Open Mic Event
Contact: Leah, 0783 431 6040 or www.petersfieldwriteangle.co.uk
Write Angle Open mic PLUS Guest Performers Poetry & Music, the third Tuesday of every month.
Guests include John Hegley, Attila the Stockbroker, Richard Digance, Rachel Pantechnicon, Speech Painter, Sara Hirsch, Patience Agbabi, Susan Richardson, Mab Jones, Audi Maserati, AF Harrold, Pete the Temp, Hannah Tristram, Brendan Cleary, Jonny Fluffypunk, Jude Simpson, Paul Lyalls, Johnny Jet, Project Adorno...and more
PLUS OPEN MIC Every Month
19th July 2016 19:30
One of UK’s most instinctively gifted poets
Write Angle is very excited to have Brendan Cleary back again and if you haven't seen him, be prepared to love him as much as previous audiences. He's an amazing poet with an Irish brogue, a strong easy manner and clever wit. He is, without question, one of the UK’s most instinctively gifted poets.
Brendan Cleary, born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, settled in Newcastle where he founded the Echo Room Press and was editor of Stand magazine. He earned an MA from what is now the University of Sunderland. He resides in Brighton.
He deals with his childhood in a region where 'Despair, like rust, is contagious', but life in an England of broken ideals and rampant class prejudice comes in for equally biting treatment.
Honed by his experience as a live performer, his lyrics have a hard-hitting immediacy as he questions his place in the world around him and his affiliation to the culture and traditions of his country of birth. These are not poems for the fainthearted, but they provide insights into the human spirit simply not on offer in the work of less courageous artists.
Becki Ashton describes his style as unique. ''...not your conventional poetry. It's more story telling and humour. He uses his own experiences to write exactly what he thinks and remembers in a twisted way. He doesn't use metaphors, similes or things that make people question what the poet must have meant. He's direct, to the point and it has a huge impact on the listener. I love it.”
“It made me realise, poetry can be whatever you want it to be. It can be confusing to your reader and 'deep' or it can be about Sam Smith, an odd neighbour of yours who used to play loud air guitar on his roof. He taught me, it's about expressing your creative flare and voice in whatever way suits you.”
Brendan has published a number of full collections throughout his career as well as in many magazines and a prodigious number of small press pamphlets.
Martin Mooney noted the importance of pamphlets in Cleary’s work ‘architecturally’ shaping different voices and blocks of work. From early in his career much of Cleary’s work has been characterised by its conversational tone, one that "seems to aspire to a state of speech that is highly eloquent, almost as if it is a betrayal to have to write down the poem". His work, Weightless, was described by Roddy Lumsden as a “modern blues".
Nineteen issues of The Echo Room a poetry magazine edited and published by Cleary contained a mix of new emerging voices often with links to Northern, regional urban centres. Cleary describes his editorship as a quest to discover an urgency in poetry, missing in the mid-80s and to publish poets willing to 'get their hands dirty'. In addition to the magazine Cleary also launched the Echo Room Press with the publication of 4 poetry pamphlets: Expecting Cameras by Cleary himself, Hicks by Matthew Caley, The Lost Boys by George Charlton and Tame the Neighbours by Martin Myers.
Cleary’s most recent pamphlet is Jackson from Pighog press. A tragicomic sequence of poems about a man ‘propped up on breezeblocks’, it maintains his long tradition of loyalty to the ephemeral and non-commercial world of grassroots poetry.
Despite living for over 25 years in England, Cleary has retained strong links with Northern Ireland. He revisits the province frequently, and has been a regular contributor to its magazines including the Belfast Review.
While recently performing new poems set in Ireland, including ‘Father Smyth’ about a paedophile priest, and ‘The Screamers’ about gang culture in the '70s, the final section of poems in The Irish Card deals most directly with his Ulster experience. The speaker navigates the sectarian divisions and religious strictures that make a trip home a cause for both self-examination and self-concealment.
This sense of being powerless to protect himself or a fragile world of beauty runs throughout Cleary’s work. Whether he is writing about Ireland, drinking and gambling, romantic relationships or soul music, his poetry is essentially a lyric cry against violence and mindless conformity. Be prepared. You won't leave at the end of the evening, without having had a good hoot and a half!
Additionally, this will be a special evening as 14 new poets join us, having spent the day in a poetry course run by Jenny Lewis, Oxford poetry tutor. We'll be looking forward to hearing the 'magic' they've managed to conjure up - and, as usual, we'll have our raffle for two free meals at a special local restaurant of high quality – a surprise for all!
We look forward to seeing you all. Do come early to get seats, as we're expecting it to be a full house!
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