Tag Archives: Michael Scott

Finale it’s happened to me

9 Oct

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

The one that didn’t get away

8 Oct

Ken Evans.jpg

Ken Evans – 2016 Battered Moons Competition Winner

I am the wastepaper basket under the desk of a tired poetry competition judge and I’m full.

I’m waiting for the black bag to come again to release me from this heavy weight of 40% hope and 60% despair that has me brimming over. 

But this time it’s different, I can sense a poem being uncrumpled, flattened out and reconsidered.

It is, of course, the winning poem and I am glad to give back for once.

Daljit Nagra hasn’t got to where he’s got to without being a disarmingly honest and funny bloke. Continue reading

‘She wasn’t an easy person to work with wasn’t Hylda’

8 Oct

That’s Hylda Baker of course.

Well it is according to Keith Hutson who staggered onto the Arts Centre stage on the wrong end of a theatrical push.

With a writing career encompassing Les Dawson skits and Coronation Street episodes and an enthusiasm as contagious as a double entendre titter, Keith read poems delighting in the days of Music Hall.

‘Tom Platt and his Talking Pond’ got an early mention, a mention that needs mentioning more often,’Tom Platt and his Talking Pond’ ponder that.

When will we hear the like again?

‘A lot of their acts were bloody awful but that made them all the better’ says Keith, whose brilliant delve into the nether regions of a simpler, more complicated, life, earned its own wolf whistles and guffaws.

There were tales of everything, from the tragic to the tremendous; Lottie Collins who literally danced herself to death, Ronnie, whistling, ‘in a state of grace’, to Marilyn Monroe.

The tragi-comic nature of Keith Hutson material coupled with faultless delivery, showcased a brilliant sequence of poems which scored a direct hit on both heart-strings and funny bone.

Keith Hutson’s Troopers took place at Swindon Arts Centre, 8 October 2016, part of Poetry Swindon Festival.
His poems have just been released in the pamphlet,
Routines, published by Poetry Salzburg.

Chronicle written by Michael Scott.

Exposing yourself

7 Oct
Little Usherette

Little Usherette

So I had a quick nap in Hilda’s Lounge, as you do, then back to the tent-palace, as you do. But this is Poetry Swindon Festival and things can get way more surreal.

Jill Abram and Jinny Fisher were the warm up acts for an ‘industrial strength poetry evening’, according to host Cristina who tripled up as heckler and cheerleader.

Cristina told Kim Moore, joint poet-in-resident, to read the one about the scaffolder. This one is a ‘psalm’ to her dad as it turned out. Her one about the Trumpet Teacher’s Curse (she’s just quit after 13 years to do a Phd) made me laugh and nod as she listed her primary school students’ crimes against brass instruments and the subsequent list of things to inflict on them, such as practicing for hours without improvement, then perform at an empty bandstand in the cold and rain. Kim told us she read it to her mum, a shoe factory worker, who said, ‘that was my life for years’. It took a moment for the inference to ripple to the back, but I laughed right away having a mum who sometimes failed to plaster a smile to her face during school concerts (and being a mum myself). 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

What if you threw a poem and no-one came?

2 Oct

trump

Dada Generators at the Museum of Computing

Sometimes no matter how great that you think an event is and is going to be, it doesn’t work.

Coming from the background of ‘why don’t we just try it?’

I am very used to my imagination colouring in the feverish excitement of eager punters in the build up to the event.

Only to find that come the great day I am talking to someone who thought I was the Tuesday Yoga teacher.

Or my audience is a drunk straight out of an all-day bender in the pub.

So there I was feeling welcome but uncomfortable, admiring the amazing innards of The Museum of Computing with no lithe bendy leotarded companion or beer breathed bore for company, just me and Dada, some computers and the marvellous Simon Webb, resident hard drive and RAM of the museum and all round hero, pfft. Continue reading

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, In, In, In

2 Oct

maggie-harris-pic

Photograph © Jennifer Berry 2016

Tea & Cakes with Maggie Harris

Maggie Harris had already proved to be a warm and enthusiastic workshopguru at the Savernake Social Hall, what could make it just that little bit better? Nothing at all? No, tea and cakes of course.

Reading a broad selection from her extensive back catalogue, Maggie treated us to poetic insight into her forty years living in the UK and her constant exploration of her Guyanese roots. Continue reading

I hear voices, I see visions

1 Oct

img_3122

Elephant’s Footprint – Poetry Films

Bringing life to life is more difficult than it looks.

Who is the reader, the listener, the viewer and really so what?

The way I look at life is different to the way you look at life – I would imagine; I can send you a print-out of my browser history to confirm this if you like.

I would bet my bottom Euro though that we both review life as a sequence of images with an extremely unAttenborough totally unreliable narrator intoning apparent fact ad nauseum.

Poetry Films make the voice, and the visuals converge, and the results hint, suggest and deliver a particular type of poke in the ribs that they couldn’t do on their own.

The films made by poets from Swindon and the elsewhere that exists beyond the town were of high quality and obviously the result of some hard graft coupled with effective mentoring from Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron of Elephant’s Footprint.

Unfortunately, I was buttonholed by my unreliable narrator two poems in, and he just wouldn’t shut up. Continue reading

Alone unwatched?

30 Sep

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Those China eyes are staring at you again, well one of them is, the other gazes sideways at someone on the other side of the room, an admirable bit of ocular multi-tasking for an inanimate object.

A China paw gloved by a China shoe pokes from the folds of a China robe as if this Swindon Sphinx has once more lost the straightforward pathway.

But this is not a straightforward place, nor is it a dark wood, it is Poetry Swindon Festival being five years old.

You had an unusually hectic Wednesday night, you left your phone charger on the train, you feel washed out and tired, your mood dial is flicking its eyelash in and out of grumpy.

Like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn, a great friend appears at your side, you met her through poetry, and she has held you up when the mood dial mires in the red.

She offers you the clothes of a poet and you put them on, you don’t want to be a Spaceman or a Medieval Knight today, you want to be a poet.

You wonder where these clothes will take you? Continue reading

A Simply Splendid Swindon Affair

8 May

A Swindon Affair

8th April 2016

A  Swindon Affair: a Family Affair and a Love Affair

When posting about this event on social media I accidentally referred to it as a ‘Family Affair’. But that was probably a Freudian slip – or something. Because a family affair is really rather what it felt like. The entire affair: afternoon and evening – was filled with people I know and have great affection for. And it was wonderful.

Loving Swindon: in words, pictures and music – a few words first about the afternoon event. The Platform on Faringdon Rd was overflowing with the astonishing literary output and outpouring there has been, and still is, about Swindon from Swindon people and others who love Swindon.

The whole thing was a collaboration between Swindon Civic Voice, Poetry Swindon and the Swindon Literature Festival. Three most marvellous groups right here in Swindon. Continue reading