2012 Upcoming Spoken Word Dates Jun -Dec

Fri 1st Word and Sound,Art House Cafe, Crowngate, Worcester from 7.30pm. Entry £3, Jenny Hope officiates

Fri 1st John Hegley, Guildhall, Leicester:This Friday, June 1st, poetry hero and legend, John Hegley will make a special flying visit to Leicester to do a workshop and share his acclaimed one man show – ‘Beyond our Kennel’. His evening performance, at Leicester’s atmospheric Guildhall, will commence at 7pm. The event will also feature performances from rising star slam champions, Nathan Lunt and Cleo Henry.

Needless to say, it will be brilliant and is not to be missed.

To book your ticket ring The Guildhall on… 0116 2532569….

Workshop £8 / £6
Beyond Our Kennel £9 / £8
Joint ticket £15 / £11


Animal Alphaboat Workshop 11 am – 12.30 pm

Join renowned poet and performer John Hegley for a creative workshop of his amazing Animal Alphaboat show. Hegley will facilitate a unique poetry workshop, open to both children and adults. Booking essential, to do so ring The Guildhall on 0116 2532569.

Beyond Our Kennel: 7pm

One of comedy and poetry’s modern treasures, John Hegley, presents his new show Beyond the Kennel, which is, in his words, “‘an evening of poems, sung, drawn and sauntered, with a token hamster and fig roll fun”.

John Hegley is widely known as one of the country’s most innovative comic poets with several best-selling volumes of poetry to his name. John is a regular sell-out at The Edinburgh Festival. He has performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival, the USA Comedy Festival in Aspen, with Ulrika Jonsson & Anita Dobson in The Pyjama Game and on BBC R4’s Hearing With Hegley.


‘Legendary… if you haven’t yet treated yourself to an hour in his company you really ought to put it on your to-do list.’ The Guardian

‘The poems and songs are fantastically funny… This is something special, a true joy to watch.’
***** Chortle.co.uk

Beyond our Kennel is suitable for most people over 7…

Sat 2ndTony Harrison,launches the Ledbury Poetry Festival Programme,The Feathers Hotel,The Courtyard Room,£8 | 8pm :
Tony Harrison reflects on his work and reads some of his best loved poems. A captivating performer, one of Britain’s great poets, no
stranger to controversy for V. and Laureate’s Block, award-winning,steeped in history, versatile (he writes for theatre, film and television) and he is making a rare appearance to read in public.To Book Tickets contact:www.poetry-festival.com
Box Office: 0845 458 1743

Mon 4thGorilla Poetry Slam Competition,DAda Bar 89 Trippet Lane (Located just off West Street), S1 4EL Sheffield,8pm:Invite everyone you know and come prepared to be entertained. 1Love Gorilla’s
Slam Rules:
•Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction.
•Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over the time, points will be deducted from the total score. ( ½ point for every 10 Seconds)
• Five judges will score the poet and the points will be added up. The best scoring will go through to the next round. The scores are between 0.0 to 10.9.
•Judges cannot be related in any way to the poet.
•If you feel the judges were wrong in there scoring you can make them aware by booing the scores. If you agree with the judges, cheer them loudly and give them some jazz hands.
•No Costumes or Props

The Winner Gets a Prize and the ‘’Gorilla Poetry Slam Trophy’’ and a half Hour slot at next poetry event. The Winner will have to come back to the next slam to defend the trophy and there right as the slam champion. At the end of the year the best eight scoring poets will enter the slam final and the winner be called the ‘’The Grand Bard Of Sheffield’’.

Mon 4th SW&N Club Open Mic Spoken word, Newhampton inn, Riches St, Wolverhampton;Spoken Word At Newhampton
Storytelling, poetry, a tune, or a song!Join us on the first Monday of every month (except August) for an evening dedicated to the spoken word.Take part, or just sit back and enjoy the many different voices that make Wolverhampton such a vibrant city.
The Newhampton Inn, Riches Street (off Newhampton Road West) Wolverhampton WV6 0DW,Arrive 7.45 for 8.00pm start.
Suggested donation £3.00 per person.For further details, or to be added to our mailing list please contact us at: chandstory@tiscali.co.uk

Tues 5thSlam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am 3: Anti Jubilee Special,The Riverside Pub,1 Mowbray Street, Sheffield, S3 8EN 7.30pm, £4:A poetry slam for all the rogues, rebels and anti-royalists out there (and all the loyal royalists and lapdogs too – maybe you’ll convince us!)
come and join us as Sheffield poets battle it out to be the leader of the people’s slam revolution!
The top poet will win a paid gig in the future and a fabulous trophy, but winning isn’t everything and a good time will be had by all.

The night will also feature a headline performance from slam champion and anti-valentine vanquisher Gevi Carver whose acid tongue is certain to put ol’ Liz firmly in her place…

There will be 2 rounds, each poet will get 2 minutes to perform in the first round. and will be scored by judges in the audience.
The top 5 scoring poets will then get another chance to perform, this time with up to 3 minutes each.
The top scoring poet will be named as Our Glorious Leader and be showered with praise and adoration.

Please contact Sarah Thomasin here or at wordgeeksarah@gmail.com if you’d like to compete

Tue 5thRhymes Polyvocal Special, Station PH, Kings Heath:8pm, Rhymes is back for a one-off polyvocal special. We have the usual eclectic mix of poets, but with an added element of group poetry, including the National Team Poetry Slams Birmingham team before they compete in Bristol on the 28th June. We also have solo spots from Hayley Frances, Ddotti Bluebell, upcoming talent Kate Walton, and Birmingham Poet Laureate Jan Watts, as well as a cautionary tale of a Spanish holiday, all presided over by Rhymes Slam winner Spoz.

Tues 5thWord Y Theatre, East Street, Leicester LE1 6EY, just opposite Leicester Train Station7pm performers, 8pm, Audience, Open mic plus headliner. £6in
WORD! is the longest running poetry and spoken word night in Leicester. Based at The Y Theatre, Leicester, it takes place on the first Tuesday of every month, between 8.00 and 10.30pm. The evening is composed of an open mic, followed by a booked act.

Wed 6thKAF Creatives Launch Night -Poetry, Art & Music, Kidderminster Library,7pm: Free in,The Launch of the KAF Creatives Exhibition, in Support of the Save Kidderminster Library Gallery. Wine, nibbles, a great exhibition and live spoken word performances. Let’s get togerther and show how good this space is for both art and live performances (including music)!!

Thurs 7th Coffeehouse Poetry – Jim Sheard,The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,5 Castle Gates, SY1 2AE Shrewsbury:7.30-9pm,Come and hear Jim Sheard read for us. Jim has published two collections with Cape – Scattering Eva and Dammtor. It’ll be excellent.

Thur 7th Blckdrop’s Lyric off,@ NAE Gregory Boulevard, Nottm. 8-10pm, £3:It’s Fight Night On The Mic!
Brave the stage Mother ‘n’ Milla decide your fate… …with a little help from the crowd!

Small fun ‘tax free’ cash prizes!
1st place: £20.00
2nd place: £10.00
3rd place: £5
Thurs 7thAn Evening with the Bard and Friends – Stony Live!The Crown, Stony Stratford,8pm;The Bardic Council of Stony Stratford presents a cerebral celebration of performance poetry and the spoken word.

The Bard of Stony Stratford, Danni antagonist

with performances from:
Mark Niel
Fay Roberts
Stephen Hobbs
Vikki Laxton-Bass
Paul Eccentric

Hosted by Richard Frost

This show is one of many events taking place as part of Stony Live, the celebrated annual festival of music and performance in the cultural hub that is the historic town of Stony Stratford. Please go to the official website for more info on all the exciting goings on:

You’ll be spoilt for choice, but please, come and join us in The Crown in the Market Square (MK11 1BE) on Thursday night. (Yes, a scene from Withnail & I WAS filmed in this pub!).

Free Entry – a voluntary collection will be taken. All proceeds will go to Stony Live!


PROFESSIONAL SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS Brenda Read-Brown, Spoz, Matt Windle, Andy Craven-Griffiths and Dreadlock Alien have coached teams of young people from across the region. Now those young poets are ready to Shake the Dust.

Join the 5 WEST MIDLANDS SLAM TEAMS as they showcase their work and compete for a place at the National Shake the Dust Final.

FEATURING music by Jam Jah Sound System with Juggla and a special guest performance from Akala.

JUDGED by Charlie Dark, Lorna Laidlaw and George Ttoouli. HOSTED by Sic’Nis.

Tickets: £4
Venue: The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UU
Booking: http://www.the-drum.org.uk / 0121 333 2444
Info: http://www.shakethedust.co.uk

Presented by The Drum, Write Down Speak Up and Apples and Snakes

Sun 10th June Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Peter Wyton, Emma Pursehouse

Mon 11thMark Grist: Rogue Teacher, plus Toby Thomson, Bristol Old Vic, 8pm: Byron Vincent hosts:It’s been a storming season to packed houses so far and we’re as happy as the most jubilant of Disney’s dwarfs to announce June’s line up.

Mark Grist is coming to Word of Mouth to discuss whether the geek shall indeed inherit the earth in this exciting preview to his forthcoming Edinburgh show. Oh Yes.

Mild mannered English teacher Mark became a worldwide internet sensation when his rap battle against seventeen year old grime MC Blizzard got two million hits on you tube. But how did this peculiar event and the ensuing media cluster whoops occur? Mark Grist is a word geek, the journey that this obsession inspired is weirder than Marlin Manson in tweed flip flops. One man’s story about the importance of being passionate, and the surprising benefits of being able to recite the alphabet backwards.

Here’s the infamous clip:


Obviously, it’s impossible to express the sensitivity and nuance of your character in the context of a Rap Battle. So come and see the real story behind the virtual hype.

We’re also chuffed as monkeys to present one of spoken word’s brightest and most mesmerising young talents:

Toby Thomson:

At just eighteen Toby Thomson is one of the most exciting and impassioned voices to emerge on the scene in years. Already snapped up by the RSC and touring with Dizraeli and the Small Gods, this fledgling wordmonger is not to be missed.

Early booking is advised because these boys are the business.

I’ll be there flapping my gob. I really hope you’ll be there listening or I’ll feel like a bit of twonk.
Your bumbling yet enthusiastic host.

Mon 11thPUREandGOODandRIGHT is an Open Mic poetry event taking place at The Sozzled Sausage, Leamingon Spa CV32 4NX.
7.30 start:
This month’s guest poet is the marvellous…
Math Jones

“Math Jones is an experienced poet and performer. He trained as an actor in Birmingham and works, as an actor, under the stage name of Math Sams. Prior to that, worked as a bookseller for many years.

Math writes in a wide variety of genres, from deeply personal reflections upon life and relationships, through comical verse, dark and gothic story-poems, inspirational snippets, spiritual meditations, sensual erotica, and full-blown Pagan verse in Old English metres, dedicated to the gods and ghosts of the Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse, accompanied by the Old English Harp.”

“Warm and generous in his presentation, with comic turns and passionate rhymes.”

With open mic support from…….yes……YOU!

Admission £3 (£2 Student/OAP)
If you would like to know more about the night, please email pgrpoetry@gmail.com

Mon 11th June Spire Writes , Havana Whites, Corporation St Chestefield,7.45, Free in:In June, Spire Writes brings you two more legendary poets, Andrew McMillan from Barnsley and Gav Roberts from Rotherham. Please come and join us, and perform at the open mic too if it takes your fancy.

Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988. His poetry is collected in two pamphlets, ‘every salt advance’ (2009) and ‘the moon is a supporting player’ (2011) and is featured in the Salt Book of Younger Poets. He has been poet in residence for Basingstoke, for the Bournemouth and Poole LGBT community and for the Watershed Landscape Project; he regularly teaches in community, school and higher education settings.

Gav Roberts is the founder of the fantastic ROMP in Rotherham and is also a superb performer, who has appeared at The Kings Arms in Salford as well as many other venues, so we’re really pleased to get him to Chesterfield.

As usual, it’s completely FREE so you can save your pennies for the well-stocked bar at Havana Whites. The bar is 2 minutes from Chesterfield train station and we’ll finish in time for people to get the last train back to Sheffield.

Starts at 8, but if you can get there before 7.45, that’d be great.

If you’d like to read at our friendly open mic (or even play a song), please let me know – one poem each, ta.

Don’t miss it!

Tues 12th Roy MacFarlane at Y Theatre.7 east St Leicester:7pm Come down to The Y on June the 12th. Our special guest at Word! is superb poet/performer Roy McFarlane.

Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his former years living in Wolverhampton. As Resident Poet at Starbucks, a solo performer and a member of the New October Poets he’s performed in numerous venues, sharing the stage with poets such as Roi Kwabena, Fred D’Aguiar and Talking Brothers.

Roy was made Birmingham Poet Laureate in 2010/11 which enabled him to share his work across England and Holland. No subject was left unturned with his material ranging from Holocaust memorial to bikes in Amsterdam, cities, mental health, love and beyond.

Roy has performed and read in libraries, pubs, cafes, theatres, conferences, art galleries and many other poetry events and venues. Roy is has been involved in a number of poetry projects, one of them being a poetry anthology called 10 Birmingham Poets.

The evening will as usual be supported by sumptuous film visuals from filmmaker Keith Allott.

If you would like to perform or read sign up with the compere at 7pm.

£4 /£3 concessions.

Sat June 16th Fancy a Double,Malvern Youth centre, Malvern, 8pm: £5 in:Featuring – The Very Grimm Brothers (Adrian Mealing and John Denton) The Imperfect Pair (Amy Rainbow and Gary Longden) Lindsey & Catherine, Tim Cranmore and Sorcha Cummins. Expertly compering the night is Jai Hill, The Bard of Malvern.

Expect double helpings, double entendres, double trouble, double the fun!! Come see musical carrots meet puppetry!
Bananas meeting guitars! Bickering meeting verse! The Grimms’ lamenting the demise of the mole rummaging in raised beds through the medium of voice and !??!

Part of the Worcester Literary Festival.
£5 Entry
Over 18’s only

Are you stuck in a fairy liquid bubble?
Is your hose full of rubble?!
Does your face OR leg possess a chafing 3mm stubble.
IF so

DO you FANCY a DOUBLE??????

Tickets on sale at

See http://www.catherinecrosswell.co.​uk/8.html for biogs and more info.

Sun 17thTalking About Horror – 42 Special with Writer, Adam Millard,Lunar Bar,Worcester 7.30pm:Adam Millard, author of the Zombie novels Dead West and Dead Cells, and various other twisted musings… appearing live at a microphone near you…

42 Open Mic Night & The Worcestershire Literary Festival are proud to present a special evening with renowned horror writer Adam Millard.

A Midlands boy from Wolverhampton, Adam will be joining the regions genre specialists the 42 open mic team as part of an event during this year’s Worcestershire Literary Festival when he will be waxing lyrical about all things horror, including his own inspirations and fears.

The 42 team stages a regular monthly open mic event in Worcester which specializes in genre themes, (notably gothic, horror, fantasy and sci-fi), and there will be five minute slots for other writers to perform both before and end after Adam’s own performance and talk.

This is a chance to hear a really accomplished genre writer performing and speaking about his work personally, and should be a real event to remember. Adam will be available to answer questions and will be available for a book signing at the end of the evening.

Join us and Adam for a night of storytelling and horror on a real night to remember with 42!

(This is the 1st of two ‘42’ events during June, the 2nd will be a regular ‘42’ Open Mic Night on the 27th June)

If you would be interested in performing at this and/​or other events please contact the 42 Worcester Team at 42worcester@42openmicnight.co.u​k. Slots will be 5 minutes long.

PRICE: £3.00



‘42’ is Worcester’s first & only Gothic, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Open Mic Night for all those who love the genres & everything in between. Let your voice be heard!

Calling all writers, poets, musicians, performance artists, actors and comedians, if you have an interest in these areas we want you to get involved!

‘42’ takes its name from Douglas Adams’ great answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. We thought that was pretty all encompassing and a really snappy name which people would embrace. This is THE genre fans open mic night, and we want them to get in touch and make their voice heard!


There are a few provisos which we must outline at the outset, such as the fact that although we embrace darker works we don’t encourage superfluous gore or scenes of lingering torture for the sake of celebrating cruelty. We do not encourage the humiliation, or attack of anyone due to their ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or the fact that their great grandfather six times removed was kidnapped by aliens. Although a degree of swearing could be part of an artist’s dramatic flow in a given horror story, we ask you to keep any such sequences within a reasonable dramatic format which will sound plausible!

So please respect these guidelines and we will welcome your contribution warmly.

Each performer will be allotted a 5 minutes span for their set (on this particular evening, due to the nature of the event), and we ask contributors to respect this timeframe! Please get in touch well in advance of the advertised evening if you wish to take part and have specific requirements for sound, etc.

We are always looking for new writers and performers to get involved in the event, so if you would like to become involved we would be chuffed to bits to hear from you! So get in touch!

Wed 20th JuneWed 20th June Storytelling Cafe – Tales of Midsummer Eve, Kitchen Garden Cafe,York Rd, Kings Heath
7.30pm (Doors 6.30pm)

“Compelling, shimmering, luminous and sublime” (Front Row, Radio 4). Celebrate mysteries of Midsummer Eve as nationally acclaimed storyteller, Debs Newbold, unfolds tales of the turning of time; the sweet love of Summer changing into the deep loss of Winter. Travel with her from the sensuous groves of Italy to the wild hills of Shropshire; sense the rustle of the leaves, breath in the scent of summer and listen to the songs woven into these magical stories.

Debs Newbold is the first storyteller to be given a Late Junction slot by Radio 3 and has been nominated as the UK artist by Pinokio, a prestigious European storytelling project. Strong, skilled, brimming with charisma and immensely proud of her Brummie roots, Debs commands large auditoriums from Shakespeare’s Globe to the Royal Opera House and enthralls audiences at prestigious national events such as the Hay Literary Festival. But of course the best description of Deb’s talent comes from her own vivid pen when she describes herself as “having voice, heart and imagination as big as a very clever giant’s”. “’Enthralling…the whole audience was hanging on every word”( Hebden Bridge Arts Festival).

Tickets: £7
Tickets available from the Cafe – Food Served from 6.30, Stories start at 7.30

Wed 20th June The Vaginellas at The Boars Head, Kidderminster, 7.30pm, part of the Worcestershire Literary Festival:The evening kicks off at 7.30pm and will also include an open mic for anyone wishing to share their own adventurous verse, be it feminist fun, poetic play or any other kind of poetry.The Vaginellas are also delighted to welcome legendary Birmingham poet and Behind the Arras reviewer Gary Longden as their special guest for their very first live gig. The gallery is upstairs at the Boar’s Head Pub, 39 Worcester Street,Kidderminster, Worcestrshire,DY10 1EW.Tickets are £3, available on the door or booking through the Worcestershire Literary Festival box office.

Wed 20th Live Reading@ Arts All Over the Place, Station PH, Kings Heath: Poetry open mic with Brendan Higgins.

Thurs 21st/Fri 22nd The Loneliness of The Long Distance Diva, Curve Theatre, Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1SB, Tickets: £12 / £8 :7.45pm
Info: http://www.curveonline.co.uk / 0116 2423595, Booking: http://www.curvetickets.co.uk / 0116 2423595
Apples and Snakes, Peepul Centre, Phoenix Digital Media Centre and Legacy Trust present
The Loneliness of The Long Distance Diva

A gifted but deeply flawed diva reflects on her life: a prize seemingly everyone would want.

A modern day epic of strength and vulnerability inspired by Alan Sillitoe’s classic The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner, the show is a compelling choreopoem, combining poetry and physical theatre with sublime cutting edge music and stunning digital visuals. Written and performed by multi-talented artist Carol Leeming.

“Carol is a strong and confident performer” – Benji Reid, Breaking Cycles

“devolved British writing and performance at its best” – Dr Corinne Fowler, English Department Leicester University

Fri 22nd 8pm & 23rd June 2pm +8pm “Being Human” Belgrave Theatre Coventry,£11.In association with Bloodaxe Books,Being Human is a dramatic performance of poetry from around the world, presented by three performers, with music, projections and striking imagery.

Charting the drama of our lives, these are thoughtful and passionate poems that will touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit; poems about being human, about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder.

Drawn from the latest anthology in Neil Astley’s Staying Alive trilogy, this is a Midland Creative Projects production working with the performance companies Talking Birds and Interplay and in association with Bloodaxe Books and The Belgrade Theatre.

Sat 23rd Poetry & Pints, the Globe, Malvern 7pm:Open Mic – Poetry and Pints,MC Mike Sergeant hosts an evening of poetry.Twelve West Midlands poets and a special reading of The Olympians, a collection of new writing by members of the Bridgnorth Writers’ Group inspired by Dr William Penny Brookes and the Olympic Games.

Sun 24thWorcs Lit Fest POETRY SLAM,Drummonds,28 New Street, Worcester,WR5 1BU:7.30pm – with Spoz

Wed 27th JunePhenomenal Women,Library Theatre, Birmingham, 7.30pm:Building on the success and popularity of the previous 2 ‘Phenomenal Women’events, Birmingham Poet Laureate, Jan Watts brings you another evening of poetry by ‘phenomenal women’. This event is open to all and will feature a range of poetry from women that Jan has met, worked with or come across throughout her Laureate year. Some reading slots are taken, please contact Jan Watts via roaringgreasepaint@hotmail.co.uk

Wed 27th 42@ The Lunar Bar, Worcester. 7.30pm

Sun 1st July Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Nick Alexander, Miki Burn

Wed 4th July Spire Writes , Havana Whites, Corporation St Chestefield,7.45, Free in:In July, Spire Writes brings you two more legendary poets, with Liz Berry and Faye Lipson.. Please come and join us, and perform at the open mic too if it takes your fancy.

Thurs 5th JulyThe Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW, 7.30pm:£9in,The Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus, a great meeting of poetic minds from every Olympic nation, brings some of the most exciting writers from across the globe to stages across Britain. For Writing West Midlands and the Stratford Poetry Festival, Poetry Parnassus is delighted to introduce T.J. Dema from Botswana, a poet, editor and events manager, and Kosal Khiev from Cambodia, a poet and exile from the USA.

Join them for readings, discussion and personal stories.

T.J. Dema is a Botswana poet and chairperson of The Writers Association of Botswana. She has performed in France, Denmark, India, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe and is part of the multi-country poetry and music ensemble Sonic Slam Chorus.

Kosal Khiev is a poet, teaching artist and survivor of the US prison system, deported in 2011 to Cambodia. Since then he has used poetry to uplift his situation with compelling performances at TedX Phnom Penh, universities and pubic stages.
Poetry Parnassus on Tour is a Southbank Centre production in association with Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions. In partnership with the Stratford Poetry Festival.

How to book:
To book your place, please visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s website or click here.

Sat 7th July The Saturday Plinth,Worcester City Museum Foregate St, Worcester 10am – 1pm, Free:As part of Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery’s 4th Plinth project, this is a Saturday morning spoken word event in the space vacated by the departing library.

Come to perform, or come to watch – either way, this won’t be your ordinary Worcester Saturday!

Performance slots will be 10-15mins. Poetry, prose, drama, or any combination thereof! But no swearing or nudity (we get enough of that during the week).

Tues 10th “Poetry Alight at the Spark Cafe Bar, 19 Tamworth St, Lichfield WA13 6JP
Tuesday 10th July 2012, Arrive early , 7.30pm prompt start -10pm
“A terrific evening of poetry” – Mal Dewhirst

Lichfield Poets proudly present the third in this quarterly series of poetry evenings, hosted by Gary Longden in the week of the Lichfield Festival.
It comprises four visiting guest poets and an open mic section. Great pride is taken in introducing new poets to the audience, and new audiences to poets. Open mic spots, at 3mins each, may be booked in advance, a very few may be made available on the night, e-mail: Lichfield.Poets@hotmail.co.uk
Please note that our advance slots are always oversubscribed, all requests may not be successful.
The Cafe, as well as offering coffee, teas and light refreshments is also licensed to sell alcohol and offers a range of hot food, I can personally vouch for their Cumberland sausage sandwich! The audience is encouraged to arrive early, and the Spark is ideal to enjoy a supper with friends before proceedings. The Cafe is open all day.
This month we have four distinguished published guest poets, two from Leicestershire based Crystal Clear Creators, and two from Black Country Based Offa’s Press. Both publications regularly invite submissions.
From Crystal Clear Creators
Dr Jonathan Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at De Montfort University. His specialisms include prose fiction and non-fiction, memoir-writing, radio writing, poetry and literature of the ‘long’ nineteenth-century. He is also co-founder and co-director of Crystal Clear Creators (www.crystalclearcreators.org.uk), which records, publishes, produces and promotes new writing, particularly for radio, and publishes the Poetry magazine Hearing Voices. Jonathan is widely published, his work is very accessible, with a sense of fun, listen out for Mozart’s Clarinet Sextet.

Maria Taylor is a poet and reviewer . She has had poetry published in a variety of magazines including The North, Staple, The Guardian and Iota. She has also reviewed for The TLS and Sphinx, as well as co-editing the magazine Hearing Voices. She teaches Creative Writing at De Montfort University and has also tutored young people and children. Her debut collection, Melanchrini, is available from Nine Arches Press in July 2012. I suspect that we can persuade her to read from it.
This is how I described the first time I saw her perform, over a year ago:” Her trademark is short, concise neat poetry which bustles with joie de vivre. Soap Sud Island visited her erstwhile home district of Acton in London, and its status as launderette to the more upmarket Chelsea and Kensington. Getting Rid told of the disposal of a troublesome bee in her bedroom. She entertained and engaged with a magnetic economy of expression.”
( As Jonathan and Maria are husband and wife, I should stress that the above biographies appear in alphabetical order!)
From Offa’s Press
Jane Seabourne: is a published writer and poet whose credits include The Guardian and Mslexia. She has lived on both sides of Offa’s Dyke, having grown up in South Wales, and currently works part-time in education. She lives in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton.Bright Morning, her first collection of poetry was published by Offa’s Press in May 2010 and is a delight for anyone who enjoys well-crafted and witty contemporary poetry.
Jayne says: ” My poems are inspired by mysteries, oddities, unusual details and scraps of memory. I like to observe, record and imagine the goings-on behind the curtains of people’s lives.”
Nick Pearson is a Forward Prize nominated poet. His poems have inhabited many places, including anthologies, magazines, websites, CDs, live performances and the works of artists. He lives in Shropshire, his Offa’s Press collection is entitled “Made in Captivity.” This collection draws together a range of work written over the last ten years. Urban, sharply observed, often humorous and with elements of atmospheric staging ,these poems catch some of the voices of contemporary disconnection and the search for certainty
Reviews of past Poetry Alights are available here:

Wed 11th July Smart Poets, Beggd Out, fletchers walk, Paradise Circus, Birmingham. Open Mic 7.30pm

Thurs 12th Coffeehouse Poetry Open Mic, Shrewsbury Coffee House , Castle Gate, Shrewsbury with Liz lefroy, 7.30pm, free in. (Note this is a chnage from the usual Tuesday).
Wed 16th-18th Mix;herging into media conferende, Corsham Court, Bath Spa University:For three days in July an international gathering of academics, artists, film makers and writers will meet in the stunning location of Corsham Court to discuss the current developments in digital writing.

The conference will take place at Bath Spa University’s postgraduate centre at Corsham Court from 16th-18th July 2012. Its aim is to bring together practitioners and theorists working with writing in digital media. The purpose is to create a core of research knowledge both practical and theoretical. The conference will present academic papers as well as presentations and workshops by current digital practitioners. There will also be a public exhibition of digital work created for this conference through an open call for artists/writers: http://www.mix-bathspa.org/liberated-words/liberated-words-call-for-video-narratives-at-mix-conference

The questions we will be addressing are: How can new media be used for serious artistic purposes and how can we create a suitable critical vocabulary for this? What is the relationship between digital writers and the commercial world of ‘gaming’. Who are the audiences for digital writing and how can they be accessed? There will be submissions from those who work in digital media, concrete poetry, text art, poetry and performance, poetry and film, film poems, digital poetics, poetry and art, poetry and music, digital narratives, game writing, intermedia poetry, transmedia writing, language art, visual writing and installations.

The conference will produce a networked book of critical essays, examples of work and also an online forum where the debate can be continued.

Confirmed Key Speakers are:
Mark Amerika: Internationally renowned ‘re-mix’ artist and pioneer of internet art, digital video and experimental literature. Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Kate Pullinger: Acclaimed writer for both print and digital platforms. Reader at De Montfort University and founder of the Transliteracy Research Group.
Tom Konyves: Video poem creator and multi-media writer. Lecturer in screen writing in British Columbia.
Dr. Maria Mencia: Leader of practice led research in language driven new media/art/literature. Senior Lecturer at Kingston Universtity.

There will be an international line up of presenters from the U.S, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and the UK.

Tues 17th July Buxton Fringe, Word Wizzards Slam,”For All That Clap” Grove Hotel Buxton, 7.30pm: £3in Rob Stevens hosts.
Tues 17th Bobby Parker/ Meredith Andrea, Kitchen Garden Cafe,York Rd, Kings Heath,7.30pm (Doors 7pm)

Two new poetry books from Knives Forks and Spoons Press. Bobby Parker reads from ’Comberton’, his bravura prose-poem sequence “a collection of poems whose narrative outstrips most novels for depth, mystery and staying power (Luke Kennard). Plus Meredith Andrea, reading from ‘Organon’.

Tickets: Free Event – all welcome

Wed 18th July, Storytelling Cafe Kitchen Garden Cafe,York Rd, Kings Heath, 7.30pm (Doors 6.30pm)

Summer is in the air and we dream of lands far away. Take a journey into your imaginations with the Storytelling cafe Team Graham Langley, Ana-Maria Lines, Dawn Powell and Kit Bathgate. Enjoy a relaxed and compelling summer’s night of storytelling with a glass of wine and a relaxed sociable atmosphere. Food Served from 6.30, Stories start at 7.30.

Tickets: £7
Tickets available from the Cafe or http://www.wegottickets.com

Tue 24th July, Poetry Bites with Nick Pearson & Jane Seabourne,Kitchen Garden Cafe,York Rd, Kings Heath
7.30pm (Doors 6.30pm)

“One of the top 10 venues for poetry in the UK” (Susan Richardson, Radio 4). Poetry Bites also includes floor spots – arrive early to book a spot. Tickets on door or by email from jacquirowe@hotmail.co.uk (07971 018 825). Food Served from 6.30, Readings start at 7.30.

Tickets: £5 (£4 Conc.) on Door
Food served from 6:30pm, Readings start at 7:30pm

Tuesday 24th Polesworth Abbey, Poleworth, Open Mic and Guest Gary Carr.7.30pm, Free in

Fri 27thA SAFETY PIN STUCK IN THE HEART – punk poetry and spiky stand-up! Frog & Fiddle PH, High St Cheltenham:8pm,A celebration of punk poetry with Iconic punk-poet and urban folksinger Patrik Fitzgerald

Adrenaline fuelled stand-up poet Trevor Meaney
(‘One of the funniest acts I have ever seen’. Cheltenham Poetry Festival.)

‘There’s no better example of the Punk DIY attitude than the lone, slight figure of Patrik Fitzgerald making it happen and expressing himself on stage. Singing songs of alienation, observation and imagined situations. Those early songs like ‘Safety Pin In My Heart’ and ‘All Sewn Up’ have amazingly stood the test of time and sound as relevant today as then. Patrik Fitzgerald was the ‘Punk Poet.’
Punk77 Magazine.

Friday 27th July
The Frog and Fiddle


Tickets £7 or £5 in advance from Badlands


August Gloucester Poetry and Spoken Word festival

Sun 2nd Sept Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Michael Thom

Tuesday 25th Polesworth Abbey, Poleworth, Open Mic and Guest Gary Carr.7.30pm, Free inas

Sun 7th Oct Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Daniel Sluman

Sun 4th Nov Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Jo Bell

Sun 2nd Dec Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Kate North

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