Midlands Poetry Whats on September 2014

Sun 31st August Sound and Music Swan with two nicks, 28 New St, Worcester WR1 2DP,730pm, free in,and we’re back! Have you missed us? We’ve missed you, ever so much!! Come along to the Swan with Two Nicks and lets get re-acquainted…Worcester’s wonderful open mic event wants poet-people, prose-people, music people and audience people for one heck of a night! We are part of the lovely, stupendous Worcester Music Festival and all money raised goes to their fabulous charity for young carers in Worcester. Come on in, you know you want to!

Tues 2nd Y Theatre. 7 East St ,LE1 6EY, Leicester
Come to Word!’s LGBT Special when we’ve got amazing Jay Bernard as our guest.

Jay Bernard was born in London in 1988. She was a winner of the Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2005, and of the Respect Slam in 2004. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry London, Chroma, The Guardian, The Independent, and in several anthologies. The Guardian named Bernard as one of the UK’s most inspirational 16-year-olds in 2004. Her first collection of poems, Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl (tall-lighthouse) was published in 2008 and was selected as the Poetry Book Society’s pamphlet choice.

Bernard has read her work at Buckingham Palace, the Globe Theatre, London, and at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s inaugural event at the newly refurbished Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. She has written for the Royal Opera House and has read on a number of BBC radio and television shows, including The Verb and The Culture Show.

In 2008, Bernard was poet in residence at a north London allotment, writing on the theme of place as part of the Apples & Snakes project My Place or Yours. She was also a poet in residence at the StAnza Poetry Festival, St Andrews, in 2010, and has acted as a mentor for younger poets taking part in SLAMbassadors UK.

She is a graphic artist as well as a poet. Her work has appeared on the cover of Wasifiri, and in Chroma, Diva and Litro.

Bernard took the title of her collection from Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time: “In retrospect, I think I was looking to explore a similar kind of womanly introspection – full of nightmares, infatuation and lunacy.”

Many of the poems in Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl chart both physical and emotional growing pains. “Lingerie was not on the shopping list . . . It is why, at twelve, I had sagging breasts,” declares the narrator of ‘Lingerie’, where the discomfort of her changing pubertal body and the subsequent introduction to the confusing adult world of brassieres is humorously analysed:

. . . polyester wakens the rage of
the most patient saint and it chafes
the petalled skin of tiny
new gods
who command
an imperious trot punishing
fun with excruciating pain.

Bernard delves into the corporeal with both rawness and delicacy. ‘Eight’ describes female genitalia in intimate detail as “something slick, curled suspended” and “familiar and untouchable; distant,/ downed, exceptionally there; lithe origami/ of moisture and hair.” She delivers insights from the murkier side of love and desire in ‘Tongues in Velvet’ (“I’ve met those who’ve left their faces/ on the lonely floor of marriage/ I’ve met boys who stand in fishnets/ on the corner dressed as women”), to the touching yearning for the beloved in ‘News’:

If I could translate the sound of those
thoughts to the language of touch –
. . . then my arm could hang
loose around your shoulders –
my body in the evening city,
my breath in the inlet of your ear.

Bernard’s verse is carefully paced, as in ‘Souvenir’ – a story of a relationship that has come to an end – in which the dramatic subject matter is contained in precisely measured metre and the microscopic description of a discarded heart sitting “unbeating in the bin” amongst “the teabags and the melon rinds./ I could just see the tapered end ripped/ through with black veins and slightly/ shaded with white fat.”

Her poems are often set against an urban backdrop, and in ‘Migration’ she imagines London’s tube system as a human body – “The tunnels were arterial,/ the intermittent lamps like a spinal constellation/ and each station was a throbbing heart” – and its buildings linked to human history, as in “the blank menace of so many windows,/ imagine the fear of the first people huddled, haunted/ one hundred, thousand years ago.”

Pascale Petit has said: “One of our most promising young talents, Jay Bernard writes powerful and sensuous scenes from the metropolis: a teenager flies like a moth, a woman with scissors sings bees. Disturbing, joyous and always surprising.”

© Rebecka Mustajarvi


Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl, tall-lighthouse, London, 2008

Jay Bernard’s poems have appeared in:

Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, Bloodaxe, Tarset, 2009
City State: New London Poetry, Penned in the Margins, London, 2009
Salt Book of Younger Poets, Salt Publishing, Cambridge, 2011


Jay Bernard’s blog
Bernard’s poetry publisher, tall-lighthouse
An interview with Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard talks to Dominic O’Rourke about her time as poet in residence at a north London allotment. Read the resulting poems and see the drawings and pictures from Bernard’s residency on the My Place or Yours website.

Details of our Support Act to follow

Also visuals by Keith Allott and music and lighting courtesy of The Y.

Come along at 7pm to sign up with the compere in the bar for an open-mic slot.


Wed 3rd Spire Writes White Swan St Marys gate, Chesterfield.

Autumn’s on the way, but Spire Writes can warm you with poetry as the nights draw in. In September, we’ll have guest sets from two familiar faces, Rob Stevens and Al Mclimens.

Al has performed at Bang Said the Gun and read alongside Liz Lochead, the Scottish Makar. He’ll have copies of his pamphlet ‘The Suicide of John Keats’ for sale on the night.

Rob is the Buxton Bard who runs Word Wizards poetry slam and he has recently presented new work commemorating the First World War, ‘Remember Willie Beard’.

As ever, it’ll be free to get in and there will be open mic slots available (no more than 5 minutes each).

We’ll start at 8 and finish in time for last trains back to Sheffield and beyond

Thurs 4th Blackdrop TOP DOG GOURMET, 53 LENTON BLVD NOTTM, LIVERPOOL VS NOTTINGHAM match of lyrics!Kick-off 8pm with drum role call not to be missed,followed by a lively delivery of open mic floor slots.ALL WELCOME TO CONTRIBUTE/PERFORM
Whistle half time and in comes Liverpool’s finest CURTIS WATT aka C-ZERO,CAN YOU HANDLE IT? ALL THIS FOR JUST £3.00!
JOIN US 8-1OPM BLACKDROP, the spoken word specialists:Making every month Black History Month! REAL POETRY, FOR REAL PEOPLE! Michelle ‘The Mother’ Hubbard Freelance Cultural Arts Practitioner and Consultant (Lyricist, Poet, Storyteller, African drummer, Workshops facilitator, Performer)
mobile: 07977 804 858

Thurs 4th Shrewsbury Poetry @Eat Up Shearmans Hill, Milk St, Shresbury SY1 1SZ
The return of Three Men – Tom Wentworth. Barry Tench and Adam John Rutter. What will they get up to this time? And a guest slot from Fergus McGonigal. Plus: Peter Shilston Carol Forrester Gary Carr and William McCartney Oliver Jones et al
sat 6th Stratford Arts Festival Poetry at St Chads church Greengate St, 9.30am -3.30pm

Staffs Arts Festival Poetry at St Chad’s Sat 6th September 2014 Time

START / RBW Writers (TBC) / Possible Open Mic Slot/Andrea Smith 9.30 – 09.45
Surjit Dhami 9.45
Jack Edwards 9.55
Mal Dewhirst 10.05
John Mills 10.15
Gary Carr 10.25
Runaway Writers 10.35 – 10.50
Brendan Hawthorne 10.50
Cherry Doyle 11.00
Kuli Kohli 11.10
Kezzabelle 11.20
June Palmer 11.30
Phil Binding 11.40
Al Barz 11.50
Mike Alma 12.00
Mogs 12.10
Janet Jenkins 12.20
David Calcutt 12.30

LUNCH 12.40 – 13.00hrs

The Young Poet Laureate Applicants 13.00 – 13.30 hrs
John Williams 13.30
Stoke Poetry Stanza 13.40 -13.55
Nina Lewis 13.55
John Lindley 14.05
Ben Wilkinson 14.15
Fergus McGonigal 14.25
Barry Patterson 14.35

The Lichfield Poets (Tribute to Jan Arnold) 14.45 – 15.00
Tom Wyre 15.00
Natalie Cotterill 15.10
Presentation of Young Poet Laureate 15.20

END 15.30

Sat 6th Ben Norris, Mac Birmingham Apples and Snakes in partnership with Arts Council England and mac birmingham presents

Join UK all-stars poetry slam champion Ben Norris for a one-off preview performance of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family, a one-man show exploring his often difficult relationship with his father through the music of Gerry Rafferty, the endearing near misses of Luton Town Football Club, and Britain’s best-loved motorway.

When: Saturday 6 September, 7.30pm
Where: mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Sat 6th Tin Music and Arts Centre, Coal Vaults , Canal Basin, Coventry, 6.30pm, £15, music, comedy and spoken word

Shoots proudly presents a showcase of Coventry &
Warwickshire’s finest local professional artists at The Tin Music & Arts Centre, Canal Basin, on Saturday 6th September.

The event celebrates the diversity of arts and peoples within Coventry and Warwickshire, which is rich in quality and genre. Culture Shake will showcase a hand picked ‘cream of the crop’ of what this dynamic area has to offer.

Tickets via Box Office: 02476230699,
online: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/281930
from Shoots: http://www.cvshoots.com or from artists.
£12 advance. £15 on the door.

Feel free to contact the Shoots facebook page or just comment below for enquiries on how to purchase tickets in person or get on the advance guest list.

With your support, this event can be expanded into a fuller scale Festival, including more local artists & genres, and with a funding application (if this year succeeds) we can bring the price down too 🙂

Running Order:
6.00 Doors.
6.30 Capoeira Demonstration – Martial Art/Dance
7.00 Alan Wales – Original Play Excerpt
7.20 Sarah Bennett – Fingerstyle Guitar
7.50 Spiros Abatis – Psychedelic Folk
8.20 Jools Street – Bluegrass Fiddle
9.00 Sonrisa – Latin/Jazz/World Fusion
10.00 Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla – Celtic/Rock/Jazz Fusion
– Yexi Collaborations Installation Art throughout

Culture Shake began as a small showcase and jam session in the tent of Habibi Restaurant, Coventry in 2012. It has since gathered momentum and support and with this showcase underway Shoots hopes to secure funding for a fuller scale annual festival starting in 2015. With the support of local peoples this event will once again mark Coventry as a town for peace, reconciliation and damn good music. We will lay a positive foundation for this event, and others like it, to grow and for local artists of all styles to thrive together.

“We share our culture, our experience, our feeling, in our music together. It’s mixing all of our heritage, history and melodies.” – Ahmad Moslemifar

“Playing songs can simply bring people together to dance, to have fun, to break down boundaries. It’s just good.” – Chloe Juliette

“Music takes you home, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you can go home with music.” – Ahmad Moslemifar

Quotes from documentary ‘The Music Takes You Home’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RRANJxNxqw) filmed in 2012 and based around fusion album ‘Beat Breathe’ and the initial Culture Shake events.
Further information can be found here: http://www.cvshoots.com/culture-shake

Sat 6th Confab Cabaret The Cube,Albert Rd North Malvern,WR12 2yf Summer of Fun. We are absolutely thrilled that ConFab Cabaret X will be at The Malvern Cube with easy (free) parking and bar!. (You may be wondering whether that’s X as in the number ten or X as in X-rated. So are we.)

Tip Top Hostess Amy Rainbow will be smoothly, smoothy overseeing the proceedings. Myfanwy Fox is poised with Fox Pops, ready to gather you up into the world of audience biro participation. The Poetry Tree is back in its entirety. Come see what goodies blossom forth for the Silliest Raffle. The tenth ConFab is also introducing a brilliant book swap where each and every attendee brings a pre-loved book to exchange in the interval with another literary wonder. Entry to the whole evening’s shenanigans is by Donation 🙂

See us for free
If you like what you see
Pop in a note
or a coin that’s shine-nee*

On the Bill is:

YOU! Come armed with your 2 mins of delight. Sign up on the door for a open mic talent slot. Poets, Songsters, Tricksters, Jokesters, Storytellers. The stage is yours!

PTR Williams sings of jumpers, smiles and dogs with his trusty geetar. Not a smiling Jumper guitar playing dog! (Not yet , but we are hopeful!) Enjoy his tales of the real world as he waits his turn on the Dr Who throne.

You’ll recognize Chrissy Velveteen from the excellent Jonny Gash and the Bleeding Catfaces. This time she is sans band. Chrissy plays the Ukulele and combines music and poetry.

Lindsey & Catherine have performed alongside Reginald D Hunter and Andrew Maxwell, Rhod Gilbert and Orville the Duck. They’ve pre-packed their imaginary instruments and will be singing ABBA truth and bringing Poetry Sunshine down below to those in the absolute know. Together, they’ve performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Cheltenham and Swindon Festivals of Literature. They trust each other explicitly and have been known to partly execute each other following strict Health and Safety protocols.

Please feel free to invite friends and share the event – all welcome. See you there!

*all monies gathered go towards paying the evening’s invited performers and future guest acts.

Mon 8th
Wordminers, Red Lion Wirksworth 7pm, £4 in inc buffet “Tapping the seam”

Tues 9th Mouth & Music 32 Boars Head, Kidderminster, 7,30pm start £3 in

**** NB EARLIER START TIME 7.30pm ****

Our theme for September is



UK All-Stars Poetry Slam champion


“Performs his sharply crafted poems with breathtaking verve and expertise.” Cheltenham Poetry Festival

“Accessible and arresting – crucially, never at the cost of complexity and depth.” Bohdan Piasecki (Apples & Snakes)


Poems & songs about dementia

open mic sign-up from 7.00

Tues 9 City Voices, Lych Gate Tavern, Queen Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1TX, 7.30-9pm. This month features performance poet Steve Pottinger. Basir Sultan Kazmi will also be sharing some poems and translations from his latest collection ‘Passing Through’ from Crocus Books, Manchester. Tickets £2.50/ £1 (under 16s) on the door

Wednesday 10 , 7pm | ORT, 500-504 Moseley Road, BirminghamMAIA Creatives presents ScratchBHAM
After a successful stint in London, The Scratch Night returns home to Birmingham. Celebrating creative writing and the process, we invite artists to explore/share/test their work at any stage in development, in front of a live audience, in exchange for your thoughts.

Thurs 11th PUREandGOODandRIGHT, Leamingston Spa Admission £3 (free to performers)
PUREandGOODandRIGHT is an Open Mic poetry event taking place at ,The Fox & Vivian.32 Clarendon Ave, Leamington spa, CV32 4RZ Every second THURSDAY of the month,(except December) ,Next event:,Thursday 11 September 7.30 p.m start
This month’s guest is the fantastic Barry Patterson,Barry Patterson is a writer and performer, who is a well known figure on Coventry’s poetry scene. His alter ego, the Wild Man of the Woods is Britain’s widest travelled and longest running, green man performance. His first collection, Nature Mystic was published by Heaven Tree Press in 2008. Since then he has won at the Coventry Festival of Speech & Drama, visited The Republic of Ireland in the Coventry-Cork Poets’ Exchange, and had his poem, Advice to a Geordie Miner Lad at Pooley, mounted as public monument
at Pooley Pit Head, N. Warwickshire. In 2013, he self-published a small pamphlet entitled Buddha of the Carboniferous, a journey into the mysteries of landscape & identity. “Feeding on many traditions, slave to none, Barry Patterson’s poems contrive to be both delicate & muscular; the twisting hammered music of their lineation evoking the excitement of his flamboyant live performances.” Jon Morley, The Writers’ Centre, Norwich You can book an Open mic slot on the night! Admission £3 (£2 Student/OAP)

From time to time we are located upstairs, so please let us know if you require disabled access before the event.
If you would like to know more about the night email: pgrpoetry@gmail.com

Sat 13th
Poets Place Come to Poets’ Place Library of Birmingham (Café Mezzanine), Birmingham 35pm free to make new friends, discover new poets, share and have your work critiqued, make useful connections, set a writing schedule…Poets’ Place can be whatever you as a poet decide to make of it.

 Just show up with your poems or a blank notebook!

and on 27 September, 3-5pm

Monday 15th Shindig, Great western PH, Great Western St, leicester, 7.30pm free in

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL! Crystal Clear Creators and Nine Arches Press presents Leicester Shindig! open-mic poetry evening, a Soundswrite Special, with featured writers Caroline Cook, Jayne Stanton and more. All welcome. Sign up for open-mic slots on the door.

Wed 17th Find the Right Words @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | £5 The Western, 70 Western Road, Leicester

With two big name poets and ten open mic acts, Find the Right Words is one of the most electric poetry and rap nights in Leicester. Created and compered by Jess Green, headliners for 17 September are Emma Jones and Hannah Silva.

Open mic sign up from 7.30pm.

Thurs 18thThe Victoria, 48 John Bright St, Birmingham 7.30pm Hit the Ode A unique performance poetry night bringing world-class spoken word artists to the heart of Birmingham. If you have friends who think they don’t like poetry, bring them along…

Featuring: Stephen Morrison-Burke, Sally Jenkinson, Nilson Muniz (Portugal)

When: Thursday 18 September, 7.30pm
Where: The Victoria, 48 John Bright St, Birmingham

Thurs 18th Birmingham Poetry Festival starts

Fri 19th Poetry at the Ort, 500 Moseley Rd Birmingham,7.30pm,Our Monthly evening of spoken word, poetry, stories, comedy and just a little bit of music 😉 suggested donation of £3 , a few open mic spots will be available on the night

Wed 24th Elvis McGonigal, The Hive Worcester, 7.30pm,£10
World Poetry Slam Champion 2006, UK Slam Champion 2006

UK All-comers’ Poetry Slam Champion 2004

‘funny, angry and tightly written…McGonagall combines anger, polish and carefully crafted verse in a way which recalls John Cooper Clarke’ 4-star The Scotsman

‘verses shot through with a moral umbrage and rhetorical power…a bracing throwback to the days when comedy made room for militant eccentrics with a knack for scansion and a bolshie hankering to change the world’ 4-star The Guardian

‘side-splittingly funny’ The Reading Rant

Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary and recumbent rocker, Elvis McGonagall is the sole resident of The Graceland Caravan Park where he scribbles verse whilst drinking malt whisky and listening to Johnny Cash. Elvis is the 2006 World Slam Champion, the compere of the notorious Blue Suede Sporran Club and a regular guest of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live. His new R4 series is Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side.

Elvis has written and performed for BBC’s Saturday Live, The Today Programme, The Culture Show, Arthur Smith’s Balham Bash, Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show, A Good Read, The World Snooker Championships, BBC Radio Scotland’s MacAulay & Co, Random Acts (C4), Café Direct and Greenwich Dance Agency. He was Glastonbury Festival Poet-in-Residence 2007.

‘comic poetry with a stand-up charge, coupled with intelligent leaps of the poetic imagination’ Shortfuse

‘flamboyant, razor-sharp text, intense energy…reminds me of Adrian Mitchell, John Cooper Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson, all the right people’ Simon Vinkenoog

‘the fire is withering, even if it is delivered with a smile and a twinkle’ Greg Freeman, WriteOutLoud

‘A poet of panache & zip & steely politic & unadulterated tartan’ UK Touring


His poetry collection Mostly Dreich is published by Nasty Little Press.,

wed 24th 42 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

Worcester, the Worcestershire gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy event, returns on September 24th 2014. Theme this month ‘Robots, Cyborgs & Steampunk’.

Confirmed performers include:

Polly Robinson
Leena Batchelor
Kevin Brooke
Andrew Owens
Timothy Stavert
Nicole Amy Louise Pott
Jo Grant
Thurs 25th Elvis McGonigal Theatre Severn Shrewsbury, 7.30pm £10 in

Sat 27th
Poets Place Come to Poets’ Place Library of Birmingham (Café Mezzanine), Birmingham 35pm free to make new friends, discover new poets, share and have your work critiqued, make useful connections, set a writing schedule…Poets’ Place can be whatever you as a poet decide to make of it.

 Just show up with your poems or a blank notebook!

Sun 28th One Woman in Time,7.30pm,Midlands Art Centre,Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QH Birmingham, United Kingdom From Somesuch Theatre
A new play by Deirdre Burton and Tom Davis
Showtimes: 2.30pm/5.30pm/8.30pm

‘One Woman in Her Time’
Lorna Meehan and Ramesh Krishnamurthy

At: the hexagon theatre, midlands arts centre
cannon hill park – opposite edgbaston cricket ground
B12 9QH

“Who am I? What’s happening to me? And what’s all this strange stuff that’s going on inside my head?”

What happens when a young woman, an experienced Shakespearian actress, decides – somewhat impulsively – to try an intensive ten day meditation retreat?

What happens is more than a little surprising. Memories, dreams, reflections and strange encounters. With laughter, tears, powerful poetry and cheerful chatter, it becomes a celebration of life and love, the mysterious mischievous mind, and the magic of theatre.

Running time: 60 minutes

tickets: http://www.macarts.co.uk or 0121 446 3232
£8/£5 (concessions)

Saturday 11th Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam
” We’re doing something a bit different at Cheltenham this year. In celebration of our and the festival’s close involvement with poetry slams since their arrival in the UK in 1994, we’re hosting two events on Saturday 11th October – an invitation-only Qualifier at 3.30pm, from which five poets will proceed to join ten previous UK Allcomers and UK All Stars winners in the Grand Final at 8.45pm. Early booking is strongly advised.”

Saturday 11th Life and Times of the Tat Man Dance Workshop Theatre, 132 Alcester Rd, Moseley, Brum 7.30pm

Black Country theatre at its absolute finest. For the second time this year Regional Voice Theatre brings The Life and Times of Tat Man to Birmingham.

Described as a ‘tour de force’ of regional drama, we invite you to be a witness. Performance runs on October 11th, 7.30pm at The Dance Workshop theatre venue. Tickets cost just £6. There is also a bar and food.

To book please follow the link below. Any questions or queries, just get in touch:


Also please see the Life and Times of the Tat Man facebook page for other autumn dates.


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