Sunday, 19 January 2014

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - A Very Busy Week


My goodness! It's been a really busy week here at Poetry Towers!

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On Wednesday night, Elaine Ewart and I descended on the Wisbech and Fenland Museum for another great night of poetry and spoken word at the Fen Speak Open Mic night.

We had a great group of attendees, and it was really nice to be able to give everyone the opportunity to read twice over the course of the evening. It was also fantastic to see plenty of familiar poets and writers, as well as a few new faces too!

As usual, the standard of writing was incredibly high, and we were really pleased by the depth and range of the performances. There was even time for Elaine and I to share a few of our own poems with the audience, and - because my parents were sat on the back row - I took the opportunity to read my very rudest poems.

I hope they weren't too ashamed of me!

Then, on Saturday I went along to the Cambridge Union Arts Festival to perform as part of the Allographic: Other Voices poetry collective, on stage in the RAG Comedy Room.

The gig was a great fun, and a fantastic way for the University of Cambridge Students' Union to raise money for loads of great local and national charities including: Unseen, Dementia UK, Teenage Cancer Trust, Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, Wintercomfort for the Homeless, Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, Cambridge City Foodbank, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Camfed.

Finally, I rounded off my Saturday by performing at the Shindig and Allographic Press Joint Music and Poetry night at the Unitarian Church on Emmanuel Road in Cambridge.

I cannot put into words how awesome this gig was! It's definitely one of my highlights of 2014!

The Unitarian Chapel itself is such a beautiful space, and so many people showed up to watch us perform! Seriously, the hall was completely full, with loads of people standing at the back too! Talk about daunting!

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Luckily, Wooden Arms were incredible! Their improvisations were fantastic, and they captured the essence of each of the poems so well! They also played us several of their own songs, and you should definitely check them out if you're looking for great new music!

The poets were incredible too! 

Patrick Widdess delighted the crowd with his unique and wonderful perspectives, and his dreamy, thought-provoking poetry was highlighted well by the surging strings and tinkling keys. Russell J. Turner's sharp, articulate performance was a joy to watch, and the beautiful, lyrical style of Fay Roberts' work was perfectly suited to this kind of musical accompaniment. 

Hollie McNish was fantastic (as always) and Nikki Marrone's wonderfully dark writing was transformed by the music, pulling at the heartstrings of all those listening. It was also pretty cool to finally get a chance to see Daisy T-G perform in real life! Her piece - an extract from her own spoken word play -  really finished off the night with a bang!

I was pretty nervous about reciting my poetry over music, but the guys from Wooden Arms were so good, intuitively knowing what worked well with the words, and it was great to know we were in such safe hands!

Me performing on stage with Wooden Arms

Everyone who performed received a really warm response from the crowd, and I really hope we get another chance to be involved in something like this again in the future! It was so much fun!

Enormous thanks go out to Wes at Shindig and Fay at Allographic for putting the whole thing together; to Matt Cooke for being an awesome sound man; to Laura McGarrigle and Theresa Elfien for excellent front of house-ing, and to Matt Widgery and Katy Figg for capturing the whole night on film!
Photographs courtesy of Fay Roberts at www.allographic.co.uk/

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