Poetry Out Loud: Performance and Publication in the Digital Age

Last night I took part in a fantastic event with Helen Mort, Malika Booker and Rommi Smith at the Chemic Tavern in Leeds. The event was part of the Debating the Book series, which includes a wide range of readings and talks across Yorkshire. It is an exciting year for poetry at the University of Leeds. The Poetry Centre has …

Verse Matters – September

Verse Matters was back in September with a fantastic line-up. Everyone loved the featured artists: from Toria Garbutt’s high-energy poems to Genevieve Carver’s wit and Lou Richards’ haunting melodies.    I was also very proud to host several poets who had never read their work in public before. Ross Walcott performed two powerful poems, Luke Worthy gave a …

Terrestrial Journeys

Dina Mousawi – the extremely talented British-Iraqi actress and writer behind Return – is developing a new theatre project working with Syrian and Palestinian refugee women in Beirut. The project is called Terrestrial Journeys, and is about exploring experiences of migration and using art in the pursuit of social change. Dina has supported Verse Matters from the outset, and …

Verse Matters – September

After another fantastic night in August, Verse Matters is back on Thursday 10 September with more talented artists. There’ll be fantastic poetry from the formidable Toria Garbutt (A Firm of Poets), beautiful music from Lou Richards and poetry from the wonderful Genevieve Carver (Paper Boat Poets). There’ll also be open mic performances from Iranian musician/ MC MoLi Nik (ASSIST), Katherine …

You have reached your destination!

The launch of Verse Matters was wonderful. Helen Mort kicked the evening off by reading a few of her fantastic new poems, taking us from the irritations of ‘blonde jokes’ to the diets of climbers.    As Helen was about to read her final poem, a phone chipped in with precision timing: “You have reached your destination”. It certainly …

Once I caught a fish alive…

There’s some fantastic spoken word and poetry events going on in Sheffield at the moment. Up Scribe – a group who have been working with homeless and vulnerable people at the Cathedral Archer project – recently launched a book of fiction, memoir and poetry by the writers they have been working with. The book, called Lights Through the Shadow, …

Poetry in Pudsey

I’ve never been to a poetry night in Pudsey before. But Poetry and a Pint at Cafe Lux seems to be going from strength to strength. A Firm of Poets have a residency at Cafe Lux, which is part of Pudsey Wellbeing Centre: a place where ordinary people are standing up and sharing their poetry with the …

A busy old weekend in Yorkshire

It’s a busy weekend in Yorkshire for poetry. Big ROMP kicked us off on Friday night in Rotherham with the usual warm welcome and fantastic poetry. Poets young and old read poems, and shared stories and beautiful acoustic music. I performed a couple of new poems: “Sweetest Victory” and “People inside People”. ROMP Anthologies are coming very soon, …

ROMP/ A Firm of Poets Workshop and Performance

Last Saturday (23 May), I headed to Rotherham for a workshop run by A Firm of Poets. Ralph Dartford put us through our paces before we performed as A Firm of Poet Associates. I performed “Wrinkly Bellies” (recording coming soon) alongside four other talented poets, including Kev Titterton, Liz Ferrets and Carol Eades. The main crew were amazing. Gav Roberts (ROMP) …

South Yorkshire Poetry Festival, 22-24th May

There are some fantastic events on this weekend in South Yorkshire. You can head to Rotherham to a poetry workshop run by A Firm of Poets and ROMP, followed by performances by Ralph Dartford, Victoria Garbutt, Gav Roberts, Alison Dunne and Wayne Dyson. In Sheffield there will be fantastic performances and readings by Kei Miller, Ben Wilkinson, Kayo Chingonyi, …

Verse Matters: A Feminist Arts Event

We’re getting closer to going live with Verse Matters: a new feminist arts event that I am setting up in Sheffield. We’re teaming up with a fantastic new cafe at The Hide on Scotland Street where we’ll be running every first Thursday of the month from 7.30pm. Verse Matters provides a platform for poetry, spoken …