Absolutely packed house for Pighog’s Poetry event at The Redroaster cafe on Thursday night, it seemed like a film premiere with the great and the good, in the Brighton poetry world, turning out to celebrate Bernadette Cremin launching her new Pighog Sussex Series pamphlet Loose Ends and Seni Seneviratne and Antony Owen also reading from their most recent collections.
The well loved Seni Seneviratne kicked off with poems from her published work, some of which tackled extremely sad subjects, e.g a soldier going off to fight, interesting insights and a new outlook. A series of poems about love and loss all read the passion also expressed in her writing.
Antony Owen shared some of his war poems from one of Pighog’s tiny passports collection pamphlets….one almost unbearable to listen to, an account of the rituals given the bodies returning from conflict.
Antony is intent on documenting the violence and loss inflicted by modern warfare. His pamphlet was partly inspired by a Remembrance event which Owen organised in November 2009 for a small charity. Pighog Press is donating £1 from every copy of The Dreaded Boy sold to The Karen Woo Foundation.
Bernadette then performed her poetry and despite looking beautiful, confessed that she had not been well and would not be speaking her poems from memory, but reading them. Despite any personal difficulties she launched into a fine array of poems from her new collection.
Two years in the writing and editing and now out there in print she has every reason to celebrate amidst keen friends and supporters. Poems included two about fellow poets at workshops, poems about Brighton and her life and pre-occupations. The cover of the collection is a joy and tempts one to engage in the contents.
The open mic section is always popular, but the event was running over time so two who missed the opportunity are promised first place at the next event.
The open mic has now changed from 3 minutes to two and to just one poem each, it means more poets get a chance to speak their/our truths to a larger audience than perhaps a local poetry group or just to one’s partner.
Compered by Michaela Ridgway, who also organises the event for Pighog, with musical interludes from ‘Flap ed’ (just hope I got that name right) who surprised us all by stepping up as a competent poet for an open mic slot.
With one more event to go before the Christmas break please note the audience needs to get there early because by 8.10 people had to be turned away.
Well done ‘Mr Piggy’ (his real name is John Davies) the mastermind behind the Pighog Press.