Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Burrow into Poetry....
I have been writing poetry for a long time alongside my lyrics, fiction and scriptwork. Before and after University I was lucky to have poems published on page in journals and pamphlets. However, I had never thought to perform my poetry.
On reflection, this is surprising as I had come very close to doing so when I was younger and heavily involved in theatre. I would involve poetry into monologues/asides and actually one year, I memorised and choreographed a performance of Roald Dahl's 'Little Red Riding Hood' which won me the school drama festival.
I went to Hammer & Tongue for the first time nearly two years ago now, thinking it was an open mic and instead found myself at a Slam - but what a friendly slam it is. I have to mention that it was the place I met Leanne Moden and her 'Shaving Grace' poem, I saw Raymond Antrobus perform for the first time and where Salena Godden had a telepathic moment with me.
The top floor of the Fountain, where H & T is held, is a great little venue and definitely a welcoming and comfortable space to perform. Fay Roberts, the wonderful lady that she is, runs the nights spectacularly with lots of wit, wisdom and wonder at the poets (her audience warm up of ooh's ahh's and oh's! is testament to this.) With her wonderful sound and light man sidekick, Wes Freeman, the night always promises to be a good one (if you've never been, go, you will love it.)
Tim Knight ( https://twitter.com/CoffeeShopPoems) opened the evening for us with some fantastic poetry. A young poet whose style reminds me at times of Sarah Kay and Simon Armitage, performed his brilliant poem, The Parent Trap. It was a true favourite of ours on the front row, as was his piece about making a 'mixtape.' Using domestic details well, he delivers with great nostalgia and gentle, humorous reflection. Definitely one to watch.
The evening commenced into the slam, finding us some great new poets to take to the stage. Something that is great about H & T, you will find a good range of poets come up to slam and keep the dynamic varied. I personally hadn't decided what I was going to perform (I have been writing a lot of new material at the moment) and in the moment walking up to the mic settled on my poem 'A Circle is an Open Shape' and '3rd Rate Underwear' - a poem about purple pants which went down very well it seems. I was very proud of fellow Suffolk poet, Dan Clark, who gave a tremendous performance and went on to win the slam.
The last feature of the night was amazing, I cannot recommend seeing Jonny Fluffypunk enough. Forget your comedy clubs, here is a man who will make you cry with laughter and listen intently with his fantastic, hillarious and extremely insightful poetry. His performance made me think more of a cabaret and his observations of people,things and life are spot on, not to mention his quick fire banter with the audience; it is pure brilliance. I think The Independent describes him perfectly;
"Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit..... and England's most pretentious moustache."
The next Hammer & Tongue Cambridge event is on November 12th, details can be found here;