Poetry at The Kitchen Garden Cafe`

Jacqui Rowe, poet and publisher (with poet Meredith Andrea) of the marvellous Flarestack Pamphlets has invited me to read at the Kitchen Garden café on Tuesday.
You can read an interview with Meredith and Jacqui on Abigail Morley’s blog.

James Sheard’s collection ‘Scattering Eva’ (Cape, 2005) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best first collection. His poems appear in the  anthology
‘Identity Parade’ (Bloodaxe, 2010.)

I’m really looking forward to hearing James read, and to the numerous floor spots.

Looking over what I’ve selected to take I realised that I have ten ‘old’ poems (that is poems from last year’s ‘The Sun Bathers’)  and eleven ‘new’ poems. This seems like a good balance, and I’m pleased I have so much new material.
I’ll have to check again that all these poems fit into a twenty-minute slot- I’m  obsessed with not over-running my allocated time-  and I’ll be reading through the set a few more times before Tuesday to make sure I’ve got my brief intro and links sorted out.

I look forward to seeing you there if you can make it. Here are the details.

POETRY BITES 7.30 pm 27th MAY, Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA (entry through Fletcher’s, a few yards up the road). To book a floor spot contact jacquirowe@hotmail.co.uk or arrive before 7.15 pm on the night. £5 (£4 concs) inc readers.



Flarestack launch at Ikon Gallery

I attended the launch of the Flarestack competition winners in Birmingham on Wednesday night. The venue was the marvelous Ikon Gallery.
There were about fifteen readers from the competition anthology ‘Sylvia Is Missing’, which includes Michael Conley’s surreal, funny and sinister poem ‘Aquarium’ from which the title of the collection is taken. We were also treated to excellent readings from the two worthy winners of the competition,  David Clarke and Nichola Deane. As a contributor to the anthology I was given a copy on arrival, and as with all Flarestack products it really is a thing of beauty. I very much enjoyed reading to the audience in the gallery, surrounded by wonderful paintings and photographs, but as usual with these gatherings the highlight for me was meeting and chatting to poets including  Jaqui Rowe and Meredith Andrea of Flarestack .
I liked a lot of what I heard and read, particularly Nicky Arscott’s poems.  Given that her poems were so vital and visual it came as no surprise to find out that Nicky is a brilliant painter. You can see some of her work if you click this link.   

You can read more about this event by clicking this link to David Clarke’s blog which also contains a link to Gary Longden’s review.