29th June 2017, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
There were some bold, witty, and life-enhancing poetry moments at Words & Ears at the Swan last week - warm thanks to guest poets Beatrice Garland, Lisa Brockwell and Kate Noakes, and to everyone who joined the open mic - Liz Watts (with a poem about her direct experience at Borough Market on June 3rd), Ruth Sharman, Stephen Payne, Kate Escher (writing powerfully about bureaucracy), Mark Sayers, Andy Fawthrop, Ray Fussell, Rose Flint (with a haunting poem about 7/7), Peter O'Grady, and John. The strong current of determination, love and tenacity in the face of adversity that ran through the evening was held for us by Beatrice's poem about the aftermath of 9/11, in its gentle sense of hope and its plea for diversity - the diggers 'touching their knuckles gently to the rubble', and the seeds from many different species of grass taking root in bared earth. Kate Noakes' poems from her collection Tattoo on Crow Street, in which she interviewed people about their body art, were especially memorable, and also those about her time spent living in Paris ('every day I walk within two inches of a gun'). And Lisa's performance from memory of her three-part poem Uluru, a profound cry in the desert about loss, was particularly moving.