Tag Archives: Word Up

Word Up, KAF Mouth & Music & 42

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The end of August saw a flurry of open mic events in Birmingham, Kidderminster and Worcester.

WORD UP 21st August

Word Up, Coffee Lounge, Birmingham: hosted a special I Am Not a Silent Poet event with Reuben Woolley, Marcia Calame and Jess Davies headling. The nature of our poems fitted into serious, often unperformed pieces which tackled big issues, which is the voice of Reuben’s online publication I Am Not A Silent Poet, protest, exposure.

word up

My set consisted of the poems he published earlier this year https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/the-write-year/ and some others that I shy away from performing.

It was a great night hosted by Jasmine Gardosi.

All photographs © Reuben Woolley 2015 – there were more performers who I haven’t shared photos of, apologises to them.

word up andrew fellows reuben Word Up Jodie Rose McLoughlin Reuben word up louise hart reuben word up reuben 2 Word Up Reuben 3 word up bernard reuben word up jess reuben Word Up Marcia Calame reuben word up me reuben word up reuben word up vlad reuben

Word Up 1Reuben After the event we went to the pub for a catch up, which was great because there is never enough time to talk to people at events and Reuben lives in Spain and only comes back to the Midlands for August. He was a national tour this year too, gigs up and down the country. I hope he is now having a rest!

 

MOUTH & MUSIC KAF Special – Slightly Circus 23rd August

MOUTH & MUSIC, Boars Head Gallery, Kidderminster:

KAF 2015

This event was originally in the open air/marquee positioned close to the main stage and the closed street of the festival. However, the weather left us with no option but to retreat into the Boars Head Gallery – which is always a great space to perform in I think. The bands were on downstairs and it felt exciting and intimate. There was optional fancy dress and I am so glad other people entered into the spirit of it.

© PTR Art & Design 2015

© PTR Art & Design 2015

I had researched my clown make up but sadly on the day I was too hot getting ready and the white base wouldn’t cover my skin – in the end this was a godsend really as Maggie Doyle and I ran from the car park to venue – me losing half my wrapping paper patches which were all over my PJs/trousers and most of my make up ran too. So imagine the carnage of a white base face!

© Heather Wastie 2015

© Heather Wastie 2015

The event was as exciting as dressing up. Headlined by Amy Rainbow and her wonderfully talent son, Merlin – who in spite of the small performance area, wowed the audience with his amazing Hula Hoopla skills.

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

Dave Reeves was also headlining and performed a fantastic, enthusiastic set with Heather Wastie.

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

© Peter Williams 2015

It was lovely to perform as part of KAF (Kidderminster Arts Festival) for the 2nd time and good that this event attracted performers who had not previously attended Mouth & Music.

It was a lovely afternoon. Photo credits to Peter Williams, who also performed, treating us to a couple of songs.

MM Holly pwMM mag pwMM me PWMM polly PWMM mike pwMM heather dave PW The event was hosted by the wonderful Ringmaster, Sarah Tamar.

MM Maggie sarah Tamar PW

RELATED LINKS:

http://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news/13576317.Kidderminster_s_Mouth_and_Music_goes_circus_crazy_for_one_month_only/

https://mouthandmusic.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/august-review/

42

42, Drummonds, Worcester: Hosted by Andrew Owens

I am delighted that 42 is pulling in such a wide audience and huge collective of poets and writers. It is always an exciting event and recently the list of performers has increased dramatically. The theme was ‘Altered States’ which was more open to interpretation than other themes and produced a varied feast of stories, storytelling and poems. It was a fantastic night, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

42

42 was my final event/open mic of the month.

Performers included;

Alison May
Myfanwy Fox
Suz Winspear
Sharon Carr
Andrew Owens
Polly Robinson
Dayna Norton
Nina Lewis
Kevin Brooke
Brian Comber
Timothy Stavert
David Harvard
Kieran Davis
Chardonnay Jade
Dan Hurrell
Liam Cortinias

 

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The Things to Come…. Marvellous May

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The Hay House Summit has finished, missed most of the final sessions as I was busy with workshops and performances. My MOOC course ‘How Writers Write Poetry’ – University of Iowa is in its final few days, I am mainly saving resources and completing some of the internal projects which I encountered during the 7 weeks. I take a lot away from this course including 10 decently edited and possibly ready (although currently resting in that metaphoric drawer) poems.

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Both elements of April/May have been great fun and have served me well. I have a whole notebook from Hay House and several print outs and saved websites and resources to refer back to and explore more when I have the time.

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I have also 48hours off from performing – in which time I will be catching up, blogging and possibly working on more writing.

It is an exciting time and you have these posts to look forward to (some may appear in Poetry Wraps);

  • The WLF Programme – Worcester LitFest 2015
  • Ledbury Poetry Festival 2015
  • Longlisted for WPL – Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015-16
  • SpeakEasy with Angela Topping and Sarah James
  • Published by Paper Swans
  • Stanza
  • Tickets for John Hegley
  • 42, Fairies & Pixies
  • Writing a poem inspired by Jonathan Edwards (Costa Award winning poet)
  • Workshop with Angela France
  • Word Up
  • Opus Club with Hannah Silva

and of course the monthly review.

So I had best get writing, keep reading!

x

A Poetry Wrap

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I am incredibly busy at the moment and don’t have the hours needed to blog spare, so for a while I am going to follow suit and do what other busy bloggers do – reduce my week into a wrap post. The absolutely amazing writing life happenings will still get a individual post though.

This week I have been working full-time as well as organising sets, writing new poetry and working on several projects. My MOOC course with the University of Iowa finally started! Postponed since March. It has been a worthwhile move so far and has created several pages of poetry. I continue to write poetry for NaPoWriMo – although I realise I have not blogged any extracts of these yet. Caldmore Garden Poets are working on a collaborative piece for the Carnival (and later in the summer, a festival). Unfortunately, I can’t make the Performance as I have my final WWM writers group on the 13th before the summer break. I am also sending David Calcutt workshop poetry to be published on his Natural Histories website.

This week two opportunities suddenly arose and I  submitted a commission proposal for a summer festival and made a bid/application for another event.

I am looking to Wenlock Poetry Festival this weekend. Before that I am reading at a Book event for Restless Bones Poetry Anthology in Birmingham tonight, attending a meeting with Writing West Midlands, hoping to catch ‘Men In General’ tomorrow night on their Worcester leg of the tour, back to Birmingham Friday night for Ddotti Bluebell and Jasmine Gardosi’s Word Up event where Sarah Dixon (Quiet Compere) is headlining alongside Bobby Parker and Jackie Smallbridge (Scrubber Jack). On Sunday I am tempted to get over to Cheltenham Poetry Festival to see Sarah James & Angela Topping and also Math Jones. I am not sure I will have enough energy for that though – especially as I have full time work at the beginning of next week in an incredibly challenging environment.

Motherʼs Milk – Teika Bellamy, Sarah James, Angela Topping
11am-12 midday, Playhouse Theatre Lounge, £6/4
Two prize-winning poets – Sarah James and Angela Topping- have joined forces in the first of a new
series of poetry duets being published by Mother’s Milk Books. Sarah and Angela will be joined by
Dr Teika Bellamyof Mother’s Milk for a Q&A session, where the focus of the discussion will be how,
as mothers, we can best meet the demands of family life whilst still pursuing our own creative projects.

Math Jones – The Other Side of Sleep Reading at Cheltenham Poetry Festival
Saturday at 2:30pm Arachne Press Event

Oxfam Bookshop 31 Cambray Place GL50 1JP

I would highly recommend this events if you can get to the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. There is a wealth of great events in the festival programme this year. It is just a shame it clashes with Wenlock Poetry Festival too.

author_fuel_greeting_card-rdd5bef2736024fb4880dc3b6eca7b7f5_xvuak_8byvr_325Next week I am going to the sua litfest to see Rachel Kelly, Susanna Howard and Jill Fraser. I am going with mum, who switched me onto Rachel Kelly’s book to begin with. 1803_BlackRainbow_Dhb.indd

Wednesday I am performing at an Open Mic, Thursday sees some writing deadlines. I will also be completed Napowrimo, writing assignments for my MOOC and preparing my  next Headline set and planning for the next WWM group which I have the delight of leading for the 2nd time this year.

AND BREATHE …

A Wonderful Week of Writing – Workshops, Guest Slots & Work

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The last week of January was a busy one – apart from working at a desk on ‘actual’ writing and submissions I was also quite active as a poet. On Wednesday I went to Walsall to take part in another of David Calcutt’s Workshops at Caldmore community Gardens, where he is poet in residence, in the evening I performed at the 42nd 42, a special evening full of cracking talent and then on Friday night I appeared alongside Antony Owen and Lily Blacksell as Host Poets at Word Up, a great night now hosted by Ddotti Bluebell & Jasmine Gardosi.

This month I have only performed at 25% of all the events I have been invited to and that’s about 75% less than last January, I have possibly written more – although I have suffered one of those annoying blanks this weekend as I desperately try and push a couple of Corinium poems out. My intention for 2015 was to perform less and write more, so far I think I have balance. Let’s see if I can keep it up!

Caldmore Community Garden Workshop with David Calcutt

caldmore david-portrait-1 This was my 3rd Caldmore workshop, ‘Write in the Moment’ and I had been looking forward to it all month. Unfortunately I got lost having come off the motorway a junction too late and ended up stuck in a one way system. As soon as I have acknowledged everyone with a quick hello, I got straight down to writing and because I had been in the garden before it wasn’t too difficult to catch up. In fact by the end of the workshop I had 2 pieces of writing and a poem that almost worked.

Janet Jenkins took more photos, she has a wonderful collection from the very first workshop (the one I missed) and the changes in the garden throughout the seasons are exceptional to see side by side. Of course, having had an allotment for 5 years I know how much these public spaces change with the seasons and weather, it reminds me that Mr G and I always said we would stitch our allotment photographs together.

It was a fun workshop and I met more writers – there have been a small group of us over Winter. Over lunch we shared news and heard about exciting projects everyone is currently involved with. I look forward to the next workshop, which once again falls on a day when I have an evening event/ performance. caldmore ccg_logo

42 banner      The 42nd 42 Andrew Owens

I wasn’t able to make the final 42 of last year, so I was determined that I wasn’t going to miss this one. It is a sci-fi/dark themed event and I knew that fans of Douglas Adams wouldn’t let us down! They didn’t, it was a great night – wonderful to see people who only started performing there last summer gaining confidence and owning the stage as we enjoy their stories and poems.

Lots of fantastic work was shared and I particularly liked the 42 facts Andrew threw into the gaps between performances. All about 42 from years before I got back into the poetry saddle!  Polly Robinson also mentioned that she shares the pages of the Paragram Anthology ‘Remember’ (who published us just in time for Christmas) with me  and Andrew told everyone about my Guest Spot at Word Up on Friday.

Guest Poet at Word Up  QCM ddottivlad Jasmine

I was so excited when I received an email asking me to be a guest poet at this Birmingham event. We had an amazing turn out, especially considering ‘Je Suis Birmingham’ – a one off event of artists solidarity following the Charlie Hebdo killings, was happening on the same night.

Word Up often have more than one Guest Poet (Hosting – as they call it) and I shared the night with Antony Owen and Lily Blacksell. Phenomenal poets and performers, I was happy to share the mic with them.

Tariq Jahan was also there – he lost his son in the riots three years ago (2011) and is good friends now with Antony Owen, whose poem ‘Unbranded’ is about this. He is a poet unafraid to write about violence. Tariq now works around the world spreading peace and hope, he makes things better. An exceptional human being and the story he shared from his trip to Syria is one we should all hear.

There were lots of new faces and people who had come from Oxford and Wales to perform too. I loved seeing everyone again, I didn’t realise it has been 3 months since I saw them and about 5 weeks since I last performed in Birmingham. I am very grateful I was at Word Up and heard Tariq speak.

Unbranded – The Year I loved England Pighog Press

You can find out more about the work Tariq does here http://www.pennyappeal.org.

If you have anything to donate please follow the links above. To buy the wonderful collection of Joseph Horgan & Antony Owen click here

http://www.pighog.co.uk/titles/the-year-i-loved-england.html

the-year-i-loved-england there are links at the bottom of the page for customers in UK/EU/GLOBAL

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/book-launch-the-year-i-loved-england-by-antony-owens-joseph-horgan/

‘This poetry expresses poignantly the emotions that I at times find difficult to articulate. The words pierced my soul and brought back the images, emotions and feelings of those days in August 2011 when Britain burnt’

Tariq Jahan

As for work – well the mortgage payments continue to be provided through the part time day job whilst I search for more artistic ways to cover the bills. I think I may have found a completely suitable one. So next week now has JOB APPLICATION added to the almighty To Do list.

There are 2 poetry events, (well there are 5 but only 2 penned into my diary), 1 stanza  and Mr G and I are off out for a rare night at a gig, having stated he was too old for it all last year! We saw a Saxon tribute band a few years ago and were blown away by them, I am still grinning from my backstage moment and the fact that Mr G has the bass guitarists t-shirt! Anyway, Mr G said if they ever re-formed he’d love tickets…. well …

They did and we are off to see them. The gig was scheduled for December but the drummer ended up in hospital! I am also working all week, bar Tuesday – if I am awake that will be my writing day!

The Final Week of October – Writing, Workshops and Halloween Poetry

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Half Term – much needed, much anticipated – and then I go and fill my entire week up with writing!

half-term-header totalswindoncom © 2014 totalswindon.com

Monday – Writing Day

Tuesday – Writing & Workshop AM, Writing & Editing PM

Wednesday – Writing, Proof reading, Submitting & Working AM Drummonds 42 PM

Thursday – Writing & Workshop AM, Mostly Halloween The Ort PM

Friday – Job Application & Work AM, Word Up PM

A weekend off writing to catch up with sleep and spend some time with Mr G and my family.

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I started the week on a high after the successful INKSPILL weekend and chained myself to the laptop to finish my writing project. I also found out about a workshop happening in Stratford-Upon-Avon run by Angela France and booked myself a place on it.

I spent all of Monday and Tuesday morning writing and editing, both days started at 7:30/8AM (early for me) and certainly earlier than I had planned – but I was up and had a lot to do. Monday was an 11hr write and Tuesday night was a late one. I decided to leave my final proof reading for Wednesday morning when I was more awake.

caldmore david-portrait-1 David Calcutt who has been Writer in Residence at Caldmore Community Gardens in Walsall offered a series of Free Writing Workshops. I couldn’t attend the first one as I was working, I realised just before the weekend that I could make the 2nd one as it is half term. Considering it is my week off I packed a lot of writing work in and have only just started to rest for a few days. caldmore ccg_logo

I am so glad I made the effort to go to Wild Fire – it was great meeting new writing folk and was an inspiring morning/afternoon, I took lots of photos and scribbled notes and plan to do something with them next week. I did have a problem navigating my way there – but now I know where it is I attend to visit next Sunday for a reading around the Bonfire and go to the next workshop in late November. The plan for that one is to write group poetry which will then be placed in the garden. I love that sort of thing!

I chained myself back to the desk after arriving home to finish my project.

Wednesday I finished my writing and submitted it – getting my brain back for the first time in weeks. I had planned to write for another few submissions, but missed the deadlines. My brain was tired and I have still tutored this week so there really hasn’t been any spare time until, today. Plus some of the submissions were competitions and I didn’t have the money to pay, due to overspending on Halloween!

I spent the afternoon shopping for Halloween Fancy Dress, a lot of my Dressing Up stuff is still not accessible, stored away- I decided I didn’t need to spend much and would find it less stressful to buy new rather than clamber round in the spare room trying to find the right box. As I type that line it seems ridiculous – but when I say this room is full of boxes, sadly I mean it literally!

Anyway I popped to the £1 shop (I call it the 10 Bob shop – as I always spend at least a tenner in there)! I picked up a wig, packs of makeup, black nail polish, liquid eye liner, some tattoo sleeves, a pair of tights and some wings (which I didn’t use in the end). You guessed it – I spent £10! The best part was seeing my nephews in there and having some fun with them as they excitedly showed me all their Halloween bits.

By the time I made it home, I trawled the internet for several hours for fancy dress ideas and only just had time to get ready for a night Poeting in Worcester.

I performed at Drummonds 42 (Andrew Owens) it was a fantastically spooky night and there were some incredibly confident performances – I think dressing up releases the inhibitions. I loved every minute of this, my first Halloween event. I went as a spidery woman, after spending more money than sense on Halloween bits, I decided to at least make costumes up from what I already have in my wardrobe!

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I had planned to write a job application when I got home, but it was late and I was tired.

On Thursday morning I treated myself to a mini -Lie in with a book and then headed off to Stratford, to get a bit lost for the 2nd time this week. I love Angela France’s poetry and I admire her too, she lectures at university so I knew her workshop would be great – it was. We wrote using form in the morning – a Décima, in the afternoon we wrote about Place. We also read and discussed poetry about Place, chosen by Angela. Angela france Angela France Performing at – Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room

It was a day of inspiring conversation and I enjoyed every minute! Even made it to the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) to drink coffee in the Theatre’s Café at lunchtime. I also saw Connie, Cathy and Jenna from my Stanza group.

My afternoon plans got changed as I was sent to look for a pumpkin. This is the 1st year we haven’t grown our own to use! This pumpkin hunt was a bad idea as several of the Stratford supermarkets I went to also had Halloween SALES!

This time I went a bit mad… I had already seen on the website a floral headband which was perfect for Friday’s costume. Unfortunately that was at the back of the store and at the front was the SALE! I just had to buy a few other headbands to make Halloween Poetry Costumes easy next year! I also saw a wig with plaits – perfect for the ragdoll and when I picked up the flowers saw an ace skeleton bracelet (also perfect for the Friday costume). No pumpkins though!

I made it home with just enough time to get ready for my 2nd evening reading Halloween Poetry at Mostly Halloween at The Ort with David Rees-Jones, it is usually a comedy night but for Halloween he had various acts, music, stories, improv, a quiz and me Poeting. I dressed as a Rag Doll

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It was a thoroughly entertaining evening and I was treated to a 10minute set, which included 3 Witch poems I wrote at the Stratford Workshop.

 

Friday I spent the morning writing a job application and working and then chased about for Pumpkins. I had my first break, before starting to apply white face base for my fancy dress at the REAL Halloween Night event of Word Up. A incredibly simple idea that took a lot of time to execute (not a gore joke), as well as taking several hours to apply I practically used up all the WHITE cream base!

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I could have bought the Poetry Pamphlet and bottle of wine given as the prize – rather than spending money accessorising this look, but practically everyone had dressed up and Ddotti had decorated the whole place for Halloween, so I do not regret the effort and driving into the city looking like this was an experience. There were some great performances and it was FUN!

I will NOT buy any extra Halloween bits, probably EVER, plus next year I won’t need the hours of internet research as I have plenty of costume ideas and the outfits! I could have dressed the same for all 3 nights but as I didn’t dress up last year I was making up for it.

My plan before next year is to gather all the fancy dress bits together and NOT buy anything more. I have enough for a lifetime!

Since last night I have been relaxing, planning writing for next week and catching my breath. It has been one of the best Half Term holidays ever!

 

Poet Cloning

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Seriously – poet cloning – it is a necessary experiment! I have struggled since re-launching my writing career with clashing events. It used to be two things I wanted to go to – nowadays it is double bookings and I really get a lot of negative feelings rising when I come across one.

I have missed the last two months of Stanza (and some before the last meeting I made it to back in May) due to performing at events in Birmingham. This month’s meeting was last Friday and I missed it as I was promoting Restless Bones in Birmingham. As it happens, although it is not customary for poet’s to do so, I could have gone to most of stanza, missed the last few poems and made it across the 20+ mile trip to promote the book as our set was late. I had no idea of the running order of the night or our set of 6 promoting poets before the event so couldn’t have made the decision to do both and to be honest I was mid a 4 day run of poetry events which may have turned into a run of 6 had I not fallen short on energy, so the idea of squeezing 2 events in and being barely present at either didn’t really make sense.

Next month’s Stanza was booked back in June, it is 2 days before my birthday and I have arranged to take cake! Then yesterday I discovered Word Up – which is an open mic event I regularly attend is celebrating a 2nd Birthday on the 15th AND they have Rueben Woolley, Jacqui Rowe AND Sammy Joe as headline acts AND I CAN’T GO!

Then later in the month 21st August I was already booked for a KAF Festival show and then discovered this was the evening of the Restless Bones Book Launch. Argh! There are 7 days in a week – why does everything have to fall short?

 

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Today is my first writing day in a while, I have been scribbling in my notebook over the past week when I was out on the road and have managed to get some material edited and completed. Mr G has taken this 1st week of the summer holidays off though, so I had to get up at 6AM to squeeze in writing time.

I was working on Monday still and yesterday had a private tutoring so today IS my 1st holiday! I am 2 hours in on a Things to Do List…. less than 1/3 through it.

After my busy poeting weekend I was sad to miss poetry events on Monday night and Tuesday but my energy levels are back to normal and I am going to the Theatre tonight, I know if I had gone to Shindig on Monday and Poetry Bites last night I would not make it through the show tonight nor would I have the energy to complete my submissions, next on the To Do list.

Mr G and I have managed to pack lots into the time we have had together so far and we do have the rest of this week to do more. Today my priority is not the garden, or the man, it is writing… there are deadlines…. I need to knuckle down.

My plan now is to go and write, submit and then come back later to update the blog on the wonders of the past couple of poetry days. It has been an EPIC weekend, truly and I cannot wait to share it with you.

 

Happy Writing

writing plan

 

 

 

A Great Night at Word Up!

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I have had an amazing night – now on the post performance adrenalin mixed with sugar rush of waffles from ‘Something Sweet’!

It was an amazing night at Word Up, Ddotti had managed to get a PA system and the mic can really help over the noise of the coffee house/bakery busy times!

Ian Bowkett was brilliant and I loved watching him perform again and have come home with some of his poems to enjoy as soon as I have downloaded them. QCM Ian

All the other performances were a really high standard too and lots of new faces. I managed for the 1st time EVER, to perform a poem from memory and I managed it with a confident performance too!

I was delighted to see Kate Walton (Story Tramp) again, before she goes off to do all the summer festivals, it was a shame she couldn’t perform but the slots were so full, we were bursting at the seams!

After a great few hours it was over, it finishes 9.30 as York’s Bakery shuts, as with last time I made it (back in February I think) a group of us, most of us who performed and some who watch went to the other side of the city to ssSomething Sweet to eat waffles, crepes and sundaes at the 24hour waffle place! It was great fun, despite having to split over 2 tables as there wasn’t a big enough table for us all.

It is a great time to chat – as I have said before, the gigs are great but there is never time to socialise in the interval with everyone and if people all leave at the end of the night there will definitely be a handful of people (at least) who you wanted to speak to and never had the chance.

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I had no idea how late it was – but it was around midnight when I got home!

Buzzing on sugar and adrenaline! inkspill heart

Word Up & Waffles

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Word Up was amazing – the first time I have made the open mic at York’s Bakery and the Headline Act was Lorna Meehan, I have seen her at events a lot in the past fortnight and I am glad that she has finished her poetry tour because her material is very entertaining.

I had to go on first and found it very noisy without the PA system, it was a lovely receptive crowd and in the end I was glad I was first on, because the rest of the sets were incredible.
I look forward to the next one.

Afterwards a few of us had decided to go for a drink. By the time we got to the bar, I realised that almost the entire gang of poets had come with us. The bar was rammed (city on a Friday night) and so someone suggested a waffle house…ss
It was a great place, despite being across the other side of the City. And we all had a great time and some delicious waffles!

waffle One of the best Friday night’s out I have had in a while!