Anthony Owen, Coventry’s very own voice of conscience, compered this monthly event at Taylor John’s the day following the opening of his Shock Waves Hiroshima Haiku Exhibition in the Chapel of Unity at Coventry Cathderal. (It runs till 31st August).
Janet Smith and I shared the guest slot prior to our Cork trip for the Twin City Poetry Project. Janet was in fine form; I was spellbound, as much by her delivery as her stunning poetry: First the Air is Blue, and Then, inspired by Adrienne Rich’s Diving into the Wreck; A Cry, haunting owl poem which appears in the newly-launched Flarestack anthology; Pacific, in three parts, compares a loved one to the ocean; on a theme, the achingly poignant Stillbirth, its ‘amnion exchanged for formaldehyde,’ followed by Egg, with imagery of the sea and precious stones; Hamadryad’s call and response was reminiscent of A Cry.
At the open mic:
David Lynch’s poems are rollercoaster rides of rattling rhythm and rhyme that drive the message; Words, ‘a lonely decibel wrapped in a shell.’
Tom Wyre: Our Blue Island, where ‘silver wings sow their sores’ and 11/11/11, inspired by childhood memories of silent vigils at the cenotaph; The Lucid Door becoming one of my favourites.
Barry Patterson, one of my Cork predecessors: Mammon, inspired by a cartoon in The Independent, decries the method acting of politicians. I enjoy the muscular rhythm and delivery of Barry’s poetry.
Compere, Anthony Owen: Fat Man, Dresden and Pilau Rice – powerful poems I’ve loved since I saw early drafts as Facebook notes. I’m sure these will form part of his next collection.
Gary Longden’s Don’t Touch, from Dig the Poetry workshops; Timeless Flight, a heron’s eye view ‘pedalling across an indifferent sky…no Magnificat [rising] from stubbly rubble; Vivre les Rosbifs, exuberant celebration of Wiggin’s TdF triumph.
Next NBF: Tuesday 4th September