On Wednesday night, I spent the evening underground.
I wasn’t pretending to be a badger – Ok, maybe I was just a little bit! – but I was also hosting the very first Crosswords spoken word night at the Malt Cross in Nottingham.
It was the first event I’d organised since moving up to Nottingham, and I’d fallen in love with the quirky subterranean venue a few months’ previously at a heritage tour event. I wasn’t sure if it was a little too soon for me to be getting stuck in on the Nottingham scene, but if someone asks you to do poetry in a cave, it’s actually very hard to turn them down!
So I booked a featured act, put some info on facebook, and waited to see if anyone would turn up.
Thankfully, the prospect of underground poetry was a big draw, and we had a full house, with loads of people coming to watch and to participate. We had seventeen fantastic poets on the open mic, some of whom I’d seen before, while others were completely new to me.
We had poems about caves, poems about politics, poems about relationships, and poems about travelling. There were dark supernatural tales, poems about music, stories of families, and even poetry about poetry. It was a real mix of voices, and the variety and quality of the writing was undeniable. An open mic night is only as good as its volunteers, and I have to say that at my first event in the East Midlands, Nottingham did me proud!
So thank you to everyone who came along to participate in the open mic: Andrew, Andy, Chris, Orla, Claire, Martin D, Martin G, Stephen, Peter, Michelle, Sam, Patric, Sam, James, Phil, Jeff and Frank.
And a massive, massive thank you to Hibword, our fantastic featured performer, who came in like a whirlwind of energy at the end of the night. When I first saw her at the Leicester Superheroes of Slam, I knew that I had to get her to Nottingham! Her poetry is utterly mesmerising, a beguiling mix of rhythm, rhyme, syncopated beats and dazzling imagery, and her performances fresh, exciting and completely frenetic! I couldn’t take my eyes off her for one second, and from the raucous applause she received at the end of the night, I know the audience felt exactly the same way. It was a total honour, and a great way to round up a brilliant night!
But, it wouldn't be right for the whole thing to go without a hitch, and sure enough... I spent most of the night snapping pictures, only to find that my phone had corrupted the files overnight. (Perhaps it didn’t like being so close to the earth’s magnetic core?) So sadly, there’s no photographic evidence of the event – except for this one blurry photo that I uploaded before all my files disappeared.
|This is why I'm a poet and not a photographer...|
So yeah, you’ll just have to take my word for it,that we had an excellent night!
And so, the follow-up plan is to see if the Malt Cross are keen for more poetry, with the possibility of starting up a monthly event. Fingers crossed, wish me luck and watch this space!