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Call for new venues for poetry events

Is anyone interested in creating new poetry/ performance events in non- licensed venues?

Id like to meet other performers/ poets or people interested in poetry that want to meet in unlicensed venues as I dont drink and Im sure there are others who either dont or could go one night to share poetry and appreciate different types of venue.

Some ideas are, art galleries, youth/community halls, church halls places where loads of gigs used to happen with music and poetry. Im not suggesting banning alcohol, some venues allow it to be brought to venue or have small stock. Sale/Studio Liverpool for example, which is poetry focussed.

There are some great pub venues, Im not criticising these. Its a creative exercise to think what else or where else there is to go beside the pub/bar and why. Some churches and old buildings are interesting from architectural/spiritual grounds for example. Very inspiring for writing.

Please feedback ideas. I dont think it a good idea to put on any more poetry events here in Bolton as there are some well established/attended ones already.Although there is that nice big church at horwich?

Anybody fancy a go?
Sun, 28 Aug 2011 09:28 pm
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good luck, rach.. it's a good idea and i wish you good luck with it.. health permitting i'm come down and support you as i pretty well am off alochol for good now.

i've done gigs myself in all kinds of venues - it could be fun to set something up similar to wol stockport which is at stockport art gallery as that gets a very different vibe to wigan for example, and i actually really enjoy the quietness of the night.

keep me informed how you go xx
Sun, 28 Aug 2011 09:44 pm
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thanks andy now i know where stockport gallery event is i might go and find it next time! that venue is smashing.
Mon, 29 Aug 2011 12:23 am
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Hi Rach;

Nabila Suriya a few years back used to do a lot of stuff like that I seem to recall and she did them at places like Touchstones in Rochdale and all kinds of places..

There is certainly scope for it certainly and Stockport is a great venue - I enjoy going there because it is different.. I guess lots of art galleries would like people coming along and doing what happens at Stockport.. Just a case of asking I guess...

Hope to see you at Stockport sometime x
Tue, 30 Aug 2011 07:53 pm
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one of the best kind of writing workshops ive 'organised' was round a campfire in the woods in Scotland! bit dark i suppose but we managed and you could always wear one of those climbers headlight things...spooky old castles etc are great for writing in. theres one in bolton, but it would need be informal as i would have no responsibility for health and safety issues.its a castle, itd be dark (so youd have to be aware you might fall over) torch essential.

As for reading I reckon thered be loads of scope for poetry performance in national trust buildings everywhere. we might even get paid...good lord!
Tue, 30 Aug 2011 11:25 pm
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stella jones

Funny you should mention that one Rachael..I have been asked to set up a poetry reading/writing workshop in an Art Gallery in Liverpool and if it takes off well then it would be the type of venue you speak of..I do know there are readings going on in Libraries and Art Galleries throughout the Wirral and also at Linghams the book shop..it is good to have a choice of venue isn't it?..I wish you all the very best of luck x
Thu, 1 Sep 2011 08:46 pm
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Yeah, good luck to those who wish to meet in unlicensed premises - but frankly my dears, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes!

Unlicensed venues attract vile bottom-feeders on publically-funded arts (which nearly always means the death of art).

Also there is a risk of infiltration by "creative writing" workshop harpies - again they seek to murder art.

Besides which, the Great British Pub is suffering currently, so we as poets really ought to be coming to their rescue rather than retreating to the libraries.

Fri, 2 Sep 2011 02:35 pm
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Hey Rachel :)

I remember talking about this the other day with you - as I'm currently under 18, I'm with this one. I think libraries and caf├ęs are some places to look at, as well as theatres and outdoor venues.

With the recent closure of Butterflies, Bolton now needs new venues and events to replace the gap Guitar N Verse has left behind in Bolton. I'm currently trying to organize a big outdoor gig in Manchester also, so if you'd help with that, it'd be much appreciated.
Fri, 2 Sep 2011 03:18 pm
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steve...yeh, thats the usual sort of stuff i hear in the pub all the time.

charlotte...keep in touch on PM facebook and well chat about it :)

thanks stella, good luck with all your wirral/lpool events. you have my support even if cant always make it. Show em how its done :)

I think any good workshop will be better facilitated in a quiet environment. Readings are different, the audience participation even in the form of noise sometimes just livens it up. I think a good performance poet could bring that out of an audience anywhere. Perhaps the challenge is to think of more exciting places to read than smelly old pubs. x
Fri, 2 Sep 2011 07:11 pm
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Hi Rachel,
A new non pub venue on the front page! Hebden WOL has moved to a cafe. I know its not near you but yes, such venues are good for variety. Win
Fri, 2 Sep 2011 10:11 pm
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And to think I'd only drunk four large glasses of red at my local, Hell's Waiting Room, when I came home and decided to boot up my computer!!!
Sat, 3 Sep 2011 02:39 am
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Take a chill pill Stey - if people feel happier writing and performing their stuff in a cathedral, national trust property, coffee shop, library... what's it to you?
Their venues will just cater for a different goup of people - older people, youngsters, teetotallers, non midnight revellers - ordinary people even, who will go to pubs also.

I must admit to preferring the more sociable, less intense atmosphere you get in pubs - but if you are a very serious poet, you may be put off by the dominance of more light hearted stuff. There should be choices available to all. Whether there is a need for the venue will be dictated by attendance and you don't know that till you try.
Sat, 3 Sep 2011 09:50 am
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My top priority is QUIET, so that the poet is personally motivated and clearly heard. The rest is unimportant. And the 'true art comes only from the beer mug' mentality is just theatrical hype, especially if touted tenaciously.
Sat, 3 Sep 2011 11:24 am
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Thanks for your comments

Cynthia, i like to hear noise within the audience at performance gigs, as Ive said above a think a talented performer could be able to work with this and incorporate the audience dynamic to their work.

Isobel, the call for more venues is indeed not meant to be at exclsuion of, or instead of pubs gigs. Like you say people can do both.

Winston, Good luck with the Hebden cafe gig. You were at the Cadence festival held at Tyledsley last year to great reviews. Great atmosphere there.

Funding doesnt have to dictate the content of an event, just enable one to happen. The university i go to has a lot of talented writers, working hard on degree programmes and writers workshops, publishing and performance writing, theatre, TV and film and other established commercial venues aswell as non commercial ones all the time. They are not all middle class and usua;lly 'shit provincial uni's' are far more inclusive than that. Some students probably dont have much time/money to go to poetry events in pubs and they've never heard of writeoutloud. Fancy that?
Personally, I was far less productive/inspired as a drinker. I found Id say anything as a reason to go to the pub.
i believe its only right to look out for younger writers and suggest alternatives to going to the pub where age restrictive laws operate for a reason.

It about the writing...I agree. Its about performing that writing....I agree with too...I think any writer who takes their work seriously would welcome opportunity to get out and read it to a wider audience. death of art to me is reading to a circle of people who are also poets in the same places. its not 'murder' in itself but i believe its killing an art that could be revived if more 'normal people'/ general public had access to it and this is turn would create more interest and poetry being written.. This thread is to discuss different ways to do that, other than and not instead of in the pub, which to me has less to do with reading/writing and more to do with going to poetry entertainment provision within the pub where everyone can have a go. Bit like singing and karoake ;)reading only in pub venues is stifling. Maybe we have enough non licensed venues already?Maybe new pub venues at different times of day is an idea? something different is my suggestion.
Ithought people might use this thread to come up with some imaginative ideas for performance poetry venues that would rekindle an interest for me personally...mmm
Sat, 3 Sep 2011 12:03 pm
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stella jones

Perhaps you should travel around your area to 'test' out the atmosphere of differing possible venues?

Suss out the potential of places..I guess you would have to have a coffee fund for that!

Wishing you loads of luck Rachael..
Sun, 4 Sep 2011 06:50 pm
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thanks stella. it was just an idea to think about..maybe..i have to watch what coffee places i go as some cost bleedin fortune. :)
Mon, 5 Sep 2011 09:53 pm
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I agree, Rach - some of them are dearer than pubs - lol... There was a night that used to run in Oxfam Book Shop in Chorlton called 'do it for the love' that would have applied to your ideas here in the sense it can be done almost anywhere.

Just food for thought. I am thinking about expanding a old play of mine, and instead of doing it in a theatre, perhaps try it out somewhere different similar maybe. Was going to speak to Moc and Sarah at Butterflies, but of course will have to consider other ideas now...

Tue, 6 Sep 2011 08:10 am
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yeh shame about GIgs. next time I see you round we could have a chat about other ideas.
Tue, 6 Sep 2011 03:57 pm
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Hi Rachel;

Have a chat to you next time I see you certainly over ideas as I am always full of ideas - lol..

It's a shame Jeff's nights all finished at Gigs bar (although most of these nights are / will be carrying on elsewhere).. Definately feel Bolton has scope for more poetry nights thou xx
Thu, 8 Sep 2011 08:55 am
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Hi Rachel. I've only recently started performing....willing to try almost anywhere, including libraries, but the atmosphere always seems constraining. The trouble with Bolton (with the exception of the gig at the Wellington A PUB!!- last Sunday), is that there doesn't seem to be much of an appetite for it (poetry). Not sure which church you mean in Horwich ? The RMI might be a suitable place (if you forget the bar!! Keep me informed if you want....it's a shame poets local to Bolton don't meet more. Martin R. (Lostock)
Sat, 24 Sep 2011 04:26 pm
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thanks martin. i would agree that poetry is not simply dying in its venues now but nearly dead and gone with only other poets trying to resurrect it.

Im up for something like an out door read in town square in conjunction with a literary focus week. something like happens in wigan. All about reaching people. the style of my writing changers per audience. i think it important to keep joe public in mind incase i disapear up arse. In warrington there is less of a 'scene' but we held town centre reads in golden square miced up. we read work by homeless people from the ymca on their behalf. i was personally inspired to take my own writing seriously from that day. It was a significant experience even if i also read lots of spike milligan to try keep it light :)
I was thinking of st catherines, not cos ive ever asked them there about it but because its so beautiful and inspiringi imagine even a confirmed athiest might be able to write something powerful out of spending time there. The vicar is a very nice guy but im busy with uni now and dont have time for organising things. would love to attend a workshop tho. :) keep in touch with ideas.
Sun, 25 Sep 2011 11:15 pm
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A suitable venue is absolutely key when arranging a night for a number of reasons. It also definitely reflects on the professionalism of the event - i.e. how it's co-ordinated.

When I've organised events, I've always considered venues with appropriate access. To put it bluntly - Don't advertise your event as "come one come all" if the venue isn't wheelchair-user friendly. Not only will you look like an insensitive pillock, but there's also a strong chance that you're breaking the law, and people have been sued for less. (The DDA). There's a strong tradition of having events in rooms in (and above) pubs, but it shouldn't be the default choice.

Also, some people's beliefs (religious or otherwise) prohibits them from going in pubs. It'd be a shame to miss out on work from people because of choice of venue, when other alternatives are available.

I think that Rachel has raised a very important issue here. It definitely is the sort of thing that can mean success or failure for an event and can have a devastating effect upon the wider poetry scene.

My rule of thumb is keep it simple, think of access and always, ALWAYS put the punters first. If there's one thing that serves as a barrier to just one person accessing your venue, then it's inappropriate and you need to look again.
Mon, 7 Nov 2011 12:33 pm
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thanks for your reply steve. I agree that for organised events a health and safety spec and accessibility check needs always to be done and that the event needs be inclusive.
to be honest tho, i was hoping people might get creative with other more impromptu type ideas for writing workshop/performance. they are usually more exciting in spontanious situations i suppose. not everyone could access the castle in bolton..it might not even be legal to be in there at night, we might have to break in over walls in darkness..shock..i wouldnt want to dissuade any disabled friends, i reckon if you put your mind to it a team of people could include a disability working together...i dont think it fantasy. its amazing what people can do for each other if they put mind to it. i used to take part in a lot of youth team experiences..we wrote plays and perormed them in old castles in middle of nowhere. we had young, street glawegian youngsters dressed up in blue sleeping bags, wiggling their legs pretending to be waterfalls :) i was trying to write about the magic of nature and get the story of puck accross in the tale of our missions that day :) it was great(i thought anyway!...it wasnt about the audience then, just the experience.
i get bored very quickly, a flaw and a fire for ideas.
even if we just discussed them itd better than the same old same old...old...old.
come on, how else could this be done?
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:56 pm
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