Search results for 'domestic cherry'

You’ve been framed – Domestic Cherry exhibition

11 May
Domestic Cherry at Artsite

Domestic Cherry at Artsite

Domestic Cherry Private View, a secret lifting of the cherry pinny or an exhibition of the brilliant art contributed to Domestic Cherry 3? Thankfully it was the latter, with Artsite Post Modern playing host to some of the artists whose work features in the annual. Poet Mira Borghs came all the way from Belgium to show her atmospheric ‘Raven’. Images were introduced as the inscrutable DC dog looked on like a particularly surly gallery assistant. Pei-Pei Lim described her process in creating ‘The Hairdresser’ with scorpion imagery and a blue tint to the subject’s skin and Declan Kelly liked letting his work speak for itself. Visual artist Jill Carter presented her two pieces, including one written in response to a poem written by Hilda Sheehan – editor of Domestic Cherry and host of the evening. Domestic Cherry goes from strength to strength each year and plans are afoot to make it even more beautiful, either by adding ermine piping to the pinny or featuring colour artwork in the next issue. Watch this space!

Popping the Domestic Cherry

20 Apr

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Is this Cotswolds town the festival capital of the world? It surely must be now. Cheltenham UK, the festival town. They can have that for free.

Just did one day of Cheltenham Poetry Festival yesterday (it runs until Sunday) and had a great time. I was part of, ahem, select audiences who I got to know (hi to Ki and poets Nick and Alice).

First up: Domestic Cherry in the basement of gothic-looking pub, Tailors. It felt like I was entering the mansion of Elvira Mistress of the Dark (brilliant!). It had the air of a secret gig (i.e. a distinct lack of festival signage). Continue reading

Finale it’s happened to me

9 Oct


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Right in front of my face and it’s poetry.

The end.

I’ve lost my bloody hat but in the grand scheme of things who cares?

Writes Domestic Cherry veteran Barry Dicks from his surveillance vehicle.

I had it when I was installing my CCTV in that psychedelic tent of theirs.

I’m over the road, the Texaco Garage, in Roy’s van.

I’m in the back with my bank of 3 widescreen Bright House tellies, one blinking like a Belisha beacon.

It doesn’t make for interesting viewing but I’m watching the Festival Finale/Domestic Cherry Party which has started with a loose and wayward open-mic hosted by the cheerily sardonic Sam Loveless. Continue reading


7 Oct

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The night before at the Ruth Stone House Party – also featuring lots of poets – the intros seem to go on f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and basically a long list of publications.

Thankfully the point of Quiet Compere was for the audience to decide if the 10 poets x 10 minutes were any good by listening to their poems. And so our first half host, Sarah L Dixon, read a couple of her poems and introduced poets by way of their name only.

Sarah’s The Source was probably the muckiest poem I’ve heard about a marriage breakup – a horrid smell leading to a cloth in drawer for a collection of, ahem, male excretions. Continue reading

Open to interpretation

3 Oct

Martin Malone Poetry Swindon Fest 16.jpg

‘I’m on that team
That says go forward
With a Head Full of Steam’

Martin Malone cut through the dark of a busy Central Community Centre by announcing the results of the meat raffle; prize a lamb shank.

Mysteriously no-one had the winning ticket, I’m sure that a prime bit of topside made its way back up north with Mr. Malone too.

Martin is a poet at home in a Swindon skin and there was a two-way warmth between performers and audience on the night, poetry the go-between, The Interpreter’s House the common denominator. Continue reading

There is Nothing in the Garden at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

2 Oct

I can see why the Swindon Festival of Poetry organiser, Hilda Sheehan, invited filmmaker Helen Dewbery and poet Chaucer Cameron to present their poetry film, There is Nothing in the Garden.

To the founding editor of Domestic Cherry and the creator of 1950s housewife persona, Mabel, There is Nothing in the Garden would seem happily all over the woman’s perspective. Continue reading

Cherries As Insurgent Art

16 May
Mabel's House

Mabel’s House

Domestic Cherry’s Swindon Festival Of Literature residency continued at Artsite Post Modern as Mabel Watson threw one of her infamous house parties. Continue reading

Then there was more

9 May
Poet Alison Brackenbury reading at the BlueGate Poets Open Mic night

Poet Alison Brackenbury reading at the BlueGate Poets Open Mic night

Prize winning poet Alison Brackenbury brought her new collection Then to the Swindon Festival of Literature on a typically varied BlueGate Poets Open Mic night. Reading poems of glory, nature and astonishment, Brackenbury veiled the overflowing room with images of flora and fauna. But the most striking thing about the night was the variety on offer, one minute the guest poet was describing a Lapwing luring ‘hawks away from its chicks’ the next Martin Malone was tenderly reading about how he had shaved his mother’s head. Eve Kimber drafted in Shaun Butler and Jill Sharp for an experimental Elizabethan motet style poem which wove its words in many varied directions. There were visitors from Newbury with poems about unfeasibly large cassette collections they had inherited, a tale including what may have been an old Chinese proverb (Success has many father’s but failure’s always a bastard) and a drum/dance/poetry mash-up from Robert Stredder and Jackie Bardwell. The surprise appearance of acclaimed Irish poet Leland Bardwell capped an eclectic evening, her gorgeous poetry conjuring long-lasting images. Even Domestic Cherry‘s Mrs Hongo popped up as Hilda Sheehan read the poem Glow from the third edition of the poetry annual, the poem ends with a glowing woman emerging out of the top of a supermarket, as festival-goers left the GW Hotel tonight I’m sure a few of them were shining.

Sun, song, words and juggling machetes

6 May


Jason Maverick, Swindon Festival of Literature 2013

Jason Maverick, Swindon Festival of Literature 2013

The 20th Swindon Festival of Literature is underway and in spectacular style! A perfect morning at Lawn Woods saw Festival Director Matt Holland crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the beginning of the third decade of Swindon’s number one arts event. Recent years have brought as many shivers as smiles to the Dawn Chorus, but today early rising festival-goers were treated to blue skies, golden sun and a very early taste of what this years festival has to offer. Swindon Scratch Choir’ s Sun Arise Singers softly sang the sun up at 5.30am as Jake the Juggler and bagpipe man Danny serenaded the large crowd. Folically challenged poet Jason Maverick started proceedings proper with verse, mime, juggling, plenty of audience participation and a poem about turning into his Dad (but not his Mum).  Music Alive brought strings and haunting sounds to the woods and Storyteller Chris Park told a tale of thanks before human statue Andria Walton shared Shakespeare with us. Poetry annual Domestic Cherry 3 was also launched by its fragrant founder Mabel Watson.  A madcap finale saw Marky Jay build a two man human pyramid to juggle machetes from the top of, sadly for Marky one half of the pyramid was the notoriously unreliable Barry Dicks of the aforementioned Domestic Cherry, causing an event which had started so beautifully to end as an ugly heap in front of a glorious sunset over Swindon.


Swindon Festival of Poetry – Mabel’s House Party and ‘The Joy of Sex’

8 Oct

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‘Odes to Joy!’ and the joy of sex was the theme for Mabel’s House Party though sadness, messiness, uncomfortable and baggage sex was also in abundance.

It’s been forty years since the book, The Joy of Sex, was published with its quirky style and fun approach to lovemaking so Domestic Cherry – the people behind Mabel’s House Party at Artsite Swindon – held a competition with the book as its theme. Saturday night we heard the winners.

It was great to see the venue was completely packed – the only seats left when we arrived were those tiny ones they use in primary schools. Artsite was set up like a night time cafe with feather covered lamps, bottles of wine and of course the Domestic Cherry cups of tea.

There were moments of comedy. Jill: ‘She is less subtle / Goes straight for his buckle’. Judy: ‘I wish I’d misspent my youth.’ Peter made his rhyme out of all the pet and slang names for genitals. Another poet from Ireland read The Tandem – how to decide who cycles at the back and observe the others wiggling posterior. Jo Bell – just named as the first canal poet laureate by The Canal & River Trust – gave us her observations on ‘Coming’ or should that be ‘Cumming’? Continue reading