Saturday, 19 March 2016

Write Out Loud, Stockport, March 2016 write up

A few of you will know I have been regular visitor to Stockport’s Write Out Loud, Stockport for some years now and cover for John Keane (the orgainsator) for when needed.

Enclosed below is the report for March’s meet up when I covered for John with the collage poem, which each member of the people there for the night write a line reacting to what they have just heard.

1st Round

Nigel started things off like a bullet for March’s Write Out Loud, Stockport with a mystery poem which whether meant to or not started off a theme of mystery poems leaving the audience to work out who was the mystery person they were talking about. On Nigel’s poem ‘Verdict Suicide’ the mystery was Marilyn Monroe, one of Hollywood’s great icons from the 1960’s (which was this month’s theme) with snappy lines throughout of Scandals and Tablets scattered throughout, like with the death of Diana many years later which for me still hasn’t been solved to this very day. Excellent.

Martin who came after that, followed with a much softer, reflective beautifully wrote poem ‘Sunday Tea’ with images like white sandwiches cut into squares, with families getting together every few weeks, something which I think has been lost over time.

Chris changed gears for the evening with a great poem next ‘Life in the 60’s’ with her gentle, reflective humour really producing something special here which I reckon will go down a storm at the upcoming ‘It happened 50 years ago’ (more at the end of the report) showing a sign with her memories of the 60’s that could have only been wrote by somebody that was there.

Dorinda caught me out for a minute or so with her first poem next, which is never a bad thing with me with the mention of a Dansette record player (too young lol), which was a deck that was certainly popular back then. Dorinda’s poem which I think was called ‘Me and Danicette’ was read out like a seven inch single with short snappy lines covering a number of acts that were popular then Cliff Richard, Everley Brothers, Elvis but made sense for me with the length of the songs then. Certainly up their with some of their number 1s.

I, Andy N (standing in for John Keane who was at the theatre) followed Nigel’s lead with another mystery poem on another icon from the 1960’s ‘Neil Armstrong’ the astronaught, of which I wanted to be when I was a child in the 1970’s and 1980’s myself, leaving subtle clues throughout so the poem sounded almost like a waltz.

Dave Keyworth caught me out next as he is very good at doing (going back to our old days at Poetica) with a found poem (a type of poem which is well worth remembering) rebuilding a unperformed Richard Nixon speech, wrote by William Stafford designed to be read out if Neil Armstrong and crew didn’t make it back into a very haunting poem indeed. Excellent.

Maggie was next with a poem which kinda reminded me of both Dorinda’s and Chris earlier efforts called ‘In the 1960’s’ touching on topics on Tony Sheridan, mini skirts and mods and rockers fighting, some of which seems like a alien word to me, but the end of this beautiful poem said ‘these days if you remember the 60’s, you couldn’t have been there’ which made a lot of sense to me.

Getting close to the end of the 1st round, Linda read out next a free love haiku, a major point of the 1960’s which had me thinking for a good few minutes afterwards had me thinking had her and Nigel swapped bodies for a few seconds. Very funny still.

Dave C concluded the first part with a half fragmented, half wrote himself, mixed with a folk singer Ian Campbell which talked about the struggles Harold Wilson had getting re-elected, something that may well mirror the next election in a few years.

2nd Round

The 2nd half by Nigel stepped away from the 1960’s for the first time tonight with a very deep piece called ‘Block of disbelief’ which talked about a deep condition where people can need really convincing to over-come difficulties, something if I am honest a friend of mine could do with reading. Very thoughtful.

Martin then followed up with a poem ‘these hands’ which was one of my favourite poems of a truly excellent night, exploring the conflicting feelings in your hands, anger and emotion, loud and soft, in short sharp bursts which almost reduced me to tears.

Chris admitted as it turned out when it got to her turn next, she had forgot her treasured book of poetry, so read out a poem from memory ‘Your smile’ which is a old favourite of most of ours about her old son, read in a very different way indeed from the way she reads out of her book sometimes. Lovely.

Dorinda followed on with another very reflective poem set in the 1960’s ‘Along Cheetham Hill Road’, an area I used to know really well in the 1980’s and 1990’s, in a letter style speaking to her eldest daughter when she was a child, which was really really skilfully wrote and should be published in a book.

The returning Sheridan Kyte, who hadn’t been at Stockport since 2011 I think was next who I had been speaking to facebook on about the group a few weeks before was next, with a startling poem ‘Can’t I be your drug?’ a free flowing poem – personal and strong with lots of great lines ‘twinkle away from the knowing’ been just one line. It was to hard to believe Sheridan hadn’t wrote anything for years, and had everybody saying it won’t be 5 years again before she visits again.

I then carried on with another poem on another hero of mine from the 1960’s, Scott Walker (whose career is worth reading about in great detail on wikipedia - called ‘Make it easy on yourself (Scott in the 1960’s) of which I am tempted to write a poem once I get other commitments out of the way writing wise will become a 6 or 7 poem sequence for myself. For this one, I talked about this poem using titles of many of his hits from the 1960’s to circle a warning before things would change in both the world and his own career.

Dave K then delivered our third poem of the night on space missions, which alas I can’t remember what the title of from my notes (sorry Dave) talking about I think in some depth about the landing, my favourite part talking about sand land absorbing their land. Very emotive indeed.

Maggie changed the mood of the night again, talking it back to Dorinda’s previous poem in a way talking about a trip to what I think was Ireland in the 1950’s to her Aunt Dolly’s which was that well detailed, it really mad me feel like I was there.

The Collage Poem was next, read by myself which was great fun to read with a very bit in the middle, of which both me and Sheridan are convinced Mr Nigel wrote, but of cause we can’t prove it (:

Linda read out a very clever technical poem called ‘Boot Camp’ which was about lent from her upcoming Holy Man collection, telling the poem from selected days, like Day 1, Day 4, Day 7 etc in a very diary style which had me recommending to her straight to put that in the book.

End of round 2 was dear Dave C who read out what he said was a made up rhyme of TV programmes from the 1960’s which were all Westerns (kudos to Nigel and Linda for spotting this).

3rd Round

Nigel dealt out his second mystery poem of the night ‘Assassination guaranteed’ which covered the killing of JFK, which I think made the companion piece to his previous piece about Marilyn, which considering the links that existed between them both and told in only a skilful way that only Nigel could display. Top stuff.

Martin read out a poem next which I think was called Penguins, which he described as a personal history but am prepared to be corrected on that which drew comparisons from at least one person about Mike Harding – Nuns at School, but I personally found particularly interesting with the comparison to Angelic accountants and the Holier than thou. Very very interesting.

Chris read out her second poem from memory again ‘when I feel bad’ which again left me sat thinking wow, even though it was a old poem which most of us would have heard before seeing her do the poems from memory was brilliant. Really enjoyed it, Chris.

Dorinda read out another poem from just up the road, a sequel almost to Cheetham Hill Road, with the setting talking about Moxley Road, Crumpsell (which I seem to recall was also the title) and was also her first family home, bringing back memories of my favourite family home back in the early 1970’s with memories of cold fires etc. Very moving.

My third and final poem of the night was an extract from my napwrimo (National Poetry Writing Month) sequence for April, Ghost Story III, which covers in part the legendary Manchester Rat People, and the hint of a forthcoming war. (More details –

Dave K lightened things with a lovely, beautiful spring poem after that called ‘I miss daffodils’ which was designed to subvert the idea of Spring, which worked wonderfully. Very skilful writing indeed.

Maggie for her last poem of the night talked about a ‘Hot Summer’ (1960s) set in St Anne’s and a secret collaboration in the 1960’s before wistfully honestly with an ending ‘Time moves on’ which brought a lump to my throat again. What an emotional evening indeed.

Linda took us on another trip to the seaside with a very lyrical trip indeed, starting a revolution on the sea with a new way of loving and living before proclaiming she was the only Christian in the world. Stirring again.

Dave C had nothing to share but told us a little bit about football banter back in the 1960’s to conclude a really enjoyable evening.

The theme for next month, April is a quiz poem perhaps on a famous person following from what Andy and Nigel did this month.

P.R. is now underway for the event ‘It Was 50 Years Ago Today’ for Saturday 26 March 2016 and 09 April 2016 at Stockport Art Gallery between 3.30pm and 4.30pm with a additional workshop ran between 10.30 to 12.30 also on 09 April 2016.

More details can be read here:


Collage Poem

These words capture our emotions
Bruising the pain into happiness
Stepping into shadows of unsolved mysteries
Shine our milky moonlight up
All you need are hands
And all mankind is displayed within them
Great memories of yesterday
Terrible things happening today
Causal sex and skinny-dipping
Is worth a trip
Little one small step for you
A big one for mankind
Black and white tellies
Forty fives and seventy eights
Pages fluttering into a hurricane
One great leap by mankind.