in the open mic tonight. We don’t have the heart to keep the list to our original offer of ten, and thirteen names go down. With three excellent 20-minute feature spots as well, Dónall is aware that he must watch his timing. We decide that the floor-spots shouldn’t be much longer than three minutes this evening. We’re pleased to see that André, the Trinity News reporter, has stayed to see the first half of the show.
At 7.30 Dónall starts the ball rolling with his Uncle Michael poem, “Singing the River”, one of my favourites, and then Eddie Chauncy reads three of his elegant, thoughtful sonnets. Cat Randle follows with a sturdy poem “as herself “ (rather than as merciful Grace, the robot maid that is her steam-punk persona.)
“The white artery of your spine
hovers beneath a butterfly’s ghost”
and ends with a collective sigh of appreciation from Harry’s audience.
More floor spots follow: Kyle McHale with his robust but lyrical work; Kathy Tytler with one of her energetic poems about running, lovely Cathy Flower with two beautifully delivered pieces.
And now our second featured guests, Tom V & Friends, take the floor: Tom and Gemma narrate a spooky science fiction rap about a man for whom inclusion in a scientific medical trial goes horribly wrong. The energy of the story is enhanced by backing on drum and guitar and the interwining of Gemma’s and Tom’s voices with the music works perfectly. Tom started his association with Spoken Word at the Bar when he was a student at Surrey University, last year.
Gareth Toms and Martin Jones complete the first half and after the break there are Geoff and Lorri Pimlott, David Evans, Richard Alleyne, Andy V Frost the Biker Poet with his poem about a heroic Ixion owner, Andy Low, and cheerful Dexter, who’s welcomed back after a long time absent from events at the Bar.
Pauline Sewards takes to the mic as our third feature of the night and charms us all with her story poems, most of them fresh to my ear – she’s chosen narrative pieces in response to my description of her work in our publicity, and she’s made good decisions. There are calls of “encore”, but we finish the night on a high, just after ten o’clock.
As the inaugural event of the group known from now on as The 1000 Monkeys, the evening can’t be faulted. Dónall’s introduction to the second half of this evening included his poem “The Pursuit of Happiness”, and as we go home I know that we have happiness achieved – it’s been another poetry party to remember.