Even though it was a dark, wet November night, Verse Matters was packed out again this month. It was an incredible night. Louise Clines opened with some brilliant, heartfelt poems: the last about the birthing of her first child in water. Fran Critchlow read some beautiful poems, followed by Keira James’s mesmerising anti-war poem. Kev Titterton read a powerful poem about recognising the importance of women in the wars of the twentieth century, and another about our responsibilities to homeless people over Christmas. Gina Elby came from Scunthorpe to read a fantastic featured set, including her moving poem about abortion.
Sarah Yaseen braved Snake Pass from Manchester to sing her beautiful songs, ranging from 15th Century Punjabi poetry to a blues-inspired song about the Sufi Train in Kall, Germany. Everyone was mesmerised by her voice and her djembe and guitar. Jude Calvert-Toulmin and Liz Searle read some funny but sobering poems about patriarchy and the female body. The fantastic Kate Garrett closed the night with a brilliant reading, inspired by myth and fairytale. We lit up the night. It is amazing what a group of people can create by coming together in a supportive, positive environment. I am very grateful to everyone who has come along this year and created such a supportive space. We’ll be back in January with more wonderful performances.