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We'll have completed a year of Pop Up Poetry soon. We've made so many good friends among the talented people that have come to the Bar des Arts in 2012! We're looking forward to inviting some of them back in 2013, when we'll be hosting the event on the third Tuesday of every month.

Looking back over the year, there have been too many highlights to name all of them separately - the Antipoet need a mention, though. Their anarchic humour broke any ice that Guildford might have had lying around, back in April.  Lovely Mel Jones  has to be named as the next bombshell to hit the Bar, and she returned in November for Jan's pre-birthday party night, too. Pauline Sewards has just got more and more comfortable performing for Guildford, and is almost a regular now!. Will Hames is another wonderfully understated performer who's had us in tears of laughter on two evenings in 2012, and Murray Shelmerdine has been down to Guildford twice too, with his irreverrent songs.  Julie Mullen, Cheryl McLennan and David Goo have also appeared, and entertained enthusiastic audiences. We heard Steve Pottinger's gritty humour in October and he'll be biking down from Oxford again in April. (Like Andy Fiver, one of our most loyal performers, he avoids taking his motorbike on the motorways in winter)  We were very pleased to welcome the wonderful poet Agnes Meadows in October, too.

Our locally based poets are no less memorable. Rodney Woods, who pemiered his prize-winning poem "Billet-doux" in the Bar des Arts, featured earlier in the year, as did Eddie Chauncey, who has occasionally surprised us with his songs, as well as his trade-mark gentle, lyrical, perceptive, haunting poems. Geoff Pimlott, now wintering in Thailand with his wife Lori (lucky for some, did someone say?!) is another stalwart reader and audience member. Alex de Suys has enchanted us on several occasions with his quirky surreal poems, as a feature and in the open mic. We've had welcome visits from several talented young aspiring poets and rappers, too, most recently Dan Smith and Tom Vlietstra and his friends.

Our final PopUp of 2012 features three guest poets, all new to Guildford: Robbie Auton of "Bang" fame, who will perform from his one-man show at the Round House, the Yellow Show; Jeremy Sallon, whose monthly gog at the Poetry Cafe, Platform One, has taken off in a big way this year; and Raymond Blake, with his quietly anarchic humour.

We've learned this year that there is a demand in Guildford for this open mic that welcomes all comers, all ages and all levels of experience, with warmth and acceptance.. Our Pop Up evenings took their name from the first of the sequence, which was intended to be sporadic and varied in venue, but we feel that the Bar des Arts is a good home for the regular monthly event that it has become, and we're really looking forward to 2013's series..

One new feature will be added in 2013: we'd like to make an anthology of poems from our performers, to be published in late 2013 or early 2014, and we'll be inviting poets to bring a copy of any poem they read on one of the Pop Up nights, to be considered for the anthology. (Poets would of course retain copywright over their own work.)

If you're reading this and haven't yet joined our group, I hope you'll join us - it's a new group. Last year all our gigs were posted in Janice's own name but this year we'll be posting as a group, so do please  join us, to get all the information as we post it.

Janice Windle and Dónall Dempsey


Pop Up Poetry GuildfordMurray ShelmerdineMel JonesAntipoetPauline SewardsBar des Arts GuildfordSteve PottingerAgnes MeadowsAndy FiverJanice WindleDonall DempseyWill HamesDaniel Smith

Pop Up Poetry at the Bar des Arts, Guildford in June ►


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Janice Windle

Sat 1st Dec 2012 10:21

A couple of typos here, but I don't want to have to repost all my links to it on facebook etc, so I'll just say: errata: Jeremy Salon hosts gigs, not gogs, and all poets who contribute to our planned anthology will retain their copyright, without a W!

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