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World Poetry Day – Sussex Poets’ showcase

John Myers (aka Mister John) runs a regular poetry evening here in Eastbourne at the Underground Theatre cafe. I’m giving it a good plug not least of all because next month I’m the guest poet. And I do also want people to support the event, as we’re not awash with poetry events in Eastbourne (YET).  The format of John’s events is to have a guest reader each time, sandwiched around open mic spots which bring in a decent audience.

So, with World Poetry Day coming up John had the idea of holding a special event to celebrate the many poetry workshopping groups in East Sussex – a showcase evening in which members of the different groups could each read/perform. Last night the event came together amazingly well, considering how many poets there were to herd.

I was there as a supporter, having connections with three of the five groups. Represented were Brighton Poetry Stanza, Rottingdean Writers, Downland Poets, Hastings Poetry Stanza and Mid Sussex Stanza. It was a convivial evening with only two or three people taking more than their allotted time (I’d like to say ‘they know who they are’ but sadly that’s not often the case). So we heard readings from around 30 poets, followed by an open mic, and John ran a pretty tight ship.

Not everyone gave their name (or full name) which was a shame. There was a big range of material, from the usual subjects (nature, death, family) to belly dancing (literally) and people pissing on doormats (not literally). I was so pleased to hear Louise Taylor‘s ‘leather bird’ and ‘bikini wax’ poems again, she is so funny and thanks to her brilliant timing I never fail to guffaw at the punchlines. Marion Tracy read from her impressive new collection Dreaming of Our Better Selves (Vanguard Editions) which I’ve been enjoying reading – more on that to come in a later post. Antony Mair gave a stonker of a reading, virtually from memory (but not the ‘stare straight ahead, speak quickly and look as if I’m trying to remember my lines’ way AT ALL). He told me it was down to an excellent day he’d spent at Live Canon, learning about how to deliver one’s poetry.

Miriam Patrick
Miriam Patrick, Mid Sussex Stanza
Marion Tracy, Rottingdean Writers & Mid Sussex Stanza
Marion Tracy, Rottingdean Writers & Mid Sussex Stanza
Louise Taylor, Rottingdean Writers
Louise Taylor, Rottingdean Writers
Antony Mair, Hastings Poetry Stanza
Antony Mair, Hastings Poetry Stanza
Jasmine from Rottingdean Writers
Jasmine from Rottingdean Writers
The Downland Poets
The Downland Poets


Published inBlogEventsPerforming


  1. Antony Mair Antony Mair

    Gee thanks for the stonker comment! and thanks for coming along and supporting us, too. I’m v proud of our team!
    All the best

    • Antony Mair on stonking form, with a side dish of belly dancing. Clearly a night to remember 🙂

  2. Antony looks very cool and poised in that photo – (I’d love you to come to HWG to deliver a workshop on delivering poetry, Antony!)

    Remind us of the date when you’re the guest poet Robin – it would be great to see you in action!

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Hi Jill – I’m reading at the Underground Theatre Cafe on Wednesday April 20th – hope you can come, would be grand to see friendly, familiar faces!

      • Achh! The BalletBoyz got there first! I’m off to Sadlers Wells that night . . . but I’ll keep up with your moves on your Blog, and come and see you in action soon! We’ve been known to come out from our Hastings Stanza lair en masse . . . so you might get several 1066ers supporting you.

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Robin Houghton 2021