Two visits to Guildford in one week and I’ve begun to feel like a poetry commuter! First up I was there for the launch of The Keystone Anthology, which is a roller-coaster of a read. Concrete poetry, free-verse, traditional form, politics, love, humour, anatomical conundrums and amorous fridges all jostle for the reader’s attention.
There’s a generous 164 pages of poetry by 56 poets including Chrys Salt MBE, Bernard Kops, David Cooke, Ghareeb Iskander, Wendy Klein, Amy Neilson Smith, Bethany W Pope, Claire Booker, Nancy Charley and Steve Pottinger.
The first edition sold out, but more copies will shortly be available at Dempsey&Windle – books, pamphlets and poems
Surrey’s capital city beckoned again only days later, as I’d been invited by the 1,000 Monkeys to perform a set at the monthly Bar des Arts poetry shindig alongside Elaine Stabler and Hugh Greasley. So it was Clapham Junction (platform 11, swarming with cut-throat commuters returning to roost) and due south to this lovely venue, nestling by Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud theatre. The turn-out was lively and perfectly formed, including some wonderful open mic madness by Alex Twyman, Donall Dempsey and a top-hatted gothic bard. The 1,000 Monkeys meet at 7.30pm every third Tuesday of the month at The Bar des Arts, Weymead House, Milbrook, Guildford GU1 3YA. It’s a FREE event and all are welcome.