Tears.

Setareh released her first pamphlet of poetry, In My Arms, from Bad Betty Press and her full-length collection, Galloping Horses, from Wordsmithery. She regularly performs her poetry in Kent and London, has hosted her own poetry evenings and leads writing workshops. Setareh is currently an editor at Whisky & Beards Press and a reviewer at Confluence magazine.

Katy Evans-Bush is the author of two poetry collections from Salt, and a pamphlet, Broken Cities (Smith|Doorstop, 2017). Her former blog, Baroque in Hackney (‘The Guardian of poetry blogs’ — Roddy Lumsden), was shortlisted for the George Orwell Prize for political writing, and her essays, Forgive the Language, are published by Penned in the Margins. She is writing a book on the rise of hidden homelessness and the housing crisis (for CB Editions), and a new poetry collection. Her Substack page is A Room of Someone Else’s. She is a freelance poetry tutor and editor, and lives in Faversham.

Christopher Hopkins is Welsh writer living in the Canterbury area of Kent, England. His poems have been published in The Honest Ulsterman, The New European, Morning Star, 14 Magazine (Vanguard Readings), The Cortland Review, Indianapolis Review and Rust + Moth. He has three chapbooks with Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York. 

Clair Meyrick is a mother, poet, performer and artist. She regularly performs poetry in and around Kent and London. She also has a regular slot on radio. Published in a couple of journals and online she is now looking forward to illustrating her first collection of poetry, combining her love of painting and words.  

My name is Nathaniel Oguns

An actor and a poet. I’ve lived in Kent for most of my adult life. I came to Kent from South East London. At first it was hard to adjust to this quiet area. The atmosphere and the pace of everything felt strange to me but now it’s become home. 

After doing a creative writing course I was inspired to start poetry nights in the heart of Rochester. For spoken word artists and poets. It’s called ‘Kent Dreams’. So follow your dreams and use your gifts to inspire others. That’s my motto. 

Nina Telegina

Nina Telegina is a poet, write and performing artist with over 10 years international experience. Nina is a multiple slam winner, including the Kent Championship Slam. Her debut poetry collection Llama on the Loose was published by Whisky & Beards in 2021 and her solo poetry show of the same name toured across Kent in 2018. She has featured in projects commissioned by The Marlowe Theatre and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Her work featured nationally on BBC Sounds as part of The Best of Upload 2020.