Summer's not quite over but our break is. Dónall has had an eventful couple of months, not in a good way, unfortunately. He's writing his way through the tragic loss of his younger brother a few weeks ago. But he was on form at the Keystone on 6th September, hosting Bethany Pope and seventeen open mic readers. There was a large and appreciative audience, too.
Ray Pool had a poem about Brighton and slipped into his Alan Bennett persona. His "Arthur's Seat" (or "Martha's Seat") was very naughty and very funny and paved the way for his admission that Ray's "In Love with Matt Baker" from breakfast TV.
Karen Izod read seasonal poems: "August", with nods to T S Eliott and H E Bates, "The Garden Goes Over" and "Microcosm", which dealt with a sense of lassitude that grows over a week spent on holiday.
Josiah, newly returned from London, was in a skittish mood but read clearly and well. He risked a risqué poem called "Ten Tips for achieving Bad Sex" which was funny and strangely moral in that it turned good advice on its head as a warning. His more serious poems were interesting: the meditation on a religious site where many gods have been worshipped over ages was very thoughtful.
Timothy Adés, who had made a special visit to us to see Bethany perform, delivered one of his charming translations of Robert Desnos poems for children: about a cat, a poem adorned with wonderful rhymes. And to free the evening up a bit, he led us in a rendition of "I'm 'Enery the Eighth I Am", inspired by Dónall's posing with a cardboard cut-out of the historic serial killer king at the Guildhall Craft Fair at the weekend. It worked!
Next month at the Keystone we welcome Seamus Fox, a poet from Northern Ireland, as our guest. If you would like to read in the open mic, it's a good idea to contact email@example.com before 11.30 on the day, and to arrive at the Keystone by 8pm, to make sure you have a place in the open mic, as we had to disappoint some late arrivers this month.
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Janice & Dónall Dempsey
We are poets, writers, spoken word performers, editors and organisers of spoken word events, based in the United Kingdom.