March 2014, What’s On Midlands Spoken Word

A very strong month with the heavyweight festival season kicking off in earnest in Bath, Cheltenham and Oxford, both well worth a trip beyond the Midlands.

Local highlights include the Quiet Compere Tour at rhe Mac in Birminingham on Fri 21st, Shindig in Leicester, Poetry Bites in Kings Heath, State of Independence in Leicester and Confab Cabaret in Malvern.


Bath Independent Literature festival 28th Feb- 9th March

Oxford FT Literary festival Mar 22nd -29th

Cheltenham Poetry festival 1st Mar -6th April


Sun 2nd Buzzwords, Exmouth Arms,Bath Road Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 7LX, 7pm Workshop, open mic,£5 waged, £3 unwagedWorkshop, led by Peter Daniels, 7pm Guest readings and open mic 8pm,Guest poet: Peter Daniels,Do visit our blog:

Tues 4th Poetry Lounge The Sitting Room,3 Upper Galdeford (above Thai Box), SY8 1QD Ludlow’s new Poetry Open Mic Night!7.30pm-9.30pm

Join us in the quirky comfort and abundant lampshades of The Sitting Room. Take poetry with your glass of wine from the depths of an armchair…
Your compere for the evening with his frilly cuffs peeping, will be James Sheard

Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology
The Poetry Lounge and Wenlock Poetry Festival welcome you to
readings from poets featured in this year’s anthology.
Come along and get in the festival mood!
Poets, poems, and a book – we all look forward to meeting you !

Tues 4th Word ,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 5th Spire Writes, White swan, 16 St Marys Gate, Chesterfield,
We’re back in March with a guest reader who many of you may have heard perform at Spire Writes or elsewhere already and been wowed by…

Addie P. Abbott (also known as Adolfus) is a Sheffield based poet from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. From being the grand Bard of Sheffield for 2013 via Gorilla Events Poetry to currently being a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective in London, Addie continues to develop as a writer and performer and enjoys incorporating the art of storytelling in his poetry.”

As usual, there’ll be open mic slots available (sign up in advance or on the night) but because the open mic has been so popular of late, just one poem each please so we can fit in as many readers as humanly possible!

It’s free to attend, it’s upstairs at The White Swan and there’s an excellent bar.

See you there!

Wed 5th Poetic essence,Confession Box (65-66 Dale End, Birmingham City Centre, B4 7LS) 7.30pm
Please note that we have moved to a bigger home. Poetic Essence will no longer be at Talk Bar and will now be at Confession Box (65-66 Dale End, Birmingham City Centre, B4 7LS). A brand new venue to accommodate our growing family

Thurs 6th Blackdrop Open Mic @ Canal House Bar, Canal Street, Nottm .8-10pm £3 Our event has an open mic, slots are approx 5mins long. Blackdrop is open to over 16s.Poetry. Story. Comedy. Rap. Hip-hop. Song. Must be own original material. ALL WELCOME.

Thur 6th The Poetry Evening, The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,Castle Gates, Shrewsbury. 7.30pm, Liz Lefroy officiates,Open mic evening – Barry Tench Nathalie Hildegarde Liege Steve Thayne , Graham Attenborough David Calcutt and Wenlock Poetry Festival Anthology launch, with readings from Anna Dreda, Nick Pearson and Mia Cunningham … with musical interlude provided by Gia

Friday 7th Threesome poetry,The Pod, 1a Lamb Street which is central Cov,7.30pm with Liz lefroy

Sun 9th Poets with passion, Sahara Bistro Restaurant,570 Moseley Road, B12 9AA Birmingham

Another chance to share an. afternoon of poetry with kindred spirits…your own work or any favourite poem from anywhere.
This time let’s be passionate about ‘home’.. whatever that might mean to you.
3.30 for 4.00 as usual but in a new venue..French Moroccan tastes this time..with the promise of poets from other homelands to join us as well!

Mon 10th Pub Poetry Nottingham The Canal house, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EH,8pm, 2nd monday : Free in, Open micContact Nick on

Mon 10th Shindig,The Western,70 Western Road, LE3 0GA LeicesterFree and open to all! Crystal Clear Creators and Nine Arches Press present Shindig! Open-Mic Poetry Evening, including featured writers Kathy Bell, Shelley Roche-Jacques, Rebecca Bird, Michael Thomas. Sign up for open-mic slots on the door.

Mon 10thAcoustic Night – Bristol, 13 Foster Street, BS46JE Bristol,
OUR 200th ACOUSTIC NIGHT! Featuring poets ASH DICKINSON – LUCY ENGLISH with music from LOU BELL. plus 5 wild card 10 min slots, glass of fizz £5.00 doors 7.30 for 8.15 show

Tuesday 11th ‘City Voices’, City Bar, King Street, Wolverhampton. WV1 1ST 7.45pm Free admission.

Tuesday 11th ‘Mouth and Music’, the Boars Head Gallery, 39 Worcester Street, Kidderminster, DY10 1EW. 8.00pm Tickets £3.00
As we stagger towards Spring, we have so much to look forward to! We’re talking about a Magnificent Mouth and Music!

We have the brilliant Gloucestershire Poet Laureate & multiple poetry slam winner


who recently earned another poetry slam crown in Wolverhampton.

And as if that weren’t enough to get people flocking to the Boar’s Head, we also have …


“Gilbert & George, almost Morecambe & Wise”
(Smoke & Mirrors Cabaret)

The Theme – for any open mic performers wishing to take up the challenge – is CURRENT AFFAIRS. Interpret as you wish.

Open mic slots are booked on the night as usual – 5 mins for spoken word and a bit longer for singers to accommodate 2 songs. Open mic sign-up from 7.30. Admission £3 (free to performers)

MC Heather Wastie

In association with Kidderminster Creatives

Tues 11th Scribal Gathering The Crown Stony Stratford:7.30pm,Get ready for another fantastic feast of musical mastercraft and poetical proficiency, bringing together lachrymatorially lyrical local live talent and perfervid performers from perfurther afield. When: Tuesday 11th July 2012. Doors open at 7.30 for a prompt 8.00 start.
Where: The Crown, Market Square, Stony Stratford MK11 1BE.
How: Free entry. Sign up for open mic on the night. Arrive early to avoid disapproval.

Tues 11th Tues 11th 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.

Wed 12 th Scribal gathering Stony Stratford
Scribal Gathering is getting into the festival season with a summer showcase of superior songwriting and spoken word. With Stony Live still sounding in our hearts and Waterside waiting in the wings, what better way to keep the flame of live entertainment burning than with an evening of open mic music and poetry?

Our featured performers for the evening are David Goo, an intense, creative and intimate singer song-writer sharing his distinctive sound with audiences across London and the South-East (http://th… and The Zeroes, arguably the finest, friendliest, funniest and 8th best band in Milton Keynes (

Along with the open ended, open minded open mic, welcoming performers of all kinds to share their creativity and showcase their talent before a supportive, receptive and surprisingly tolerant audience, Scribal Gathering brings its usual blend of live music, poetry, and an overwhelming sense of spiralling chaos once again.

Wed 12 th 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 12 th Tea for Two, Stapleford, Cotgrave. 92, Derby Rd, Stapleford, Nottingham , NG9 7AD
An evening of poems and stories hosted by two local
performers – Dave Wood and Richard Young.

Wed 12 th Flying Donkeys, Voicebox, Forman St Derby

Thurs 13th Big Irish Night, the old Crown, Digbeth, 7.30pm, open mic with an Irish theme , all welcome

Thur 13th Give it all Tour, Hare and Hounds Kings heath,The Give it All Tour hits Birmingham for a night of passionate music and soulful spoken word. Luke Concannon and Jimmy Davis bring their inspirational tour to the heart of the country with support from Raydeeance, Spoz, Musical Misfits, Redstaar, Seasick Fist & Afronaut

Tickets are £5 ADV & £7 OTD

Tickets & info –

Thurs 13th Irish Night, Old Crown Digbeth,8pm, free in, open mic poetry, stories and song. Sign up on the night.

Thurs 13th Pure and Good and Right with Sean Kelly, THE fox 4-32 Clarendon Avenue, Leamington Spa, CV32 4 RZ 7.30pm: £3 in,Every second Thursday of the month (except December) If you would like to know more about the night email:

Thurs 13th Old Rectifying House , Worcester 7.30pm. £3, open mic and headliners

Fri 14th Open Mic, Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery, 7.30pm, free in

Sat 15th WHAT’S IN A WORD?,Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Oxford Street, Leicester LE1 5XY
Clephan Building, De Montfort University

Join Lydia Towsey, Pam Thompson and Richard Byrt for this lively poetry reading and interactive panel presentation exploring the organisation and history of WORD!

What goes into WORD!? …why is it important to do? …how does it connect to the local literature scene?. ..and where will it go next?

Ask a question. Make a suggestion, and win big on the (formerly notorious) WORD! raffle.

WORD! is the longest running poetry and spoken word night in the Midlands and takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at The Y Theatre, Leicester.

* * * * * *

About States of Independence

Independent publishing | Independent writing | Independent thinking

A book festival in a day

Seventy writers, mostly from the East Midlands, will be reading from their work at an events programme to accompany an equal number of staff from independent publishers and writing organisations staffing bookstalls and displaying their work.

Learn everything you need to know about eBooks, comics, and poetry from the Chartists. There are sessions about the lives of Sudanese women, unexplained phenomena and nature poetry. We discuss lesbian and gay fiction, short stories about mental health and present some music from Bulgaria. Around the world with States of Independence!

All sessions are free, no tickets required.
Just turn up and stay for an hour or two, or the whole day.

Click here to download a printable programme.

States of Independence is organised and funded by Five Leaves Publications in Nottingham and the Creative Writing Team at De Montfort University, Leicester, supported by Creative Leicestershire.



The Book Fair and all readings take place in the Clephan Building, Oxford Street (entrance on Bonners Lane), Leicester LE1 5XY

Public transport and car parking information on the De Montfort University website. Clephan Building is five minutes from Leicester city centre and fifteen minutes from the train station. On-site parking is only available for stall holders and speakers, sorry.

All events are free, no tickets required

Bookstalls are on the ground floor, with further displays on floors one and two

Events take place on second and third floors – there are lifts. Please allow ten minutes to get to the correct room

There will be an information point as you come in to Clephan Building

All rooms are accessible. Please get in touch if you have any special access requirements

Catering: Clephan Building is very close to the city centre, cafes, shops and pubs. We can only provide vending machines on site. There is a fairtrade cafe four or five minutes from the main site – The Coffee Lab on the Gateway – look out for posters – selling light refreshments, excellent cakes and light lunches.

For further information please contact, 0115 9895465, (Out of office: 0115 9693597)

Wed 19th Templar Poetry, Lamb & Flag, The Tything, 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

Find the Right Words Upstairs at the Western, Western Ph, Wertern Rd, Leicester LE3 0GA ,7.30pm £5in

March’s Find The Right Words is in our new home at Upstairs at the Western. This is where we started a year ago so it’s quite fitting to be back. Expect a lovely theatre, good beer and top notch poetry now with added FUNDING (fought for with tooth and nail).

This month’s guest poets are:Josh Idehen –
Clare Ferguson –

Plus 10 open mic spots. 5 beforehand by emailing and 5 on the door.

We’ve had lots of people turning up on the night and putting their names down which is ace but if often means we have a huge open mic list. If you’d like a slot, we’d love to have you but just let me know first so I can make sure you’re not disappointed on the night.

£5 on the door

Wed 19th Confab Cabaret 7, Olivers Bar,36 Belle Vue Terrace, WR14 4PZ Malvern,8pm,
You are cordially invited to ConFab Cabaret VII – ConFab’s first birthday special WITH CAKE! To celebrate in style we’ve lined up a suitably impressive DOUBLE BILL as well as all the usual ConFab nonsense.

Not only do we have poetic delights from stars of the stage The Decadent Divas, but we are also blessed with the charming presence and uplifting voices of Men In General. Both of these bountiful bundles are in huge demand so we are incredibly lucky and have had to be slightly cunning to squish so much talent into one room.

And STILL we’ve found room for more! Come and join us on Wednesday March 19th at 8pm at Olivers, Great Malvern, for singing, poetry, Fox Pops, The Silliest Raffle and who knows what else? The brave amongst you can sign up on arrival for a Prepare To Share slot to impress us with your Two Minute Talent, be it musical, poetic, balletic or otherwise.

FREE entry for all! How can you resist?

Thur 2oth Hit the ode, Victoria PH, Birmingham City Centre
Hit the Ode brings the most exciting poets from the region, the country and the world to the heart of Birmingham. Join us! We have poems. Poems you’ve played tag with when you were younger; poems dug up by puzzled archeologists; poems last seen racing down the ring-road on big wheel tricycles. Good poems. Come and get them.

Hit the Ode brings the most exciting poets from the region, the country and the world to the heart of Birmingham. Join us! We have poems. Poems in bold all caps sans serif. Poems best stored in a cool, dark place, away form direct sunlight. Poems you had forgotten about, but then found in a pocket just before you put your jeans in the machine. Good poems. Come and get them!

Martin Glynn
Donna Williams
Rachel McCrum

Tickets £5
A very few open mic slots will be available on the door.

Thur 20thEquinox – Open Mic Night at Sahara,570 Moseley Road, B12 9AA , 7pm poetry and stuff

Thur 20th The Shipping Forecast Spoken Word, the riverside Sheffield 1 Mowbray St, Sheffield, S3 ,Hello forecasters ,more sea themed spoken word cabaret this month

Fri 21st the Quiet Compere tour, Mac, cannon park, Birmingham, 7.30pm with Sarah Dixon. Sarah’s triumphant nationwide tour comes to rum with an all star rsoter of poets, featuring:

Ddotti Bluebell

Ian Bowkett

Jenny Hope

Sarah James

Charlie Jordan

Gary Longden

Bobby Parker

Ruth Stacey

Matt Man Windle

Laura Yates

The Quiet Compere Tour is ‘Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’.

Fri 21st Spoken Worlds 19:30 The Old Cottage Tavern , Byrkley St,eet, Burton-upon-Trent DE14 2JJ Open mic

Sun 23rd Martin Figura and Helen Ivory, The Poetry Morning, The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,Castle Gates, Shrewsbury.11am,
Well, aren’t we lucky? Top poets reading at this lovely venue … It’s one of our occasional Sunday morning series. More details soon, but put this date in your diary!

Tuesday 25thPurple Penumbra Open Mic, Barlow Theatre, Oldbury:7.30pm
Bring your poetry and your pals to this open mic event, or just come and be entertained.
Those with a musical bent who can fill in a gap or two with something melodic and acoustic are particularly welcome.
Enliven, enrich and enhance the experience of the famous Barlow Theatre bar with your presence, why not?

Tuesday 25 2nd revived Poetry Wednesbury 7.00 pm at Wednesbury Library, Walsall street Wednesbury. Brendan Hawthorne has details.

Tues 25th Poetry Bites, kitchen Garden Cafe,kings Heath 7.30pm when the guests are Helen Calcutt and Sarah James. Poetry Bites also includes floor spots (about 3 minutes) where you can share your own work with an appreciative and supportive audience. To book a spot, arrive by 7.15pm or email
Future dates: 25th March (),

Tues 25th Word Wizards Buckingham Hotel Buxton 19.30. Open mic three minute slam format More info

Wed 26th “42″ Open Mic Night (Gothic, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy) Lunar Bar, New St Worcester, 7.30, Free in:last wed monthly E-mail:

Wed 26th The Poetry Train Open Mic @ the Lyche Gate Tavern Queen Square Wolverhampton last Wednesday of the month 8pm dept.

Wed 26thPackhorse Poets,The Packhorse Inn, Crowdecote, near Longnor,Derbys on the fourth Wednesday of each month, 7.30pm

Thur 27th Poetry Book launch “Batemans Hll”Light House Media Centre,Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, WV1 1HT 7pm

An evening of poetry and music from Jane Seabourne, Grande Valise, Jan and Campbell Perry and myself. I’ll be launching my poetry collection Batmans Hill, South Staffs (Flipped Eye). Details about the Light House Centre, Wolverhampton, including directions, are below. I hope to see you there. There’s a good bar and, if I remember, I’ll pick up some Jammie Dodgers from the Lloyd Hill Co-op.

March 27 Jane Seabourne will be supporting Michael Thomas at the launch of his new poetry collection Batman’s Hill, South Staffs, at the Light House, Wolverhampton, 7pm.

Fri 28th Word Up, Yorks cafe, Newhall St, Brum,B3 3NH
6.30-9pm with Ddotti Bluebell and Alexandra Moran, free in, open mic

Friday 28 March 2014, An Evening with Ian McMillan and Gareth Owen,Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University

An evening of poetry and other delights with Ian McMillan and Gareth Owen. Ian McMillan is a prodigiously talented solo performer and writer and presenter of BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ and Gareth Owen is poet, playwright and former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Poetry Please’. Both poets are guaranteed to make the audience of whatever age laugh and see life from quirky angles.

This is an exciting opportunity for everyone to hear and be inspired by these two writers performing their poetry, and to hear them speak about the process of writing and what makes them tick.

This will stimulate intellectually, as well as being huge fun.

Sat 29th Mothers day Poetry, Oxfam Bookshop,High St, Worcester, WR1 2HW 7.30pm

Yet again Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop is opening its portals to poets and performers everywhere! The theme is ‘motherhood’ and you can be as schmaltzy as you like! Bring your own work to perform, bring someone else’s but do come and support Oxfam’s project to lift lives for good!

March 29 Simon will be reading from Offa’s anthology The Poetry of Shropshire at the Mary Webb Society Birthday Lunch, Uffington, Shrewsbury. If you’re interested in this event please ring 01691 831463 for more information.

March 30 Jeff Phelps will be reading his poetry at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival along with Marilyn Gunn and Emily Oldham. 3.30pm, Oxfam Bookshop, 31, Cambray Place, Cheltenham GL50 1JP. Tickets £4/£3.


Friday 04 April 2014 at 7:00pm Count Me In ,Copa, 66 Regent Street, Cheltenham GL30 1HA, 7pm, tickets £6 /£4 concs. Box Office: Cheltenham Town Hall, 0844 5762210

Poetry meets bingo !
Poetry meets bingo in a thrilling and interactive show about
the numbers in our lives. The show takes place during one
night in the Bingo Hall. We all play the game and as the
numbers are called, Don, Maureen and Judi reveal their true
selves – their memories, anniversaries, regrets, mistakes,
joys, hopes and dreams. The show includes stories and
poems written by members of the public gathered at creative
writing workshops.

Written and performed by writers Lucy English, Sara-Jane Arbury and Glenn Carmichael.

Can we count you in? Tickets:£7/4

Tues 6th May Open Mic,The Sitting Room,3 Upper Galdeford (above Thai Box), SY8 1QD Ludlow 7.30pm Join us again in The Sitting Room for an evening of poetry and revelry in very soft sofas.
Your compere for the evening, will be James Sheard if he’ll agree to it…

Sat 10th MayThe 18th Swindon Poetry Slam – at the Arts Centre on Saturday 10th May, as part of the annual Swindon Festival of Literature – will see the much-loved Brummie performance poet Spoz (aka Giovanni Esposito) hosting the event with Sara-Jane. Fifteen poets will compete over the traditional three rounds. To enter or for more details, call 07814 830031

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