Event: Volta featuring Cat Woodward and Andrew Hook November 17 2022

Long-running spoken word night Volta returns to The Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts Street for an evening of poetic goodness. There are three minute open-mic slots available for poetry / prose / experiments and two headliners.

Doors: 7pm
Entry: £2

☆Cat Woodward☆

Cat Woodward runs The Poetry Master Class (@catsmasterclass on Twitter). Her third collection, Strange Shape, is due in 2023 from Gatehouse. Her first collection, Sphinx, was published by Salò Press in 2017; her second, Blood. Flower. Joy!, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons in 2019. In 2018 she won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative experiment. You can read more about her work at www.catwoodward.com

☆Andrew Hook☆

Andrew Hook has been published extensively in the independent press since 1994 in a variety of genres, with over 170 short stories in print. Most recent publications include a novella written in collaboration with the legendary San Francisco art collective known as The Residents, and his tenth short story collection, Candescent Blooms (Salt Publishing). He also runs the crime noir imprint, Head Shot Press. Andrew can be found at www.andrew-hook.com or Twitter @AndrewHookUK.

Facebook event page

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

Event: Last Poet Standing Poetry Slam with Jackie Montague and Alex Russell November 9 2022

Last Poet Standing returns to Last Pub Standing, Norwich for the November edition of the slam hosted by poet, thatcher and podcast guest Olly Watson. It also features a headline set from another friend of the show Alex Russell.

“It’s Poetry Jim, but not as we know it.” Poetry for people who don’t like poetry, or can’t even read. Loud, raucous, heart warming, tender, might even make you cry.
6 poets battle it out for your votes. 3 minutes each to capture your hearts and minds.
Headlining this month we have the incredible Jackie Montague and Alex Russell.
Jackie’s monologues and epic poems are bursting with biting honesty, some rage, lashings of wit, warmth, and bawdy banter.
She is a writer, performer and teacher living in Ipswich. As well as many years reviewing and writing about theatre for EADT, The Stage and Exeunt she has performed and written at three Spill Festivals (Ipswich) for BBC New Comedy (Radio Norfolk and Suffolk)
Alex Russell has written and performed poetry for the NHS Wellbeing Service, McSweeney’s and The Arvon Foundation, as well as recieved prizes for poetry from Cafe Writers and Netflix. They’ve also performed ASMR haiku at Norwich Arts Centre, Pokémon laments for Derbyshire Libraries, and catfished men on Craigslist for a reading at a drag and music festival. Who knows they’ll get up to at Last Poet Standing.

If that wasn’t enough, we have the soon to be world famous Vegan Meat Raffle.
All hosted by local poet, comedian and National Poetry Slam Finalist Olly Watson.
https://www.instagram.com/ollywatsonpoet
https://twitter.com/ollywatsonpoet
If you would like the chance to slam gives us a shout at: thelastpoetstanding@outlook.com

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

Event: Monuments – Art and Poetry at Norwich Historic Churches Trust October 22 2022

I’m excited to be reading at this art and poetry event on Saturday, October 22, having been invited by former podcast guest Alex Russell. It’s being held in one of Norwich’s many ancient churches from 10am to 8pm with performance and poetry from 3-6pm.

Monuments is an exhibition of art, performance, and poetry at Norwich Historic Churches Trust headquarters, St Martin-at-Palace Church. As the church is listed we are unable to attach anything to the walls, so artists involved will have to think outside the box about how to utilise the space. The exhibition is interested in how things persist through time, how the way we interact with them changes, and how they may last far into the future. We are looking for work that considers the passage of time, decay, and restoration. The pasts in our future, and the futures in our past.

Art –
Lauren Richeda
Ken Hurst
Niki Medlik
Tori Ames
Ian Chapman & Jon Page & Tim Sillence
Jazz Owen
Chloe Lees
Cara Lees
Jessica Copping
Jonathan Trayner & Jamie Dyson
Jo Morton
Stevie Maguire
Alicia Rodriguez
James Kessell & Joe Hedinger

Readings and Performances from –
Annie | Angus Brown
Nick Ward
Honor Ash
Alex Russell
Jakob Millard
Patrick Widdess

www.placeholderpress.co.uk/monuments

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

Event: Last Poet Standing Poetry Slam with John Osborne, October 12, 2022

John Osborne Picture: Katie Pope

It’s the monthly poetry slam at Last Pub Standing, Norwich hosted by former podcast guest Olly Watson and with another former guest John Osborne headlining.

Olly writes:

“It’s Poetry Jim, but not as we know it.” Poetry for people who don’t like poetry, or can’t even read. Loud, raucous, heart warming, tender, might even make you cry. 
6 poets battle it out for your votes. 3 minutes each to capture your hearts and minds.

Headlining this month we have the incredible John Osborne. 

‘His work has a winning gentleness, a seductive voice that draws you in, ensnares you and captivates you.’ – Ian McMillan.

“Yes, I like these poems. There is a warmth, as you’d expect with a balaclava in the title.” 
John Hegley.

“John writes with the intelligence and wit of your favourite teacher but with the soul of a five-year-old boy. His poems capture the ‘un-finger-put-on-able’ moments.” 
Laura Dockrill.

Think that says it all, too good to miss. 

If that wasn’t enough, we have the soon to be world famous Vegan Meat Raffle.

All hosted by local poet, comedian and National Poetry Slam Finalist Olly Watson.
https://www.instagram.com/ollywatsonpoet
https://twitter.com/ollywatsonpoet
If you would like the chance to slam gives us a shout at: thelastpoetstanding@outlook.com 

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

Event: Café Writers with George Szirtes and Jane Wilkinson October 10, 2022

The always excellent Café Writers returns for its first in-person event in nearly three years with two outstanding poets.

George Szirtes’s twelfth book of poems, Reel (2004) won the T S Eliot Prize for which he has been twice shortlisted since. His latest is Fresh Out of the Sky. (2021). His memoir The Photographer at Sixteen (2019) was awarded the James Tait Black Prize in 2020. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a co-winner of the International Booker translator’s prize, with his own books in various languages including Italian, German, Chinese and Hungarian as well as individual poems in many others. His international prizes include the Déry Prize in Hungary, the People and Poetry Prize in China, and the Bess Hokin Prize in the USA. He has also written for children, radio, stage and texts for music.

Jane Wilkinson currently lives in Norwich, and is a landscape architect and writer. This year she was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Portfolio Prize. She won the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize in 2021; was placed 1st & 2nd Guernsey International Poetry Prize; placed 1st in the Strokestown International Poetry Prize and received Norfolk Prize at Café Writers competition in 2020. She was shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship and placed 1st in the Against the Grain Press competition 2019 and is published in magazines including Under the Radar, Magma, Lighthouse Journal, The Alchemy Spoon, Ink Sweat & Tears, Envoi, Finished Creatures, Fenland Reed and anthologies with Emma Press, Live Canon and Dempsey & Windle.

This event will be held at the Maddermarket [Entrance St John’s Alley, Norwich NR2 1DR]. Doors will be open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. We are suggesting a donation of £3 for those who attend. The venue includes a bar.

More details of other events and the Café Writers competition available here.

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

Event: Toast Poetry – Norwich Arts Centre, October 9

Toast Poetry returns to the Norwich Arts Centre this Sunday (October 9, 2022). There are no acts listed but you can be assured a friendly, entertaining evening with some of the top spoken word artists in the country and local talent on the open mic.

Tickets available here

If you have any spoken word events in Norwich or nearby you’d like to share please send the details here.

NaPoWriMo Day 30: Pete Goodrum – Poetry

It’s the final day of NaPoWriMo. Congratulations if you’ve been keeping up every day but hopefully you’ve at least enjoyed writing and listening to some great poems – and there’s one more to go. Pete Goodrum returns to share a prompt you will definitely have something to say about after the last month…

I’d like you to write a poem about… Poetry. If you’re interested in poetry, take some time to think about what you think about poetry.

Think about poetry itself. Think about how to construct a poem about poetry. Will it rhyme? Will it be in particular poetic form. What message are you trying to convey?

I wrote this poem after I witnessed some unexpected and very sceptical visitors to a poetry night be completely won over by an open mic session.

Let’s be honest.

Let’s at last be honest.
You never really liked me, let alone loved me.

Yes, there were moments, in your teens
when you thought it good to have me around.
You showed off about knowing me,
even sometimes used my words to impress others,
but it soon faded.

In fact, and I hate to raise it,
but you rubbished me, told the world,
or your world at least,
that I had no place, no use,
and that you had no need of me.

Except of course, now and then,
with women more than men
you’d try not to hide
your sensitive side
and you’d touch some hearts
with the romantic parts
because after all
that’s all you recall.
The easy bits
the cheesey bits.

And then I was forgotten again.
Until you needed me.
You’d call on me at weddings of course.
Yes, I was useful for those.
Even at christenings you’d search me out
to add a touching note.

Oh, and funerals. Yes, you wanted me then.
You’ve summonsed me to attend,
to be there, at the end,
to play my part
to help you explain your breaking heart.

But in all the years in between
as I’ve changed and grown,
when I’ve ranted and excited,
inspired and delighted
loved and detested
expressed and protested –

Through all of that, you’ve ignored me.

But I’ve never gone away.

I’m here.
Remember me now?
Yes, that’s right.
Whisper it.

I’m poetry.

Pete Goodrum

You can find out more about Pete’s work and various publications here.

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Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

Episode 39: Pete Goodrum – A Point of View

Pete Goodrum, poet and lifelong resident of Norwich, reads poems inspired by his city and invites listeners to write about places in their neighbourhood or hometown. 
He also talks about his long and varied writing career and what he has learnt along the way.

Pete’s writing from a different angle exercise

Pete says: “There’s the old adage that you should ‘write what know’ but I’m saying try to write a poem about somewhere you know but looked at in a different way. From a different angle. My ‘Market’ has everyday details amplified and the awnings become a duvet as it sleeps. My ‘City Hall’ is literally looking at the place from a different angle – the back – and in doing so allows the rear view to become not only a new look at the place but a metaphor for the gap between civic ceremony and governance, and the grim realities of ordinary life. It’s not a poem of dissatisfaction or rebellion – it’s observation.

“So, go to a place you know and  create a poem about it viewed  from a different angle, seen in another perspective. Lift it out of its setting to make a point beyond pure description.”

You can hear how Patrick used Google Maps to write an original poem about his neighbourhood on the podcast, along with Pete’s poems for inspiration.

Please send your poems here for the chance to be featured on the blog or podcast. We look forward to seeing what you’ve written.

You can find out more about Pete’s work and various publications here.

Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

Pete Goodrum – A Marriage Through a Window

Pete Goodrum is a lifelong resident of Norwich with a passion for the city. Here is a poem from a set inspired by Norwich called City. You can hear him on the next podcast reading more poems and chatting about his varied writing career.

A Marriage Through a Window

The streamers and balloons were the obvious sign
that they were coming back, from honeymoon.

On autumn Saturdays the evening backlit windows
projected the parties. Sunday morning
bottles by the door and late drawn blinds said it all.

That first Christmas. The calmer gatherings as parents
visited. By spring one or other father was called on
to mow the front lawn as holidays abroad
became part of the new rituals.

A kitten appeared. Soon came the baby,
and the change in the rooms; piles of plastic toys
violating the holy beige of carpets.

There were women, and wine, in the afternoons
as she bonded with other mothers.
He arrived home later in the evenings,
and the weekend windows seldom showed much more

than the large tv screen and pizza boxes.
Most of the lights went out earlier now,
except sometimes the one by the side door that showed him,
late at night, with a cigarette and his ‘phone.

He comes by at weekends now. He drives a sports car,
and doesn’t stay. He looks worried.Torn somehow.
She has a four by four which she never seems to drive.
She stops smiling when he arrives.

Nobody hears them speak. Except once.
They were arguing, in the garden,
in front of the FOR SALE board

Pete Goodrum

Episode 28: Helen Ivory – The Anatomical Venus

Picture: Dave Gutteridge

Poet and visual artist Helen Ivory discusses her latest collection The Anatomical Venus. The poems explore how women have been portrayed as ‘other’; as witches; as hysterics with wandering wombs and as beautiful corpses cast in wax, or on mortuary slabs in TV box sets. 

The Anatomical Venus takes its name from life-size wax figures of women that could be dissected and were used in medical studies. Find out more about them here. Artwork by Helen Ivory.

Helen discusses the historic texts which inspired the poems written in the course of six years extensive research. She also invites listeners to explore historical texts as a source for new poems.

Writing from primary historical texts

There are many places to find primary texts: Libraries, books, newspapers, archives and online. Enjoy reading at first and see what you can discover. When something captures your imagination try writing a poem using some of the phrases and tone of the text. A good site to browse is www.eyewitnesstohistory.com

Helen Ivory edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears and teaches creative writing online for the UEA/WCN. A book of mixed media poems Hear What the Moon Told Me is published by KFS, and chapbook Maps of the Abandoned City by SurVision.  She has work translated into Polish and Ukrainian as part of the Versopolis  project.