And when I agreed to do a feature slot at the Away with Words open mic night at the Union Mash Up in Hull, I really had no concept of just how far away it would be. (One hundred and thirty two miles, fact fans!) But I'm pretty glad that my sense of distance is so utterly crap, because, if I had known I would be on the road for almost four hours each way, I might not have agreed to make the trip.
And then I would have missed out on a fantastic evening of poetry and storytelling!
Everyone who performed at the open mic on Thursday night was absolutely fantastic, and it's clear that Hull is chock-full of very talented writers and performers! Unfortunately, I was only able to see the first half, so I missed out on seeing Paul Maxey, Michaela Higgins, Jon Collins, Mike Grainger, Gina Jenkinson and Catherine Scott. But it was really wonderful to catch performances from Ian Winter, Johanna Boal, Ray Ezra, Gav Cross, Mike Prior, Terry Ireland, and Julie Greenhill!
Highlights of the evening included an Irish tale about sub-par fiddlers, a *slightly* sarcastic letter to BT, and a beautiful piece about the nature of memory and childhood. The whole evening was held together by the very wonderful Jim Higo!
All in all, it was a brilliant evening, and I'm really looking forward to going back to Away with Words very soon!
Then, on Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being in the audience for the annual Peterborough Poet Laureate Competition. And what a competition it was!
The winner, Peter Irving, was fantastic, and truly deserving of the prize. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what he will do in his tenure as Laureate.
The competition itself was incredibly close, and all six of the finalist who performed were completely brilliant, so congratulations to Vivian Foster, Akex Tyler, Pearl Burdock, James Huddleston, and Mark Hibbert for their entertaining and inspiring performances.
And huge congratulations to Peter Irving, Peterborough's band new Poet Laureate!
On Sunday night, I'll be gigging at the Birdcage in Norwich, as one of the support acts at the launch of Anna Percy's new collection, Livid Among The Ghostings.
Anna is an incredible poet, originally from Norfolk, but now living in Manchester. She's one half of Stirred Poetry, a feminist poetry workshop and event collective, and has been writing for performance and publication for nearly ten years.
The Birdcage event will also be the first time that Andy Bennett, Russell J Turner, Adam Warne, and I perform our latest Crown of Sonnets, written for the 28 Sonnets Later project last February. Copies of 28 Sonnets Later, and Livid Among The Ghostings will be available to purchase on the night, and there will also be some fantastic performances from Norwich-based poets John William Brown and Piers Harrison-Reid.
It's going to be a really great show! The fun starts at 8pm on Sunday 29th September, at the Birdcage, Pottersgate, Norwich. Hope to see you there!