Midlands Poetry What’s On April 2014

Festival News

The big poetry festival is in Much Wenlock on 25th-27th April. Now an established event, highlights include Simon Armitage, John Hegley, Emma Purshouse, Sally Crabtree and Frieda Hughes. The slam on Saturday night is the traditional highlight. Nine Arches and Silhouette presses are hosting events, the former hosted by the ubiquitous Jo Bell, be there, I will!

Day by day

Tues 1st The Y Theatre,7 East Street, LE1 6EY Leicester, United Kingdom. at 8:00pm – 10:30pm.You certainly won’t be a fool if you come down to The Y on 1st April for our Night of ‘The North’, with very special guests, Peter and Ann Sansom.Peter and Ann are co-directors of The Poetry Business, a poetry publisher and writer development agency and co-editors of The North magazine and Smith-Doorstop books. They are both highly regarded poets and performers of their work.Peter Sansom has published Writing Poems (Bloodaxe) and five collections with Carcanet, including a recent Selected Poems. He has been writer in residence with M&S, company poet with Prudential, and Fellow in Poetry at both Leeds and Manchester Universities. Ann Sansom is a poet, playwright and tutor. She has published six collections of poetry; had work published in several Forward/Faber anthologies, Russian Vogue and a range of other publications. She has also written and directed plays for stage and radio.Her two full-length poetry collections are published by Bloodaxe.We will be out to celebrate the achievements of The Poetry Business, of whom Peter and Ann are Directors, specifically though, ‘of The North’ magazine which they edit. ‘The North’ is one of the most prestigious poetry magazines in the UK and we and, as well as celebrating its success with Peter and Ann we have guest slots from Roy Marshall and Maria Taylor, both of whom have been published in ‘The North’.Compere on the night, Pam Thompson, has been published in there too.
WORD! is the longest-running spoken word, open mic night in the Midlands. Visuals and film are provided by our resident film-maker, Keith Allott, and music by The Y’s Martin Pole.Doors open at 8pm Sign up for the open-mic with compere, Pam at 7pm Entry £4/£3

Wed 2nd Mac, Birmingham, 6.30pm free, Following the great success of this type of event after its first outing at the Bedlam festival at the Birmingham Rep, we are repeating it at Mac. First half- readings of well known and loved poems for good times and bad. Readers will include Polly Wright, Mandy Ross, Laurence Inman, Terina Talbot, Jane Campion Hoye. Eugene Egan and Alison Belbin. Second half- open Mic. Bring along your favourite poems to share, either by you, or famous people!

Wed 2nd Spire Writes, white swan, Chesterfield, 7.30pm, free,
We’re back with another excellent poetic double bill in April, plus the usual open mic. This time our guests are John McCullough (all the way from Brighton) and Ben Wilkinson.

John McCullough’s first collection of poems The Frost Fairs (Salt) won the Polari First Book Prize for 2012. It was a Book of the Year for both The Independent and The Poetry School, and a summer read for The Observer. John lives in Hove, and teaches creative writing for the Open University and New Writing South. He has two cats, and a love of dictionaries, obscure words and punctuation marks.

Ben Wilkinson was born in Stafford in 1985 and lives in Sheffield. His pamphlet The Sparks was published in 2008 by tall-lighthouse, and his writing has been shortlisted for the Picador Poetry Prize, the Society of Authors’ Eric Gregory Award, and the Poetry Society’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry Review, the Guardian, The Spectator and, more recently, Liverpool Football Club Monthly. He works as a critic and editor, reviewing new poetry for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and as an editor for the Poetry Archive.Open mic slots (one poem each) available on the night or sign up in advance.Free entry. Real ale. Real poetry. Etc etc.

Thurs 3rd Blackdrop,Top Dog Gourmet 53 Lenton Boulvard/ Church Street junction. Nottingham
8-10pm We hope you will be joining us for this, your next delicious helping of Blackdrop .We are featuring a dynamic woman comedienne/poet/storyteller/actor called ISHI KHAN-JACKSON. Plus the usual open mic and BIG VIBES.

Thurs 3rd The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse,5 Castle Gates, SY1 2AE Shrewsbury,7.30pm Shropshire An evening of booked readings from Charles Wilkinson, Colin Sutherill, Bill Milner, Olli Jones, Jeff Phelps, Carol Forrester

Tues 8th City Voices Second Tuesday 19:30 the Lych Gate Tavern, 44 Queens Square Wolverhamtpton, it’s down the walkway by Barclays bank the leads to the Civic Centre with Simon Fletcher, set bill.

Tues 8th Mouth n Music, Boars Head, Kiddermisnstaer, 7.30pm.A duologue is a dialogue for 2 people. This will be the theme for April. Open mic performers are invited to pair up and snap up 10 MINUTE COLLABORATIVE SLOTS. Open slots can be booked from 7.30 on the night.

Our features are:

Writers DAVID CALCUTT and NADIA KINGSLEY who will present part of their piece Road Kill which tells of the secret lives of our native animals, from town to country where fact and myth may mingle.

As a complete contrast, featured band BLEEDING HEARTS will mix political ranting with up tempo melodies.

Sarah Tamar will be MC.


Thurs 10th Pure and Good and Right,Fox and Vivian pub, Leamington Spa, 7.30pm

“This month’s guest is not one poet, but a whole collective.

Beatfreeks are arguably the UK’s most important youth poetry group.

Their regular Poetry Jam and Soul Sessions nights can see as many as 50 young poets and singers gathering to support one another and express their supreme talents.

If you ever lacked hope for humanity and thought our youth doomed, this night will restore faith in unforgettable ways.”

And finally, if you fancy a go at performing your own poetry/spoken word or even music, come along to The Fox And Vivian on Thursday, where an appreciative audience awaits!

Only £3 which goes towards the expenses of our fantastic guest headline act.

Thurs 10th ,Worcester SpeakEasy, The Old Rectifying House, North Parade, Worcester WR1 3 NN,In April “Worcester SpeakEasy” at:


Worcester, at 7.30 pm, on Thursday, April 10th … all invited.

“Worcester SpeakEasy” is a monthly event of poetry and prose from the page and the stage (and a little music now and then), which takes place on the second Thursday of each month. The event promotes, showcases and encourages writers from the whole of Worcestershire and further afield; there is an invited headline poet each month. If you’d like to book a slot for April, please email Maggie and Fergus at speakeasy.litfest@gmail.com, or leave a message on our Facebook page.

May’s running order will soon be shown below, if you haven’t got a slot and would like to take part then four, two-minute open mic slots will be available on the night: whether you are a seasoned performer or a complete novice – we want to hear from you!

The event is brought to you by your very own Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe, via Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle and the incorrigible Fergus McGonigal, SpeakEasy’s host and MC.

Doors open at 7:00pm for a prompt 7:30pm start; we aim to be finished by about 9.45pm.

1 Clive Dee

1st Open Mic

2 Heather Still

3 Leena Batchelor

2nd Open Mic

4 Andrew Owens

INTERVAL of 20 minutes

1 Timothy Stavert

3rd Open Mic

2 Kevin Brooke

3 Cass Osborn

4th Open Mic

4 Damon Lord

Ash Dickinson

fri 11th Poetry and Place, the Hive, Worcester, 7.30pm.

On April 11th there is the first of three poetry events happening at the Hive. The events are organised as a collaboration between the University of Worcester, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Worcestershire Lit Fest and Fringe.

There will be four poets on the 11th, all for the amazing price of only £5 a ticket. The event starts at 7.30 pm and tickets can be purchased from the Hive. It is a great chance to see some brilliant regional poets read in Worcester.

‘Four poets with assured and distinctive voices for whom ‘place’ is not just the geographical or natural environments that inform the poems but also the human histories that unfold there, the people who are part of the landscape and part of the poem.’

Angela France
Martin Malone
David Caddy
Fiona Sampson

Tickets can be purchased in person from The Hive, Level 1 Information Desk or by phone from the University of Worcester Arena. The phone number for booking enquiries at the Arena is 01905 54 44 44. They can also be purchased from the Arena reception. Arena box office 9 am – 4.30

Tues 15th Lyric Lounge, The Curve, Rutland St Leicester, 7.30pm;
with compere Jess Green

Lyric Lounge, the East Midlands’ celebrated travelling spoken word festival, presents a jam-packed day of local and internationally renowned artists, live literature performances, music, film, masterclasses, open-mic sessions and family-friendly activities, for all ages to enjoy.

A range of new and classic books will be available to buy at The Bookshop Kibworth’s Pop-up Book Stall.




Cardboard Citizens presents


A Forum Theatre play by Kate Tempest
Directed by Adrian Jackson
Produced in association with Time Won’t Wait

Glasshouse is about family and how hard it can be to keep loving. Three interwoven stories take us into the lives of members of a single family – fragile as any of us, tested by the times in modern Britain, they struggle to stay together, fail to survive apart. Sown through with Kate Tempest’s haunting poetry, the play draws us into a dark and gritty city illuminated by moments of unexpected tenderness.

This is not theatre as you know it. Forum Theatre invites the audience to stop the action in the second part of the evening, and come on stage and rehearse alternative scenarios to lead to positive changes.
“Cardboard Citizens is a theatre company that must surely rank as being amongst the most genuinely life-changing in the UK” What’s On Stage


Tickets: £10 / Concessionary tickets available*
*Subject to eligibility & availability

Tel: 0116 242 3595

Join the Lyric Lounge mailing list to receive programme announcements at http://www.lyriclounge.co.uk
Follow us on twitter @lyric_lounge

Lyric Lounge is delivered by Writing East Midlands, the region’s writer development agency which is funded by Arts Council England. Lyric Lounge Leicester 2014 is presented in partnership with Curve Theatre as part of the Inside Out Festival.

hurs 17th Hit the Ode, the Victoria PH, Birmingham City Centre 7.30pm;
Hit the Ode is a spoken word poetry night which brings the most exciting poets from the region, the country, and the world to the heart of Birmingham. Each edition features three guest acts: one from the North West, one from elsewhere in the UK, and one international guest.

We have poems. Poems which crunch when you bite into them; poems you’ve been meaning to call for ages; poems buzzing like wires strung between pylons.

Good poems. Come and get them.


Winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship and the Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, Koyczan is truly an extraordinary talent that has blown the dust off of the designation “poet”. Engaging and authentic in attitude, Koyczan emerges in a new wave of 21st century poetry that dares to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice.

Jasmine Ann Cooray is a poet and spoken word artist and workshop facilitator from London, of British and Sri Lankan heritage. She is known for vivid imagery, attention to detail and storytelling through personal experience. Jasmine has just returned from her stint as International Writer in Residence at The National University of Singapore.

One of Brum’s best loved authors, poet and best-selling author of One Million Lovely Letters Jodi Ann Bickley returns to Hit the Ode for her very first full set. It’s high time: since her victory at the 2009 Roundhouse slam, Jodi has performed all over the UK, including festivals such as Bestival and Glastonbury. She was a speaker at TEDxBrum in 2013.

Tickets £5 (book ahead by clicking http://bit.ly/1psKcj3 or try your luck on the door)

Fri 18th Spoken Worlds , Old Cottage Tavern, Burton DE14 2EG, 7.30pm, free in, open mic with “three halves”. Hosted by Gary Carr, all welcome

Fri 25th Word up, York st bakery, Birmingham city Centre,
GUEST POET IAN BOWKETT- ianbowkett.bandcamp.com

Join us for a night of POETRY-MUSIC-SPOKEN WORD provided by the wonderfully talented inhabitants of Birmingham and beyond. We guarantee a night you’ll never forget. And did I mention it’s FREE? So come and enjoy yourself. I will also be celebrating my Birthday YAYAY I WILL BE GIVING OUT LOTS OF HUGS 😉


We’ll be Yorks Bakery Cafe


fill your boots with poetry!

Fri 25th Wenlock Poetry Festival – Luke Wright,http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org

Sat 26th Wenlock Poetry Festival – Frieda Hughes, Sally Crabtree, Trevor Meaney http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org

sun 27th Wenlock Poetry Festival – Simon Armitage,http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org

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

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

Wed 30th The Poetry Train* New Venue* the Lych Gate Tavern, 44 Queens Square Wolverhamtpton, it’s down the walkway by Barclays bank the leads to the Civic Centre. at 8pm, upstairs in their function room….It’s a great little pub last Wednesday ts@tonystringfellow.com

Wed 30th 42 at Drummonds, Worcester:Gothic, Horror, Sci-fi & Fantasy event “42 Worcester” last Wednesday of the month at Drummonds, Worcester 7pm for a 7:30pm start. MC Andrew Owens.

42 Worcester, the Worcestershire gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy event, returns on 30th April 2014. Held at Drummonds, The Swan with Two Nicks, 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP on the final Wednesday of each month, 42 Worcester starts at 19:30. You can book a slot via the Facebook page: or email Andrew at andrew@42worcester.com

Confirmed performers include:

Polly Robinson
Sharon Carr
Suz Winspear
Andrew Owens
Nina Lewis
Ian Ward
Kevin Brooke
Andy Kirk
Leena Batchelor
Timothy Stavert
Georgie Bull
JD Grant
Michael R. Brush

Wed 30th Purple Penumbra,Oldbury Rep Theatre,3 Spring Walk, B69 4SP Oldbury, Sandwell, United Kingdom,Everyone and anyone is welcome to attend, 7.50pm
and bring along a relative or bring along a friend
to hear the spoken word – oft times not heard before –
regaling love and nature and sealing wax and war.

If you’ve a mind to contribute, whether wench or feller,
to sing a song with your guitar or even a cappella
or read a little tale or poems while we drink a beer,
then please come and enjoy the feast of words we love to hear.

If you need a theme… DECEPTION

For inspiration, should you need any…

1. A E Housman died on this day in 1936. A Shropshire Lad was one of the first poetry books I ever had, a gift from my mother.
2. On this day in 1945 Adolf Hitler ended his destructive life.
3. Operation Mincemeat was carried out in 1943 on this day.


We hope to see loads of people turn up, refreshed after the Easter break.
It’s in the Bar of The Barlow Theatre.
It’s free, and there’s drinkies available, naturally!

How to get there…
Bus services:
126 from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, ten minutes from the Navigation bus stop, and
120, Birmingham to Dudley just two minutes from Rhodia Works bus stop, Station Road, Langley.
Train services:
10 minute walk from Langley Green railway station.
Put B69 4SP in your satnav, or…
From the M5, Junction 2,
at the big island take the 4th exit onto the A4034 (Churchbridge)
take the first right at the traffic light (slip road) B4170, Park Street/Park Lane towards Langley
at the Langley Green island, keep left on B4182, Park Lane
take the first right into Whyley Walk.
The free car park is 60 metres on your left.
The Barlow Theatre, (or Oldbury Rep) is in front of you

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