Saturday, March 07, 2009

First Anniversary of Lewes Poetry

The first anniversary of Lewes Poetry - staged upstairs at the Lewes Arms on 24 February - was a massive success! performance poet Elvis McGonagall

I had been a tad worried about the turn-out that I might get on a cold Tuesday evening in February, even for a former slam poetry world champion.

But I should not have fretted. We pulled in a fine crowd. And Elvis McGonagall did us proud.

His is an amazing act: funny, erudite, fast and topicalą„¤

Elvis's accents are spot-on, his impressions superb, and his political radar magnificent.

In performance poetry, he truly is the cream of the crop - and a hell of a decent chap as well.

The Limerick Contest went with a bang and was won by my old salsa chum Felix Beacher who then got up to read his own outrageous, saucy poem.

Felix Beacher

Overall, it was a show with something for everyone, and I was so delighted that we could fill an upstairs room on a Tuesday night.

Indeed, the entire year has been remarkable.

From a very humble start in 15 February 2008, with a handful of people and a dog, watching imaginative Ash Dickinson do his stuff, to the sell-out gig with the brilliant performer Attila the Stockbroker.

The visit by The Birmingham Poets - Richard Grant (Dreadlockalien), Lorna Meehan and Simon Lee - was also a joy, as was wacky cross-dresser, poet and children's illustrator Rachel Pantechnicon.

And that's without mentioning the comic A F Harrold, expressive Justin Rhyme, and talented page poet Catherine Smith.

performance poet Elvis McGonagallThe year of poetry has also been enriched by some of the oddball characters swinging by the club: crazy cat Jared Louche, Pallette, Dancing Man Paul Duckett, intense Tony Kalume, out-of-left-field Charlie Devus and Felix to name but half a dozen.

What a year!

I couldn't have done it without the hard work of the Lewes Poetry team or the support of Abi at the Lewes Arms (and her predecessor Dave).

The club is back on Thursday, 30 April 2009 with the Frogmore Poets: Ros Barber, Joe Sheerin, Ellen de Vries and Jeremy Page.

And on Thursday 21 May, I am putting on rising rap star MC Elemental.

See you there - upstairs at the Lewes Arms.


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