The Quiet Compere Tour 2014 – End of year blog (Part 3/3) – York/Leeds/Sheffield/Stockport/Special Mentions

York – dislocation of poets One of the parts of the tour I was looking forward to was savouring local accents and slang, in this respect York was a disappointment, but in terms of poetry, poets, audience friendliness of locals for a first gig away from home this was a cracking first away date. The venue was both large and intimate and we happily filled the area and even needed to source more chairs when the turnout more  than doubled on the night. Hmm! This is a difficult one as I decided my blogs were too waffly after the Manchester one and didn’t put as much detail here! Oops! Rookie error! Poetry Highlights for me: Will Kemp’s poem about a family falling into water and keeping tally was touching and spare. Chris Singleton’s T’was the night before pay day received a lively response. Amina Rose’s set was gentle and musical. Non-poetry highlights: Oz Hardwick buying me a cheese scone (at the bakery that opened until midnight and where they had York accents!) and taking me the circuitous route home to avoid stag dos.   Leeds – a warmth of poets Poetry Highlights for me: Emma Decent’s poem Advice from a Stone on traveling alone has stayed with me. The line that has stuck, even now, is: “Your centre will hold you.” Martin Vosper: performed his Leeds Prayer which gets better on every listen and as I learn more areas of Leeds. “Superman writes poetry” was playful as Superman was “allowing himself a little laugh”, “lingering over his lycra” and there was a “frisson of a fetish shared”. Ian Duhig: “The Lammas Hireling” was an excellent poem to take us to the break and I love the line “in a sack that grew lighter with every step.” Steve O’Connor: took us with him and got us lost in the sounds of speech and landscape in “an embrace that sustains like the ocean’s roar.” and “the noise of clouds at sunset”. John Siddique: His “End of the mango season poem” was powerful and moving and he ended with a lighter piece, which was an ideal to finish the evening, though it is the mangos that remain with me. Non-poetry highlights: The surprise addition of Laura Cole on keyboard to accompany Rommi Smith as “Gloria Silver” washed over us. Lines that stayed with me: Caleb Parkin: “Let us honour the Hangover Pig Angel”. Sheffield – an amusement of poets Poetry Highlights for me: Sarah Hymas: brought paper boats and exquisite artworks of poetry volumes. Helen Mort: The poem about walking the Swiss Alps in a crinoline “An easy day for a lady” amused me. Anne Caldwell: She “longed for a starless sky/short circuited everything/a cliff-top house where she sang to herself”. Genevieve L Walsh: rhymed “breasts” and “BBC North West”. I don’t need to say more!   Non-Quiet Compere event Highlights: Picture the Poet exhibition at Graves Gallery – half an hour of looking at still poets in print. Sheffield Poetry Business Writer’s Day: I was talked into buying a new train ticket to stay long enough to stay for the writing session run by Ann and Peter Sansom – it had been too long and was lovely to share more time and words with Lindsey Holland, Carole Bromley and Martin Collins here. Sheffield: I love your space and street art, your compactness and charm. It is so compact I feel I know it well, from the back streets of Vicar Lane and Campo Lane to West Bar roundabout in rush hour and the Graves Gallery.   Lines that have stayed with me: “Always give hope back in the same shape it was given, but bigger”. Gav Roberts “Most of all we wanted song/its tide in our ribs.” River Wolton Stockport – a questioning of poets. Poetry Highlights for me: Jane Rogerson’s Watching Jaws with Louis  poem. Genius. All questions Sarah Maxwell brought us daftness interspersed with medical terminology in What kind of bug would you be?. Helen Clare: I want the “gentle-pedal” Helen mentioned and the delicacy of “Blackberrying without stains on your fingers”. Philip Davenport: Without love we are no thing was harrowing as was the repeated line “wolf in drag”.  Dominic Berry: The refrain “men in suits, boys in school uniform” says so much in few words. He finished the tour with a Dragon in our homework.   Non-Poetry highlights: The Blue Cat Café in Heaton Moor was one of the best venues on the tour. My Mum and Dad came along to see what the tour was all about. The venue was buzzing from before doors at half seven.   Lines that stayed with me: In Ambush Street “the ghosts of hope will meet”. Steph Portersmith   Special Mentions: Co-hosts: Jenni Pascoe and Ann Wilson. xxx Joy France: for attending 5 events out of 12 this year. Plus for her excellent promoting throughout the tour   Sarah James: For advising me so expertly on the Worcester and Birmingham poets   Colin Davies and Big Charlie Poet for helping set up Lancaster without me asking. Stars!   Jo Bell: For the inspiration through 52 for a lot of the poems performed and I met 27 poets whose work I knew better through the 52 group before I met them, which helped me balance the line-ups better than I would have been able to without this knowledge! And for letting me promote the tour here and there. Sheffield, Leeds and Blackpool: Highest number of poets stayed behind after to share the poetry buzz. Top Venues: Midland Arts Centre (Birmingham), Three Minute Theatre (Manchester), Blue Cat Café (Heaton Moor), The Imperial Hotel (Blackpool) and CityScreen (York), Alexanders Bar (Chester) and Brewery Arts Centre (Kendal) and Seven Arts (Leeds) for being more than just venues. Steve Nash, Steph Pike and Write Out Loud for making my first experiences of interviews and radio so enjoyable. Reuben Woolley, Susan Deer Cloud, Erfan Daliri for traveling from Spain, America and Australia to be part of the tour. Colin Davies, Tony Walsh, Reuben Woolley and Jo Bell for sharing and retweets.   Apologies that I could not mention everyone. Thanks to all performers, sharers and supporters and for all the positive feedback. Thanks to anyone from the audiences or who sent encouraging messages the day before. The Quiet Compere Tour is ‘Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’ Look out for the national tour next year. Find dates below: Quiet Compere National Tour 2015 – Confirmed Schedule  Date                                        City                 Venue Thursday 5th March               Halifax                        Bar Up – (co-host Spoken Weird) Friday 27th March                  Durham           The Old Cinema Laundrette  Friday 15th May                     Chesterfield    Chesterfield Labour Club Saturday 16th May                 Oxford                        Albion Beatnik Bookshop Friday 26th June                     Ulverston        Bardsea Malt Kiln (Co-host Kim Moore) Friday 10th July                      Worcester       The Hive Friday 4th September              Hull                 Union Mash-up Saturday 12th September      Exeter             The Phoenix Voodoo Lounge (co-host – Alasdair Paterson) Tuesday 13th October             London 1         Phoenix Artist Club, Camden Wednesday 14th October        London 2         Hackney Attic Thursday 15th October                       Norwich          The Bird Cage(Co-host Live Lit Lounge) Friday 20th November                        Cheltenham     The Strand Hotel      

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