On Sunday 13th, I was back again at Café in Birmingham, this time with Tessa Lowe and Poets With Passion. Once again it was lovely to reconnect with poets I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new people who love poetry. Tessa’s events are always relaxed and it was a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon.
Before I left she asked Chris Fewings and I if we would be interested in leading the group as one off sessions. Depending on the weather, I have agreed for 2016.
I cannot wait to pick a theme and find poems.
Poetry for Lunch with Jan Watts at the P Café, Stirchley 17th
Last year you may remember that Jan Watts, former Birmingham Laureate, ran a series of weekly poetry events in the ‘bear pit’ at the Library of Birmingham. Due to funding cuts the library was unable to repeat this successful programme in 2015.
I was delighted when Jan decided to re-launch PFL at the P Café and gutted that I had work booked and couldn’t attend the first event a week before.
It was a great event, lots of poetry was shared and they are creating a Smorgasbord of poetry on the wall at P Café from PFL.
The P Café is an amazingly creative place with a fantastic menu of delicious food, drinks and treats. The truffles are to die for and the atmosphere of the place breeds instant relaxation and happy vibes. I only wish I lived a little nearer!
The best moment at PFL has to go to Elaine Christie –
What are the chances of this happening – A fly landing on the page of my poem, when the next line I was about to read was – “Or lost in the flurry of flashing fireflies”
Photography Elaine Christie © 2015
Hit the Ode with Bohdan Piasecki (Apples & Snakes), Birmingham 17th
It was a busy old day for poetry. In the evening Myfanwy Fox (thanks for the lift) and I were in Birmingham for Hit the Ode. They have 3 headliners – a local, national and international poet.
Leon Priestnall (who hosts HOWL) was headlining in the local slot and he was on fire for his set.
The National Poet was Jackie Hagan from Manchester and the International poet was Toni Stuart from South Africa.
Hit the Ode brings the most exciting poets from the region, the country and the world to the heart of Birmingham.
Join us! We have poems. Poems you can spread on toast in the morning. Poems which sing embarrassing songs under the shower. Poems which will heal if you apply steady pressure. Good poems, Come and get them.
From Birmingham, Leon Priestnall
A stalwart of the Birmingham poetry Scene, Leon is a poet with a passionate performance style, betraying influecnes ranging from hip-hop artists to the Beats. Leon runs the popular Howl event series in Kings Heath, and has been a Hit the Ode supporter for years – we’re delighted to finally be able to offer him a full slot. He will be joined on stage… by a special musical guest.
From Manchester, Jackie Hagan
Jackie Hagan was raised on broken biscuits, by hecklers, in a little town that’s now studied on the GCSE syllabus as a ‘failed social experiment’. She performs poetry and comedy, is a playwright for Graeae Theatre and runs Seymour Poets, a creativity project for isolated adults based at blueSCI Arts and Wellbeing centre in Manchester. Jackie is the winner of the 2015 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show for Some People Have Too Many Legs.
From South Africa, Toni Stuart
Toni Stuart is a poetry writer, performer and developer from Cape Town, South Africa. Her work uses poetry to interrogate a range of social issues such as the stories of place and displacement, HIV/Aids, and gender-based violence. She was named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 Inspiring Young South Africans for her work in co-founding I Am Somebody! – an NGO that uses storytelling and youth development to build integrated communities.
Bohdan Piasecki © 2015
The whole night was electrifying as always and I thoroughly enjoyed being back at HTO – (they take the summer off).