Wednesday 23rd March 2016 – a date to remember alongside 1066 AD and 54 BC? They came, they saw, they conquered! But this was a peaceful invasion by poets and writers from the Paris-based group Paris Lit Up, and everybody was a winner.
The Paris Lit Up team are on a tour to promote their excellent annual magazine, PLU#3 (2015’s edition), and Guildford was their third stop on a week-long series of readings and open mics. Being occasional readers at their Paris performance base, Culture Rapide (103 Rue Julien Lacroix, Paris), we (Dónall and Jan) were happy to help them. When we asked Neil Willis who hosts The Keystone’s Music Open Mic night on Wednesdays if he was up for an evening of combined poetry and music, he saw no problems. And so we all made it so, and what a grand night it was!
Frank Dullaghan read “She Leaves the Doors Open” from PLU#3. Sleeplessness becomes an elegy for a life in which “Everything’s over, her book closed forever / on the first few chapters...”
This is a haunting poem full of images of rust, creaking hinges, doors and books that open or do not open, mirrors and dust. It reads beautifully.
It was good to see Martin Jones back on form after his illness last year, reading poems with a London flavour which are to be published soon by Southbank Poetry Magazine. Owen Osler was like, basically, what’s, like, the state of the actual colloquial English language, at the end of the day? (actually)
We finished with music: all the musicians joined in for a great jamming session. I wish the battery in my camera had lasted out – I’d have loved to have recorded part of it. Neil and his friends are at the Keystone on Wednesdays, offering musicians practice and free entertainment of high quality.
Next spoken word at the Keystone is on Monday 4th April. We have Gary from Leeds back with the new show he's taking to Edinburgh in July. It's called GARIBALDI (wonder why?)
Gary says: It's a work in progress but here's the story so far:
Gary's hair is history – now his name is under threat. The fightback possibly begins here. Join this lanky northerner and his bereft bonce for an anarchic hour treading the fine lines between miserable and uplifting, poetry and karaoke.
Here’s what the critics thought of Gary’s “Yeti” in 2015:
“The best thing we saw at the Fringe all week” - BBC Radio 2
“Hilarious...An oddly charismatic poet with some wonderfully bizarre ideas” - Broadway Baby
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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.