Wednesday, 8 April 2015

WEDNESDAY NIGHT NEWS - Tapas and Tales, QMU and NaPoWriMo 2015

True to my New Year’s Resolution (back in January) I’ve been getting out into the world and gigging in new places just recently, and as a result I’ve been to some pretty nice poetry shows!

A few weeks ago, I popped across the border into Suffolk to perform at Tapas and Tales at the Old Mariner in Woodbridge, with guest host Suzanne Arnold.

Regular host Justine de Mierre has just had a baby, so Suzanne was at the helm for this event, which takes its name from the delicious tapas served at the bar, and the wonderful storytellers who regularly grace the open mic.

In fact, I was very much in the minority this time – being the only poet amongst a gaggle of tale-tellers. But it was fantastic to hear so many brilliant folk stories in one evening, and I really enjoyed it!

Suzanne was a great host, presiding over stories about ghosts and stories about driving instructors, as well as a bawdy song or two. The whole thing was right up my street!

Then, last Tuesday, I trundled down to that London to do some poetry at the Queen Mary University Student Union, as part of their regular Spoken Word event.

Steve Pottinger invited me along, after we both performed at Listen Softly London, and I was really looking forward to seeing him again. (Honestly, Steve is an excellent poet and you should go check him out!)


Steve strutting his stuff on stage!

The show was completely packed out, and all the students who read (both the open mic-ers and the two hosts Alex and Bruno) were absolutely incredible! The depth and variety of the poetry on show was really inspiring, and I’m really glad that undergraduate students at QMU are in a position to discover spoken word in such a warm and friendly atmosphere!

Me doing some poems - photo by @QMSU

There were no Spoken Word Open Mic nights when I went to university ten years ago, and the fact that events have started springing up in colleges across the UK can only mean one thing:

Poetry is slowing taking over the world!

And if you need any more evidence for that, why not check out my blog about this year’s Fenland Poet Laureate Awards – which were brilliant!


Poppy, me and Elaine with new FPL Jonathan Totman!

Congratulations to Harriet Munson, who won the Young Fenland Poet Laureate Award, and to Jonathan Totman, who takes over from Poppy Kleiser as Fenland Poet Laureate 2015!

Plus it’s been April for at least eight days now, so I’ve been busy writing poems for NaPoWriMo!

I think I told you about it last year but – in case you’ve forgotten – here’s a quick re-cap:

NaPoWriMo is a weird and cool portmanteau word. It’s short for National Poetry Writing Month, and was created as a poetic counter-point to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which falls in November.

NaPoWriMo happens in the spring (A season that always worked for Wordsworth!) when poets are challenged to write thirty poems over the course of the thirty days of April.

Oooooo, it’s tricky! Goodness me! But it’s also a lot of fun!

I’ve been writing with a lovely group of East Anglian poets: Poppy Kleiser, Fay Roberts, Russell J Turner, Nikki Marrone, Daisy T-G, Mal Content, Emma Ormond and Elaine Ewart, and you can see all our lovely poems on the Cambridgeshire NaPoWriMo Blog

I’m off to London again tomorrow to take part in the open mic at Rhymes with Orange. I’ll let you know how I get on!

London (it looks so peaceful from here)

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