Friday, 13 November 2015

POEM - Night Climbing

Take my hand
And we’ll rise above all this.
Because you need a fresh perspective
And somewhere near here, there’s a hole in the fence
With both our names on it.

If you need me to, I will lace my fingers together
To build your first step up.
So come on! Feel the footholds worn into the walls and
Grip the crumbling brickwork with both hands.

Kiss every grotesque as you climb but don’t look down –
Instead, heave your body skyward, and watch the stars come out.

Soon we’ll be standing on the shoulders of King’s,
The wind at our Backs as the city tumbles away from us.
An anarchy of rooftops
Waiting to be conquered.

Spires stooped against shopping centres and office blocks.
Each building burst from the ground like a mushroom,
Luminous with ambition, forcing its way into being.

You see, this town grew up from the dirt –
Its foundations unstable.
And everyone said that it wouldn’t last.
But look at us now.

We are an unholy Trinity.
But we’re not in it for the glory.

We just needed a new perspective.

And we’re not looking for anything special,
Shaming St Catherine with second chances
As our lungs fill with chimney smoke.

We’re just luminous with ambition, forcing our way into being.

And while we may not have the Caius to this city
We know how to scale the walls.

So let’s climb every college, leap across the parapets
And claim this fungus town for anyone who has ever
Been excluded.

Because Cambridge is ours tonight
And we can do anything.

"CambridgeTownCentre" by Andrew Dunn

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

TUESDAY NIGHT NEWS - A Bit of a Round Up

Once again, I've left it far too long to post about a lot of things that happened last month, so here's the abridged version of events:

Word Drop at the Hope Hideout: On Sunday 18th October, I went to the Hop Hideout in Sheffield to perform as part of the DIY Poets for the first time. It was excellent. We had poets from Nottingham, poets from Sheffield and even a poet from London all crammed into the lovely craft beer shop, belting out poems. It was glorious! (And we even inspired Jules, the owner of the shop, to write her own poem, which was utterly fab!)

Poetry is Dead Good: Another fantastic night out at Poetry is Dead Good on Tuesday 20th October, with over seventy people crammed into Rough Trade for some superlative poetry from Lydia Williams, Robbert van Dongen, Patricia Gregory and Andrew Lee! 

Cambridge Poetry Tours: Had a poetic mini-break in Cambridge at the end of October, and spent Saturday 24th dong poems as part of the first ever Cambridge Poetry Tours at the Festival of Ideas! You can read loads more about that here.

Michael Brown on the Cambridge Poetry Tour

Allographic Workshop and Performance: After a day of poetry tours on the Saturday, I spent Sunday at the CB1 cafe with Allographic: Other Voices. In the afternoon, I led a workshop on Constrained Writing, and fourteen people came along! That's the most I've ever had at a (non-school) workshop. Plus, everyone who took part was bloody brilliant! Then, in the evening I did a featured set as part of the Allographic Open Mic, and I was so impressed by the high standard of writing and performance from all the poets on stage. It made me feel a bit homesick! Damn you Cambridge!

Young People's Poetry Workshop: On Wednesday 4th November, I pootled down the A1 to Sawtry Library for my final creative writing workshop. It was really good fun, and the girls who came along were all so creative and talented. They really were a pleasure to teach! I really hope we get invited back again next year!

Stewarding at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival: The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival is probably my favourite poetry festival OF ALL TIME! And it's even better when you get to go along for free! I had an awesome time stewarding the Pond Gallery at Snape Maltings with Lucy and Graeme, seeing some truly epic performances throughout the three days of festivities! Hollie McNish was excellent, as always, and Jack Rooke's debut show Good Grief is a must-see too. Performances from Miriam Nash, Kei Miller, Helen Mort, Rebecca Watts, and Kim Addonizio were flawless, and I really enjoyed an extended set from DIY Punk Poet supreme, Attila the Stockbroker. In fact, it was so good that I've already volunteered for next year!

Waiting for the show to begin (Aldeburgh)

So, now you're pretty much up to date. I've got a couple of exciting projects coming up in the next couple of months, and some good gigs too! But I'll tell you about those in another post... (I'm such a tease!)