Sunday 3 December 2023

New Spoken Label - Ellen Butler


Latest up from Spoken Label (Author Chat) features a special chat with Ellen Butler in discussing the art of writing and the aspects of getting from the idea phase to the goal line of publication on books.

Ellen Butler is the international bestselling author of the Karina Cardinal mystery series. Her experiences working on Capitol Hill and at a medical association in Washington, D.C. inspired the mystery-action series. Book critics call the Karina Cardinal mysteries, “intelligent escapism.” Butler also writes historical spy fiction. Her WWII spy novel, The Brass Compass, recently won a 2022 Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Award for historical fiction. Butler's latest release is the second book in the duology, Operation Blackbird: A Cold War Spy Novel. The novel is inspired by true events and recently won a 2023 Next Generation Indie Award for historical fiction. Reviewers call it “riveting " and “a thrilling adventure.

More about Ellen can be found at:


Saturday 2 December 2023

Speak Easy Readers - December 2023


This Thursday coming (Thursday 7th December 2023) is the Christmas edition of Speak Easy, our spoken word open mic night at Dulicmer, Chorlton Cum Hardy. Nights start at 7.30pm and spread over 4-minute slots, we have the following readers who will be reading (This is not the running order). 

Subs List / Cancellation List -

Andy Npoet

Amanda Nicholson

Steve Smythe

Grant Curnow

Roy Page

Naomi Bowes 

Nate Hardy (L T Hardy) 

Andy Cash

Martin Elder

Peter Humphreys (Humphrey Peters)

David Bond

Luke P 


Quigley CB

Gordon Zola

Eve Nortley

Amy Langley

Becky May 

Neil Bell 

Miss Understood  

Lynn Walton

Alan Griffith 

Hannah Ledlie

Molly Davidson 

Liam Baker 

Steph Carter 

Saturday 25 November 2023

New Spoken Label Session - Julia Webb


Latest up from Spoken Label (Spoken Word Podcast) making her debut is the wonderful Julia Webb.

Julia's bio advises that she grew up in "Thetford, a small town in rural Norfolk. Her first poetry collection Bird Sisters was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016. Her second collection Threat was published by Nine Arches in May 2019. Her third collection The Telling was published by Nine Arches in May 2022.

Julia lives in Norwich where she is a poetry editor for Lighthouse, teaches online and real world poetry courses, mentors writers, runs Norwich Stanza and works for Cafe Writers. In 2012 she was awarded a TLC free read, which you can read about here. In 2011 she won the Poetry Society’s Stanza competition and in 2018 she won the Battered Moons poetry competition. Her poem “Sisters” was highly commended in the 2016 Forward Prize. In 2016 she spent a month as writer in residence on Norwich Market."

Julis's books can be purchased from Nine Arches Press at

Her website is

**** (Chat) (Reading / Chat Part 2) (Chat Part 1) (Chat Part 2 / Reading)

Saturday 18 November 2023

New Spoken Label Podcast - Aakriti Kuntal


Latest up from Spoken Label (Spoken Word / Poetry Podcast) making her debut her debut is Aakriti Kuntal.

Aakriti Kuntal is a poet and writer. Her work has been featured in Selcouth Station, The Hindu, Madras Courier, Tuck Magazine, Pangolin Review, and Visual Verse among others. She was also awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry and was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018.

She is a multidisciplinary artist, she dapples in visual, movement and other forms of experimental art that span the molecular interstices of existence.

She can be contacted at:


and all of the usual places

Sunday 12 November 2023

New Spoken Label Session - Judy Foreman


Latest up from Spoken Label (Author Chat Podcast) Podcast features the wonderful Judy Foreman.

Judy is the author of “A Nation in Pain” (2014), “The Global Pain Crisis” (2017), and “Exercise is Medicine” (2020), all published by Oxford University Press, and “CRISPR’d” from Skyhorse Publishing (2022). She was a staff writer at the Boston Globe for 23 years and a health columnist for many of those years. Her column was syndicated in national and international outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Sun and others.

In this Podcast we talk primarily about her new memoir 'Let the More Loving One Be Me' which is described as "n this compelling tale, Judy Foreman reveals the terror she felt every night as a girl as she lay in bed frozen in dread, listening for her father’s footsteps coming down the hall.

She recalls his mostly naked body, his stale smell, his silhouette in the bedroom doorway. Worse, in some ways, was her mother’s denial—her insistence that this man was wonderful, her refusal to acknowledge his drinking or his rage. It wasn’t until Foreman spent a high school summer as an exchange student with a Danish family that she began to see how unsafe her own family was; it wasn’t until she went to an all-women’s college that she realized that women had value. Ultimately, this book shows that with time and therapy, it is possible to heal from serious childhood trauma and lead a life of deep fulfilment, rewarding work and, most wonderfully, love. It is a book about the power of emotional courage to change one’s own inner and outer experience of the world, and about what matters most in life: cultivating healthy connections to other people."

More about Judy can be found out on her website -


Tuesday 7 November 2023

The Birth of Birth (Part 1)


(Also published on my substack page here)

"Birth" my debut novel has taken twice as long as my longest poetry book to write 'From the Diabetic Ward' to complete.

'Birth' like ‘From the Diabetic Ward,’ is a book which went through all kinds of drafts over a lengthy period to write and finally complete and started as a short story before taking a life of its own.

The book itself of course is not an autobiography for example when I was 17 or 18 I didn’t have the confidence to front a 5-piece band and I didn’t meet my first girlfriend until I was 21 but instead is total fiction.

Well, fiction in the sense of the story is fictional but the area Chorlton Cum Hardy where it is set is, of course, a real-life area in South Manchester, where I grew up during my childhood and teenage years is true and the memories of the area are set around the same time in the early 1990s is true which I hope takes it away from being just another book of a young person becoming a writer and how their writing increases in volume and quantity where something pushes it like an emotional trigger.

Despite the fact I have been writing since I was 10 or so in one way or the other and had a brief burst at university I didn’t really start writing regularly until 2007 and 2008 when I started reading my work out to people regularly and when that happened my poetry exploded over-night.

I can remember for example going to a writing workshop in 2010 one afternoon when on a half day from the day job and I wrote 8 poems in 2 hours, most of which were certainly worthy of reading and some also submitting (2 of which got published), which two years before would have took months to write now got wrote in a few hours.

In hindsight, most of these poems were ill-thought-out and were what they were, but the point behind entering the local poetry world unlocked a trigger in my head which hasn’t gone away since

And that is the point behind Birth.

The book can be found at

Saturday 4 November 2023

New Spoken Label Session - Trystan Lewis

New from Spoken Label (Spoken Word / Poetry Podcast) Podcast features from Morecombe, the excellent Trystan Lewis.

More details on Trystan can be found at:

OR ** (Chat) (Reading) (Chat) (Reading)