Sunday, 20 October 2013

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - Fen Speak, Oxjam, and Poetry & Paint

This week Elaine Ewart and I hosted the first ever Fen Speak Poetry Open Mic Night - and it was fantastic!

Fifteen minutes before show time, and already pretty full!

Around thirty five people attended the event, and the venue was so full that we almost ran out of chairs! There was also a lot of interest in the open mic slots, and in the end we hosted twenty three performers of all ages and abilities. It was great to hear that several of the speakers were reading their work out for the first time, and I have to say, the quality of writing was astounding!

The audience were warm and receptive, and it was wonderful to see people chatting and making friends during the intervals. The whole thing was exactly what Elaine and I had envisaged were we first came up with the idea for a performance poetry evening, and it was fantastic to see such enthusiasm for a regular event in the city.

In short, we were completely blown away by the strength of the positive response!

Me telling a rude poem to the assembled crowd

Thanks must go to Jane Wilson and all at ADeC for their support in making Fen Speak happen! For a fantastic review of the night, check out Rosemary Westwell's excellent local review blog, and for more pictures of the show, have a look at our Fen Speak facebook page.

This week I also got my grubby mitts on a copy of the latest issue of Poetry & Paint, an anthology edited by Carmina Masoliver, a very talented poet and performance maker from London. Poetry & Paint allows writers and artists to work collaboratively on a given theme, and for the third issue of the publication, the theme was 'lost'.

I am totally chuffed to have my poem Brixton, 2013 in the collection, and I really love the accompanying illustration, by Norwich-based illustrator Matthew Dickerson.

If you fancy getting hold of a copy of Poetry & Paint: Lost, then you can buy one here. If you fancy submitting to the next issue of the anthology, you can find out more here.

On Saturday I was invited to perform as part of the cabaret event at the Oxjam Cambridge takeover! The festival is great because it's a chance for bands and performers to celebrate the local music scene, while also raising money to support Oxfam, a charity that supports poor and vulnerable people all around the world.

Our part of the show was at the Great Northern on Hills Road, but there were five other pubs involved in the event across the city. I really hope the Oxjam initiative raises load of money for this worthy cause, and I'm already looking forward to next year's show!

Next week is a quiet week for me (Thank goodness!) but there are lots of interesting projects bubbling away in my poetry cauldron, and we should be ready to unveil some exciting new stuff for you very very soon!

But for now, happy Halloween!

Photograph #1 courtesy Elaine Ewart at
Photograph #2 courtesy Fay Roberts at Allographic Press 

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