The Quiet Compere at Wolverhampton Original Literature Festival – Friday 27th January 2017

Tickets £4 or £3 concs – Available from Wolverhampton Art Gallery or through link here: https://www.theticketfactory.com/default/online/seatSelect.asp
Quiet Compere events enlist great, established poets and emerging voices. The Quiet Compere introduces them with little fanfare so the poems (and not the poet’s track record) tell you all you need  to know. Massive thanks are due to the crowd-funders from late 2015. The events at the Whitworth, Manchester, Hebden Bridge and Swindon would not have happened in 2016 without your support. This event was supposed to be 2016 too, but slipped by a month because teaming with the festival seemed a good move. 

quiet-compere  Quiet Compere images by Mark Farley

The Quiet Compere format invites ten poets to read for ten minutes each, mixing page and performance, experimental and nature, quiet emotional and flat-out arms-wide passion.
 
Sarah L Dixon tours as The Quiet Compere. She has been published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, The Lake and Domestic Cherry among others. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being by water and adventures with her six-year-old, Frank. She is still attempting to write better poetry than Frank did aged 4!
 
 
Leanne Bridgewater

   leanne-bridgewater 

This Midlands-based woman swoops between writing and drawing. Most days these two things roll into one and become asemic. Performances have involved 8ft obelisks being smashed with a hammer, conversations with pineapples, hairdryer ensembles, shallow-use of punning with a fried meal of tongue-twisting-tomato dipped in hummus and gobbled down like nobody’s business! Say what? She is currently finishing making a colouring book on jungle-pareidolia (aka ‘seeing faces in patterns). Read “Confessions of a Cyclist”, her epic poem on cycling, published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press.
 
Parts of this book were exhibited in lights at Blackpool Illuminations in 2015. This year, she plans to finish off two books and for winter, hibernate in bed with a doodle-pad and cake. When she is not doing all of this you can find her rummaging about in fields surveying wildlife, running creative workshops and working in libraries.
 
Jess May Davies
jess-davies
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).
 
Kathy Gee
kathy-gee
Kathy Gee grew up in York with a family of historians and archaeologists and decided that museums were warmer than holes in the ground. Widely published in print and online poetry journals and anthologies, Kathy is growing more and more interested in collaborative projects. She has organised a poetry trail at Avoncroft Museum of Buildings and is currently working with a composer of contemporary classical music on a ‘Suite for a fallen soldier’. Book of Bones is her first collection.
 
Nina Lewis
nina-lewis-taken-by-reg-nichols3-1  Photography by Reg Nichols

Nina Lewis is widely published in poetry journals and anthologies, including Abridged, Fat Damsel, Take Ten, Hark, Here Comes Everyone (HCE), I am Not a Silent Poet, New Ulster Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets, Under the Radar and Visual Verse. Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition 2015/2016 runner-up, Nina often performs at spoken word events and literary festivals. She was commissioned to write and perform poetry on ‘ecology and the city’ at the Birmingham Literature Festival in 2014. Her haiku have appeared in an art installation at the Midlands Art Centre, on the Poetry Fence at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and in Municipal Bank Vaults for an International Dance Festival. Nina’s work also formed part of the poetry trail for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014. Fragile Houses, published by V. Press autumn 2016, is her first pamphlet.
 
Holly Magill
holly-magill
Holly Magill is from Worcestershire. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, including Lunar Poetry, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Morning Star and The Emma Press anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse. She prefers cats and strong tea to most things.
 
Bobby Parker
bobby-parker
Bobby Parker’s writing has appeared in a wide range of magazines in print and online. In 2015 he was awarded a grant from the Society of Authors. His controversial poem Thank You for Swallowing was included in the poetry anthology Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt). Bobby’s debut poetry collection Blue Movie is available now from Nine Arches Press.
 
Gerry Potter
gerry-potter
Gerry Potter is currently touring his new book, he describes this one as his genre defying opus, the fifth of hopefully ten volumes of autobiographical theatre verse, then he promises never to write again. The Chronicles of Folly Butler is the follow up to the successful Fifty, The Men Pomes, Planet Middle Age and Planet Young. A favourite son of both Manchester and his home town Liverpool Gerry has also been wowing audiences nationally with his own unique brand of domestic-fantastic free verse. Gerry has a reputation for putting his Scouse voice on the line a soaring sing-song accent, strong on poetry and strong on the causes of poetry. In fact his poem My Scouse Voice and others will be reinterpreted by none other than Fennella Fielding at this year Homotopia festival in Liverpool. Creator and destroyer of the infamous gingham diva Chloe Poems. Chloe was a cabaret and literary stalwart and raver some years ago on the London and national scene. I think it’s safe to say she caused quite a stir. Gerry’s new work is very different to his alter ego though no less passionate. Performance meets theatre, meets poetry and rhythm, creating a blistering sound-scape of experience and entertainment. Gerry is also an accomplished actor play write and workshop leader.
 
Steve Pottinger
steve-pottinger
Steve Pottinger: I’m a poet. A performance poet who’s passionate about the power of poetry to create connections between people. I’m also good at what I do, which is engaging with an audience, making them laugh and think and decide that – while they may not have given two hoots about poetry before – it’s actually something they can enjoy. Over the summer, my poem ‘Stabberjocky’ has proved extremely popular.
 
Polly Stretton
polly-stretton
Polly Stretton follows many writerly pursuits in her hometown of Worcester. Her poetry has been displayed at Croome Court and in many anthologies. She’s a coordinator and judge of various writing competitions and works with Black Pear Press, Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe, and OU Poetry Society. Polly’s writing includes a collection of poetry, a series of poems about the tragic young poet Thomas Chatterton, and a pamphlet of children’s poetry. She’ll go into ecstasies about her puppy: Mabel.
 
Heather Wastie
heather-wastie
Poet/musician Heather Wastie was Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster in 2013 and Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015/16. She has published four illustrated collections. Recent commissions include The Canal and River Trust, the Rugby World Cup and the BBC Local Poets project for National Poetry Day 2016.
 

The sound of a stick trailed across railings or The Quiet Compere at Poetry Swindon

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Warning: This is longer than my usual blogs as it is trying to cover the Poetry Swindon weekend, rather than just Quiet Compere event.

 

I knew before I arrived at Poetry Swindon this was going to be the friendliest place to spend my 40th birthday weekend having met a lot of the crew at a Jo Bell, 52 workshop and reading day in Birmingham in January. I was collected from the station by Maurice, then I symbolically posted some work receipts. After we had negotiated the ‘roundabout complex of Swind’ Maurice showed me to my Holiday Inn room.

 

After rainbow-painting my nails I went over to the Richard Jeffries Museum. I arrived to a loving welcome and hugs from all directions. Friends from Exeter and Bristol, Oxford and Liverpool, Birmingham and Stone. And Swindon. Oh, and there was mulled wine. Hilda went to check if it was ready and there was one in my hand within five minutes. I walked into the Tent Palace of Delicious Air and found more friends there. I perched on a leather bean-bag with my mascot, Kendal. Stephen and Mark were jealous of my nails. After four hours travelling I was there and slightly dazed. I marvelled at the wall hangings, lectern and lighting.

 

I had to source a big stick shaped like a moose before Quiet Compere started and parked this outside The Sun Inn warning a local not run off with it, unless he wanted to write a poem about a moose and use it to perform that! This is the poem it was for and it is dedicated to Hilda and all the work, love and fun she pours into Poetry Swindon:

 

The hysteria that comes

 

I find it often melts Frank and I

and we are lost for minutes.

Gone.

Then, back even better for it.

 

I get the same with my brothers,

still,

even though I see them

half a dozen times a year.

 

The easy hilarity of closeness.

 

Not so often alone,

though on Sunday

I found a small dead tree

lifted it into life

for five minutes.

Held it to my forehead

and ran around the field

pretending to be a moose.

14522690_10157588241125711_3506957743260768959_n  Photo by Mark Farley

Quiet Compere:

I did a ten minutes set myself. Not that Quiet Compere then, but a few friends said “We want to hear more of you!” and I didn’t take much encouragement to step up there and give them ten minutes. I enjoyed reading some of the poem-a-thon poems I had rediscovered on the train and quite a lot of new stuff, never read.

 

Julia Webb gave us a bee-dress you could wear in humming praise of summer. Julia’s collection is called ‘Bird Sisters’ and she invented sisters and told us about the one who stayed up all night at the crematorium plaiting flowers into your mother’s hair. and water as ‘an inside out, a nothingness.’ and  ‘The moon thinks of itself as an emergency’.

 

Catch Julia here: http://juliawebb.org/blog/

 

Anna-May Laugher: read us a Wile Coyote poem a cartoon mother should never look down. and fitting with National Poetry day theme of the day earlier: the word message has its own chaos. In ‘The Crosby Men’ the line even my tears decay you hits me hard.

 

More about Anna-May: http://www.petersfieldwriteangle.co.uk/guests_annamay.html

 

Susan Utting:

I enjoyed the imaginary sister poem and the phrases mizzle morning, craggy ground and a clattering charm of jackdaws. Loved her dress too.

 

Susan has/is running workshops using the contemporary ceramics exhibition as inspiration . The link is here: http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk/event/from-where-im-standing/

 

Susan’s web-page: http://www.susanutting.com/

 

Sam Loveless:

In ‘Surburbian Alien VHS.’ Sam was playing science like conkers, smashing apart and noticing beautiful irrelevancies like 16mm film. Another poem about Leaving Swindon called ‘In my absence’ he gives us the advice to let anything grow that does not stunt another. And from ‘After the swings’: not forgetting how high/we swung. Where you landed.

 

Sam interviews Robert Peake here: http://www.robertpeake.com/archives/poet/sam-loveless

 

Angie Belcher:

I love the fact there could be something so important I will want to press the creases out of all my clothes for the week. I don’t own an iron and relate to this. I was only talking about Gladiators and trying you name them last week and Angie talks of watching Jet from Gladiator with quiche and jam tarts.

 

Find Angie here: https://angiebelcher.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

Quiet Compere: Hilda Sheehan took over as host for the second half

Hilda read us a couple of poems and in the middle of Hilda’s tube poem about her first vibrator the lights went out. I think she had intended the black-out as it resulted in some memorable photos. We may have overloaded the electrics with heaters and lighting and mic, but I like to think it was the shock of Hilda’s poem that did it.

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Here’s Hilda: http://hildasheehanpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Carrie Etter:

The attention to detail in ‘Home and Away’ stuns me, especially the line and when I moved afar he expanded his research accordingly, learned my temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and humidity. And from ‘And Now for a Kind of Song’:

 

a tune one murmurs in distraction, without thought

a song in the body, the body in Illinois

 

These are from Carrie’s manuscript in progress, ‘The Weather in Normal.’

 

Carrie is here: http://www.carrieetter.com/

 

Nick Lovell:

Nick tells us I meet you where waves end, where tears begin. And in ‘Bewildered Nick’ that I have heard before but is always a listening pleasure where death and bewildered Nick are subject to a horse-racing commentary style poem and death always wins by exactly one length.

 

Nick co-host a new night in Swindon here: https://www.facebook.com/OoohBeehive/

 

Cristina Newton:

Cristina immerses us into a world of gaps and bones with style and charm. Cristina requested I not share her lines.

 

Read some poems by Cristina here: https://cristinanewton.wordpress.com/

 

Stephen Daniels:

I fell for the idea of telling your mistakes you love them. And his instructions of how to act in nuclear war poem, particularly fold the tea. Wow and a pop-song duration remains. His poem about a friend who died was difficult to listen to, especially the line Volume up. Brightness up. And the moths her children in the wardrobe sit between cotton and wool./I tease. Watch you turn to dust.

 

https://stephenkirkdaniels.com/

 

Maurice Spillane:

Had his set hijacked by exes in the days before there are none more circumspect than former lovers. In his poem ‘The Game Parade’ there is no place more dangerous than the recent past… long joined up stories/like railway carriages…one derail/ could uncouple everything.

 

Website here: http://mauricespillane.ie/

Mark Farley (Photographer):

OK, so I am usually proud of the photos I manage to get at Quiet Compere events, but someone did it better this time. Mark Farley, I like the internal rhyme in his name too. Go on, repeat  it a few times. See what I mean? Also, this meant I have a dozen or so photos of me reading, with my ‘moose’ stick and listening in the audience (was a little concerned about this because I am not always sure what my watching face looks like). He has probably kept the gurning ones for bribery purposes, I know I do. 

 

Interval:

In the interval Sam led me to the kitchen, where there was a large box of ale, I thought he meant I could have a pint or two. “No, he said, it is all for you A birthday gift from me!” Ah! The loveliness continued again and again all weekend. I may or may not have had a constant half in my hand for most of Saturday and this meant I missed having an evening meal with John and Nina, but it also meant I got to have some of Maurice’s excellent curry and get a lift into town for the evening sessions.

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Poetry Swindon link: http://www.poetryswindon.org/

 

Saturday Day:

Andrew McMillan’s honesty workshop made me cry twice, but I came out with six new, strong, tough poems that may not have existed unless I had pushed myself to higher levels on honesty than I usually pour into my poetry. Anne-Marie Fyfe and Roy Marshall were both poets I had not heard or met before and Anne-Marie told us ‘the sea is always with me.’ I met an ant and beetle in the tent. Roy’s poems spoke to me as they were medical and post mortem (my 17 year NHS career came back through his words). I was a little distracted by Louise Campbell’s stunning red patent leather boots. Nina and I shared some of our poems from Andrew’s morning workshop on a bench near the boat in Richard Jeffries gardens.

 

Saturday evening:

I fully intended to join John and Nina for a meal in Swindon, but time trickled away in engaging conversations with a dozen poets and the ale box slowly and constantly filled my half pint glass. Maurice arrived with his curries for the volunteers and I managed to wangle a portion before we all climbed into cars to go into Swindon for Keith Hutson’s Troupers, a show about the characters in the golden age of  the entertainment industry and  then Cristina and Daljit presented the Battered Moon awards, it was good to see friend, Ken Evans won a prize in it.

 

Turning 40:

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Back at base we all gathered in the Tent Palace and then in Hilda’s Lounge. I was handed a Babysham in a Babysham glass and Sam and Mark kept topping my pints up from the never ending ale box. I turned forty in a lounge that looked like my childhood among a raft of old and new friends and hugs and kisses were everywhere. I decided to spend the night in the Tent Palace and Sam piled up the blankets and asked me if I was sure I wanted to stay out? I did, and woke up on the morning of my birthday in the luscious tent. To be honest, I slept very little, it was cold and uncomfortable and around 5am I decided to go back to my Holiday Inn bed and grab an hour or two of sleep, before returning to the Museum to find Mike Pringle making me a bacon sandwich and Sophie and Tess had baked and decorated a cake for me. I was given a medal for services to Richard Jeffries Museum and a bunch of flowers from the festival. I left notes of love, thanks, the rest of ale and a couple of beer-mats with poems on and Quiet Compere badges as thankyous to all the lovely people at Poetry Swindon. I exchanged lots of goodbye hugs before a lot of friends went into Daljit Nagra Masterclass. I walked by the lake and returned to find  the masterclassers had been released for a break and I gathered another bunch of hugs before Maurice drove me back to catch my train.  

 

I left with a Swindon Skin and will be back very soon

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I will leave you on a final line from Maurice Spillane:  like the sun may catch you, hallowed in the dark room and wonder at the magic of it.

The Quiet Compere at Poetry Swindon Festival :)

Ten Poets. Ten minutes each. With two Comperes – Sarah L Dixon (The Quiet Compere) and Hilda Sheehan (not sure how quiet she will be ;))

Check out the line-up here:

Angie Belcher:


Angie Belcher

Angie Belcher is an award winning stand-up poet (finalist best female UK newcomer 2015, Finalist best Spoken Word Show North East Theatre Review)Equally at home on the stand-up circuit as in a posh tent at a literature festival “Razor sharp tight observational routine with a high laughter content” B247, Angie presents naughty stanzas and awkward stories “A sharply Observed act, the audience laughed appreciatively and immoderately throughout” Bath Chronicle. An accomplished comedy performer Mythical Creature is her second Edinburgh show. (**** Fringe Review, Part stand-up, part poet part stylised story telling all hugely entertaining” John Fleming, “Highly recommended, go see her”, Phil Jupitus) She was also Team Captain for political comedy panel show Comedy Manifesto during its Edinburgh run (Unbelievably jealous of all those of you that can catch this show every day’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com).

Website: https://angiebelcher.wordpress.com/

Stephen Daniels:

Stephen

Stephen Daniels is editor of Amaryllis poetry, his kids describe his poetry as “deep”, Hilda Sheehan once described it as “celebrating the darkness of what makes us human”, her alter ego Grishilda said it was like discovering “varicose veins”… you decide!

https://stephenkirkdaniels.com/

Carrie Etter:

Photo to be added.

Carrie’s most recent collection, Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry by The Poetry Society, and her new chapbook, Scar (Shearsman, 2016), explores the effects of climate change on her home state of Illinois. Besides literature of all kinds, she loves teaching, wine, travel, science fiction, cats, and summer.

http://carrieetter.blogspot.co.uk/

Anna-May Laugher:

Anna-May Laugher

Anna-May Laugher has worked as a cleaner, a cook and in mental health.

Her poems have been widely anthologised and has a pamphlet 2017

with Luminous Road. Her claim to fame is having a poem on the buttock of

a papier-mached inflatable sex doll, made by Hilda Sheehan!

A poem here: http://www.amaryllispoetry.co.uk/2013/07/a-poem-by-anna-may-laugher.html

Nick Lovell:

Nick

Nick Lovell is a part-time van driver, full-time romantic, eternal optimist, half-arsed anarchist and occasional poet!

http://heyevent.uk/event/ifvl5qobrywsqa/oooh-beehive-the-beginning/

Sam Loveless:

Sam

No-one is quite sure why Sam Loveless started to write or perform poetry. More certain is his re-appearance as a poet in Swindon shortly after the turn of the decade. Between now and then he has spent time listening to an increasing number of poets. To this end, he now indulges in radio presentations and compering. He has now amassed enough poetry of his own to perform a little more often.

https://mbvloveless.com/about-sam/

Cristina Newton

Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton had two collections in Spanish before her first in English, Cry Wolf, received a Straid award and is published by Templar Poetry. 

https://cristinanewton.wordpress.com/

Maurice Spillane:

Maurice

Maurice Spillane is Swindon’s token Irish poet – how cosmopolitan is that? His latest collection “The Game Parade” celebrates country life along the Wiltshire Downs.

http://mauricespillane.ie/

Susan Utting:

SUtting

Susan Utting has worked as a barmaid, waitress, florist’s assistant, Yoga teacher and for more than 20 years as a poetry tutor. As well as poetry collections and national press publication, she once had a poem published on a beer mat!

http://www.susanutting.com/


Julia Webb

julia-webb

Julia Webb is a graduate of The University of East Anglia’s poetry MA. She has had work in various journals and anthologies including “The Forward Book of Poetry 2017. In 2011 she won The Poetry Society’s Stanza competition. She was recently Writer in residence at Norwich Market. She is a poetry editor for Lighthouse. Her first collection Bird Sisters was published in 2016 by Nine Arches Press.





Buy your tickets here: http://www.poetryswindon.org/festival#!/7-10-2016-THE-QUIET-COMPERE-with-Sarah-L-Dixon/p/69253857/category=20217256

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
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.
@jasminegardosi
jasminegardosi.com

facebook.com/jasminegardosipoet

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

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
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’

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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:
https://worcslitfest.co.uk/programme-tickets-2016/