Polesworth Refectory Polesworth
Organiser Mal Dewhirst has a sure touch in the guest poets he invites to Polesworth, and this months Fizz was no exception.
Matt Merritt was the headline attraction whose debut collection, Troy Town, was published by Arrowhead in 2008, with a chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light, by HappenStance coming out in 2005.
His poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, Matt lives locally, and works as a journalist for Bird Watching magazine. His most recent collection, from which he read extensively, “Hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica”, is available from Nine Arches Press.
I have seen Matt perform before at Shindig in Leicester, but his large body of work meant that much of what I heard I was listening to for the first time. ”Dreams From the Anchor Church” was particularly strong, taking us back to Anglo- Saxon times in which he “struck out with my face to the future/to find myself walking through the past”.
His affection for history also manifested itself in “Drinking With Godberd” as he visited the Robin Hood legend. Matt’s connection with natural themes, whether it was the Chirimoya fruit of South America, or the Swifts of Leicestershire, engaged and delighted in equal measure. Those wishing to explore his work further should visit his blog site at: http://polyolbion. blogspot. com/
Mal himself revisited his recent successes at the Nuneaton Poetry Day with his collaborative poem “ In a Single Moment”, and “Nuneaton”, in which he traced the subterranean flow of the River Anker. He also trailed news of his upcoming project this Saturday 23rd July which will see ten poets travelling around the Midlands writing poetry in a relay race with one poet passing the baton to the next poet who will add the next part of the poem.
The relay starts in Stoke on Trent and then on to Burton On Trent, The next stop is Polesworth where Mal will take the baton before passing it on at Hatton Country world, following with Worcester/Droitwich, Malvern Hills, Bromyard, Highley, Telford and finishing in Stafford. The Poets will travel on a minibus being collected as they take the baton, The poem will be read at each of the locations as it grows on it journey around the Midlands.
The ten parts of the poem will be attached to ten pigeons from the Birmingham Pigeon Project and released in Stafford, back to the loft in Birmingham, the final order of the poem being decided by the order in which the pigeons arrive back at the loft. The event itself is part of a series of events organized in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
As always the supporting cast of open –micers excelled, none more so than Barry Patterson whose lyrical tribute to the Apollo moon landing was a joy. Gina Coates observations on Body Image were sharp, whilst “Citizen Andy Biddulph” kept the home fires of the revolution burning with his customary anti-capitalist diatribes, some culled from his embryonic website “The Luddite”. Fizz 9 meets on September 20th at Polesworth Refectory at 7. 30pm. 19-07-11