Tag Archives: Spoken Word

I was Jazzman John Clarke’s Batman!

Wash House PoetsJohn Hegley in flying form, Jazzman John Clarke and Claire Booker bringing up the rear – what a bill for the inaugural Wash House Poets’ spoken word gig last Monday. 

Launched deep in the bowels of the  St Bride Foundation off Fleet Street, the Wash House Poets monthly spoken word event is the brain child of Isabel White – no mean purveyor of verbal fireworks herself.

The poets were welcomed with open arms, including a 45 minute tour of what is one of London’s hidden gems.

Kelmscott Chaucer at St Bride Foundation

Kelmscott Chaucer at St Bride Foundation

Everything you could possibly want to know about the history of printing is here, from a working Gutenburg printing press, to exquisitely designed, modern leather-bound books and such heady items as an original edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary. There are more than 20,000 books tucked inside a building with more rooms and staircases than sense. Bibliophiles – this is paradise!

If you’d like to know more about the St Bride’s Foundation, join one of their craft workshops, take in a play at the Bridewell Theatre or simply relax and enjoy a drink in what used to be the old wash house, then click on: www.sbf.org.uk

John Clarke

John Clarke

You can also check out interviews made on the day with Jazzman John Clarke, John Hegley and Claire Booker at www.stbridefoundation.wordpress.com

The Wash House Poets’ lunchtime event is on the first Monday of each month, from 12.30 to 2.00pm. Next up  – Mon 1st Dec at The Bridewell Bar, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, EC4Y 8EQ. Free entry, with a well-stocked bar to quench your thirst.

A Thousand Monkeys go Ape-shit in Guildford!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPop Up Poetry pulled a thousand monkeys out of a hat last night, with the launch of its spanking new anthology for 2014.

Congratulations to editor Janice Windle and host Donall Dempsey for a spectactular event at The Bar Des Arts in Guildford, Surrey, where poets and audience gathered for an evening of word, song and antics to celebrate the event’s re-branding from PUP to The Thousand Monkeys.

Performers included  Cat Randle, Elaine Stabler, Grim Chip, Kathy Tyler, the Stokey Bard, Amy McAllister, Tom Vliestra and me. There was music too from the Dirty Carols (don’t ask!)

At  183 pages, the Pop Up Anthology 2014 is among the most generous and intelligently put together I’ve seen in a good while. Open mic-ers were all offered at least one page in the book, and what you get is the best poetry from 70 poets who have read at some point during the year, including:


Wendy Klein, Steve Pottinger, Sally Blackmore, David Cooke, Donall Dempsey, Louise Etheridge, A F Harrold, Mark Gilfillan, Claire Booker, Holly Luhning, Patrick Osada, Bethany Pope, Chrys Salt, Pauline Sewards, Isabel White and Janice Windle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo buy a copy of Pop Up Anthology 2014, or to find out more about the free monthly event in Guildford on the third Tuesday of each month, visit: Pop Up Anthology 2014_0001