The poetic community overwhelmingly features good people doing good things. Spoken Worlds celebrated its 5th birthday on 15th November, hosted and curated by Gary Carr. The Old Cottage Tavern is the third home for this event and has proved a suitable and popular venue. Gary offers his time, energy and PA system free of charge for the benefit of the local and poetic community, one of life’s good guys.
So it was a appropriate that his selfless commitment was rewarded by the generosity of another of poetry’s good guys, James Nash, who travelled down from Leeds at his own expense to guest headline the event and generally make himself available to the gathered faithful. James is an eminent northern poet, academic, teacher, broadcaster, journalist and poetry activist whose work has been widely published. His workshops and lectures are much in demand . His collection Coma Songs featured strongly in his performance alongside a string of hugely impressive sonnets and an homage to Gary Linneker! James delighted and engaged sending me home reflecting that I really must practise with my poetry…
The open mic featured veteran performers and more recent converts. One of the pleasures of Spoken Worlds is that rules are absent, experimentation is positively encouraged and that those enjoying such freedom rarely abuse it. Phil Binding moved from railways to album covers this time with a strong piece on album covers as designed by the late Storm Thorgerson leaving the cognoscenti frantically trying to identify as many references as possible. Recently inaugurated Staffordshire Poet Laureate Tom Wyre has thrown his heart and soul into his appointment, attending dozens of events in almost as many days. He chose to supplement his own work by reading an extract from Under Milk Wood prior to his pilgrimage to Laugharne at the weekend. Prolific and passionate, I am anticipating an alliterative snowstorm inspired by his visit and some imaginative rhymes for laver bread, cockles , Mumbles and Eynon’s pies. It was a particular delight to see Nicky Pywell perform again after her recent surgery which has offered such obvious benefits. Terri Jolland always has something interesting to say, as does Margaret Torr. Mike Alma travels a long way, a testament to the credibility of proceedings and contributed richly alongside with Mal Dewhirst and his places poem.
Spoken worlds next gathers on 25th January at The Old Cottage Tavern, Byrkley St, Buronon Trent at 7.30pm. Free admission, sign up on the night for open mic spots.