Stepping up to the mic at the Redroaster

The one and only ‘Pighog poetry night’,

1-DSC09503-001 1-DSC09506 1-DSC09504  with Michaela Ridgeway introducing the poets, Slaphead providing the musical interludes and a full to capacity audience. This was partly due to the announcement of the runners -up and winners of the Pighog Poetry Pamphlet prize run in conjunction with the Poetry School but also for those keen to see tonight’s featured poets.

Plenty of poetry celebs in the audience too, John McCullough, Brenden Cleary, Philip Pollecof  amongst others.

After a brief introduction by Julia Bird from the Poetry School, acknowledgments to John Davies who runs The Pighog Press, Ciaran O’Driscoll who judged the competition etc. Julia  got the ball rolling by reading one of her own poems ‘Kingfisher’.

Later Ciaran read  his poem ‘Tesco’s organic eggs.’   Ollie Dawson, director of the school, gave us some of the background to the amazing feat of actually administering such a competition with over 400 entries!

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The short listed poets read one poem each from their collections –  poignant, intriguing and some very funny. Neil Alexander spoke of his first crush at 7 with the incredible Hulk, Alex McDonald  gave us ‘All I ever wanted’ set in cafe’ and Vickie Husband ‘Not here’ on being observed, full of wit.   Martin Malone’s poem was about shaving his mother’s head which he admitted could have been very sad but turned out to be one of the funniest evenings they had spent together.

The shortlisted pamplets were as follows:

The Magpie in Your Ribcage by Janet Lees

Laundry by Jocelyn Page

Cur by Martin Malone

The Emperor’s Egg by Sue Wood

The Man on the Corner of Sproul Plaza Sold Black Holes by Vicki Husband

The Night Café by Rodney Wood

Breathing Underwater by Katherine Crocker

Ex by Matthew Paul

9 Blows to the Head  by Neil Alexander

Everything is Fine, Nothing is Ruined by Alex Macdonald

In Spite of Asteroids by Philip Cowell

The Old Madness by Kate White

Each poet had something so fresh and original to say so it was not hard to see why they were on the short list.  But the overall winner was the talented Kate White who was invited to read four poems, two were parent poems, one about her birth mother. Her pamphlet promised to be a sell out judging by what we heard tonight.


Not only was there all the competition excitement but two leading poets from other presses each did a 20 minute set.

Helen Ivory launched her new collection from Bloodaxe and Tony Flynn (Bloodaxe, Dream Catcher Books).    It is not often I actually buy poetry books these days (there is a recession on) but tonight both poets work read so eloquently and on such range of subjects I just had to have one! Won’t say which, but do check them out.

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Piggy picture gallery with those I managed to catch on camera!

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1-DSC09509-001Last but not least four brave open micers finished the evenings entertainment, Alice being one of them. 1-DSC09552 Last Pighog event for the summer third Thursday in July.

Usually post the event so you can check it out at the time.

Oh and I did enter this comp. myself, but got nowhere, not surprised really when I heard those short listed. Brilliant. But it won’t stop me endlessly writing poems and trying my luck elsewhere! Keep going that’s the trick!

This entry was posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up, Nothing waits a category long, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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