On Monday night I went to a Poetry evening in Manchester, because I wanted to meet fellow Salt poet Andrew Philip, who was visiting the area from Scotland. We arranged to meet, together with two old friends of mine, Steve Waling, also a Salt poet, and John Calvert, a very versatile poet who like me writes for both children and adults.
The event was dreamed up and hosted by poetry pixie Jackie Hagan, who made it all magical to fit in with her title. There were glittery table cloths, candles and iced fairy cakes with quirky messages on them. Jackie showed a powerpoint throught with some fantastical, surreal and sometimes cutesy images which was on a loop behind the performers. THis gace a great visual focus and occasionally fitted in with the poems being performed. It was a lively event at The Sandbar, with a huge variety of poets. I wouldn’t class Andy or myself as performance poets but we managed to hold our own, partly because the audience was supportive of every performer, which is exactly what these events ought to be like. Jackie’s idea was that people should be able to use the regular event as a platform to try out new things. She has a confident manner and hosted the whole night very entertainingly, with slick links between each act.
This event was a little out of my comfort zone, but was thoroughly enjoyable.
2 responses to “Magical Animals”
For me, ‘Magical Animals’ is an interesting post because of your closing remark that the event was a little outside your comfort zone. How valuable it is to sometimes step outside our comfort zones! Even when, unlike in your case at the Sandbar, the experience is not very enjoyable at all. The point is that whether enjoyable, acutely uncomfortable or even downright traumatic, experience is grist to the mill for a creative writer of whatever sort. Expanding our personal horizons is as important as experimenting with form and style in the avoidance of the tired and sterile and formulaic.
Having no sort of singing voice, I shy away from anything of a sing-along nature. My friend ‘Vi’ can’t sing either. And knowing this, a mischievous colleague once entered us for a karaoke on a works night out. We were to sing a duet, Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’. The result has kept us laughing down the years. And remembering it now, I feel a prose poem coming on!
See you at Blaze.
Thanks Paul. Sorry I haven’t replied to your email yet but was having computer problems. I intend getting out of my comfort zone a lot more. Have started messing about with watercolour again and am making books by hand. All good fun.