May 2012 – What’s On, Midlands Spoken Word

30th April -6th May Chipping Campden Festival :

Fri 4th-7th May Shrewsbury Bookfest:

Mon 7th-19th May Swindon Festival of Literature:

Fri 11th -20th May Derbyshire Literary Festival

Sat 19th May-27th Nailsworth Festival:

Tues 1st Night Blue Fruit, Taylor Johns, Canal Basin, Coventry 8pm: Free in Sarah James headlines plus open mic, Barry Patterson/ Anthony Owen host

Thurs 3rd Phenomenal Women Two, Library Theatre, Birmingham. Poetry evening with Jan Watts 7.30pm,
Birmingham Poet Laureate, Jan Watts brings you another evening of poetry by ‘phenomenal women’ that she has met, worked with or come across. This is a free event on Thursday 3 May (7.30pm – 9pm) at Birmingham Library Theatre (no need to book, just turn up, please contact Jan direct (details on attachment) if you would like a reading slot at this event).

Thurs 3rd Yard of Tales,Joules Yard, rear of 53-55 High Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7AF. Joules Yard is a unique venue with a licensed bar after 7pm, also serving tea and coffee. If you would like to order a vegetarian meal for the evening, provided by ‘The Green House’ please telephone 01858 463250. Market Harborough, Leicestershire, Meets first Thursday in the month.Yard of Tales is a performance storytelling club hosted by Kevin Walker!Tickets £6 at door (includes nibbles).For further information – 0116 259 2233 or 01858 463250

Thur 3rd Word Up Poetry Open Mic plus headliners,The Drum Arts Centre,The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU,0121 333 2444, Seasonal monthly, first Thursdays, Last one before the autumn 8pm, £

Thur 3rd The Poetry Evening The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,5 Castle Gates, SY1 2AE, with Liz Lefroy , 8pm , free in, Booked bill.

Thurs 3rd, Parole Parlate, Little Venice, Worcester, 7.30pm:Parole Parlate : The Spoken Word” is back on Thursday 3rd May 2012 and is a dedicated spoken word and “music that tells a story” platform. If you would like the chance to read your short stories, poems, prose, try out your performance poetry or music that tells a story, this evening is for you!
Hosted by Little Venice in Worcester, there will be a full bar service, cakes/snacks and you can of course take advantage of their full menu and enjoy their delicious pizzas, pastas or salads. Try out their £7.95 menu which includes a main course and a drink.
Already confirmed to perform on May 3rd:
Chris Wayne
Euginia Herlihy
Math Jones
Chardonnay Jade
Andrew Owens
Beth “Knuckles” Edwards
Plus a very special performance by Tony Judge, who will be entertaining us with more of his extracts from the Littlehope Parish Magazine.
The entry fee for this event is £3.00 on the door,
If would like a slot to perform on one of these dates please let us know by emailing, leave a post on the wall of this event or visit and leave a post on the wall.
Performers get free entry, a choice of an alcoholic or soft drink and cake for taking part.
“Parole Parlate : The Spoken Word” is on the first Thursday of every month

Thur 3rd Poetry & Pints, Church Rooms, Chipping Campden.9pm; £5.00:Angela France is back by popular demand for a third year with Nine Arches Poets Daniel Sluman, Matt Merritt and Maria Taylor.Open mic spots for audience members to read their own work, or much loved poems by others.Please sign up on the door.Book tickets: 01386 841 222

Fri 4th Northampton Poetry/ Short Fiction Reading,University of Northampton, Avenue Campus, MR33,9:30am until 11:00am,Andrew “Mulletproof Graves, Roy Marshall, Jessica Mayhew, Charles G Lauder and Hannah Stevens will be reading from their new pamphlets, published by Crystal Clear Creators. Free to come along! Tea and coffee provided.

Sun 6th Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic plus Katy Evans Bush

Sun 6th ARTournament’s Sunday Chill,The New Inn in the centre of Gloucester (opp M&S) City Centre. 16 Northgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2. UK. First Sunday, £5in, 3pm-9pm. poetry, Comedy and Music.

Mon 7th The SW@N Club – Spoken Word at the Newhampton, Wolverhampton Meets every 1st Monday of the month (no club in August) at 8 pm – 10.30 pm. Admission – suggested donation on entry.The club meets in the upstairs room at the Newhampton Inn, Riches Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, WV6 0DW.For further details please contact Peter Chand

Tues 8th Mouth & Music 5,Boars Head Gallery, Kidderminster 8pm, £3 in:We’re delighted to present THE DECADENT DIVAS, 4 women, each from a different decade – all great friends who giggle over tea, toast, cake…in fact anything edible/drinkable and write poetry together. This is their second show, set at a wedding…..what do women really talk about when no-one but you is listening?…..
The Decadent Divas are:
Maggie Doyle, Charlie Jordan, Lorna Meehan & Laura Yates
Come and be entertained! It’s only £3 to get in, and if you fancy performing there’s no charge. 5 minute slots are available for spoken word performers, 2 songs for musicians. Get there early to book a slot. There’s no PA – it’s cosy & up-close.
Presented by Heather Wastie & Sarah Tamar for KAF Creatives.

Tues 8th City Voices Second Tuesday 19:30 City Bar King Street, Wolverhampton WV 1ST booked poets

Tues 8th Scribal Gathering Bull Hotel, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1AQ, 2nd tuesday monthly,Entry: free; open mic poetry and music with featured acts,”Stony Stratford’s première spoken word and music performance event. This monthly meeting of minds will bring together writers, musicians and performers of all kinds to share their talents, entertain each other and evoke the spirit of gathering. Join us…” Sign up for the open mic on the night, or reserve a slot by email:

Scribal Gathering is back at the Bull on Tuesday 8th May for another shining showcase of music and poetry, despite considerable efforts to find a better venue in time for the gig. Until we do we’re stuck where we are, so stop asking.

May is the month for gathering. Don’t try gathering nuts though – there aren’t any at this time of year. And if the bushes have started producing nuts randomly out of season due to erratic meteorological conditions brought about by mad scientists and sinister governments (and definitely not by right-on household appliances like smoothie-makers and iPads), any aberrent produce would have been washed away in the deluge of floodwater caused by the recent drought sarcasm on Facebook. There is, apparently, a drought, and yet it seems to be raining. Fifty million people like commenting on this.

So gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and gather together to make merry in the spirit of music and poetry, with special guest performers Steve Allen, long-time Scribal Gathering regular making his long-overdue headline appearance, and Morad and Dave, bringing their distinctive rhythmic musical combo and taking hits from the bongos. There is also the open-minded, open-fronted, open-heart open mic, welcoming performers of any style, genre or level of ineptitude to share whatever they choose to bring and invoke the spirit of gathering. Where else are you going to go? The Cock?

Join us…

Where: The Bull Hotel, High Street, Sony Stratford MK11 1AQ. Until we can find somewhere that will give us a decent bit of money or at least a drink at the end of the night. We tried the Crown again but they didn’t want to know.

When: Tuesday 8th May. Second Tuesday of the month. Always the second Tuesday.

How: Sign up for open mic on the night. Arrive early to avoid disappointment, or just turn up near the end and talk loudly at the back.

Tues 8th Tales at the Edge, White Lion Inn, Bridgnorth, Shropshire,Tales at the Edge is one of the country’s oldest and most established storytelling clubs, meeting in Bridgenorth on the 2nd Tuesday of every month (except August) at 8 pm.
Hear tales, myths and legends from all over the world in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you are new to storytelling, an experienced teller or just enjoy listening to stories. There is no charge for admission.
For more details contact: Mike Rust 01694 771 379.

Wed 9th Speak Up, Hare & Hounds, Moseley, Birmingham, monthly, 7.30pm: headliners plus open mic,£5in

Wed 9th The Quad Derby QUAD, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AS Second Wednesday 19.30 Free in, A monthly night of performed poetry for everyone, new performers always welcome or just come and listen, More details from QUAD or contact Les on T: 01332 206 734,

Wed 9 May,: An evening of Persian Poetry at The Barber Institute, Birmingham University 6.30 – 8pm,Persian poetry is one of the world’s greatest literary treasures, although little is known of the rich and dynamic tradtition of contemporary Persian poetry. The Poetry Translation Centre’s Persian Poets’ Tour presents two prominant Persian langauge poets from Afghanistan and Mimi Khalvati. The poets will read in the their native language before the UK poets share the translations. In partnership with The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
– full details and a booking link will be available at shortly.

Thurs 10th The Shipping Forecast Open Mic, Second Thursday Monthly Rude Shipyard Cafe,89 Abbeydale Rd Sheffield, S7 1FE:7.45 Hosted by miss piggy or stan skinny, message for slots.!/pages/The-Shipping-Forecast-spoken-word/276780052333840?sk=info

Bang said the Gun ManchesterThe Old Nag’s Head Pub, Jacksons Row (off Deansgate) 7.30pm Thursdays weekly

If underpants, sex, gravy and Keith Moon giving the Queen Mother drumming lessons are more your thing, then this could be the verbal romp you’ve been waiting for…..

Bang Said The Gun in London is considered one of the best poetry nights in the country and has recently …been reaching over 4 million viewers on Channel 4’s Random Acts.

Rod Tame and Kieren King are repeating this winning formula with Manchester’s first weekly poetry night,guests this week Jackie Hagan, Emma Purshouse and Solomon Scribble The night will celebrate the best in local and national poets as well as offering audience members the chance to compete…… for the coveted Golden Gun prize in the Top Banana Open Mic.

Each week’s Golden Gun prize winner is offered a guest set at a future Bang Said The Gun: Manchester!

First come, first on open mic so get down early if you wanna be on. Or, just come join the crowd to listen and cheer. It’s a top notch night out

Sat 12th May Lyric Lounge,Donut Creative Arts Studios, Chesterfield 10am onwards. Afternoon free/evening £5
Lyric Lounge is a day-long feast of words, poetry, performance music and fun, with workshops, an open mic Lyrical Lunch, plus an evening event featuring Mark Gwynne Jones and John Agard.

The day starts at 10am with writing workshops with Matt Black and River Wolton.

From noon until 2.30pm everyone is welcome to join in with or listen to the Lyrical Lunchtime open mic session hosted by Matt and award-winning poet Helen Mort.

The evening session, which begins at 7pm, features young people from Springwell College sharing poetry and spoken word pieces they have been preparing for around six weeks. They will then hand over to Mark Gwynne Jones, an award-winning poet who mixes humour with poignancy to produce work with an almost music hall edge. Mark regularly performs at Ronnie Scott’s, the Edinburgh Festival, the Arvon Foundation and at music and literature festivals throughout the UK and abroad.

The day ends with a performance by leading poet John Agard. Since he came to Britain in 1977 from Guyana he’s established a reputation as a writer of poetry for adults and children – he won the Casa de las Américas Prize in 1982, a Paul Hamlyn Award in 1997 and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education award in 2009 and has worked as writer-in-residence at the BBC, for the Windrush Project and for the National Maritime Museum.

The daytime events are free. Tickets for the evening event are £5 from any Derbyshire library or Call Derbyshire 08 456 058 058.
For further information about the Derbyshire Literature Festival visit: – we’ve got some great events taking place at venues across the county

Saturday 12th Mars On The Rise Book Launch by Rachel Gee, Century Theatre, Coalville.7.30pm For a mere £20 you receive a signed copy of the book, various Victorian themed goodies and music, dancing, laughter and general splendidness at the Century Theatre. Going to be a lot of Steampunk fun!

Saturday 12th – Swindon Youth Slam and Wed16th adult Poetry Slam at Swindon Festival of Literature. Time and venue to be confirmed

Sat 12th Poets Place, Birmingham Central Library,2pm-4pm, free in, second Sat monthly

Mon 14th Speech Bubble ,Cognito, Students’ Union, Loughborou​gh University, 7.30pm:Join us for Speech Bubble the third! With more performances from our Loughborough students as well as headliners, Kate Fox and Mark Grist, this evening of spectacular spoken wordiness is not to be missed! As always there will be open-mic mayhem so bring along your poems and sample the stage…
Students: FREE (with NUS card) Non-students: £2 (pay on door)

Mon 14th Pub Poetry Nottingham The Canal house, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EH,8pm, 2nd monday : Free in, Open mic Contact Nick on

Mon 14th PureandGoodandRight Second Monday 19:30 The Sozzled Sausage 141 Regent St, Leamington Spa CV32 4NX Open mic + guest
This month’s guest poet is the rib-tickling… Rosemary Gregory,Rosemary is a prize winning, performance, published poet, who has had poems published in various anthologies.In January, she was commissioned to do a poem about a battery hen for BBC Coventry, and performed it on air with Pam Ayres. Indeed, she has been described as Warwick’s answer to Pam Ayres.Her poems take a tongue in cheek and comic look at many things. Rosemary has a stand-up routine to go with her poems, and is becoming known on the circuit.

Tues 15th Poetry Alight, Spark Cafe, Tamworth St, Lichfield.WS13 6JP 7.30pm start. free in. Open mic poetry evening – but all places taken, a fabulous roster of poets. Gary Longden comperes. Get there early. Sue Brown , Mstr Morrison , Rob Stevens and Roy Marshall headline. Railway station close by, easy parking.

Tues 15th Poetry Club Giggling Goblin Coffee Shop, Mill Lane, Ashby de la Zouch– 8:30, free in, with a licensed bar and great coffee. Third Tuesday of the month. Open mic poetry and folk
Wed 16th Templar Poetry,Lamb & Flag, The Tyhthing, Worcester, 8pm; Open mic, third Wednesday, Alex officiates contact:Alex McMillen, Alex McMillen,Templar Poetry, PO BOX 7082, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 9AF,Tel: 01629 582500, Mobile: 07918166975

Wed 16th Storytelling Cafe – With Dave Tongue, Kitchen Garden Cafe, York rd, Kings Heath: 7.30pm (Doors 6.30pm)

Treat yourself to a good night out at The Kitchen Garden and immerse yourself in comfort as Dave Tonge’s new show, “Dame Fortune’s Wheel and the Three Estates”brings the Middle Ages to life before your very eyes. Listen to the intriguing and sometimes interwoven tales of the three mediaeval classes, those who worked those who fought and those who prayed as they revolve around the wheel of fortune. Discover how the number three has mystical connotations; laugh at the crafty riddles. With performances at The British Museum and The Ashmolean, as well as national tours for English Heritage and The National Trust, Dave Tonge is truly a yarnsmith not to be missed. “..hugely entertaining”(Sandwich Winter Tales Festival).“..funny, creative and interesting” (Heads and Tales Storytelling).

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

Fri 18thBookshop Launch Night – open mic,The Cannon – Newport Pagnell, 50 the High Street, MK16 8AQ,To celebrate the opening of Maggie & Josie’s Bookshop, Newport Pagnell you are invited to the launch night at the Canon Pub.

7.30-9.30pm will be an open mic poetry and fiction reading, if this isn’t usually your thing, pop along and try something new! we have a range of people reading including some very funny poetry, short stories and an extract from a novel set against the music of Nirvana.

9.30pm-Midnight a change in the mood with a selection of retro tunes from the 60’s onwards.

Have a drink, have a listen and then have a boogie.

Just head to the function room at the back of the Canon, the bar will be open all night so come and join us for a different (in a good way) night in the Pag!

**If you’d like to read on the night please drop us a message.**

Fri 18th Spoken Worlds Third Friday 19:30 The Old Cottage Tavern , Byrkley St,eet, Burton-upon-Trent DE14 2JJ with Gary Carr Open mic

Sat 19th Notes From the underground; Sat 20:00 The Hollybush The Hollybush, 53 Newtown Street, Cradley Heath B64 5EA Open mic, Jack Edwards officiates.***********RELAUNCH***************

This is the first night of spoken word and music at the Hollybush being hosted by myself and William Shatspeare. The new name for the night is ‘Notes From Underground’.It is open mic, so you can just turn up and we’ll give you a slot, with slots of around 10 minutes long. If you want to read short stories or poetry, do a comedy set or perform acoustic music then this venue is perfect for you. Plus the beer is great value!If you are interested in performing, want to know more or would like to be added to the mailing list, please send me an e-mail at:Jackedwardspoetry@hotmail.​

Sunday 20th Poetry Rodeo,Jam Café, 12 Heathcoat Street, Nottingham NG1 3AA:6pm:FREE ENTRY,To celebrate the launch of new publications by four extra-special poets, we welcome you to the Poetry Rodeo….With guest poets Alistair Noon, Sarah Jackson, C.J. Allen and Aly Stoneman
Alistair Noon was born in 1970 and grew up in Aylesbury. Besides time spent in Russia and China, he has lived in Berlin since the early nineties, where he works as a translator. His poetry and translations from German and Russian have appeared in nine chapbooks from small presses. Earth Records is his first full-length collection.
Sarah Jackson’s pamphlet Milk (Pighog) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. Her work appears in a wide range of magazines and anthologies including Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe) and The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt). Pelt is published by Bloodaxe in May 2012.
C. J. Allen’s prize-winning poetry (in the Arvon, Yorkshire, Lebdury, Ilkley, Ware, Nottingham & English Association competitions, amongst others) has been appearing in magazines & anthologies in the UK, USA, Ireland & elsewhere for what feels to him like hundreds of years. His most recent collections are: A Strange Arrangement: New and Selected Poems (Leafe Press, 2007), & Lemonade (a red ceilings press e-book, 2010). Violets – winner of the Templar Press Short Collection Competition – was published in November 2011. He currently edits the reviews pages of the literary magazine Staple.
Aly Stoneman is an arts project coordinator and poetry editor at LeftLion Magazine. Her writing explores relationships between human beings and landscape through myths and journeys. A commissioned poet for Lyric Lounge and winner of the Nottingham Poetry Society Slam 2011, her pamphlet Lost Lands was published by Crystal Clear Creators in March 2012.

Mon 21st Shindig, Western PH, Leicester, 7.30pm: Free in,Open mic & Celebration of the launch of Alistair Noon and C.J. Allen’s new Nine Arches Press poetry collections.
Alistair Noon was born in 1970 and grew up in Aylesbury. Besides time spent in Russia and China, he has lived in Berlin since the early nineties, where he works as a translator. His poetry and translations from German and Russian have appeared in nine chapbooks from small presses. Earth Records is his first full-length collection.
Robert Richardson: as well as appearing in CCC’s Hearing Voices, he has been published in Agenda poetry magazine and also co-edited ‘Homage to Imagism’ (AMS Press, New York). As a visual artist, he was recently included in ‘Artists’ Postcards: A Compendium’ (Reaktion Books, London).
C. J. Allen’s prize-winning poetry (in the Arvon, Yorkshire, Lebdury, Ilkley, Ware, Nottingham & English Association competitions, amongst others) has been appearing in magazines & anthologies in the UK, USA, Ireland & elsewhere for what feels to him like hundreds of years. His most recent collections are: A Strange Arrangement: New and Selected Poems (Leafe Press, 2007), & Lemonade (a red ceilings press e-book, 2010). Violets – winner of the Templar Press Short Collection Competition – was published in November 2011. He currently edits the reviews pages of the literary magazine Staple.
Julie Boden is Symphony Hall’s Poet in Residence and she explores the frontiers of poetry and music in collaboration with a ‘meticulous eye’ and an ‘ear for the mellifluous’. Accomplished on both stage and page, her sensitivity, warmth and humour have endeared her to a wide audience.

Tues 22nd The Telling Space, Mythstories, *NEW VENUE* (relocated from Wem) Mythstories,The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,5 Castle Gates, SY1 2AE,Wem, Shropshire,The club meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month unless otherwise stated. Please check the website under ‘opening hours and events’ or contact Dez or Ali on 01939 235500 for further information.Meet at 7 pm for refreshments (bring food to share) or at 7.30 pm for stories. A chance to listen or an opportunity to tell. Admission is free.

Tuesday 22nd Polesworth Abbey, Poleworth, Open Mic and Guest Gary Carr.7.30pm, Free in, plus open mic

Tueday 22nd Poetry Bites, Kitchen Garden Cafe, York St Kings Heath, 7.30pm, £5, opne mic plus special guest Clare Best.

Wede 23rd Smart at Veggd Out, Fletchers Walk, Paradise Circus, Birmingham, 7.30pm Poetry Open Mic, free in,

Wed 23rd Poetry Evening for BORN FREE/ZOO CHECK, Station PH, Kings heath, 8pm: £4in. Open mic.

Thur 24th Bilston Voices Fourth Thursday 19:00 Cafe Metro 46 Church Street, Bilston: £3in, set bill.

Fri 25th Site Poetry Slam, Stroud:as part of the town’s Site Festival. The event kicks off at 7.30pm at Stroud Valley Artspace, John Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2HA, tickets £5 on the door. If you want to hear a bevy of sparkling spoken wordsters, then this is the place to be. Contact Marcus on 01285 640470 if interested in performing.

Sat 26thLively Bird Festival,Spoken Word Stage, Polars Sports Ground,Burton Joyce, Notts.. Guaranteed to spark conversation and keep you interested all day. The Spoken Word Stage will be a packed line up of poetry, lectures, debates and much more.
One of the UK’s finest spoken word poets winning the UK 2007 Slam competition, the 2007 Glastonbury Slam and the 2006 Backdrop Slam as well as appearing on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Bespoken Word’. as a poet & a spoken word artist, he has gained international notoriety for his storytelling, and has worked in an experimental brand of hip hop theatre Berko is a talented professional poet deeply embedded in the global performance poetry scene.

At 21, Deborah has taken her poetry from Camden to Shanghai working with organisations such as Channel 4, The Roundhouse and The British Council. She teaches poetry on a BA program at the University of Nottingham and has just got back from a two month poetry research scholarship in America. She has been published by Louis Vuitton and has received commissions from the likes of BBC Radio 3. She is also the founder of The Mouthy Poets at Nottingham Playhouse, one of 12 poets writing a poem for the Olympic games and Slam Producer of Shake the Dust East Midlands.

Since forming in 2010, Dead Poets have been challenging preconceptions towards poetry and hip-hop across the country, performing over 250 shows since their hugely successful Edinburgh debut. As well as appearing on Radio 5 Live, BBC 6 Music and Channel 4 News, they’ve taken the show to schools, theatres and festivals across the country. Mark’s venture into hip-hop has not just earnt him online notoriety; but at reaching almost 2 millions views his recent clash with MC Blizzard has also become the UK’s most viewed rap battle. This Spring, Mark and Mixy were commissioned by BBC3 to front the online campaign for ‘Free Speech’ – a groundbreaking political debate show for young adults.

Sat 26thWriter Networking Meeting, 2pm – 4pm, Free
The Old Stables, Lichfield Cathedral, 19A The Close, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 7LD

A free networking afternoon for writers. With guest speakers, Anna Lawrence Pietroni (Writer, Ruby’s Spoon), Fiona Stuart (Director, Lichfield Festival), Alex Davies (Independent literature producer) and Jonathan Davidson (Chief Executive, Writing West Midlands)

Places are free but limited so please email us to book yours, email:

Sat 26th , Midlands Poetry Convention,Barlow Theatre, Langley – following the sad death of organiser Geoff Stevens, what was to have been a three day event may now be a one day memorial and celebration event – details:The Barlow Theatre, Oldbury Rep, 3 Spring Walk, Langley, Oldbury, B69 4SP .
Everyone is welcome to come and spend a day reading poems, chatting, eating and drinking to celebrate Geoff’s life and work and to enjoy each other’s company as Geoff would have wanted. There will be two open mic sessions, morning and evening, for people to read their own work and the afternoon will be a chance for whoever wants to, to read a favourite poem of Geoff’s. Or you may just want to come and listen. Programme details below.
There will also be a meeting between 5.00 and 6.00 for anyone who would like to discuss how Geoff’s work and reputation could be preserved and developed in future projects. (If you can’t come on May 26, please email your ideas to Geraldine at the address below and she’ll bring them up for discussion.)There is no charge for the day thanks to the generosity of the Barlow Theatre but there will be a collection for St. Mary’s Hospice where Geoff spent his last few days and for Acorns Children’s Hospices.Within a few steps there are plenty of places to get food. The Teapot Cafe opens at 7.00 am and closes at 12.00 am and is a great place to get your bacon butties or whatever and bring them across to the Barlow to have with your coffee. There are two pubs within a very short walk, The Model and Crosswell’s Inn, and a short drive away the Wetherspoons Court of Requests where we had the Wake for Geoff. There’s also fish and chips, Chinese and Indian take-aways and Asian food restaurants within yards of the theatre.Parking is very close to the theatre and the bar, where we’ll meet, has easy access for wheel-chairs.There will be tables in the foyer for those who want to sell books. Come and enjoy!Please confirm that you are coming by emailing Geraldine:
Programme for the Day
9.30-10.00 Arrivals – coffee available
10.00-10.05 Welcome by Geraldine
10.05-12.30 Open mic readings (5-10 minute slots)
12.30-12.45 So It Goes – music
2.00-4.45 Geoff’s poems and anecdotes
5.00-6.00 Meeting re promoting Geoff’s work and reputation in the future.
7.00-10.00 Open mic sessions
Bar open all day!Any queries, please email Geraldine,To find out about the theatre:

Saturday 26th – the 3rd Nailsworth the Comrades Club, Nailsworth.7.30pm. Contact Marcus on 01285 640470 for places.

Sun 27thKate Tempest and the Dead Poets,Y Theatre,7 East Street, LE1 6EY Leicester,7.30pm: £10,Since forming in 2008, Mark Grist and MC Mixy have been challenging the preconceptions of poetry and hiphop across the country. They have recently had work commissioned by BBC3 and appeared on Channel 4 news following Mark’s “teacher vs student” rap battle, reaching nearly 2 million views on youtube.

The Dead Poets will be showcasing their new extended show for the Leicester audience before taking this summer’s Edinburgh Festival by storm.

Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest is a William Blake-quoting, hip-hop MC from South East London. Since she began rapping at the age of 16 Kate has become one of the most recognised and important voices in UK spoken Word. She has been commissioned by the likes of Barnado’s, Channel 4 and Amnesty International. She is also a regular guest on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio1 show.

Fresh from touring her new play; Kate will be debuting some brand new material in what promises to be a night to remember.

Sun 27th Attila the Stockbroker, Kitchen Garden Cafe , York St Kings Heath 7.30pm (Doors 6.30pm),£10 in:Attila the Stockbroker is a performance poet, and folk punk musician/songwriter. Inspired by punk, and especially The Clash, he’s loud, radical, lyrical, reflective, and will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger. A regular at Glastonbury, Attila’s melodically political musings are both thoughtful and entertaining. ‘Whether he’s ranting a poem or bashing out a song, there is something magnificent about Attila in full flight’ (Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 4). Support is provided by Australian Alt Country/Blues singer/songwriter Rory Ellis.

Sunday 27th “Tell me on a Sunday” Storytelling, Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS, 4pm – 6.30pm; Free in, Participants tell stories based around a specially selected theme, all with truth (and a good performance!) at their heart. Each month, five storytellers will be chosen to perform a seven minute story live.The events feature special guests and are curated by Cat Weatherill, one of Europe’s leading performance storytellers, who will also tell her own story.These events begin at 4pm with Story Supper, a chance to meet fellow audience members and story tellers over a special Cafe Ikonmenu. Performances commence at 5pm, finishing at 6.30pm.Theme: Secret and Lies

Sunday 27th Sunday Xpress Fourth Sunday Doors 1500, Start 16:30 Adam & Eve Bradford Street, Birmingham B12 0JD Open mic

Sunday 27th Rhyme and Tells at the Six Bells in Bishops Castle, Shropshire,Meets every 4th Sunday of the month (except for public holidays) at 8 pm – 10.30 pm. It is free admission and an open session for poetry, prose and storytelling.For further details please contact Mike on 01588 680685.

Monday 28thBlack Country Dialectics,with Dave Reeves & Lozz Hipkiss,Wednesfield Library,2-3pm. Free in.

Monday May 28 ‘Funny Women’ Emma Purshouse, Jane Seabourne & Win Saha at Warstones Library, Wolverhampton, 6-7pm. Free

Tues 29th Word Wizards * New venue* Buckingham Hotel, opp the Pavillion Gdns , Buxton last Tuesday Monthly 19.30. Open mic three minute slam format. Rob Stevens. More info
01298 77362/ 0781 3289358

Tuesday May 29 ‘Funny Women’ at Kingswinford Library, Dudley, 7.30pm. Please book tickets through Kingswinford Library 01384 812740

Wed 30th “42″ Vogonesque 2,Open Mic Night (Gothic, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy) Lunar Bar, New St Worcester, 7.30, Free in: last wed monthly E-mail:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy observes that Sequels are events which follow on from the terribly popular success of a first event. It’s vitally important not to hold a sequel before the first event as everyone will get terribly confused, and it simply isn’t done. Vogonesque II follows this tradition, but there the resemblance to anything sane and run-of the mill ends sharply!

‘Vogonesque II’ follows on from the terribly popular Douglas Adams’ themed ‘Vogonesque’ Open Mic night, celebrating ‘Towel Day’ last May, for everyone who loves ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. A night of poetry, comedy, mischievous guide entries & music celebrating Towel Day (an international celebration of the life & work of Douglas Adams, author of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’).

‘Vogonesque’ is inspired by the appalling poetry of Adams’ bureaucratic villains, the Vogons, whose poetry is notorious as the 3rd worst in creation. Join us for a night of hilarious poetry, wildly inaccurate & mischievous guide entries, brilliant music, & extremely silly observations on the cosmos at large & life in particular.

The fame of this event held in Worcester has spread as far as the Crab Nebula, where tickets are sold in advance in order to secure geostationary orbit parking places. Residents of the planet Earth need not worry about this, as they have an unfair advantage, and simply need to climb the stairs to The Lunar Bar above The Swan With Two Nicks public house where the event will be held.

(Vogonesque has become the yearly tribute to Douglas Adams by everyone at the 42 Genre Specific Open-Mic Event, and is their contribution to the international Towel Day Celebrations.)

If you would be interested in performing at this &/​or other events contact the 42 Worcester Team at​.uk. Slots will be between 10-15 minutes long.

PRICE: £3.00 (Entry is free for our performers)

PERFORMERS: To be confirmed


‘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 10-15 minutes span for their set, 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

Wednesday 30 May West Bromwich Library, Sandwell, Dave Reeves solo reading from Black Country Dialectics. 2.30pm

Thur May 31st Open Mic, Strollers PH ,West Bromwich, 8pm,Free in: Poetry, comedy and music

Thurs 31st Hit the Ode Last Thursday 19:30 The Victoria 48 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BN 3 featured acts + limited open mic

From Birmingham, Deborah Stevenson: known from Camden to Shanghai. Published by the Oxford University Poetry Society and Louis Vuitton. Poet and organiser. Get to know!

From London, Warsan Shire: Somali poet, writer, freelance hournalist and spoken word artist, writing in a mixture of English and African languages. Her first book Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth is published by Flipped Eye.

From Portugal, Raquel Lima: a rapidly rising star of the explosively expanding Portuguese poetry slam scene, Raquel offers melodic verse touching on the intimate and the socially relevant alike.

A very few open mic slots will be available on the door (the pre-bookable slots have all been claimed). For more info, contact

When: Thursday 31 May, 7.30pm
Where: The Victoria, 48 John Bright St, Birmingham B1 1BN
Tickets: £5
Info: / Facebook
Booking: on the door

Open mic: half of the open mic slots available via email (, the other half can be claimed on the door on the day of the event.

Thurs 31st Henneseys, Alison St, Digbeth, Birmingham, Open Mic, 8pm:Free in, musicians, comics and poets.

Thurs 31st Audlem slam, Cheshire 8pm: £50 prize for the winner!

Thurs 31st The Drum, Aston 6pm, £3in: “We Are Poets” Film,We Are Poets bravely flips the image of British youth on its head, as six remarkable teenage poets are chosen to represent the UK at Brave New Voices, America’s most prestigious slam poetry competition. From their inner city lives in Leeds, North England, to a stage in front of the White House in Washington D.C, the team must prepare for a transformational journey of a lifetime. Intimate, honest and imaginative, We Are Poets is a moving testament to the power of creativity, community and the dynamism of young people.

Run Time: 82 mins
Directors: Alex Ramseyer-Bache & Daniel Lucches
Cert: 12A​event/we-are-poets

Fri June 1st Word and Sound,The Art House Cafe, Crowngate Shopping Centre, Chapel Walk, Worcester, WR1 3LD,Telephone: 01905 617161 : 7.30pm, £3in Open Mic with Jenny Hope

This entry was posted in Midlands Poetry What's On. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to May 2012 – What’s On, Midlands Spoken Word

  1. Ms Mass Media says:

    Reblogged this on Ms Mass Media: Hold The Front Page! and commented:
    My continued thanks go to Gary Longden for again putting together a fantastic list of all the spoken word and poetry events taking place across the Midlands in May, it is an indispensable guide. I may not get to as much as I usually do this month, but I always use this as a guide! Thanks Gary!

  2. lmansell says:

    Reblogged this on Devil Jazz and commented:
    Excellent & thorough guide to Midlands Events.

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