Belated blog due to access issues to my website – Events were 1st-4th June 2023
Workshop – games and play-themed went well.
Lots of random photos from the 3 days I spent at the festival below:
Quiet Compere Showcase – Rochester Library
A brilliant afternoon with 50% guests I had not before and I am hopeful all our poetry paths cross again soon. A few lines I enjoyed from each of the poems shared below. A big thanks to Richard Cooper for sharing Rosemary McLeish poems.
I loved Richard’s freshly printed t-shirt. The poem that struck me most was the Janet and John one. The way it played with the structure and kept the simplicity but ramped up the darkness and rebellion. This seemed very Rosemary from what I know of her.
Lines here that particularly leapt out at me were: ‘all the headstones looked drunk or broken like closing time.’ And from Just Walking: ‘I am not actually going anywhere. I am just wearing out my shoes.’
Wow! Description of pub as ‘an enclosure for the supposedly strong.’ I have also made a note that looks like ‘inebriated by beckoning time’ and Jon has not let me know if this as right or not so I will leave this as the quote 🙂
I enjoyed the way Sarah’s set took us on a journey from Rochester to Ramsgate. I enjoyed the visual impact of ‘the flat of palm on cold’ touching the stone of the cathedral and ‘daylight putting itself away’.
Selection of photos of showcase performers and the open mic:
Thanks so much to Sam, Barry, Medway River Lit funders and all volunteers (plus a big thanks to Anne-Marie Jordan).
So, this is my first local gig since moving to this county, so I felt some pressure to get a good turnout and atmosphere. I ate a Bao bun for the first time in The River Head before heading over to The Mechanics to check the venue was set up.
Rose Condo, my co-host for the evening, started the event with a poem which was about eh secret thoughts of pens. And then read a poem where we blew bubbles when we heard a word repeated. Both the bubbles and Rose were very fun to photograph.
After Rose followed a varied and enthusiastic bunch of open miccers.
Sadly, one of the showcase poets pulled out a few days before. I managed to replace her and then the replacement poet contacted with lost voice and full of a cold. I made the decision instead of booking someone at the last minute who would not have time to prepare, the fee for the missing poet would go back into the tour costs as online audiences are really low now and audience numbers in real life at some events have been lower than I guessed.
Wow! The handmade guitar poem. A ‘flame that flickers in the wood’ and it ‘has a voice but can never sing alone.’ And Tim writes well about what it is like to live/be in the valley, ‘I rushed laughing through their valleys, like a stream.’
Barry Bacteria and Victor Virus were brilliantly inhabited and the wordplay and rhyme in these were equally fun and dark. ‘Cure, kill and conquer, alter the sensation of taste.’ And ‘vindictive, virulent virtuoso.’ And, wisdom in the saying I had not heard before: ‘Never roll a barrel down a two-sided hill.’
Jack performed an exquisite piece about carrying a piece of lapis lazuli up a hill ‘a block of blue makes the sky look less like sky.’ And he talked of ‘the peace of mind that comes from painting on window frames.’
Anna’s self-love poems were beautiful and affirming. Self-love is ‘a lifeline when you haven’t got a friend.’ And I was so sad for the ‘baby tomato crying when he loses his Mum at the fruit and veg stall.’
I think we all know Joe’s ‘deluded busker’, and if we don’t, it may just be us:
20% Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
And from ‘Hibernation’:
“It was a blizzard year
that brought down houses,
bit through brick and bone,”
made me think of the three Beast from the Easts we have had since moving over The Pennines.
And an after party!
One of the best things about a local gig, apart from going back to you own bed on the last bus, is the fact you can have an after party 😊 I met Joe’s parents who I had met dozens of times online but never in real life.
Book for workshop, showcase and open mic here: http://thequietcompere.eventbrite.co.uk/
Please note open mic and workshop places are limited.
Tony Curry is a performance poet, host, and facilitator. For the last 5 years he has been the host of Word Central. He has had three collections published through Flapjack Press, The Noble Savage, Tall Tales for Tall Men Who Fall Well Short and We Kid Ourselves.
‘Tony’s words dance off the page and into your bloodstream, leaving you pulsing with anger, humanity and love.’ Charlotte Oliver, writer
‘He is the minstrel whose strumming voice consoles and illuminates us.’ Neil Bell, actor
‘This is our poetry, these are our poems. They smell of home and friendship.’ Tony Walsh, poet
Bio: Holly is a mature student currently studying at the University of Leeds. Her poems have been published since January 2021 by Ink, Sweat & Tears, Fragmented Voices, Porridge, Anti-Heroin Chic, Runcible Spoon, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis and more, as well as appearing in anthologies. Holly writes about trauma, grief, council housing, being a mum, and living with a systemic health condition. She is currently working on her debut collection, which will be focused on surviving childhood sexual abuse.
Chaucer is a poet and the author of In an Ideal world I’d Not Be Murdered (Against The
Grain 2021) She has been published in journals, magazines, including: Under the Radar,
Poetry Salzburg, The North and Tears in the Fence, and was shortlisted for Live Canon 2021
International Poetry Competition for Single Poem. Chaucer is creator of Wild Whispers an
international poetry film project, and regularly curates and presents poetry film at events and
festivals. She is co-editor of the online magazine Poetry Film Live.
Dalton Harrison is the founder of StandFast Productions (a collective of ex-offenders who use art and performance to tell their stories). Their play High risk was made into a radio play for chapel FM writing on air. Dalton performs his work at poetry events which explore many themes. His book ‘The boy behind the wall’ has now been published and brings you more of these hard conversations. Dalton has written articles for Inside Time, Pink News and Sister X TGN magazine, and his poetry has been published in the award-winning anthology Bloody Amazing and TransVerse II: No Time For Silence.
Pete is an accidental poet who spent most of his life knowing he couldn’t write, before discovering in a night of crisis a decade ago that he had to. Published in a best of 2020 Anthology and Obsessed with Pipework, he is a bicyclist, dancer, programmer, and guitarist for a Morris Dance side, living in Hull with four cats and one human being. Al Head Photo
“Rebecca Lehmann started writing poetry in 2019. Her poems are inspired by her love of nature, but are pervaded with a sense of disconnection and awareness of our own domestication. From Faversham, in marshy North Kent, Rebecca writes frequently about her local landscape. She published her first pamphlet ‘She is the Wild’ in 2021 and has recently started performing her work.”
Shortly after the death of her father, poet Derek Mahon, in 2020, writing poetry became a strong element of Katy’s life. Her poems have appeared in Drawn to the Light Press, Ink Sweat & Tears, Northern Gravy, The Liminal Review, The Waxed Lemon and Dreich. Later this month her work will appear in the Irish Independent. Katy writes from her garden studio in York while her dog Sylvie chases the birds.
Jessica Mookherjee is a widely published poet. She has been twice highly commended in the Forward Prize for best single poem and her work is included in notable anthologies such as ‘Staying Human’ (Bloodaxe). She is author of 2 full collections, her second Tigress (Nine Arches Press) was Shortlisted for best second collection in the Ledbury Munthe Prize. Her latest pamphlet is Playlists (Broken Sleep Books) and she has her next full collection “Notes from a Shipwreck” out with Nine Arches Press in Summer 2022. She is a co-editor of Against the Grain Press.
Adrian Salmon lives in Bingley, West Yorkshire. Birmingham born, he was brought up in and around the Black Country and Worcestershire. His poems have appeared in several online and print journals, including Algebra of Owls; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Prole; and WRITE where we are NOW. In 2021 he was commissioned by the Edvard Grieg Korene in Bergen, Norway, to write four poems to be set to music by their associated composers. Adrian’s first pamphlet, Moonlight through the Velux window, was published in June 2019 by Yaffle Press.
Daniel Sluman is a 35-year-old poet and disability rights activist. He co-edited the first major UK Disability poetry anthology Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, and he has published three poetry collections with Nine Arches Press. His most recent collection, single window was released in September 2021, and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.
Julia Webb is a Norwich based writer from a working class background. She runs online and real world poetry workshops, mentors writers and is a poetry editor for Lighthouse. In 2018 she won the Battered Moons poetry competition. She has two collections with Nine Arches Press, and her third collection The Telling comes out with Nine Arches in May 2022.
Paypal address for any donations to the tour is firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations will be gratefully received. The tour is funded which means all performers, co-hosts and venue payment is confirmed. However, 80% of the income to pay myself for plotting, promoting, liaising with venues and performers, hosting, thanking poets properly and sharing photos (for live events) and blog write-ups comes from tickets, workshops and PAYF donations.
This is subject to change but I will endeavour to keep it up-to-date.