Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a Shindig!

I was honoured to be invited to read as a guest poet at Shindig!, a Leicester poetry event organised by Crystal Clear Creators and Nine Arches Press. Like Buzzwords in Cheltenham, the format includes invited readers and open mic sessions. Matt Merritt has already blogged about the evening very well, but on the drive home I couldn't help remembering an earlier post of mine defending open mics and other features of the contemporary poetry scene.
Jonathan Taylor of Crystal Clear Creators comperes the open mic at Leicester Shindig! 

Poetry, it is often observed, is a highly competitive field, with a lot of people struggling for a little attention. But nights like Shindig! remind me that the poetry 'scene' can also be highly supportive environment, with established poets happily getting up to share new work alongside those new to writing or performing. Readers share recent successes and the audience take genuine pleasure in them. Everybody's work is given the space to be heard by the open-minded. I'm a little ashamed not to have made a note of the name of the open mic poet in question, but I particularly enjoyed a poem about cats and mortality by one of the readers in Leicester.
I know that probably sounds a little gushy, and maybe I idealise. There may well be plenty of unfriendly open mics, but it was great to be reminded that poetry sometimes really can feel like a 'community', however over-used that word may have become.


  1. Yes, I enjoyed that poem about cats too and also, to my shame, did not catch the name of the poet, other that his name was the same as yours – David. I sat opposite him and talked to him to which makes it even worse. I remembered being surprised (pleasantly) by it, and also the delivery. I too reviewed the evening and said nice things about you, (if you care to look.) Enjoying your pamphlet btw :)

    1. Thanks for the lovely review, Lindsay! (

      Maybe the mysterious cat-loving poet David will make himself known for a full credit.