Sunday, December 17, 2006



Please note, there will be no more postings on POETS ON FIRE until after the Christmas & New Year break.

I expect there are some live poetry events on in the UK over the next fortnight, for those with no presents to buy, turkeys to incinerate, or duvets to hide under if not celebrating, but I intend taking this festive time off for some rest and writing of my own, so I would like to wish all my readers and browsers a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and best wishes for the New Year.

Please do come back from the first few days of January onwards to find out what's going on in live UK poetry in 2007.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Broadcast Special at the PoCaff: TONIGHT!


Thursday 14th December 2006 at 7.30pm
The Poetry Studio, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden £5/4

Simon Barraclough
Matthew Caley
Melanie Challenger
Tim Cumming
Abi Curtis
Inua Ellams
Lara Frankena
Daisy Hirst
John Stammers
Mark Waldron
Sinead Wilson

hosted by Roddy Lumsden

Some of BroadCast / FourCast's favourite readers over the past two years return.
All poets will read a few of their poems and a guest poem by another poet. PLEASE NOTE: The Poetry Cafe will close for the festive season on Friday 22nd December.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Open Mic in Birmingham this Sunday 17th December

Latest Midlands open mic news just in ...
"This coming Sunday, there's an open mic/live music gig at the Victoria pub, behind the Alexandra theatre in Birmingham. Starts 2pm - till late, all welcome. Here's a quick summary of what's on. And it's all FREE!

Open mic from 2 til 6 then more in the evening. Special guests
throughout the day including burlesque from Birmingham's Those Pesky
Scallywags! and The Glitter Kittens from Manchester. Live poetry from
the likes of Brendan Higgings, Louis Campbell and Richard Clay plus many of the Midlands' upcoming new faces. Showcase acoustic slots from Mike Bethel, Stourbridge's Tim Parkes, Dik Guru and more, plus some very big surprises and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Get there early to avoid disappointment and a damn good seat. Free
food and roast potatoes included!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not Just a Game: Sporting Poems Anthology Launch in Leicester: TONIGHT!

Five Leaves Publications and the PGCE English course,
University of Leicester have pleasure in inviting you
to the Leicester launch of

Not Just a Game:
an anthology of sporting poetry (including a snooker poem by the editor of this site, Jane Holland!) edited by Andy Croft and Sue Dymoke

6.00 – 7.30pm, Tuesday 12th December

Library Hall, School of Education,
21, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RF

Readings by local contributors including
Adrian Buckner, Sue Dymoke, Rosie Garner and John Lucas
and performances given by student volunteers

POETRY IDOL at Shortfuse: Thursday 14th December


Thursday 14th December

Join us for our SHORTFUSE xmas party - POETRY IDOL RIVAL IDOLS 3 - in
which YOU the audience get to vote which performer will win a feature
length set in the new year.

Featuring Ahren Warner, Musa Okwonga, Joshua Ehi Edihen, Scroobius Pip, and Tim Clare. PLUS the usual SHORTFUSE seasonal mayhem...a special festive guest.

PLUS the outstanding jazz-folk vocalist GWYNETH HERBERT... "A voice that's a knowing mix of honey, steel and gravel... Her voice vibrating over the lyrics in a way that makes your toes curl" - The Observer

With Resident Host: NATHAN PENLINGTON - 'A natural performer, witty, inventive, stylish and original' - Rob Newman

'...has little in common with Eminem...' - Metro

SHORTFUSE is on every Thursday @ The Camden Head, Camden Walk, Islington, London, N1

Tube: Angel.
Doors: 8.30pm. Admission: £5 waged / £3 concessions.

SOME SHOWS DO SELL OUT - so, if there is a show you really don't want to
miss our advice is to reserve tickets with us in advance. Just email your
full name, the number of tickets you require, and a contact telephone
number to: We will hold them for you on the date
of the show, they will be available for collection upon payment at the
door between 8pm and 8.30pm.


Are you part of the revolution? If so, come and make friends:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Project Adorno et al performances: Wednesday 13th December

Steve Lake performs spoken word in support of Project Adorno at the Art House Cafe, 10 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1AE

on Wednesday 13th December at 7.30pm

£4/£3 (conc) - Click here for map

Also performing will be Project Adorno, Pog, We Am Janet and John Citizen.
Info: Praveen 07944 627 876

Magic Urbanism: Tues 12th - Sun 17th December

MAGIC URBANISM (Tues 12-Sun 17 Dec 2006): poetry, mince pies & 'turrón'
Sina Shamsavari (graphic art)
Ernesto Sarezale (texts and live installation)

OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday 13th December from 8pm
live event including performances by:
Tonny Ajoup, Adrian Fisher, Mabel Encinas, Luna
Montenegro, Sarah Reilly, Ernesto Sarezale, Kelly

@ THE FOUNDRY (double vaulted room downstairs)
86 Great Eastern Street London EC2A 3JL
Old Street tube (exit3)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Raworth & O'Sullivan reading: Friday 15th December

Tom Raworth and Maggie O'Sullivan will be reading at Kingston University on Friday 15 December from 7pm, followed by a question and answer session.

The reading will take place in TH4 (Town House) at the Penrhyn Road site, Kingston. Please see the link below for a map of the site showing where Town House is located.

For those coming from London, go by rail from Waterloo to Surbiton station and then take any bus going in the direction of Kingston. All buses stop outside the Penrhyn Rd campus.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christopher Reid at the Poets' Cafe in Reading: Friday 15th December

Poets' Café with Christopher Reid

Reading’s longest-running poetry event, renowned for the quality of its open mic readers, its enthusiastic audiences and fine guest poets, takes place at South Street Arts Centre at 21 South Street in Reading, RG1 4QU, on the third Friday of every month. The open mic space is available for both the experienced and the new to the scene to share some of their own work, as well as a longer reading by a specially invited guest poet.

On Friday 15th December Poets’ Café special guest is Christopher Reid, well-known British poet and former poetry editor at Faber.

Entry is £6/£4(concessions and readers) on the door, or in advance from 0118 9606060. Doors open at 8pm for 8.30pm start to the poetry. Arrive early to sign up to read.

Matt Nunn Launch in Coventry: Wednesday 13th December

The launch of HAPPY COS I'M BLUE, the first collection of poetry by MATT NUNN, will be on the evening of WEDNESDAY 13TH December, starting at 7:30pm at the Liquid Bar in Coventry City Arcade.

This is the first in Heaventree's series of Arts Council funded paperbacks, and given the elements of dialect and public art which characterise Matt Nunn's poetry, the launch promises to mark a significant moment for literature in Coventry and the wider West Midlands. Please do come along and support the flowering local poetry scene in Coventry. Entry is free, and signed copies of the book will be available at a promotional rate of £6.

You can also hear Matt Nunn recite some poetry on BBC CWR's football programme 'Hawaii Five-Nil' this Saturday. Tune in at 1:00pm to 94.8, 104 & 103.7 FM, he's not to be missed!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poet's Letter at the PoCaff: Monday 11th December

Poet's Letter Magazine Poetry Performance and Live Music for December is on Monday, 11th December, 7 pm at Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden.

This Month will Feature most, if not all, of the five Poets in Residence at 2nd London Poetry Festival 2006: Alan Buckley, Dr Girija Shettar, Luke Wright, Malgorzata Kitowski and Philip Ruthen in addition to Munayem Mayenin and Open Mic session too. This performance would bring their residencies to a close and another five poets would be offered the residencies for next festival. There is music from legendary Johnny Vallon and a few other new musical act.

Tickets: £5/£3 Cons

Hoping to make it a Early Christmas Party! Come along with friends. For more info please contact 07809 682 065 or

The Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton Street
Covent Garden
London WC1
Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Holborn

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ann Drysdale launch: Newport on Sunday 10th December

Launch of Real Newport by Ann Drysdale.

The venue for this poetry event is Newport Library, John Frost Square, Newport, where it will take place from 1pm to 2.45pm on Sunday December 10th. Ann Drysdale will be interviewed by Peter Finch. For further information please contact Seren Books on 01656 663018.

Breaking' Out at the Masque Bar, London: Wednesday 6th December

Breakin' Out!

Masque Bar Barbican, 1-5 Long Lane Road, London EC1A, featuring Heather Brooks, Lucy Brooks, Honest, Niall Spooner Harvey
Wednesday 6 December 2006

Entrance charge: £3

DJ, late bar, some free wine!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Writing from Coventry: a LAUNCH on Tuesday December 5th

Just a reminder of this event later today ...

SHERB: new urban writing from Coventry

edited by Jonathan Morley and Anthony Owen, and including poems by Jane Commane, Colin Dick, Jane Holland, Barry Patterson, George Ttoouli, Claire King and Michael McKimm, with photographs of the River Sherbourne by Jane Commane and cover artwork by Paul Blakemore

The featured poets belong to a group which meets informally in the Tin Angel bar in Coventry city centre on the first Tuesday of every month. Since its inception by Heaventree in 2003 the event - 'Nightblue Fruit' - has become recognised in the West Midlands as a spawning ground for new ideas and poetic collaborations: anarchic, outspoken and rooted in a makeshift local literary tradition that can reconcile John Hewitt with the football stadium, Philip Larkin with the Gypsy song and the ghazal. Loosely plotted around Coventry's river, the Sherbourne or 'Bright Stream', now a polluted trickle flowing in culverts beneath the city, the collection illustrates how regional literatures find voice in response to a specific time and locale.

LAUNCH NIGHT: Tuesday 5th December, The Tin Angel bar, Spon Street, Coventry, 8:30pm

40pp chapbook. ISBN 978-1-906038-14-4. Price £3.99.

FARRAGO UK SLAM! LONDON: Friday 15th December

The Farrago UK SLAM! Championships Finals 2006

Friday, 15th December at 7:30pm, at the George Bernard Shaw Theatre @ RADA, Malet St, WC1. Goodge St Tube

Qualification round – open to ANY poet, followed by the Finals of Europe’s longest running National Slam! Sign up @ 7pm.

+ Features guests including: Denise Atherley, Fran Landesman & other special guests to be confirmed. Emcee: John Paul O’Neill.

Tickets: £6/£5 (In advance). RADA Box Office: 0207 908 4800. (10am - 6pm). Information: 07905078376.

Event supported by Forward Press.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Poetry @ The Room (London): Wednesday 6th December


The Room, 33 Holscombe Road, Tottenham Hale, London N17 9AS
at 7.30pm on Wednesday 6th December
Featuring Ifor Thomas, Jackie Wills, Musa Okwonga & Rhian Edwards, with Father Christmases Richard Tyrone Jones and Anthony Howell


The Room, 33 Holcombe Road,
Tottenham Hale N17 9AS.

Nearest tube Tottenham Hale/Seven Sisters.
Buses: 41, 123, 192, 230, W4, 123, 243, 259, 279, 318, 349, 476, W4.
24 hour: 149, 341, night: N76, N243, N279.
£5/3 concs
Tel: 0208 808 9318

Beware! 'The Room' does look like a normal house (from the outside)
THE ROOM THANKS ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND FOR ITS SUPPORT AND WILL BE BACK IN APRIL 2007! New poets & writers please bring along or send a CD or other material to The Room."

Gregson & Caldwell at the Swedenborg Institute: Tuesday 5th December

New Writing Readings 2006, featuring Ian Gregson and Lucy Caldwell

Swedenborg Institute, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A, at 2pm on Tuesday 5th December.

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. Please note time: this is an AFTERNOON reading.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Seconds Out SLAM! in Manchester: Tuesday 5th December

Seconds Out! Slam

Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA
7.30pm, Tuesday 5th December
Apples & Snakes presents Seconds Out! Slams

Special guests:
Earthy Funk Queen - EBELE
Hiphop Metaphysics from MARTIN DAWS

180 secs to rock or shock the mic!
Winners picked by audience response
Featuring All Star Special Guests

Slammers must book in advance!
£4/£2.50 concs. Box office: 0161 274 0600

NOT WORD! at Leicester: Wednesday 6th December

Wednesday 6th December, 8pm onwards
Bambu Bar, Welford Road

"The Word is dead! Long live the Word!
Well - not dead exactly, more like on holiday. With Leicester's premier open mic. night on hiatus until the new year the audience have taken over the stage to give you - Not Word! With no MC and no guest act ANYTHING might happen. Why not come along and find out what does happen. Bring some words (either on paper or in your head) to share with the audience or just turn-up, sit back and watch the chaos unfold."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Not Just a Game: Sporting Poems Anthology Launch: Monday 4th December in Middlesborough

Launch of Not Just a Game: Sporting Poems, edited by Andy Croft and Sue Dymoke

Not Just a Game is a unique archive of modern British sporting life - angling, boxing, canoeing, cricket, darts, golf, motorcycling, netball, polo, rugby, rowing, running, skating, snooker, swimming and tennis - as recorded by contemporary poets like WH Auden, Wendy Cope, James Berry, John Betjeman, Jean Binta Breeze, PG Wodehouse, Carol Ann Duffy, Ted Hughes, Helen Dunmore, Douglas Dunn, Selima Hill, Sean O'Brien, Roger McGough and Jane Holland.

The book celebrates individual achievement and collective effort, personal satisfaction and public pride, superhuman endurance and skill exchanged for the rewards of immortality. From the first length to the final frame, the egg and spoon race to the Cup Final, from Jack Hobbs to Brian Clough, Centre Court to the Great North Run, Not Just a Game captures the tension and the laughter, the pain and the pleasure, and the blood, sweat and tears.

Venue: Sam's Place, Middlesbrough
Start time: 19:30 Mon 4 December 2006

Admission free.

Sam's Place
144 Linthorpe Road


N.B. Includes a humble effort of my own in the form of Baize Queens, a blunt poem on the trials of women snooker players!

Jane (Ed.)

Joolz in Gateshead: TONIGHT!

An Evening with Joolz Denby

Caedmon Hall, Gateshead
Friday 1 December 2006
Joolz Denby has been a professional writer, spoken-word performer and
illustrative artist for over 25 years. Her latest novel, Billie Morgan,
was shortlisted for The Orange Prize for literature 2005.

For more details, including times and how to book tickets, see

Literature Lounge at the London PoCaff: TONIGHT!

Friday 1st December at 7pm sees the Literature Lounge event taking place at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London. It's apparently "an eclectic night of spoken word and acoustic music with regular contributions from Shepherds Bush, Uxbridge and Harrow writers collectives."

Host for the evening is Anjan Saha. Entry fee is £5 or £3 concessions. Covent Garden tube.