Dan Smith was a dynamo, his poems streaming from him as he roamed the stage, starting with “Metaforeplay” - neatly spanning the distance between classic literature and modern wordplay and leading to an invitation to “sex and Jaffa cakes” ! Dan formed a poetic liaison from the stage with Elizabeth, who bore the burden bravely. “I’m no good at parties” he declared in another poem – but he confessed superpowers in his piece about video games. In “Listen” he gave voice to both sides of a relationship on the rocks – one of his serious pieces. “Fuck Right Off” was a new, very angry poem. He finished with a poem that he told us he’s read at Westminster, “Herefordshire”, which never fails to delight and, finally, touch his audience.
It was great to see new faces at the open mic, as well as some familiar readers. James Holbrook read a long visionary poem on the theme of imprisonment – “Cage” which left listeners with a sense of looking in on a nightmare. Chris, whom we hadn’t seen for a while, read poems about the birth of hip-hop in the seventies, and, topically, an evocation of the Aldburgh Festival.
Tom Strum read four poems on spiritual themes, with an optimistic flavour. “Why is this life made of vapour?” he asked, and in "The Right Path" offered suggestions to deal with that and other questions he raised in ”Wonder”.
Emily Nash read strongly and confidently a poem in celebration of the Church of St Saviour in Guildford. She also had portraits of two very troubled friends.
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9th November 2015