16th July: Leicester Shindig

Another brilliant night of poetry at The Western pub – indeed, one of the best Leicester Shindigs to date, according to numerous Facebook and Twitter comments from attendees.

Those visiting from the West Midlands were treated to a second helping of Maria Taylor‘s poems from her newly-launched debut collection, Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press) after her guest appearance at last Tuesday’s Poetry Alight in Lichfield.  I’m currently re-visiting my favourites after a hungry first read, cover-to-cover (as I’m wont to do).

Kim Moore‘s pamphlet, If We Could Speak Like Wolves (Smiths/Doorstop) is the latest addition to my Poetry Library To Go that masquerades as a handbag.  Her closing guest slot was one of the high notes of the evening.

I enjoyed Robin Vaughan-Williams‘ reading with a difference: pairings of poems – about the wind, and pilots and doctors; ending with three poems from his Happenstance pamphlet, The Manager, read as a continuous piece – each one beginning with  ‘The manager sits behind blue curtains,’ – same line, taken in different directions.  The silences between phrases/line breaks – a delivery not unlike that of Mark Goodwin, to which I find myself listening intently.

Alan Baker‘s latest collection is Variations on Painting a Room (Skysill Press).  He read the lyrical Chilwell; then from The Book of Random Access, a collage of prose poems with quotations and found text; Today in the Snow, a poem borne out of working life on the road.

Open mic poems included Richard Byrt’s My Backyard Bannockburn (crafted sounds), Jonathan Taylor’s Our Price 1995  and Exchange (I do so enjoy his brand of humour), Tom Wyre’s The Lucid Door and Cellophane Man (measured rhythm, rhyme), Gary Longden’s The DJ (a tribute to the names behind the ’70s music I loved…oh, sweet nostalgia), Gary Carr’s Love Letter (written for his daughter), John Kitchen’s The Takeover (alliterative, and one of several weather-related poems of the evening).

For a different take on the night, here’s a link to Gary Longden’s eloquent and comprehensive blog review.

Next Leicester Shindig: Monday 17th Sept

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