26th January 2017, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
"I always feel certain dynamics make us better performing poets" said Alan Summers after our January 26th Words & Ears, and how spot on that was for the evening. Our guest poets, Ruth Sharman and Ira Lightman, couldn't have been more different in style and approach, but the gentle, calm and heartfelt emotion of the one, and the playful, innovative theatricality of the other, set up a brilliant conversation of poetic energies - energies which were reflected back and back from the floor, with superb open mic contributions from Stephens Daniels, Boyce and Payne, Jinny Fisher, Rachael Clyne, Ray Fussell, Dru Marland, Pey Oh Colborne, John Powell, Linda Saunders, Brian Reid, Alan Summers, Morag Kiziewicz, Francis Deas, Paul Brokensha and Gary Marsland. Ira handled what Alan (again - thanks, mate) referred to as 'some funky Shakespearean entrances and exits' with consummate professionalism and humour, adding much to his sharply-observed and funny modern-day take on the Lancelot-Guinevere, would-be-lovers tale. Ruth, meanwhile, brindled her moving readings from Scarlet Tiger with poems of a different mood from her previous collection - on the fancied ways to dispense with a husband, and a coat worn with nothing but skin beneath. Delicious, all of it.