Bristol Blog – Bath retreat, Banksy, brilliant venue and dog cuddles – plus lots of poetry and an after party

Co-host and performer, Caleb Parkin

From Caleb’s book All the cancelled parties my favourites in it were Peacebuilding, Ridgeway, What we animals do and Almanac of Lunar Songs. I didn’t know there were so many types of moon. 

And from The Estuary and egret poem. I loved ‘Estuary dressed in its most imposing power-suit grey with pinstripe waves.’ And ‘the moral of this story is – is – somewhere, somewhere in the gap between Egret and Estuary.’ 

‘Gritted teeth of the National Gallery’ and ‘Please do not touch the walrus or sit on the iceberg‘ were striking images.

Open mic and a bit of me

Caleb then brilliantly hosted the open mic section and gave a very brief and impressive account of all the places we had been taken to, all the moments we had visited and the people we had been introduced to through the pieces shared.

I then shared a poem about my body as a 90s indie moshpit and one about my son asking if we were poor and the reasons why.

Showcase Poets

Ben Banyard

Ben made me really want to visit The Argus Fish bar after Ben’s description of every tiny detail of their food. I almost clapped for joy when he described his sloth encounter with a ragged set of bagpipes. And the car gulped greedily at the asphalt as Ben took us on a driving lesson.

Helen Sheppard

Oh! Helen brought us guttural sounds deep, old as Eve in birth poems, a charcoal foundling on a doorstep and winters too cold for terry nappies to dry which took us a very exacting moment of time.

Rachael Clyne

In Rachael’s set there was a theme of brightness, music and character. Continuing the pregnancy theme lubdub of her existence. Rachael later takes us a childhood friend’s funeral where all the leather guys wept into lace.

Pey Oh

Pey weaved worlds for us with the high call of cicadas rising to the sky. And in Smiling at communist China ‘smile in rebellion/in openness/in risk/in red silk/honeyed peanuts are required for hostesses.’

Elizabeth Parker

The alliterative play in one piece is glorious ‘sighs of silt slid from seams.’ Then Elizabeth pulls us close with ‘my sand tried to keep your small darkness.’ It felt like she was talking to us all individually, somehow as she invites us to ‘join her at the white-barked tree.’

Edson Burton

Edson was honest ‘the garden is not rewilding. I am just idle.’ And I love the visual impact of ‘words often eat themselves.’

After Party

There was a brilliant after party that was full of poetry warmth despite it being held outside to keep any lurgy transference at bay. It was such a joy to extend the event further into the evening and catch up with many friends I had not seen for a long time and make some new friends too. You will have to take my word for the after-party brilliance as any photos taken were too blurry, chopped people off them or were too dark taken outside and at arm’s length.

The final event of the tour is online on November 12th.


Well organised event with warm and welcoming hosts.

Great to have a variety of poetry voice, page, spoken word, storytellers and free style.  

Themes were varied; nature, journey, family, mothers, place. Something for everyone.  

The Quiet Compere is a great concept for a touring poetry show providing a platform local poets.

A lovely night catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances.

A terrific range of voices and experiences from both the featured poets and the open mic performers.

Great venue, brilliantly organised by Sarah and Caleb.

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