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The Stanza Bonanza poets, November 2015

A Bonanza, a Finale and a look ahead to 2016

It’s been a busy week, still catching up, but I wanted to post a recap of things before we’re into the pre-Christmas week when events seem to accelerate.

Last Monday I was I privileged to be a member of the Brighton team (especially considering I now live in Eastbourne) at a Stanza Bonanza with Kent & Sussex Stanza at the Poetry Cafe. Bonanzas are the regular readings organised by Paul McGrane of the Poetry Society. They give Stanza members a chance to read at the iconic venue and meet/socialise with other Stanza poets. Always great fun, and this one was a corker. Poet friends Jill Munro and Jess Mookherjee were on the opposing team and it was lovely to hear them read, and Brighton definitely brought out the big guns – Peter Kenny, Tony Gill, Andie Davidson, Susan Evans and Marek Urbanowicz.

Thursday saw the launch reading of Clare Best’s poem ‘Cell’ which has been produced beautifully by the The Frogmore Press in a fold-out pamphlet alongside striking artwork by Michaela Ridgway. Michaela organises and generally hosts the Pighog poetry nights at the Redroaster in Brighton, but on this occasion she handed over the MC responsibility to Daisy Behagg, who did a fine job. The audience was very well behaved – not sure if that was a concession to Daisy, or just that the season finale drew a particularly high quality audience! Also on the bill were Tom Chivers of Penned in the Margins, and Stephen Payne who I seem to run into regularly at readings around the south and who was in the audience for my reading at Words & Ears last month, which was a lovely surprise. Michaela is super multi-talented, by the way – poet, artist and someone who makes things happen, on top of a big day job. Props. It was an excellent evening and I felt really energised and inspired by the poetry I heard. Here are some pics from the night:

Daisy Behagg at Pighog poetry night in Brighton

Daisy Behagg

Tom Chivers at Pighog poetry night in Brighton

Tom Chivers

Michaela Ridgway & Clare Best at Pighog poetry night in Brighton

Michaela Ridgway & Clare Best

Then on Friday we finally had our Telltale Press & Friends January reading all confirmed – to be held at the Poetry Cafe on Thursday 7th January, with special guest poet Jack Underwood. I’ve been a big fan of Jack’s work for a while and enjoyed his ‘putting together a pamphlet’ course at the Poetry School a couple of years ago. I loved his collection Happiness too, so I’m of course very happy that he’s reading with us alongside Telltales Siegfried Baber & Peter Kenny, and Kitty Coles. I often see Kitty’s work in magazines and heard her read at the launch of South magazine last month, so I was very pleased she agreed to join us for this event. If you’re within striking distance of London do come along – it’s free! A warm Telltale welcome awaits.

One Comment on “A Bonanza, a Finale and a look ahead to 2016

  • Michaela Ridgway
    April 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Robin, I was looking for contact details for Tony Gill, and I came across this review of the CELL launch a while back. Thank you for it.

    Michaela

    Oh, do you have contact details for Tony Gill that you can share with me?

    michaela.ridgway@ft.com

    Reply
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