Robin Williams, apple sorrow and elephants in every corner (the blog of Quiet Compere at Worcs LitFest 2016)

Jasmine   Jess Adam

After a walk along Kleeve Walk beside the Severn and through the locks I found Ye Olde Talbot where I stayed last year and had a slow pint in the pub garden gazing at a small square of blue sky from the courtyard. As soon as I left to bask the rain pelted me until I took shelter outside an estate agents with a couple of dozen others.  

 

Martin Driscoll and a committee were all at The Hive when I arrived after an afternoon of pootling around Worcester and welcomed me with wine and organisation, a happy combination and below are reviews of the guest poets and some lines I liked from support poets and open miccers. I have included links to their sites where I know them.

 

Guest Poets

Jess Davies

In Jess’s Good Will Hunting poem I enjoyed Jess raising her hand to own up to borrowed lines, much less intrusive than mentioning it all the way through or not at all. From Learning how to cry: ‘Identify the elephant in the room./Name it ‘wolf’.

I do a little dance at this line now!

Jess made me cry twice. Her quiet style makes the poetry shout so much more. The words work hard and don’t need shouting.

http://jessmaydavies.tumblr.com/

Jasmine Gardosi

Ah! ‘as jumbled as a Brummie’s accent.’ and the image of the poetry teacher hiding behind the picture books. ‘a whole row of Elmers’ adventures. The elephant in the room ‘explodes in multicolour.’ Love the ‘twist of fate and paper.’

http://www.jasminegardosi.com/

Adam Horovitz

‘Take the same landscape in as if it were breath.’ ‘A stone-rush of butter and red-bricked memory.’ Loved The Pelican,a  pub ‘divided by accent and arrival time.’ and ‘cider shouting through me in apple sorrow.’ Wow! Makes me want to try some cider for the first time in 15 years! http://adamhorovitz.co.uk/blog/

https://littlemetropolis.bandcamp.com/merch

 

Support Poets

Holly Magill

For Holly tongued fingertips ‘sausage stumble the keyboard.’ and ‘time sloths’. ‘Wet-lipped uncles at someone else wedding’ Yuk!

https://clearpoetry.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/holly-magill-three-poems-2/

Ken Evans

‘an arc of arms throwing punches of light’ was so surprising and visual.

http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?p=6912

Leon Priestnall

‘with love I am begging for you to hurt me.’

‘it’s similar to a kiss, like the ones we share’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysVRsytlFpo

Open mic

Polly Stretton

‘the scent of sweet apples gift-wrapped in old newspaper’.

https://journalread.com/

Nina Lewis

water described as ‘all claws, teeth and current.’

‘Our emotions carried on F sharps and B flats.’

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/

Kathy Gee

‘The weight of hours in his loft’ grabbed me particularly.

http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-of-bones.html

Leena Batchelor

“I’m the girl who stepped into the black, And found a welcome there”.

http://pixiemuse.wordpress.com

Neil Laurenson

I enjoyed Adelstrop and Exclamation Marks and the Leaving assembly one.

http://silhouettepress.co.uk/shop/exclamation-marx-by-neil-laurenson/

Anne Milton

 ‘I would steer by the stars, but the constellations have moved.’

This was Anne’s first ever performance at a poetry event and there is no link for her at present.

Kieran Davis

‘a seduction, a secrecy and suggestions of stealth.’

Lacuna launch is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1280938665267803/

https://blackpear.net/about/

Polly put me up and made me a fry up. It was lovely to meet Polly’s daughter and Mabel the dog too. They took me on a walk back from their house across Diglis Bridge and I was inspired by the love-locks and now have two poems of Love for Worcester (though I have only visited twice). Thank you Worcester. I will be back. xxx

More about Worcestershire Literature Festival here: https://worcslitfest.co.uk/



Worcs mascot

Quiet quiet LOUD! with Emma McGordon and John Calvert

Tuesday 12th July 2016 at The Lloyds, Chorlton, Manchester. £3 on the door.
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Emma McGordon is published by Tall Light House and Black suede Boot Press. She is a Penned in the Margins Generation TXt poet and has performed internationally. She is also a former Northern Young Writer of the Year. She is currently working on her first spoken word theatre show with support from Arts Council England.

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John Calvert more info soon

Oceans of Bisto, sausage rolls and mustard memories – Hebden Blog

Firstly, The Nutclough Studio was a perfect space for a Yorkshire-sized audience, the venue was truly a 12th performer on this night, adding it’s personality to the event and we had a visit from the lovely Fern Bast to check we settled in and again at the end of the evening to see if there were any issues with the venue. Settees, blankets, tall stools, a rainbow light with a tree in it and high windows all added to the evening. And all this before we add a line-up that had been making me a little giddy for a while! I hope to capture a flavour of the evening below in case you couldn’t make it.

 

Greg White: ‘We tend to spend our lives in the back rooms of ourselves.’  Then from Books  ‘And I, in turn, entrusted you/with my whole self in manuscript.’ and I like that by my reading of The Source, my new poem, I gave him permission to read Leaving, his follicular calligraphy poem. No link available.

 

Stu Freestone: made us hungry: ‘You remember those crumbly sausage rolls that would just fall apart in your hands, almost like a paper waterfall folding its way through the cracks in your grasp’ and then ‘We are the graphite drawn from those pencil tips sketching picture perfect postcards.’ Hee hee! ‘seasoning pleases me… …I want to bathe in an ocean of Bisto!’ Course he does, I do too! Stu hosts Say Owt Slam! in Leeds. The next event will be on Friday 27th May at The Basment, York. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stu-Freestone-Spoken-Word-Poet/293008464226457

 

Rose Condo: Rose’s Sexual Assault Helpline poem was inspired and hard to listen to, it was an automated machine making all kinds of judgements about the caller, with no facility for response, talking them out of the claim before they had even made it.  Particularly through the lines questioning the caller’s ‘level of voice or intensity of eye contact.’ ‘Is he just known as an affectionate guy?’ Her Richard III speech was excellent and would have loved to make Shakespeare slam to see everyone’s take on the Bard. http://www.rosecondo.net/ Rose hosts Queenie’s Coffee House Nights in Huddersfield. The next is tonight with Tony Walsh and Alix Alixandra at 7pm.

 

Winston Plowes: Winston’s war series (first published by Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax in The Writing Room 2016) was moving as it took us through saying Goodbye to someone going to war ‘I’ve buried you like an/acorn in the foxhole/before the winter/burns me.’, how it was like for the person left behind ‘Gagging on every thorny paper kiss… my life is decorated with the long wait for you.’ and the third poem was on the return from war ‘Eyes that blink to orders/since the sand unmade you……you brought a war back with you/In your blood and thunder.’ I had noticed Winston’s Memory Box earlier and thought it was part of The Nutclough décor. He took lines from it in any order they came out and gave us snippets of memories ‘silverfish racing passed the gas-fire.’, ‘mustard mixed with a tiny wooden spoon.’ and ‘flying toys that collect dreams.’ http://www.winstonplowes.co.uk/

 

Clare Shaw: When thinking about the recent Hebden floods I had thought about the things, shops and homes lost, but not the people and that death was part of it. The resilience around Hebden and the messages of Thanks on windows made me cry and smile, Clare did too. The directness: ‘I am that one car, floating. I am the phone’s blank screen. I am the neighbour with the cigarette. I am too wet to smoke. I am the mother knee-deep. Clare also brought out one I remember from when I first heard her read from ‘Straight Ahead’ Bloodaxe, ten years ago, in which the protagonist dared  ‘to dance the wrong kind of dance with the wrong kind of man. To dance the wrong kind of dance with a girl.’   http://www.clareshaw.co.uk/

 

I got heckled for heckling! Apparently, I might have been a Quiet Compere, but I was a not so quiet audience member when Winston was hosting. The audience were so warm and open I decided to perform a new poem. Not my usual style or subject matter.  I am going to take this to Manchester monthly slam (Word War at 3MT) on June 7th. Terror and good butterflies mix in a giddy cocktail of anticipation.

 

Brendan McPartlan: I loved The Madman in the Corner, Brendan introduces us to the Madmen in the corner and gets us into the centre of the room and tells us “Well this room has got four corners and/I’ve shown you everyone,/so you’re probably thinking that the madman’s gone/ Well sorry, you’d be wrong/because tonight I have moved to the middle of the room because I wanted to talk to you.’ Love the family love in the Lenny poem ‘The boy catches me watching/he smiles a smile full of peas/ and says “More more more!’ This made me cry.  No link.

 

Hannah Stone: Hannah’s set had so many stand-out lines for me, why say pregnant when you can say ‘her belly heaves with legitimate pride and unfamiliar hormones.’

From ‘Reunion of the broken parts’, ‘Who can find one deity to hold it all together while his flayed back knits itself together.’

Hannah’s collection, Lodestone, is now available through Stairwell books here:  http://www.stairwellbooks.co.uk/html/collections.html#Lodestone


Matthew Hedley Stoppard:

Accents are hard to describe, but not to Matthew, ‘Round East Midlands vowels, as if my head’s been shoved in the hollow of an oak.’

‘Bruises beneath feathers, while holding a rook in a headlock’ made me smile.

http://www.valleypressuk.com/author/24/matthew_hedley_stoppard

Becky Cherriman: From Austerity: ‘You woke one morning, aching with it.’ Becky read a number of poems from her pamphlet from Mother’s Milk, Echolocation http://beckycherriman.com/?p=1142/

One of these was All princes were monsters once which held the line about her son: ‘It is as though this is the first accurate mirror/I have come across.” Wow!

http://beckycherriman.com/

David Jarman: Dave’s Stuff poem got me this time. ‘It’s form fell apart, it’s structure fell away’. ‘cut into the bark, stark, square, sketchy letters.’ ‘For we are never nothing!’ These lines in particular grabbed me by my slightly drunken ears and made me listen.  I also love his people on the route to work poem Against the Tide: ‘middle-aged looking five year old with her Mum.’ ‘nothing can wake me like mist on the tracks in the morning.’ http://www.jarmanpoetry.com/

The next day I spent an hour with mallards, pigeons and ravens  by the River Wharfe thinking about the floods and nothing and everything, watching the ravens have water baths. Then I had chocolate cake and wine and caught my train home. Thank you Hebden.

Quiet quiet LOUD! at Chorlton Arts Festival with Steve Nash and Midnight Shelley May 24th 2016

Stev Nash
Steve Nash is a writer, lecturer and terrible musician based in Yorkshire. He won the Saboteur award for Performer of the Year in 2014 and his first collection, ‘Taking the Long Way Home’, is available now from Stairwell Books. His next book ‘The Calder Valley Codex’ will be published later this year by Calder Valley Poetry, and he strongly suspects his Guniea pigs are plotting against him.

Midnight Shelley

Midnight Shelley has an infectious passion, irrepressible love and rarely stays still. She pulls you into stories and you are compelled to go along.

6 minute support spots available. £4 in advance or on the door to cover promotion, printing and transport and refreshments for the guests.

https://www.fatsoma.com/chorlton-arts-festival/h65cgwgv/the-quiet-compere-quiet-quiet-loud/

Quiet quiet LOUD! with copland smith and Hilary Robinson – Tuesday 12th April 2016

Guests: Hilary Robinson and Copland Smith.

Hilary Robinson:

A Saddleworth resident, Hilary has been writing poetry since 2008. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Hilary has been involved in several poetry projects, including Manchester Cathedral’s ‘Write the Cathedral’ and, most recently, A New Manchester Alphabet which was published in December 2015.
Hilary enjoys writing from her own experience and has been published by The Interpreter’s House, Avis and Beautiful Dragons Press. She has been long listed in the 2016 YorkMix competition and is involved in two collaborations with composers — the Rosamond Prize in Manchester and the Leeds Lieder Competition. Hilary loves attending workshops, readings and being a member of a local poetry Stanza and she is one of the Seven Spelks — a poetry group fuelled by friendship!

copland smith:

copland smith, always small case, poet, musician, playwright, Guardian letter-writer and creative writing teacher. Born in Liverpool in 1953, now lives in Manchester, as do his 4 daughters. • twice a runner-up in The National Poetry Competition. • published in many magazines including Ambit, Outposts, Orbis, The Rialto, North, The Cricketer, The South Manchester reporter… • first collection of poems, one-eyed seller of garlic, was published in 1994. currently writing a book called “The 42 rules of writing”. Rule 42 is Ignore all earlier rules. • He runs Manky Poets in Chorlton, Manchester. 3rd Friday every month.

Support Poets: Rachel Davies, Fokkina McDonnell, Penny Sharman, more TBC.

6 minute support spots available. £3 on the door to cover promotion and printing costs and refreshment for the guests.

Current Publications and upcoming in April 2016

Hello,

My poem Not Human Today has been published in The Interpreter’s House Issue 61.

This is now available here:

http://www.theinterpretershouse.com/subscriptions/

I have also had two poems accepted for publication in Three Drops from a Cauldron.

Unbecoming Someone will be published online on 1st April.
Woodland Wedding will appear in the Beltane issue due out mid-April 2016.

Check the site out here: 

http://threedropspoetry.co.uk/

Horse-Meet Writers’ Workshop

Third Wednesdays at The Horse and Jockey 12-2pm A laid-back creative-writing session for adults of all ages with fun prompts led by Sarah L Dixon, prize-winning poet, experienced workshop facilitator and Mum to 5-year old Frank. Space and time to play with words. Five pounds per session (first session £3). 9th March, 13th April, 8th June, 12th July, 14th September, 12th October,  9th November + 14th December. May – moved to Weds 25th to coincide with Chorlton Arts Festival. August – Summer Break.