Thursday, March 30, 2006

Open Mic & Guest Poetry in Plymouth, April 1st

For those down on the South-West coast, Simon Smith will be the guest poet reading from his new book Mercury at the Language Club in Plymouth this Saturday, April 1st - 7.30 -10.00 Plymouth Arts Centre. There will also be open-mike poetry slots and musicians. Why not check it out if you're in the vicinity?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

FARRAGO Easter Slam! This Thursday 30th in London

The Farrago Easter SLAM! This time it’s serious! The prizes are chocolate!

WHEN? Thursday, 30th March, 7:30pm

WHERE? RADA Foyer Bar, Malet St, WC1. (Goodge St tube.) Click here for multi-map.

Featuring: Peter Donnelly, the 2005/06 UK SLAM! Champion, Dorna Aslanzadeh, exciting new performer, Abraham Gibson, former London Transport poet in residence, Honest, Farrago Zoo Award Debut of 2005 winner, with new Sri Lankan poems, Joshua Idehen, debut feature at the club, Fran Landesman with Miles Landesman, legendary jazz lyricist and spoken word artist & Stuart Weir, another feature debutant.

+ OPEN TO ANY POET SLAM! Any subject or style, read or perform. Every poet wins a prize! Emcee: John Paul O’Neill. Tickets: £6/£4

Monday, March 27, 2006

Live Poetry & Performance in Coventry, March 29th,


Dear Friend,

Sea Swarm is having another party. It's time for Groundswell 2 - One DJ, a Sound Space Installation, live music, live poetry, live theatre performances, cheap bar, video projections, live drummers, ANOTHER DJ, slideshow projections and possibly even more!

We're pleased to announce yet another exciting networking event, in which we will be opening our membership up to local artists. Also, in conjunction with Coventry City Council's Small Arts Grant, Sea Swarm is proud to announce the winner of its logo competition, '250 Squids', at The West Indian Club in Coventry. The lucky local artist who designed our new logo will receive a cheque for £250...all will be revealed on the night.

To join up, come and find us on Wednesday...

GROUNDSWELL 2: Logo Launch
Free admission
Wednesday 29th March
Doors 8pm til late
West Indian Club
Spon Street

This is a chance to meet artists and practitioners from Coventry and beyond. We'd love to see you there....

Yours, Sea Swarm

SIX OF THE BEST at Birmingham Library Theatre

SIX OF THE BEST in Birmingham, April 5th

On Wednesday April 5th from 6.45pm, you can catch the following Midlands poets live on stage at the Birmingham Library Theatre: Helen Monks, Moaqapi Selassi, Polar Bear, Peter Wyton, Muna Hussen, and Launa Meehan.

Tickets £5. Box Office 0121 303 23 23 or buy on the night.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mark Haddon reading in Oxford Monday 27th

Mark Haddon will be reading from his debut collection The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea at 12.30 pm tomorrow at Christ Church College, Oxford, as part of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.

Tickets cost £6.50

"That Mark Haddon’s first book after The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a book of poetry will perhaps come as a surprise to his legions of fans. All the gifts so admired in Haddon’s prose are in strong evidence here: the humanity of his voices, the dark humour and the uncanny ventriloquism. But he is also a writer of considerable seriousness, lyric power and surreal invention. Here are bittersweet love-lyrics, lucid and bold new versions of Horace, comic set-pieces, lullabies, wry postmodern shenanigans and an entire John Buchan novel condensed to five pages."

Sponsored by The Oxford Times.


This is Post No. 101 on POETS ON FIRE since its launch in ... gosh, when did it launch? ... late January, I think.

And it's just a reminder really, of a new event taking place tomorrow night in my home county of Warwickshire.

Open Mic in Leamington Spa

There's a new poetry open mic night in Leamington Spa on Monday March 27th, supported by Warwick Poet Laureate Brenda Tai Layton.

The venue is TOYK, a chic bar/restaurant on Warwick Street. Entrance is absolutely free. Bring your poetry and all your friends, starting at 7.30pm!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday April 1st at the Oxford Live Literature Arena

The list of acts appearing at the Live Literature Arena in Oxford at the start of April was recently described as a 'who's who of performance poetry'. This dynamic mini-festival constitutes a growing fringe to the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival and is being held over two days, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of April, in Iffley, Oxford.

Here are the Saturday live poetry & spoken word acts. Sunday listings to follow soon.


Organised by Hammer & Tongue, this is an extravaganza of hour-long poetry and prose shows that guarantee to elate, inspire and occasionally educate. It features some of the best performance poets and spoken word artists that the UK has to offer. With children's and adult only shows, and some of the best poets from the Oxford scene, there should be something for everybody.

12 noon - 10.30 pm Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd April at Grove House, Iffley, East Oxford


12:00 noon - Nick Toczek’s Million-Miles-an-Hour show
A poetry show for children and adults. Writer and entertainer, Nick Toczek, presents his wonderful one-man show in which he chats and jokes, performs his snappy poems, does brilliantly baffling magic tricks, tells and acts out fantastic tales, and introduces you to some of his wild and wilful puppets... all at breakneck speed. Join in and enjoy it... OR ELSE! U

1:10 - The Oxford Voice
A showcase of some of the best writers and performers that make up the Oxford literature scene. Including regular performers at Hammer and Tongue, Hear The Word, Back Room Poets, The QI Cluband Sparky's Flying Circus. With Joe Butler, Laura Kingand reading from her translation of French novelette "Lobster" - the owner of Grove House, Polly McLean. PG

2:20 - Rachel & Liz
Let their emotions run away The true-life confessions of two peculiar women, Rachel Pantechnicon& Liz Bentley. Frenzied verse, steam-pressed stories, and ukulele. Liz won Poetry Idol in 2004, without having written any poems; Rachel won the Glastonbury Festival Poetry Slam, also in 2004, though she only entered for the experience and never expected to win. Help them re-live their glory year. ***** - Three Weeks, Edinburgh. U

3:30 - Steve Larkin
“Poetry for the club generation” "Part philosophy part hysterically funny humour"- Nightshift magazine. A monster show from an international slam champion. "One of the best things at the Edinburgh Fringe. Combining hip hop and stand up comedy" Paramount Comedy. A poet-philosopher disguised as a club entertainer. Lacing profundity with profanities, deep tracks with cheap gags, weaving comedy, politics and style to leave audiences laughing, thoughtful and infected. 15

4:40 - Kat Francois's One-Woman Show
A mix of dance, poetry and dramatic skill. Charting her journey through childhood to adulthood, the World and BBC slam champion presents a challenging piece of drama which stretches her performance skills and challenges the audience to face subjects that are usually hidden under the carpet. PG

5:50 - Rob Gee - The Verbal Dynamo
"Motormouth and stand up genius" - H C Magazine. From diabolical chat up lines to the end of the world, he insists the human tragedy is a gleeful comedy. Fast, furious and funny, Rob uses inventive wordplay, whiplash couplets and motored rhythm to tap into the world of chaos and adventure behind the veneer of everyday life. "Blissfully original"(Paramount Comedy Chl) 15

7:00 - From a Paralalia Universe
Two grown men trying to make sense of life, stuff and everything. Peter Hunter and David Johnson, fearless exploiters of rhyme and verse, are on a mission to entertain and engage. They have filled theatres, won poetry slams, toured the USA and written and performed for BBC Radios 4, 7 and Bristol. Special low-cost offer! See one, get one free! PG

8:10 - The New October Poets
Empowerment and amplification of often unheard voices and views. The New October Poets are a fast evolving group of poets, writers, performers and spoken word lovers. Mainly based in the West Midlands and from all cultures, the common thread being their love of live literature. Expect a vibrant interactive show led by Birmingham Poet Laureate DreadlockAlien and featuring award-winning story-telling poet Jane Holland. PG

9:20 - Luke Wright and Friends
Half Milton, half Ronan, half David Koresh. LukeWright is 1/4 of Poetry Boyband Aisle16 (Time Out Critics' Choice of 2005) and one of the stars of BBC3's Slam Poets. Performing extracts from his forthcoming solo show. He is joined by Channel 4's TimClare, chav-with-class ByronVincent, and fellow Aisle16-er JoelStickley. Expect fast-paced funny stuff from four of UK's best young poets. 15

SHORTFUSE Thursday 30th March - Suzanne Andrade, Paul Birtill & Hugo Williams

Next Thursday 30th March at 8.30pm at Shortfuse, The Camden Head, Islington, London, you can see the following poetry stars in action:

Suzanne Andrade:
A feature length performance by the winner of SHORTFUSE POETRY IDOL RIVAL IDOLS
2. Dark, disturbing and extremely funny tales over original music and scratchy
vinyl soundtracks. ‘Reminds me of William Burroughs and his strange stories.
Hypnotically brilliant’ BBC Radio 3. With animations by Paul Barritt, plus
special guest.

Paul Birtill:
The master of deadpan, tightly constructed and comically morbid stand-up poetry
reads greatest hits and new-but-soon-to-be-classics.

Hugo Williams:
Award winning journalist and poet – including the T.S. Eliot prize and the
Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry – reads from his highly acclaimed collections.

All shows are hosted by NATHAN PENLINGTON with resident DJ David Bush. Shortfuse is hvery Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1
Tube: Angel. Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

Francesca Beard at Phoenix Arts, Leicester, tonight

Tonight at 8pm, Saturday, 25th March at Phoenix Arts, Leicester - 21 Upper Brown St, Leicester, LE1 5TE for £7, concs £5, you can catch CHINESE WHISPERS a one-woman show from Francesca Beard.

Written and performed by Francesca Beard, from a collaboration between director, Arlette Kim George and composer Piers Faccini, with lighting design by Flick Ansell and costume by Maharishi. Producer: Geraldine Collinge

Commissioned and developed by Apples & Snakes and BAC. Funded by ACE and decibel.

Chinese Whispers is a show about identity, set in London, at the start of the 21st century, in a city where daily, over 300 languages are spoken, arguably the most multicultural city in the world. It asks the questions:

‘Who am I? Where are you from? Why are we here? What makes us laugh? and Which would you rather be, Hamlet or Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Bookings: 0116 255 4854 /

Friday, March 24, 2006

African Writers Evening at the Poetry Cafe, London

African Writers Evening returns on Friday, March 31 2006 at the Poetry Cafe featuring newly published African poets Nick Makoha (Uganda), Inua Ellams (Nigeria) and a young prose writer (to be confirmed).

If you fancy the sound of that and would like further details - which I don't seem to have at the moment, alas - you can contact the Poetry Cafe yourself by emailing or ringing them on 020 7420 9881. The Poetry Society and Cafe are located at 22 Betteron Street, London, WC2H 9BX - nearest tube is Covent Garden.

Buzzwords in Cheltenham, April 2nd

Buzzwords at The Beehive

Cheltenham’s very own Poetry Cafe! Held on the first Sunday of every month upstairs at 'The Beehive', Montpellier Villas, Cheltenham ...and since April's looming large on the calendar that means it's almost time for Buzzwords again, with Paul Lyalls as their special guest poet.

Guest poets:
2nd April - Paul Lyalls sponsored by 'Iota'
7th May - Jane Kinninmont
4th June - Ann Drysdale
2nd July - A F Harrold

7pm - Writing time: exercises, themes and tips to get you going.
8pm – Guest poet reading and open mic
Come at 7pm if you want to write, 8pm if you don’t.
There will be open mic spots available; first come, first served.

Entrance fee is only £3 to cover all the above, so just turn up on the evening itself or, for more information, call 07855 308122 or email:

Worcester Speakeasy Monday 27th 8pm


Greetings wordsmiths and word lovers!

It's that time again - the second SpeakEasy event will
be taking place on Monday 27th of March, starting at
8pm, at the Firefly in Lowesmoor! We've broadened our
scope and the night will showcase a rich blend of
spoken word, art and film, operating on all three
floors of the Firefly. Nationally renowned
singer/songwriter Vici Lowrence is our guest performer
this month and will be kicking off the night with some
heartfelt melodies. Local artists and film makers
will be exhibiting their work throughout the evening.
Please feel free to bring along your own material to
contribute to the open mic spoken word session. Email
us at: if you are
interested in exhibiting your art at the next event.
We look forward to seeing you there!

All the best,

Rachel, Jim and the rest of the SpeakEasy crew

Oxford Literary Festival kicks off

There will be a Tower Poetry event this Saturday 25th March at Christ Church College, Oxford, at 2pm: Jane Yeh, Frances Leviston and Peter McDonald will appear as part of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2006.

2 pm • £5.00 • Christ Church

Jane Yeh is an American poet whose first collection Marabou was shortlisted for both a Forward Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award. She reads from her work and is joined by Frances Leviston, an emerging young poet, who also read her work at last year’s Festival. This reading is organized by Tower Poetry, which was established through a bequest to Christ Church, Oxford, and which supports the Christopher Tower poetry competition, the Tower Poetry Summer School and several publishing and educational initiatives. The event is chaired by Tower Poetry Director, Peter McDonald, who also reads from his poems, and there is an opportunity to talk to them all about their work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Birmingham Sunday XPress on March 25th

The Birmingham Sunday Xpress is on again this weekend - unfortunately clashing with the "Gigbeth" festival round the corner but the way the organisers see it, that makes them pioneers of the Gigbeth Fringe Festival!

2 - 6pm on Sunday 25th March, Open Mic Poetry, Spoken Word, Music and Comedy - where else in the country can you get such a wild eclectic mix on a Sunday afternoon? - upstairs at the Market Tavern, Moseley St, Digbeth, Birmingham.

Free roast potatoes for all comers: turn up on the day or ring Liz for more information on 0121 471 3445.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Poetry at Shortfuse every Thursday

Thursday 23rd March at Islington's 'Shortfuse' poetry venue sees Alistair Cook (star of ‘The secret world of magic’ (Sky One) and Channel Four's ‘Dirty Tricks’) performing at Shortfuse, followed by two poets -Katie Southall (delicately observed poetry, laced with humour and performed with an honesty that cuts deep to the literary bone) and Baden Prince Jnr (resident host of east London’s regular poetry night ‘Speakeasy’).

Shortfuse can be found every Thursday evening at about 8.30pm @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London. Tube = Angel, Islington. To confirm all these details and book advance tickets,

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poetry Cafe in London: one-off events this week

On Wednesday 22nd March at 7.30pm, for the cost of a fiver, you can hear Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi reading downstairs at the Poetry Cafe in London, a Sudanese poet born in 1969 and apparently one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic today. A celebrated poet herself, Sarah Maguire will be reading his poetry in translation on the night. To book a ticket to this very special one-off event, email

Also at the Poetry Cafe this week, on Thursday 23rd March at 8pm, you can enjoy FREE ENTRANCE! to the launch reading of the Orphans of Albion, an anthology of Survivors Poetry.

Poetry London Launch at Foyles Bookshop

Poetry London will be holding its Launch Reading for the Spring 2006 issue at Foyles Bookshop in London this Wednesday, 22 March at 7pm.

Doors open at 6.30pm. Free entrance. Free wine. Disabled access. If it's all sounding good so far, you'll be especially pleased to hear that poets scheduled to read include such major talents as Sean O'Brien, Robin Robertson, Kathryn Simmonds and Carol Rumens.

Foyles Bookshop can be found at 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2. The reading is to be held in The Gallery on the 2nd Floor.

Two Poetry Events in Ireland this week

Kevin Higgins & Geraldine Mills
at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
on Thursday, March 23rd, 8pm
For more information, see Linenhall Arts Centre

The 2006 Poetry Now Festival ‘Strong Reading’
Niamh Ni Lochlainn, Kevin Higgins, Philip Cummings and Nick Laird.
Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
Sunday, March 26th at 1pm.
Poetry Now Festival

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Two Poetry Events in Oxford this Monday

I'm reliably informed that both the following poetry events take place on Monday March 20th in Oxford pubs:

Back Room Poets Open Mic
@ 8pm in 'Far From The Madding Crowd' pub in Friar's Entry (next to Borders bookshop).

Everyone welcome to sign up and read, or just watch and enjoy! Any queries, please e-mail Christine at

Hear The Word
welcomes you into the living space created at the 'Gardeners Arms' pub. The publicity says "Come and be part of the life. Relax and let the day pass, enjoy the open mic spoken word, and the delightful music of Jonny Fletcher, be bathed in the atmosphere and inspired for the rest of the week."

I'm not sure what 'Come and be part of the life' can possibly mean - these poets! - but it is open mic and presumably free entrance with music and spoken word on tap, so if you're in Oxford and usually go to the Madding Crowd pub on a Monday night, it could make an interesting alternative to the Back Room Poets ...

Starts 8pm. The Gardeners Arms, Plantation Rd, Oxford.

London 'Magma' Launch Reading on Monday 20th March

Magma 34 Launch Reading: the launch reading for Magma 34 will be at 8pm on Monday 20th March 2006 at the Troubadour Coffee House, Old Brompton Road, London. Their guest poets will be Mimi Khalvati and David Harsent.

For those who don't know, Magma is a poetry magazine and you can find them online by clicking here.

Huddersfield Festival Poetry TODAY & TOMORROW

LIVE POETRY TODAY (Saturday 18th March) at the Huddersfield Festival:

George Szirtes & Helen Ivory -- 3pm at the Media Centre, Northumberland Street

Paul Farley, Jacob Polley & Gaia Holmes -- 7pm, venue as above

Shamshad Khan -- 9.45pm, at the Cafe Ollo, Media Centre, Northumberland Street

LIVE POETRY TOMORROW (Sunday 19th March):

Adam Strickson & Frances Leviston -- 2pm, Studio 1, Milton Building, University of Huddersfield

Harriet Tarlo & Geoff Hattersley -- 3pm, venue as above

For more details & tickets etc., try or ring 0870 990 5025 with a credit card.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Poets' Cafe in Reading TONIGHT

This is a little late, but I've just heard that TONIGHT, Friday 17th March, there'll be an Open Mic at the Poets’ Café, South Street Arts Centre, Reading, at 8 for 8.30pm. £5/£3.

Open Mic reading plus special guest - this month it’s Roselle Angwin.

Steve Larkin will be hosting as normal in his finest jovial manner.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New October Poets at the Oxford Live Literature Arena

Just a quick plug for myself, to let you know I'll be performing my work alongside Birmingham Poet Laureate Dreadlockalien (aka Richard Grant) at the Oxford Live Literature Arena in Grove House on Saturday 1st April at 8.10pm .

The OLLA is a two day event - part of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2006 - and takes place at The Rotunda, Iffley, East Oxford (head out east on the High Street crossing Magdalen Bridge - take the third exit for Iffley Road at The Plain roundabout, then Iffley Turn on the right a mile later, following signs for Grove House).

Basically, there are live poetry shows and spoken word performances running continuously all weekend at The Rotunda, Grove House, from noon on Saturday 1st April through to about 11pm Sunday 2nd April.

Richard Grant - i.e. 'Dreadlockalien' - hosting a recent event at the Birmingham Library Theatre

I should be around most of the Saturday and will be performing that evening as part of New October Poets, an informal and eclectic association of poets and spoken word performers from across the West Midlands. See you there!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dwayne Morgan at the QI Club, Oxford

Alison Brumfitt at last month's Hammer & Tongue at the QI Club. Catch her again at the Oxford Live Literature Arena, The Rotunda, Sunday 2nd April, 4.40pm, when she'll be performing alongside Peter Wyton in Beauty & The Beast, a high-velocity show they last performed at the Birmingham Fringe Festival.

Yes, in Oxford this coming Tuesday, March 21st, Quiet It's ... Hammer and Tongue again, this month featuring experienced US performer and published poet Dwayne Morgan at the QI Club, Turl Street, Oxford. (Opposite the cashtills.)

As usual, there'll be a workshop from 5:30 - 7:00, followed by the superlative Hammer & Tongue Open Mic and Guest Spot between 8 and 10:30pm, when the rather swish QI club will be rocking with excitement. I went last month when Kat Francois was on, shaking her hot stuff, and may indeed be there again this month if the old banger's still going come Tuesday ... and that's assuming the car's working too.

£5 - free to QI members.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

INTERVIEW with Tim Turnbull

Jane Holland interviews Tim Turnbull for POETS ON FIRE.

‘On Thursday 26th January 2006, at Pentagram in London's Notting Hill, it was announced that Tim Turnbull had been awarded the first Performance Poetry Fellowship by the Arts Foundation.

Tim Turnbull has been performing his poetry, at home and abroad, for over ten years. A full collection, 'Stranded in Sub-Atomica', was published by from Donut Press on November 11th 2005.

Turnbull's first poetry performance was in a Slam at Chat's Palace in Homerton, East London in 1994. Since then he has slammed, read and performed his work throughout Britain and abroad. Cussedly maintaining that he makes no distinction between writing for stage and page, he has also been widely published in magazines and on the web.’

JH: Greetings, Tim, and thanks for agreeing to spare the time for this POETS ON FIRE interview. First off, I know you did your first Slam in East London in 1994, but is that when you first started writing poetry or was there an earlier genesis before you stood up on stage?

TT: There was a series of genesii, I suppose. I did start writing poetry at school. I had a couple of poems published in a student paper at Newcastle Poly in 1979 where I spent a term and a bit before I ran away to the woods. There were several other false starts in the eighties but I had no idea where poetry was published or how to present it to people or who would be interested in it. Anyway I burnt everything I’d written in 1988 before I went to forestry school.

All this time I was playing in a series of beat combos so I got very used to being on stage. It just seems logical to me that if you write something and you want to find an audience you get up and do it live. When slam came along I was made up. It gave me the opportunity to dip my toe in the water and try my work out.

JH: There's been quite a fevered debate going on for some years now about the differences between page and performance poetry. You famously claim there is no difference, but perhaps you could elaborate on that opinion for those who disagree - like me, for instance - and maybe comment on the fact that so few poems written to be performed seem to make it into established poetry publications like Poetry Review etc.

TT: I’m allergic to fevered debates. They’re a waste of energy. It usually means gangs circling up the wagons and defending their little plots. I try to be like Shane and stay out of it. If that’s not a shit metaphor. Which it probably is.

What I have found is there are ways to communicate your intentions in performance, however approximately, on the page using conventional poetic technique, line length, white space or whatever.

There are poems and then there are books and performance and I try to take account of both the latter when I’m writing the former. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t.

JH: Now, you recently won the £10,000 Arts Foundation Fellowship for Performance Poetry. Congratulations on that! Mine's a Southern Comfort.

TT: Is that a glass or a bottle, Jane?

JH: Oh, definitely a bottle. The more Southern one has, the more comfortable it becomes. So can you tell me how the Arts Foundation nomination came about, and what you plan to do with your well-gotten gains?

TT: I was one of a number of poets nominated. We all had to submit a proposal saying what we’d do with the money (artistically that is, bogging off to the Seychelles wasn’t an option), five of us were short-listed, we took part in a performance at the South Bank, the judges judged and, praise be, awarded it to me.

I’ve started by buying some audio equipment and software to develop new ideas with and I’m trying to work out how to produce a stage show to go with my next collection, ‘Caligula on Ice’. I want to use some of the money to get help from theatre type people; folks who know what they’re doing. I want to put more work into the staging of events, to raise the standards for myself.

Last week by way of experiment I was recording poems at home to see how they sound, reading a few books about British Music Hall performers, sampling Spike Jones and his City Slickers and trying to reproduce the sound of the Cramps electronically. I have no idea where this will all lead. It’s nice to be cut a bit of slack to try new ideas though.

JH: Yes, I’ve just managed to put my hands on an MP3 recorder and I’m using it to record a bit of King Lear, believe it or not, for a memorising project I’m doing in Birmingham called Charade ( I’m going to record some of my poetry at the same time. That sort of thing does make you think about new ways of presenting your poetry, about the possibilities of music and sampling and maybe other voices too. Which leads me neatly into the inevitable 'influence' question. Do you feel you’ve been influenced by any other poets, writers or performers, and if so, who are these people and why do you think their work has spoken to you so particularly?

TT: Lots and lots and all sorts of different people. Tony Harrison, August Kleinzahler, Frankie Howard, Rochester, Rob Gee, Shelley, Joe Cairo, Joe Asser, Patience Agbabi, Vic Lambrusco, Les Dawson, some bloke who supported Anti-Pasti at York and did a poem about social security spies and on and on. And loads of friends I’ve made doing this stuff.

Oh and John Cooper Clark of course. I saw him with the Invisible Girls a couple of times as well as reading on his own. Fantastic. He stopped me walking under a bus outside the Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park one night. That probably had some influence on how my life’s turned out.

JH: I thought Frankie Howard was amazing in ‘Up Pompei’ - superb timing, faultless delivery, a true comic genius. And yes, John Cooper Clark. My favourite JCC moment has to be his infamous haiku, which seems to be quoted in many different forms on the net, though all meaning roughly the same thing:

Getting everything
In seventeen syllables
Is very diffic

In this fast-moving multi-media age, what sort of role do you see poetry playing for younger readers and audiences more used to film and tv entertainment? And do you think poetry itself is changing in the face of such commercial pressures?

TT: I think that the spread of relatively cheap technologies, DV, audio, the interweb and such-like open up opportunities for doing new things with poetry. They’re versatile little monkeys, poems. You can set them to music (Beethoven and the Invisible Girls done that), you can make films or videos to go with them (Tony Harrison, Mark Gwynne Jones), you can recite them as performance and still at the end a long day you can curl up with a mug of Sherry and a book of them and these activities are not mutually exclusive.

Interestingly, Hugo Williams in the introduction to his Faber selection of Betjeman poems says “good films mimic the traditional techniques of poetry.” Maybe films just pick better subjects these days.

I don’t think the yout’ are turned off poetry by the multiplicity of new media. In fact if you count rap as poetry the yout’ are probably more tuned in to it than at any time in history. I suspect what distracts them from reading books is the usual – booze, fornication and team sports. And quite right, too. People will come to poetry in their own time. We’ve just got to have some good material ready for them when they do.

JH: As I recall, Ted Hughes’ book-length poem sequence GAUDETE came out of notes towards a film treatment he was working on, so Hugo may have something there. It would probably make a good film, if a little mad. So now you’ve got the good material ready, and you're clearly at the top of your game, what are your ambitions for your future? What do you envisage yourself doing in, say, five years from now?

TT: You’re very kind. I now find to my bewilderment that my income comes exclusively from poetry related activity. I am confused and delighted with this turn up. If I’m still doing the same in five years I’ll be happy. More and better would be the thing, though.

I’m going to use the Arts Foundation money to put a really good show together by the end of 2006 and, hopefully, tour it.

Inspired by Hugo, how about selling the film rights to a poem? That’s a barmy ambition but it would be good, wouldn’t it?

JH: I think anything’s possible. That’s always been my downfall. Now, in spite of my confident typing and air of derring-do, I'm roughly at the bottom of the performance ladder myself. What words of wisdom can you rustle up to help me improve my skills and my chances of making it to the feature act level?

TT: Is there a hierarchy then? I thought we were all on the bottom rung of somebody else’s ladder.

Watch comedians, actors, monologuists, lecturers – anyone who stands up in front of people for a living. Take notes and use anything that looks good from however unlikely a source.

And if you think you’ll have just one drink to settle the nerves before you go on – don’t. The nerves are your friends.

JH: What, not even a very small glass of Southern? Well, thanks for that advice, Tim, and thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed for POETS ON FIRE, I wish you all the best for the future ...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Night Blue Fruit at the Tin Angel, Coventry

This Tuesday March 14th, Night Blue Fruit takes place at the Tin Angel in Medieval Spon Street, Coventry. It's an Open Mic night with some regular performers and new voices. I'm a regular there myself. Great crackling atmosphere, supportive to newcomers, bar available all night, a little smoky though I like it that way, the event kicks off at about 8.30pm. It's usually held on the first Tuesday of the month but it's the second Tuesday this time round.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Word Boat - Live Poetry in Bristol

The Word Boat is 'performance poetry and prose afloat on Bristol's harbour, with bar and live music too!'

Launched last month in connection with Bristol Water PLC, the Bristol Ferry Boat Company and Float My Boat Productions, The Word Boat is an unique opportunity to listen to poetry and spoken word aboard a boat, no less. If anyone gets a chance to get involved with this unusual venture, please do leave a comment or email me with your thoughts on the event ...

Tickets are £6.50 each, the start time is 7.15pm, and you can book tickets from the Bristol Ferry Boat Company by emailing or calling them on 0117 927 3416. Pre-booking is essential and these are the dates:

Wednesday 15th March
Wednesday 19th April
Wednesday 17th May
Wednesday 21st June
Wednesday 19th July

John Siddique in Swansea

John Siddique will be reading at Swansea Public Library at 6.30pm on Wednesday 15th March.

I think it's a free event, though I could be wrong. Better go prepared for payment, just in case. And apparently, there will be wine and 'nibbles'. Nuts and crisps, perhaps. Presumably the audience is not meant to nibble John himself. Though he is rather ...

John Siddique's first full-length collection The Prize was recently published by The Rialto. You can find it here on Amazon.

Runnymede Literary Festival on now!

Runnymede International Literary Festival (otherwise known as R:Fest)

This is the first ever Literary Festival to be held at Runnymede. Please browse the R:Fest website for full details of events by clicking here to visit

Events will be held in and around the Runnymede area.

The Main Programme comprises events in March and April with well-known writers (Hilary Mantel, Ian McMillan and Roger McGough) and the Royal Holloway LIterary Programme, which features many diverse international talents, including Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. The Royal Holloway Programme runs from 20-22 April.

New Open Mic night in Leamington Spa


I'm launching a new poetry open mic night in Leamington Spa on Monday March 27th, supported by Warwick Poet Laureate Brenda Tai Layton.

Venue is TOYK, a chic bar/restaurant on Warwick Street. Entrance is free, and the night will be FUN! Bring your poetry and your friends, starting at 7.30!

I'm hoping that everyone who turns up wishing to read/perform will be able to do so.

Hope to see you there!


Nottingham Speakeasy

Speakeasy at the Alley Cafe, Nottingham

Nottingham's longest running poetry night is four years old. With a top guest artist, open floor spots and a raffle every month, Speakeasy runs at The Alley Cafe, 'the coolest bar in town' on the third Wednesday of every month. The crowd there has been entertained by performers from all over the world, and the organisers are always looking for more. So get over there and take advantage of the open mic!

Every third Wednesday of the month at The Alley Cafe, 1a Cannon Court, Nottingham, from 8pm.


Catweazle Club, Oxford

The Catweazle Club is Oxford's legendary performing arts club... "An intimate and magical space for musicians, singers, poets, storytellers and performance artists of every imaginable hue, who grace the stage every Thursday night. A chance to sit, to listen, to connect, to inspire and to be inspired … "

£4.00/£3.00 (concs)/Performers Free

Performers welcome! (arrive before 8.30 to book in)

at East Oxford Community Centre, corner of Cowley Road & Princes' Street, OXFORD.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Yes, Huddersfield has its own Literature Festival!

Huddersfield Literature Festival 2006
Thursday 16th March to Sunday 19th March

Huddersfield has an excellent history of hands-on involvement with contemporary poetry - it's the home of the long-established Poetry Business, for a start - so it's really not surprising that they have now moved their town more firmly into the literature festival arena. This is their first ever Festival and from the names listed below, it looks like being a worthwhile trip if you don't live in the Huddersfield area. Some well-known names from the world of poetry amongst these writers and some new ones too, looking for an audience. So if you get the chance, go and support this new Festival.

Here's the first Huddersfield Festival Line-up 2006:


Visit the Huddersfield Festival online at for a better idea of who's performing when and/or book by phone with a credit card at 0870 990 5025.

I've just been told that the Huddersfield events on the Saturday are nearly sold out. But there are still tickets left for Adam Strickson and Frances Leviston and Harriet Tarlo and Geoff Hattersley - basically because those events are being held at larger venues. So if you're thinking of going, BOOK NOW!

FourCast in London with Delanty, Mangeot & Pomery

On Thursday March 16th at 8pm sharp, FourCast downstairs at the Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London (Tube: Covent Garden) presents Greg Delanty reading from his brand new collection, plus poets Andre Mangeot & Simon Pomery. The evening will be hosted as usual by Roddy Lumsden.

I'm going to try hard to get to London myself for this FourCast, as Andre Mangeot and I go way back - I think he had a poem or two in the first ever issue of my poetry magazine Blade, back in 1995, though I can't actually find a first issue at the moment so can't check! - and it would be a treat to hear what he's been writing recently.

North Beach Nights Poetry Slam, Galway

Acclaimed Australian Poet: Robyn Rowland to read at North Beach Nights Slam
on March 16th at 9pm.

Author of 4 well-received collections of poetry, board member of the Australian Poetry Foundation and a frequent reader in Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand, Robyn Rowland will be the very special Guest Reader at the March North Beach Nights Poetry Slam on Thursday March 16th at 9pm in BK's Wine Bar, Spanish Parade, Galway. Admission: 4 Euros.

Robyn Rowland has given workshops and readings in Ireland at Éigse Michael Hartnett, Listowel Writers Week, Scriobh, Sligo and Clifden Community Arts Week. Eileen Batersby writes in the IT: "Memory, anecdotal narrative and strong emotion shape Rowland's strong, personal and well-crafted verse."

The Poetry Slam will follow the usual format and all performers are asked to be there at 9pm to enrol for the poetry slam competition. Tel: 091-593290

Friday, March 10, 2006

Brighton International Women's Special Slam!

This Saturday March 11th sees Hammer and Tongue presenting their International Women's Special in Brighton.

This will be an Open Poetry Slam with special guest, Salena Saliva, and will be held at Polar Central, Queens Road, Brighton. So if you're in the Brighton area this weekend, get yourself down to Polar Central and perform your poems, or show your support by listening and having a few drinks on the side. Iced lemonade, of course. My own favourite tipple.

Doors 7pm show 8-11
£6 / £4 conc.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Women Poets Showcase in Coventry

This was the line-up at Tuesday night's poetry reading in Coventry, celebrating International Women's Day, from right to left: Kim Trusty, Jane Holland, Pascale Petit, Zoe Brigley, Helen Ivory and Esther Morgan.

To read a full report on this Women Poets Showcase which was held at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry, visit my writing blog Raw Light.

John Hegley & Co. in The Cellar this Saturday

This Saturday, March 11th, at 8pm sharp, for the slight inconvenience of a fiver, you can hear the world-renowned poetry performer John Hegley, not to mention poets Ainsley Burrows and Lucy Leagrave, down in the Cellar at the Poetry Sociey, that dark intimate space under the stairs where they keep all the best poets. This London event is hosted as usual by Niall O’Sullivan. The Poetry Society is at 22 Betterton Street, London. Tube: Covent Garden. For more information, you can always try visiting the Poetry Society website.

I've got John Hegley's 'Beyond Our Kennel'(Methuen 1999) on my desk at the moment;

hilarious stuff,
I wish I could make it myself,
but alas, the train
costs a bomb
and the head gasket's gone ...

et cetera, Anon.

Irish Bookfair Readings in London this Saturday

There will be a poetry reading at the Hammersmith Irish Centre in London this Saturday, featuring Ulli McCarthy (aka Freer), Eamonn Nugent, and Tony Allen as part of THE IRISH BOOKFAIR.

Saturday March 11th at Hammersmith Irish Centre, Blacks Rd, W6
(Hammersmith tube) 1pm - 5pm
Free Entrance!

London Review Bookshop reading Thursday night

I've just heard that Dirk van Bastelaere (from Flanders/Belgium), Arjen Duinker (from the Netherlands) and Sarah Maguire will be reading at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1 on Thursday 9 March, at 7:00pm.
Free admittance!
Bury Place is one of the streets running south of the British Museum, parallel to Museum Street.

UK Slam Championship Semi-Finals

Hammer and Tongue’s own Steve Larkin and Sophia Blackwell are two poets who have qualified for the UK Slam Championship. They would both value your support at the semi final event at The Theatre Royal, Stratford, London on Thursday 9th of March. The final should either of them or one of them get through is on Saturday the 11th of March. Sadly, I don't know who the other semi-finalists are or I would gladly post up their names. Here are the venue details if you fancy going along:

Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square
E15 1BN

Free booking Line: 0800 183 1188, Telephone: 020 8534 7374, Fax: 020 8534 8381
For Enquiries, email or visit their website.

N.B. Since there has been some controversy over the naming of this Slam Championship, I'm posting this to accompany the publicity. Theatre Royal Stratford East would like to clarify that its UK SLAM CHAMPIONSHIP has no connection whatsoever to any event bearing the same, or similar title.

John Siddique at the MAC, Birmingham

Thursday 9th of March, 7.30pm. Poetry Bites. The MAC, Birmingham

John Siddique’s poetry has at its heart the themes of communication, storytelling and what it means to be human at this point in time. He is a British poet who subtly draws on his Irish and Indian heritage to straddle the complications of today’s society. His writing charts a middle course between emotion and intellect, confession and “spin”, intuition and factuality. His work has appeared in numerous publications in the UK and abroad. His many commissions and residencies include Ilkley & Ledbury Festivals, New Writing Partnership, HMYOI Wetherby, The Lowry, and BBC Manchester. He mentors and teaches creative writing, and acts as a consultant, privately and for many institutions, including Arts Council of England, The Arvon Foundation & The Poetry Society.

"John Siddique is a powerful, arresting and provocative new poetic voice" - Gavin Wallace - Head of Literature, Scottish Arts Council

Poetry Bites also includes floor spots where people can share their own poetry with an appreciative audience. If you would like to read your own work, please arrive a bit earlier to book a floor spot.

Please note, this is the last Poetry Bites in the series; if you want them to continue following Sibyl Ruth's change of job - she's been organising them and is now moving on - make sure you let the MAC know by post, email or leaving a note after your visit.

What does MAC stand for? The Midlands Arts Centre.
Where's the MAC? Click here to visit the MAC website for more details on John Siddique's reading and how to find the venue.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Slam History Request from Helen Gregory

The Emergence of Slam in England: Can You Help to Fill in the Gaps?

Do you know anything about the emergence and early development of Slam in England? Were you performing poetry in the early 90s? Or were you in the audience for one of the early Slams?

I am trying to piece together an account of the spread of slam to England, as as part of my sociology PhD at the University of Exeter.

So far, the earliest two references I can find are to a Slam with the Nuyorican poets at the Hackney Empire, London and a Slam broadcast on Radio 4, both in the early-mid 90s. Do you know about either of these events? Were you there? Maybe you've heard about Slams in England even earlier than these? As far as I'm aware, nothing has been published about the early history of Slam in England, so I'm desperately short of resources for my research.

I'm also hoping to plug this gap and spread the word about Slam's beginnings and evolution in Blighty - after all, I'm a performance poet myself and believe that the more people write, read and talk about Slams the better!

If you can help, please e-mail:


Helen Gregory

Farrago Spanish Poetry Showcase

Farrago Spanish (& English) Poetry Showcase

This a London event, to be held on Thursday, 9th March, 7:30pm, in the RADA Foyer Bar, Malet St, WC1. (Tube: Goodge St.)

Come and read your original or favourite Spanish language poetry, in Spanish or translation or both! Features include: Juan Calle & Isabel del Rio. Others tbc! Performers, poets & audience needed for a celebration of poetry, literature and culture in Spanish and translated from Spanish!

Host: John Paul O’Neill. Tickets: £6/£4.

For more information, you can try

Poetry Idol 7 at SHORTFUSE

Thursday 9th March: SHORTFUSE POETRY IDOL 7

After the success of the first six Poetry Idol contests, from which the winners
have gone on to obtain regular performances across London, 5 star Edinburgh
Fringe shows, and BBC Radio appearances, SHORTFUSE is once again giving new poetic
talent a chance to shine.

They will be presenting six poets new to SHORTFUSE: Dorna Aslanzadeh, Richard Tyrone Jones, Domain Jane, Ahren Warner, Louise Bennett and Mat Lloyd. These poets will each perform for 10 minutes and then the audience will be allowed to decide which two acts should be given a full length set at SHORTFUSE later in the year and crowned Poetry Idol 7 winners.

Shortfuse is held every Thursday at The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1 (Tube: Angel)Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

More details can be found by emailing or you can visit their website. If you'd like to try out for Poetry Idol yourself, there are details online of how to send samples of your work to SHORTFUSE on CD or DVD.

Last in Cambridge Series Poetry Readings


This is the last in the current run of poetry readings at St. John's. Poets reading their work this week are: Dell Olsen, Peter Robinson, and Tom Jones.

For regulars, please note, this is being held on TUESDAY March 7th at 8pm, and is back in the NEW MUSIC ROOM, First Court, St John's College. £3/2 donations hoped for. Wine will be served as usual.


see for further details
or email to be sent them.


ALSO check out:

- Peter Robinson reading
Wed 8 March, from 6:30, at King's College, The Strand, London.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This week, there will be a WOMEN POETS SHOWCASE in Coventry City Centre, on Tuesday 7th March. It will feature readings by several noted female poets, to celebrate International Women's Day.

Poets reading at this special event will be Esther Morgan, Jane Holland, Pascale Petit, Helen Ivory, Zoe Brigley, Kim Trusty, Jenny Ousbey. You will have noticed my name in there, I'm sure. And the fact that it's a free event must be even more of a sweetener.

The poetry readings will run from 7- 9pm, at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Jordans Well, Coventry City Centre. It's FREE entrance, refreshments will be provided, and there's always plenty of parking around the Cathedral area of the city. So I hope to see you there ...

Jackie Kay at the Bolton Octagon Theatre

This Monday evening, March 6th, Jackie Kay will be reading her work at the Bolton Octagon Theatre.

One of Britain's best known poets, the brilliant Jackie Kay is performing in the Bolton University series of literary events at the Octagon. The Edinburgh-born writer drew on her own family experience for her first collection, 1991's The Adoption Papers and her subsequent collections have won both awards and acclaim. Her latest book of poetry, Life Mask, was published by Bloodaxe last year and incorporates themes of love, secrets and loss.

Unfortunately, I've just heard that this show has SOLD OUT! But I suppose there might be cancellations on the night. Try the Octagon Theatre here.



Celebrating Women's Writing 3 – 11 March 2006
Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, off Bethnal Green Road E2.

This Sunday, March 5th, at 7pm, at the Spit-Lit Festival, you can enjoy the various talents of the poetry & spoken word performers listed below, in LOUD & PROUD, a show presented by Apples & Snakes, with Clare Dowie, Jay Bernard, Ebele, Kate Fox and Joelle Taylor MC.

TICKETS 020 7247 2584. £6/£4 concs and £7/£5 concs.

A full Festival programme with times of visits can be found at Alternative Arts under SPIT-LIT Festival.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mr Gee, Dave Bryant & Kate Fox lurking in the Cellar this Saturday night

Yes, the post title never lies, and here's the proof ...

At 8pm this Saturday, March 4th, for the cost of a mere five pound note - or three pound coins and a bent farthing if you are socially disadvantaged in any way, which includes me - you can nip down into The Cellar at the Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London, to gawk at the inimitable MR GEE, DAVE BRYANT and KATE FOX shakin' their thangs behind or just to one side of a microphone, with Niall O’Sullivan playing host, as opposed to truant or the goat. Recommended.

Nearest tube: Covent Garden.

Women's Slam this Tuesday in Oxford - with FREE chocolates!

This is just a reminder of an International Women's Day poetry event, as I've already flagged this up as a good evening to attend if at all possible. But I didn't know at that stage about the free chocolates!

So, for the second year running, Hammer and Tongue will be hosting a poetry slam at the ZODIAC, Cowley, to celebrate International Women's Day on Tuesday the 7th of March. Oxford's premier performance poetry night, Hammer and Tongue, presents 'Crème de la Femme,' a chocolatey treat for International Women's Day that brings this year's theme of 'Women's Voices,' into the loud, proud, public domain.

Hammer & Tongue will indulge the audience with a delectable array of female poetic talent: smooth, dark, sweet, sophisticated, zesty, bitter and stimulating, just like your favourite chocolates! Serving up the finest homemade truffles and cakes to tempt audiences in the breaks, we promise to send serotonin levels soaring - and all the profits from the sweets go to Women's Aid, so forget the guilt!

Guest artists include:

· Salena Saliva - London spoken word artist whose mission is to take poetry into clubs; renowned for her uncensored poetry and sexy, sassy stage presence.
· Rebecca Smart - 2005's Cheltenham Literature Festival Slam champion- lyrical, sophisticated and charming.
· Jay Bernard - Daring, powerful young London poet, featured in the Guardian and on Radio 4 - an unmissable up-and-coming talent.
· Baraka - Local spoken-word goddess from the Coven Club

The comperes - Hammer and Tongue Slam Champions Claire 'Radical Supergirly' Fauset and Sophia 'Sassy Sappho,' Blackwell - will bring their own brand of wild womanhood to the night.

The highlight of the night will be a competitive Poetry Slam featuring eight local performance poets. Anyone is welcome to come and sign up for the Slam!

Doors open 7 pm, showcase and slam 8 - 11, £6 / £4 concessions. Places at the slam are limited to 8 competitors, so arrive early if you want to perform. For more information call 01865 200550, or email

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bespoken Word, BBC Radio 4's performance poetry show

This is BBC Radio 4’s performance poetry show, on at the Albany Theatre next weekend. You can book now for free tickets for Saturday March 11th, if this is your kind of thing. It certainly looks like being an impressive line-up.

Presented by Mr Gee

Featured performance artists include:John Hegley, Zena Edwards, Malgorzata Kitowski, Polar Bear, shortMAN, Jamie Woon, Littleman and Edge, Attila the Stockbroker and many more…

Tel: 0208-692 4446


Bar Opens 6.30pm
Doors Close 7.25pm
Recording 7.30 pm

As featured in New Nation, The Voice, Time Out, The Times, The Observer

SIX OF THE BEST (Birmingham) advance dates

Last night saw the final open audition night for SIX OF THE BEST, a search across the Midlands for the best poetry and spoken word performers in the region. Starting in April, these top performers will appear at a series of shows held at the Birmingham Library Theatre, demonstrating their skill for fifteen minutes each to a paying audience.

Most of the slots had already been decided, but last night’s auditions were to find the remaining performers for the last event of the series, to be held in September, plus what Dreadlockalien - Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and organiser of SIX OF THE BEST - charmingly calls ‘suicide poets’; i.e. the 3 minute warm-up acts that will kick off each evening performance.

We will also have an excellent ska band accompanying the series, whose name, I think, is PHAT CONTROLLER. Here are some of the band in action last night at the Birmingham Library Theatre.

I don’t have all the names for last night’s winners, I’m afraid, but I can give you the names of the other top Midlands performers to appear in SIX OF THE BEST ... and please note, I’ll be performing on May 3rd, ahem:

Helen Monks, Moaqapi Selassi, Polar Bear, Peter Wyton, Muna Hussen, Launa Meehan

Sean Kelly, Emma Purshouse, Kokumo, Andy Conner, Sue Brown, Jane Holland

Spoz, Big Brendan Higgins, Heather Bryson, Jimmy Fantastic, Louis Campbell, Paul Rafferty

Godfrey Salter and his Invisible Ducks, Jah Biggz, Dan Wilson, Leeanne Stoddart, Vince Gould, Yussef Ahmed

Matt Nunn, Maggie Doyle, Charlie Jordan, Simon Lee, Jasmine Johnson, plus one tba

Slots to be filled by the winners who came through last night’s final audition at the Library Theatre


Now, the name of the fellow below, who gave us a great performance last night in the final auditions and fully deserves his place in SIX OF THE BEST, is possibly Just B. Or Justin B. Not sure about that, I had my hat on at the time. Anyone who knows for sure, please leave a comment below. But he’s very good. If a little saucy.

Crossing the Line, Friday March 3rd

Another Crossing the Line reading will take place this Friday 3rd March in the upstairs room at The Plough, 27 Museum St., London WC1.

Reading this Friday evening will be Jeff Hilson, Vahni Capildeo and Stephen Mooney.

The event begins at 7.30pm. Admissions: £5/£3 (concessions). Nearest tubes: Russell Sq, Tottenham Crt Rd, Holborn.

Other forthcoming readings in the series include Peter Manson and Robert Sheppard (7 April), John Hall and Ken Edwards (5 May), and Christopher Twigg and tba (2 June).

Shortfuse with Rhian Edwards, Niall McDevitt and Kathryn Gray

Here's the line-up for this Thursday, 2nd March, at SHORTFUSE, Islington.

Rhian Edwards:
A feature length set from Welsh born London based poet, performer and musician.A
fusion of intelligent spokenword, song and poetry, laden with humour and
subtlety. One of the most exciting young voices around.

Niall McDevitt:
A contemporary troubadour that fearlessly pushes the boundaries of the literary
tradition, a passionate performer that will make you sit up and take notice.

Kathryn Gray:
Delicate, intricate and accessible – well observed and intelligently
constructed poetry.

Every Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1
Tube: Angel. Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

Click here for SHORTFUSE online.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Poetry at Queens' College, Cambridge, Thursday 2nd March



This is a rare opportunity to hear a night of performances of avant-garde music and sound poetry. Since this could turn out to be an exceptional evening, the Cambridge Series Poetry Reading organisers are - not unnaturally - encouraging as many people as possible to attend.

Thursday March 2:
John Cage _Four6_ (1992)
extract from Cornelius Cardew _Treatise_ (1963-67)
Kurt Schwitters, _Ursonate_ (1922-32)
and other 'sound' poetry.

The event begins promptly at 8pm in the Old Hall, Queens' College, Cambridge. Tickets will be £3 (available on the door) and wine will be served, as usual.

Performers will include:
Sean Bonney (voice), Harry Gilonis (percussion, radio, electrics),
Chris Goode (voice &c.), Clare Lesser (voice), David Lesser (piano),
Katie McClaughry (trumpet), Peter Manson (voice), Kate Newell (oboe),
Josh Robinson ('cello, voice).
Curated by Harry Gilonis and Josh Robinson

See for further details
or email to be sent them.

Queens' College is here (on a map).

The final reading in this series will be on Tuesday 7th March (please note this is a Tuesday, not a Thursday as usual).
Peter Robinson - Dell Olson - Tom Jones

'Buzzwords' Live Poetry in Cheltenham this Sunday

If you live out west, there's a regular live poetry event happening in Cheltenham on the first Sunday of every month, featuring a writing workshop, guest poet and - best of all, for those of us who like to exercise our egos and improve our performance skills at the same time - an open mic session. The event is called Buzzwords at The Beehive and looks to be an engaging and dynamic presence on the UK live poetry scene.

I bumped into Peter Wyton at a Hammer & Tongue event in Oxford the other night, an established poet-performer from that neck of the woods, who has entertained the crowd at Buzzwords and recommends it. The next meeting is on Sunday March 5th, with guest poet Tony Petch, the live poetry part of the event kicking off at 8pm with an extremely reasonable entrance fee of £3.

Here are those details again:
Cheltenham’s Poetry Cafe
First Sunday of Every Month
Upstairs at: The Beehive,
Montpellier Villas, Cheltenham

Guest poets: 5th March - Tony Petch
2nd April - Paul Lyalls
7th May - Jane Kinninmont
4th June - Ann Drysdale
2nd July - A F Harrold

7pm - Writing time: exercises, themes and tips to get you going.
8pm – Guest poet reading and open mic
Come at 7pm if you want to write, 8pm if you don’t. There will be open mic spots available; first come, first served.
Entrance: £3. Enquiries: 07855 308122. E-mail: