Brenda's body rub to the rescue in injury time at Licensed to Rhyme

entry picture

Organised by Midlands poets Spoz and Maggie Doyle, and ably aided and abetted by Fergus McGonigal, Licensed to Rhyme has set out to bridge the gap between events in the cities of Birmingham and Worcester, and bring poetry to Bromsgrove.

The April event found itself sideswiped by balmy spring weather, the Easter break, two of its three headline poets – Heather Wastie and Peter Wyton – crying off...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Dodo Modern Poets find a new location on Dylan heritage trail

entry picture

A number of long-established poetry nights and groups found themselves temporarily homeless when the Poetry Society’s Poetry Café in London closed its doors for refurbishment last summer. Most of them quickly found alternative accommodation. One of the most venerable groups, Dodo Modern Poets, took ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Pause and applause at Speaking Out Midlands in Cannock

entry picture

It’s always a challenge to build an audience for a new night. Hats off to Charlotte Postings, pictured, for finding a diverse range of poets and an audience who were more than happy to watch  them at ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Dudley's Grande Slam gets off to a flying start

entry picture

It’s always a joy to visit poetry nights who’ve got it right, and – judging by their opening night – Dudley’s ‘Grande Slam’, in the Cafe Grande in the heart of the town, has done exactly that. Hosted ...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

'Twee we're not!': whimsy, mysticism and tragedy in Harrogate

entry picture

Organiser Helen Shay tells of the “staggering” array of poetry – “humorous, whimsical, gut-wrenching, shocking, philosophical, mystical, confessional, tragic, moving” – to be heard at Harrogate’s Poem...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Permission to Speak in Stourbridge: cool surroundings and no sign of hipsters

entry picture

Some poetry nights hide themselves away in the back rooms of pubs like a guilty secret. Permission To Speak does no such thing. Instead, it revels in taking over the cool, funky venue which is the Sca...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Getting in the groove at the Square Tower

entry picture

Take one historic, atmospheric venue that once helped to guard a key section of Britain’s coastal waters. Add poetry and music there on every third Sunday of the month, and what have you got? It’s Por...

Read and leave comments (3)

 

Tales from the venues

Stairway to poetic heaven with Puzzle Poets at the Blind Pig

entry picture

The Puzzle Poets at Sowerby Bridge have a banner on which many guests who have read there have inscribed their names: Andrew McMillan, Steve Ely, Jackie Hagan, Louise Fazackerley, Steve Pottinger, Cha...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Last Monday at Rio: 'We range from 18-80 with a shifting mash of styles'

entry picture

A couple of summers ago I headed north in the camper van for a holiday in Scotland, and took the opportunity to drop in on the Last Monday at Rio poetry night in the west end of Glasgow. It was brilli...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Away With Words: end of the line, start of something special

entry picture

Write Out Loud has always taken pride in providing a platform for poetry nights around the country to publicise what they’re doing and to show how poetry thrives in what are – perhaps – unexpected pla...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Poetry by gaslight: the fire burns bright with Bradford's Beehive Poets

entry picture

There’s a real warmth at the Beehive Poets in Bradford – and it’s not just from the open fire that gently toasted my behind as I was reading there. The weekly poetry night, a mix of readarounds, reada...

Read and leave comments (5)

 

Tales from the venues

Loyal following for the Monkeys helps keep the flag flying in Surrey

entry picture

The well-heeled county of Surrey is, it has to be said, somewhat of a desert for open mic poetry. But there is at least one place where the flag still defiantly flutters. The 1000 Monkeys, run by Jani...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Bang Said The Gun still firing on all cylinders in new theatre home

entry picture

Bang Said The Gun has been a legendary spoken word night in London for a number of years, famed for its riotous atmosphere and its tongue-in-cheek credo: “Poetry for people who don’t like poetry.” Now...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

Riot of poetry plus two laureates at City Voices in Wolverhampton

entry picture

The West Midlands is a region of hidden gems. One such gem is the City Voices poetry evening in Wolverhampton. Now in its 15th year, it has hosted visiting poets each and every month since it was firs...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Quality is the word at Cambridge Pub Poets, the group that meets just twice a year

entry picture

Cambridge Pub Poetry Group returned to the city where it was formed nearly 20 years ago for a special autumn reading on Tuesday night. Founder member and organiser Colin Shaw said: "It was a highly su...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Kultura, a literary salon in the land of Tod

entry picture

Todmorden’s Kava café became 18th century Paris’s Hotel Rambouillet  on Thursday as Anthony Costello and Shirley-Anne Kennedy hosted the latest of their events that reflect the philosophy of the salon...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

Keeping the magic alive: Leamington Spa's long-running PGR Poetry

entry picture

They have to move from one pub to another from time to time, but a nomadic existence does not dim the enthusiasm of PureandGoodandRight (PGR) Poetry regulars in Leamington Spa. For instance, they stil...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Y Tuesday, Clerkenwell: candles and cake, somewhere between seance and sewing circle

entry picture

Paul Tims recalls a night at Y Tuesday, upstairs at the Three Kings pub in Clerkenwell, London:

“Number three: Poseidon is Morrissey,” said Kevin Rienhardt, before launching into his poem about tra...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

The Speakers' Corner, York: cosy, crowded, eclectic. Give them a round of applause!

entry picture

The friendly, welcoming hosts, Laura and Andy, have moved The Speakers’ Corner to the exquisite, community-owned Golden Ball, a time-warp pub with several good (real, of course) ales, and artisan brea...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Get your kicks just off the A3? Rich poetic mix at Petersfield Write Angle

entry picture

I’d been wanting to visit the poetry night Petersfield Write Angle for quite some time. I’d been intrigued as well as informed by the detailed reviews sent in to Write Out Loud on a regular basis by i...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Creativity, curiosity and generosity at Hard Rain workshop and open mic

entry picture

Hard Rain is a regular free poetry workshop and reading evening that goes from strength to strength at the Thairish Cafe  (formerly Isis) in Levenshulme, on the Manchester-Stockport border.

Held on...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Calling time at Words on Tap in Leeds

entry picture

A poetry night in Leeds that has been running for two years  - and has featured a number of top  names as guests in that time – is due to close at the end of November. Those who have appeared at Words...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Write Out Loud Wigan: warm, irreverent, rude, and the odd hiccup, too

entry picture

They kept telling me, with some puzzlement, that it was much quieter than usual. Compere Isobel Malinowski said at the end of the evening: “The Tudor thrives on noise. People who come here like that b...

Read and leave comments (6)

 

Tales from the venues

The Spoken Word, York: Here's to 100 more open mic nights

entry picture

“We started eight and a half years ago, and forgot to stop.” That’s how co-organiser Rose Drew, pictured, refers to The Spoken Word poetry and prose open mic night in York, which she runs with husband...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Spirit of the 60s inspires poets and musicians at Rhythm & Muse

entry picture

Rhythm & Muse, a combined poetry and music open mic night at the Ram Jam Club, Kingston, south-west London, has been going for six years – but its roots stretch way back further than that.

Orga...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Words and Music in the Woods: Queens Wood cafe, Highgate, London

entry picture

Words and Music in the Woods takes place in Queens Wood cafe, a  Swiss-chalet like structure nestling in Highgate Woods, north London. As two women poets waiting for the event to start agreed: “It’...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

Paperless at festival - but no complaints about the Ravenstonedale loos

entry picture

I have just spent the weekend at one of the north’s best-kept secrets – Ravenstonedale festival, in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. A small but perfectly formed festival with approximately 500 punters, se...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

Poetry and all that jazz: Birmingham's Sunday Xpress at Adam & Eve

entry picture

The spirit and diversity of Sunday Xpress open mic, hosted by Birmingham’s unofficial poet laureate, Brendan Higgins, pictured, has been captured in a video made by emerging film-maker Ilvars Veinb...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Tales from the venues

Loose Muse: redressing the balance for women writers

entry picture

When I first set up Loose Muse in the summer of 2004, I honestly didn’t think that eight years later it would have grown into London’s premier night for women who write, or that it would have becom...

Read and leave comments (3)

 

Tales from the Venues

The Spoken Word: an American in York

entry picture

Are you planning on being in York around the first of January and want a “bracing start to the year” (to steal a quote from the WOL editorial staff)? If so, somewhere around 7 pm on Tuesday evening...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Word of Mouth, The Last Refuge, Peckham

entry picture

It’s funny where life takes you. If three years ago someone had told me I’d be organising my own poetry open mic event I would probably have laughed in their face. Yet there I was, on 29 July 2012 ...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

The right mix: the rationale behind creating an event

entry picture

Canal – poetry for two voices will take place at the Poetry Café on Thursday 22 March.  What was the rationale behind creating a reading equally shared by two speakers?

An early short poem of m...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Tales from the venues

Help us fill a big gap in mid Wales

entry picture

As a Montgomeryshire poet, I have long bemoaned the absence of an informal open mic evening in my local area. Several times a year I travel the three-hour round trip to Chester to perform at - and ...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Tales from the venues

Nearly no More Poetry; or, who'd be a poetry organiser?

entry picture

‘You can tell me to sod off if you like, but our guest poet’s from Northumberland and it’s a long way to come to read in this noise. I’ve no right to ask you to move, you’ve come for a drink and yo...

Read and leave comments (12)

 

Tales from the venues

Archive of Tales from the venues articles View all subjects

RSS feed icon

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message