Last night I hosted four exciting poets at The Temple at The Great Eastern Hotel. We recorded the show a radio pilot. The poets were Ross Sutherland, Kate Tempest, Byron Vincent & Dockers MC. Each poet performed three poems. The audience were at a capacity 120. The atmosphere was as good as anything I’ve experienced at a poetry gig since we did the live record for Slam Poets in 2004.
All the poets shone last night, they all delivered note perfect sets to rapturous applause. I feel very confident about the prospect of getting the series commissioned. The buzz around live poetry is so good right now.
In two weeks we start New Writing Partnership’s big project – The Poetry Link. The Poetry Link is a unique tour across The East of England. At the moment the Link is three clubs – Sundown in Southend, The Monday Night Alternative in Norwich, and Speakeasy in Peterborough. In September we will be adding two more clubs to the list. In 2009 The Poetry Link will be independently operated by a consortium of producers from the five clubs, for the time being it’s being overseen by New Writing Partnership in the form of myself and my job share parter Laura Stimson.
Each month two headline acts tour round the three clubs, one night after another. Each club also programmes and presents its own eclectic range of support acts. Our headliners for April are Ross Sutherland and Kat Francois. Find out more from www.newwritinglive.org
It’s all quite exciting at the moment. Joel and I have got confirmation that we’ll be playing The Underbelly at 17.30 every night of the fringe (31 July – 24 August, not 12). I’ll also be doing a solo show of new material – A Poet’s Work Is Never Done @ Zoo Southside, 21.00, 10-16 August.
I am also putting the finishing touches on the Latitude programme. Our headliners this year are Carol Ann Duffy, Adrian Mitchell, John Hegley, Simon Armitage, Attila The Stockbroker, plus a special guest I’m not allowed to name for the minute. Add into that mix Salena Godden, Francesca Beard, Aisle16, Dockers MC, Kat Francois, A Poem Inbetween People, Joe Dunthorne, Aoife Mannix, Dalgit Nagra, John Burnside, John Berkavitch, Byron Vincent and Dave Morgan’s remarkable adaption of Hovis Presley’s ‘Poetic Off-licence’ and you’re in for a real treat. There’ll also be a Poetry Vending Machine, an accompanying book, the chance for you to show off your terrible teen poetry at our Sara Bynoe’s Teen Angst open mic and the hectic drunken finale that is Aisle16 & Friends. See www.latitudefestival.co.uk
So Onwards and Upwards poetry lovers.