Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Wonderful Day in Nuneaton

This weekend saw the start of a very busy period and it couldn't got off to a better start than the Nuneation Summer Poetry Day. This was the first such event and it was the culmination of weeks of planning involving Mal Dewhirst as Festival poet building a blog and online presence. Mal wrote and tweeted poems during the day and commentented on the various "Poetry Stops" in the Market, shops, churches etc. Nuneaton is the home town of Gerge Eliot and it was great to see traditional poetry read and celebrated alongside modern original verse. There were also art projects that encouraged participation and engagement with poetry. In short, a tremendous collaborative effort delivered a huge amount in a mere few weeks lead up and the Warwickshire Arts Team deserve a lot of credit.

My role as as "Minstral Poet" was to man one of the Poetry Stops and to run (what we believe is) the World's first open air live sixty second slam competition. Five plucky poets wrote one minute poems and in a blitz of poetry Gary Longdon emerged as the worthy winner.

On top of all the daytime activities, I MC'ed an evening open mic session in a pub and it was a great way to cap off a busy, thrilling and satisfying day.

A special mention to the poets at the George Eliot statue who had to compete with a butcher who used a pa to shout out his offers. This led to some interesting soundscapes as poetry and special offers merged!

Here is my poem about it.

Have a great week. Keep writin' and recitin'


Have a Butcher’s

At the George Eliot statue
Our poets bravely compete
With a mic’ed up butcher
Declaring the virtues of meat

It’s hard to be a poet
While someone shouts about chops
People want to rush on by
And make their way to the shops

But our plucky little poets
Battled for all their worth;
Made the most of them opportunity
Despite their offal berth