Quiet Compere End of of Year Review (4/4) featuring Ulverston, Chesterfield and Cheltenham.

Ulverston – Committee of poets

My poetry highlights:

Mark Carson: ‘This poem is written in oils, I have been adding layers since May.’

Maggie How: Performed her set a tribute to her father. The heart-breaking phrase ‘You smudge my heart with your art of dying.’

Kim Moore was the 12th poet in the room: and her wolf poem was one of my highlights of the evening. ‘No sound I make will still be made of words.’

My non-poetry highlights:

Having a committee (it was a Poem and a Pint takeover and Kim Moore was my co-host): Caroline invited me to her workshop and drove me to pick up some ales and by the time we arrived the rest of the committee were setting out chairs and the PA. We helped with the chairs and it was much quicker with 6-8 of us involved.

Two Workshops by Caroline Gilfillan and Geraldine Green. I have some poems I really like from both of these and one I read regularly.

The lines that stuck with me:

David Borrott: From Pigeons: ‘pulling together to become a spun set of dancers…each giving way to the general pattern to become something more than themselves.’

Caroline Gilfillan: From, Things he loved the line ‘eyes limpid with chalky loss’ shone out.

Sue Millard: Lines from Driver’s Girl: ‘I will let you go, trusting/ the otherness that swallows you.’

Kerry Darbishire: Posing for Andrew: ‘bearing stillness in failing sunlight’

Chesterfield – a blur of poets.

My poetry highlights:

Ailsa Holland: Someone stole into a garden on Paradise Street/discreet as an assassin/took down the clean washing/folded it with cold-blooded precision/
and left it in a basket under the back porch/just before the rain started./
(from ‘Fixer’ Strikes at Heart of Community)

Charlotte Ansell: addressed the post-election malaise with: “This is why we can’t have nice things. It took just weeks to demolish the Bohemia… They will smash up what even in the first place wasn’t much…”

John Mills: Little Louis, a poem about a brain-damaged child was tough on the audience and performer. The sing-song rhythm of it made the truth even more shocking. The damage happened because his Dad hit his head against a wall when he was 12 days old. I have written in my notes BASTARD!!!!!

Mavis Moog: While listening to her poem Plum Sunday I could smell the mint at my feet and the feel the weight of the plums as I reached up to test their ripeness

My non-poetry highlights:

Sarah Thomasin: I loved The Quiet Woman and the story about the bus-stop being labelled the The Quite Woman and the reason she was Quiet is because her head chopped off. One way of stopping a compere going on, I suppose.

Trying to capture Midnight Shelley on a still photo and the amusement of not doing!

The lines that stuck with me:

‘A piece of me will always be in the forever space with you.” Midnight Shelley

In ‘Black Holes’ he described people who are “taking everything from everything.” Chris Woods

Cheltenham – a finale of poets

I will start with a link to my guest blog on Sarah Snell-Pym’s site (more about here below) that explains why the final was in Cheltenham, several reasons including it being the first place I ran an event away from home (somewhere I had never been and knew no-one in the area) four years ago and I have run them yearly since – the night before Medicine Unboxed and a little about what that is and why I keep going back.

Guest blog:
http://wopowrimo.wigglypets.co.uk/?p=802

My poetry highlights:

Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s story about Tiberius being rubbed to death with scales of a fish: ‘rubbed til we bled each other out and lay milk-eyed on marble.’

Sharon Larkin: From Venit, vidit, fugit, about alien relations: ‘He came suddenly. / Departed in an instant / leaving a note: / “Recalled to my native galaxy. / Thanks for all the probings”‘.

Michael Scott: His poem My Dad painted by Francis Bacon was striking “We wait all night for 3 studies of the human head to dry back into my Dad.”

My non-poetry highlights:
Another thoughtful and inspiring Medicine Unboxed Students event. As ever, Medicine Unboxed (Mortality) was a masterclass in how to run an engaging, varied and challenging conference on how art and medicine interact.

Meeting Dan Cooper, designer of my logo and the flyers that have become so recognisable as part of The Quiet Compere tour.

Sarah-Snell Pym’s space dress and mini pamphlet of her space set with a dedication to me. Big smile!

Sharon Larkin’s husband also took over some of the photography for me, which helped me concentrate on taking notes and listening and timing poets.

The lines that stuck with me:

‘nothing is all there is/ and silence feels as if it’s loud.’ Brenda Read-Brown

‘Maybe all these nothings added up to something and maybe that was me.’ Chris Hemingway.

‘Playing chess, you stripped to distract me. An illegal move.’ Mark Blayney

Michael Scott on Quiet Compere format: “it was a lovely intimate night. I love the ‘Quiet Compere’ approach, there is so much fluff and noise attached to poetry that sometimes it just seems like a jumble of achievements and posing, minimalism wins every time for me.”

‘Never stop at endings!’ (Susan Castillo 2015)…

Help The Quiet Compere continue into 2016:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-quiet-compere-poetry-and-gallery-tour-2016

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