Word Wise and Poetry in Derby

Derby is buzzing. The city is flooded with rhythms and rhymes, lines and meters, voices and verses.

Derby has so much Spoken Word. Friday just gone was a big one, a banging beautiful night at the monthly Word Wise. I was honoured to read a poem that went down well when compared with the stunning words I was so privileged to be surrounded by. So many.

Toria Garbutt made me cry and I’m not ashamed. She’s amazing. And an absolutely lovely person.

Luke Wright was like some mad dynamo full of energy and perfect timing, hilarious and poignant and leaving our faces aching from smiling so hard.

Sophie Sparham is fire and thought and life, political and personal and always inspiring. Got to love a poet who makes you, not just want to be a better person, but feel like you are a better person, so becoming better is just a matter of opening those wings you forgot were trailing behind you. And I got to see Miggy Angel at last after hearing so much about him, wasn’t disappointed. Cullen was great and Trevor Wright’s psalm for Donald Trump was transcendent. Jonezy aka pr@xis slayed as usual and Johnny eulogized Leonard Cohen with such heart. There were poets new to me and poets whose names I don’t remember because names are not my forte, they’re my whatever the opposite of that is. There were quantum poems and theatrical poems and political poems. Happy sad and leaping-wildly-between-the-extremes poems. Cheeky poems and solemn poems, poems with punchlines and poems with lines that felt like punches.

I have so much gratitude to Jamie Thrasivoulou and Rhythmical Mike for running and hosting this night as well as performing. Such hard working dedicated guys who are doing so much to build the poetry scene.

Speaking of building the poetry scene, there should be a lot of credit to Jonezy and the City-Zen collective for the bi-monthly City Zen One Mic night. Anarchic and joyful, raising money for different causes and spreading the City-Zen message of freedom and community. The next one is this Friday, raising money for Derby International Women’s Day Celebrations. I’ll be performing! It’s always a good laugh, really welcoming joyful vibes.

And, as I stayed in tonight being grouchy and exhausted, I was missing yet another excellent night. Twisted Tongues has seen the debut of so many talented wordsters, and wins for the most historic location (I do love old buildings) and the most students. Now, some people get a bit snobby about students, but I love their young and hopeful enthusiasm. They bring new ideas, new faces, and I can feed on their fresh juicy energy like the shrivelled old vampire that I am. Twisted Tongues is also the longest running of the three nights, by quite a long shot, and boasts talented and professional performers like Dan Webber. (Who also runs it, and a whole lot of other awesome arts-related stuff in Derby.)

Indeed, there are so many amazing and dedicated and creative and energetic people on the scene, I’m exhausted just trying to write about them. So many unique characters putting their talents to use, taking the steps to put their words out there and facilitate the space for others to do so as well. I used to be kind of bitter about living here. Now I’m glad to be near Derby. Now my only gripe (and I always need to gripe about something) is that there’s so much going on here, it leaves me without the energy to explore other amazing nights in Nottingham and other places. The world is getting hectic! There’s a vibe, some intangible critical mass of energy developing. What will it lead to? A festival, a party, a riot, a legacy, or maybe all of these? I’m thrilled to be here, is all I’m going to say.

Oh, and come to our show.

 

Word Wise and Poetry in Derby

A Week of Poetry

This is going to be a hectic week. I’ll be going to three poetry nights, at least. Hopefully I’ll be able to read at least twice, and hear some amazing words. That’s the only way to learn, watching others and seeing their energy and skill. I’m not a natural performer, so I know there are always ways I could improve my readings. Like actually learning my poems by heart so I’m not actually on stage reading. Yes, I don’t remember my own words.

I went to a spoken word open mic last night which ended up rather interesting, with the entire gig being shut down and thrown out for the terrible crime of swearing. (Oh, and maybe the stuff about killing the royal family to trade them in with heaven for our beloved dead celebrities.) Censorship is sad. But so many excellent poets and musicians came to Belper. This needs to happen more. Hopefully this ridiculous incident won’t have scared them away forever. There was a decent sized audience, so maybe this town is ready for another spoken word event, hosted somewhere a little less censorious.

I decided to make a list in case anyone reading is from around Derby or Nottingham and fancies hearing some words.

Twisted Tongues, tomorrow night, The Old Bell, Derby. I’ve got a coveted pre-booked spot, so will try my best to make it count.

Possibly Ten Minute Tongues on Wednesday at the lovely Alley Cafe Bar in Nottingham.

Or Poetical, next day, same venue. There are some seriously good poets performing.

Friday will be Word Wise, at The Maypole in Derby. Last time I was there was a truly amazing open mic night, really good vibes. This time the excellent Jamie Thrasivoulou is running the night and has got some top class poets. Like this guy.

Then on Saturday I’ll rest. Nah just kidding, it’s my friend’s birthday party thing. Maybe Sunday will be a day of rest for me, just as the good lord intended? Although, there is an amazing charity gig on in Derby that night. And as all this travelling and stuff is going to have left me skint, it’s lucky that entry for this is in return for donations of food, clothing or blankets. And I have some nice things to give.

I just have one question. Why, oh why, is everything on in the same week?

And one wish. I wish I had hard copies of my pamphlet already, to try and sell at these events, but they’re in the post. Hopefully they will turn up soon, I can’t wait to see my first ever book.

 

 

A Week of Poetry