Category Archives: Updates

Post Box Poets: 25 July 2013

I’ll be honest: when I first saw the place I wasn’t sure. The Post Box Cafe is in part of what looks like, appropriately enough, an old Post Office and at first glance looked a bit on the compact side for a poetry night – but three hours later I knew that Sarah L Dixon, The Quiet Compere, had found another perfect venue for poetry! What changed my mind? Well, first of all Post Box Poets has exclusive use of the whole café, so the various comings and goings associated with sessions held in pubs and bars (by poets and general public alike!) weren’t there – but neither was the atmosphere completely hushed and sterile, the buzz of passing traffic and life on Wilbraham Road somehow creating the perfect background for urban poetry. Secondly, I quickly realised that its actually its size that makes the Post Box an intimate venue where poet and audience can easily connect; everyone feels part of the poetry, not slightly detached from it as can be the case in some larger venues.

Whether it was that intimacy, or simply that Sarah had chosen her line-up well, the evening simply flew by in a rush of poetry that was variously passionate, comical, touching, gritty, emotional, and often intensely personal. It would be wrong to single out any one poet – all played their part in a wonderful evening of poetic friendship and camaraderie that went by too fast. For the record, though, love and appreciation goes to (in no particular order): Zach Roddis, Cathy Bryant, John Lindley, Mabh Savage, Dominic Simpson, Jimmy Doxford, Steph Pike, Angela Smith and Sarah L. Dixon herself. I feel privileged to have been invited to read alongside such talented poets. Thanks again, Sarah!

I believe Sarah’s intention is for Post Box Poets to replace Lead Poets, and if that’s the case she’s chosen the perfect venue. The Post Box is fully accessible to all and perfect for those travelling by public transport, situated close to Chorlton Metrolink station. Future poetry events are already planned for 30 September and 26 November 2013 – my advice is to get there early, Post Box Poets will be popular!

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Lead Poets, July 2012

An excellent night this week at Sarah L. Dixon’s Lead Poets in Chorlton, and so nice to meet fellow NaPoWriMers Rebecca Audra Smith, Janet Rogerson, Charlotte Henson and Andy N. at last (also, I now know it’s Lead as in metal and not dog…!)

The small and intimate Copper Room upstairs at The Lead Station bistro is a perfect setting for poetry. The website describes the room as ‘perfect for a decadent private party,’ although with its wonderful Sherlock Holmes armchairs I’d have said more gentlemen’s club than decadence (tip: if you manage to claim one of those wonderful chairs at the start of the evening, hang on to it!).

We heard a rich variety of poetry during the course of the evening from a rich variety of poets, listened to intently by a friendly and appreciative audience, especially as readers in the second-half battled to be heard above the torrential rain outside; I shall make no comment about typical Manchester weather, other than to point out it was perfectly dry as soon as I crossed the Yorkshire border…

Thanks to Sarah for organising Lead Poets – and for inviting me! It was a wonderful evening full of poetic energy, and I hope to be back at some point in the future.

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First steps…

This feels to me a bit like one of those cute videos you sometimes see of baby animals taking their first steps in the world… extremely wobbly, but with a general sense of what they need to do and the determination to persist until they get it right. Before you know it they’re romping around their field, exploring their new world joyfully – but occasionally returning to check with their mother that they’re doing OK, aren’t they… aren’t they?

So please bear with me as I get my head around this thing called blogging, and in the same way that in those videos the mother animal gently corrects her offspring if they get it horribly wrong, please feel free to give me the internet equivalent of a virtual cuff round the ear with a friendly paw if I do the same.

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