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.

Episode 45: Brent Hagen – Jimi Halloween and Spooky Senryu

The Japanese tradition of Jimi Halloween sees participants celebrate the mundane moments in life from taking a sip of coffee while wearing your face mask to mistaking a plastic bag for a cat or hesitating to board an elevator. You can find more examples here.

For today’s guest, Brent Hagen, this celebrating of the mundane is in the same spirit as senryu. Senryu is a Japanese form similar to haiku but which focuses on human foibles, often in a humorous way. A couple of famous examples are:

Bury me when I die
Beneath a wine barrel In a tavern.
With any luck
The cask will leak.
Morikya Sen-an (d. 1838)

Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house casually
Kobayashi Issa

And some by Brent:

hummingbirds
aren’t nearly as anxious
as they seem

having to wear glasses
isn’t depressing
anytime I want
i’ve got impressionism

thanks, sequoia
for rescuing
the color orange


Exercise: Write a spooky senryu

If you try to observe and pay attention to the world around you, you will start to notice the small moments that are celebrated in senryu and Jimi Halloween costumes. Things you hear in conversation and read in the paper can also spark ideas. For Halloween try writing something with a spooky twist, but which is also frightfully mundane. Here’s an example from Brent:

Do you hear that?
That sound?
It’s the
Drip
Drip
Drip
of drip
coffee

We’d love to read your senryu so please share them here for possible inclusion on the blog or on future podcasts.

Brent Hagen is a poet who enjoys teaching English in Tokyo. He has a particular fondness for puns, which he views as haiku on vacation.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via ko-fi.com

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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.

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.

Episode 44: Linda Collins – Sign language for the Death of Reason

Picture: Oamaru Mail

Linda Collins is a poet from New Zealand and currently living in Norwich. She found poetry following the death of her 17-year-old daughter which led to extensive writing and studying and the publication of her collection Sign Language for the Death of Reason.

Linda talks about how to address tragic and difficult experiences in life and shares some poems from her book. She also offers the following exercise:

Write a poem based on the stupid things people have said to you following a painful situation in your life.

Reflecting on difficult, hurtful experiences might be uncomfortable but putting your thoughts down on paper can be cathartic, even if you don’t come up with a poem. You might also take inspiration from things that people have said to other people you know.

You are, as always, encouraged to share any poems you write. Please send them here for possible inclusion on the blog or on future podcasts.

Linda Collins (she/her) has a debut poetry collection, Sign Language for the Death of Reason (Math Paper Press),  and is the author of the memoir Loss Adjustment (Ethos Books Singapore; Awa Press New Zealand).  She is runner-up in the Mslexia Poetry Contest, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry last year. She’s doing the Poetry MA at UEA.

You can learn more about her work and her daughter, Victoria, on her website: lindacollinswriter.com

If you’ve been affected by the issues discussed in this episode help is always available. The Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day on 116 123 or samaritans.org in the UK.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via ko-fi.com

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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 43: Nathan Nicolau – Mindfulness for poets

Nathan Nicolau was jobless and battling depression. He came close to taking his life, but then he began to fight back. During his recovery he discovered poetry, and started getting work accepted in journals and winning competitions. In this interview Nathan’s passion for poetry is evident as he offers advice and encouragement for anyone who writes or is going through hard times. Drawing on Buddhist philosophy, he shares practices which are great for writing and living.

Nathan’s mindfulness writing exercise

Take a walk somewhere, be it outside or just in your home. Observe objects for what they are, not what you think they are. For example, instead of seeing a couch as something you sit on, see the couch as it is. Perhaps how much it has sunken in overtime or how many people have sat on it appeals to you. Start writing a poem both describing that object and then reframe it to how it makes you feel.

Listen to the podcast to hear Nathan discuss this exercise and share examples of his work.

As always, please share your responses for possible inclusion on future podcasts or the blog. You can send poems here.

Nathan Nicolau is a writer/poet based in Charlotte, NC. Since his published debut in 2019, his poetry, essays, and fiction have been featured on multiple websites and magazines. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of New Note Poetry, an online poetry magazine. Find out more about him at nathannicolau.com

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via ko-fi.com

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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 42: Alan Parry – Life’s Poetic Moments

Merseyside poet, playwright and poetry editor Alan Parry joins us to read from his new collection Echoes from Rare Swan Press. He talks about how we can explore our lives and find stories and poems from our experiences and memories. He also talks about his many other projects including the growth of his poetry and arts collective The Broken Spine.

Alan’s writing exercise

My day job is a Lecturer in English, I work with students who struggle to tell their own stories and one of my favourite promts is to encourage free writing in response to a favourite photograph of their youth. What can you tell me is going on in that image? Who took it? Who is there? Where is it? I ask them to make zero attempt to be poetic, or factual, just get the story out and on paper. Time yourself I say, give yourself fifteen minutes to get down what you can, then spend as long as you need tidying it up. I can help my students edit their work and I’m prepared to read your work and offer advice on Twitter to anybody who has a go at responding to this prompt. Tell me your story! Dan Kitson once said that we spend our lives being told that the world does not revolve around us, but from our individual perspectives it kind of does. We see everything from our own eyes. I think that this is so true and can be harnessed effectively.

Please send your poems here for feedback from Alan and to feature on future episodes.

Alan Parry is a poet, playwright and poetry editor from Merseyside, England. He is an English Literature graduate and English teacher. Alan enjoys gritty realism, open ends, miniature schnauzers and 60s girl groups. He has previously had work published by Dream Noir, Streetcake Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Porridge, Ghost City Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, and others. He cites Alan Bennett, Jack Kerouac, and James Joyce as inspiration. His debut collection, Neon Ghosts, is available from The Broken Spine website. In 2021, Alan
formed the collective The Southport Poets with Paul Robert Mullen, Mary Earnshaw, and David Walshe and their debut, Belisima, was released by Dreich in autumn 2021.

Last month’s NaPoWriMo series provided a wealth of prompts with some fantastic responses. We finish this episode with a poem from Will Ingrams who not only contributed a prompt but submitted a poem every day. He shares his Ode to a Flying Fish from Daisy Thurston Gent’s prompt.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via ko-fi.com

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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.