Well, it happened again! A bunch of poets in a warm friendly pub managed to have a warm friendly enthusiastic evening exchanging words in front of an enthusiastic warm friendly audience!
Outside, Guildford dripped muddily. In the Keystone, we held the slam-that-is-not and laughed at the inspired craziness of David Goo and what he called his “silly” songs.
It was great to have so many Surrey Uni students in the audience, and three among the readers as well. The contest as far as they were concerned was between Elaine Stabler and Thomas Harding, who had challenged each other to a poetry duel (better than a poet fight, which tends to be scratchy and slappish!). That's Thomas, in the top photo - a confident contender!
Dónall as host led the running with some new poems (and some teasing of Leo and Elaine!) and then we were off. (Unfortunately there was a rather noisy group round the corner in the other bar, so the sound quality isn't great on this video.)
Excuse me if I burst into verse at this point:
Liddy gave us poems on butch love and her degree;
(She’d bravely come on crutches, for a second time)
Thomas declaimed impressive angst and modernist ennui;
Alice’s rules were not for cats – because there’d be no point.
Elaine had words on war and how she could wreck phones
David read of tender love from his romantic days.
Andy shocked us with a “P” word (Pudenda, not Piss or Poem!)
Alicia had a speculum - it worked if read two ways.
Among sandwiches and earwigs, and cupids, wine and tables,
How to pick the winners we almost felt unable, but...
Elaine Stabler again claimed the tiara of second prize
and Alice Thurling was crowned Queen of the Prom, accepting a signed copy of Hilary Mantel’s “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher) as first prize.
Thank you to our lovely audience last night, who offered all the poets so much appreciation and applause - we hope you'll be back to celebrate the new series of poetry nights, and maybe to read yourselves in the even more pressure-free atmosphere of the Keystone Open Mic Poetry Night.