Friday, 25 February 2011

Hush and Other Poetic Events...

Wednesday was Hush. A night of poetry at Earth Cafe. It's a monthly thing, and I've never been before. But I was lucky enough to be invited to read by the evenings organiser and host Gerry Potter.

Earth is a vegan cafe with very wholesome gorgeous foods. In the basement of the Buddhist Centre, it is all red brick and wood, Buddhas and prayer wheels, peaceful and light and calm. Gerry has created a very friendly, warm monthly event. I was surprised by how welcoming it was. People drifted in and scattered themselves at tables around the room, and then at a huge table in the middle of the room are sat poets and audience together. There was quite a gathering. I might guess at about forty people, or a little less. There are cups of tea and coffee, people eating, and it was all very cosy.

Gerry opened and closed each part of the evening with his own poems about men, read in his wonderful scouse accent, tender and acerbic, comic and beautiful. And he brought together three very different poets.

I was the first, and I read some poems about my childhood, about friendship, love, loneliness, the city and rain. This is quite unique as an event, as for a start, I was sitting down on a chair with other people sitting on chairs, so I was with the audience, and I was also part of the audience. It was quiet, attentive and warm. People listened, clapped, asked questions, and I was in the middle of them, not on a microphone, no need to project my voice above any peripheral noise.

Alabaster DePlume read next. I have met him before, but never seen him perform. And his performance was magical actually. He has a very unique, eccentric style and reminds me of a cross between a wizard, a Shakespearean actor and a comedian. His poems made us laugh a lot. His delivery was wonderfully timed.

Ben Mellor is a poet I've never come across before. Handsome young man in cap and jacket, with a relaxed and rhythmic style. Funny, political, moving. I loved one of his poems about paper... Bloody brilliant.

There is something intimate about having a quiet poetry night, like a soiree, or a sharing of poetry amongst friends. I really enjoyed the way, there is an open invitation to anyone in the room to read a poem after the guest poets. I liked the milling about and chatting, the casual to and fro of comments and questions, and the way we were all sat down together.

It's been a very poetic/literary week.

Monday was Beatification at Sand Bar. John G Hall's Beat Poet film and poetry night. I had cancelled plans so I mooched along on my own, and stayed for a while. It was worth it to hear Jackie Hagan's poem. I can't even recall what the title was, but she took us on a journey through her life, different ages and experiences, personal, exposing, funny, tender, painful. I really like her stuff. I think she is an amazing, brave and talented poet.

Thursday was Pen-ultimate at the Contact Theatre. Ben Mellor is part of this collective of poets, actors, MCs and playwrights, and we heard about it at Hush and decided to give it a go. A brilliant night of poetry, music, MCing, freestyling. I wouldn't really know how to describe it. Like a mash-up of poetry, hip hop and performance. There were some brilliant poems, some very funny moments, political stuff. I like unexpected or spontaneous nights out. They are full of surprises.

Busy, busy. This has been the poetic part of my week off work. I had nothing planned and have filled it with love and poetry, reading, writing reviews, a little digging, a short story and a lot of sleeping. Bliss...


sonia said...


Megan said...

wonderful Annie!
I have to hear you read one day