Saturday, September 16, 2006

Event at The Bridge Hotel

Zebra Publishing Presents
Ten by Ten
Bridge Hotel Nr High Level Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne Thursday 12th October 8.00pm onwards Admission Free For more info contact
Come along to the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle to see ten top performers with spoken words, words set to music, words shared between people, words on walls, words in songs, words in poetry, words in stories… each of the ten performers has ten minutes to engage you, thrill you, entrance you and hopefully inspire you. The first Ten By Ten night kicks off at the Bridge Hotel and will be hosted by Stand Up comedian and poetry diva Kate Fox. We have a fantastic line up for the first Ten by Ten; we have top poets, new poets, singer songwriters, poets putting words to music, published poets, unsigned poets. It's going to be FABULOUS. The performers will be David Franks, Ian Watson, Kyla Clay Fox, John Cartmel-Crossley, John Quinn, The Plexus (featuring Karl Thompson and Ralph Stokes), Scott Tyrrell, Sheree Mack, Simma and Valerie Apted.
Ian Watson Have failed to set the world alight in 57 years but as my mother says, 'Who would want an arsonist in their family?' Originally from Isle of Lewis now living in Darlington where gannets aren't part of the staple diet. Gemini on a lot of medication. Pleased to meet you...
John Quinn John Quinn began as a spoken word performer back in the 80's at the height of the ranting poet era. His humorous and quirky style is both familiar and strange, blending poetry and prose with image and text.John Cartmel-Crossley John has been a cultural layabout for many years. He has contributed to over thirty small press Poetry magazines. In 2004 he gained an M.A. in creative writing (poetry) at the University of Northumbria, and is a winner of the Biscuit International Poetry Prize. He is the editor of OPENDOOR creative arts magazine.The Plexus: Karl Thompson - Words and gibberish Karl is one sixth of Newcastle's infamous Poetry Vandals, co-director of New Word Order and award winning performance poet. He's twice taken the team prize at The City of Culture 2008 poetry slam. He's performed extensively through out the UK and in Europe 'The Plexus' is his newest venture with Ralph Stokes - Music, guitars/effects and noise Ralph is an up and coming music producer, musician and party head. His musical styles range from ambient dub through to psytrance, waving hello at rock on the way. Ralph has appeared at Newcastle Green festival and other local events and gigs.Valerie Apted Valerie is Secretary of the Northumberland Writers and is currently studying for her MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle. She enjoys performing her poems, has had poems published in several magazines and on TV. Sheree Mack Sheree was born in Bradford, to a Trinidadian father and mother of Ghanaian descent. She is the creator and coordinator of Identity on Tyne, the only group in the North East providing a space exclusively for writers of colour. She is currently completing her PhD at University of Newcastle upon-Tyne, focusing on black British women poets and her own collection, 'Family Album'. Kyla Clay-Fox Kyla is the larger half of a set of twins. She has been writing poetry since she was published, aged eight, in a church magazine, despite being an atheist since conception. (Well, you try and have faith when you're in the womb for 9 months with your brother standing on your head!) Simma A songwriter/singer from Newcastle. He started gigging 12 years ago and is founder of Newcastle's Acoustic Circus. He has performed countless times in and around The North of England and Scotland. He is currently writing, gigging, selling Album Trouble Sleeping, and being funny on BBC Radio Newcastle on Saturday mornings. David Franks David will read and sing unaccompanied a selection of poems from his collection "Walkabouts: travels and conclusions in verse", which is in some libraries (along with a related C.D. "Chants from Walkabouts") and is free on the web at - Scott Tyrrell Scott is a member of the Poetry Vandals and a multiple national award-winning poet and comedian. His targets range from popular culture, useless technology, political and personal absurdity to the residues of childhood insecurity. All delivered with a healthy irreverence and world-weary exasperation of someone who's spent way too much time in queues.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ten by Ten

Zebra Publishing presents
Ten by Ten
We are looking for ten people to perform in ten, ten minutes slots at
the Bridge Hotel in
Newcastle on the nights of Thursday 12th October, Thursday 9th November
and Thursday
14th December.
We want new material, new ideas, you can be a poet, rapper, writer,
singer/songwriter. All we
ask is that the material you perform is your own and your performance
is a maximum of ten
minutes long.
On the night there will be no door charge, no fee and no expenses, it's
just for the hell of it.
We held a trial night at the Cumberland earlier in the year and we were
amazed but not
surprised at the talent that came along and disappointed that we
couldn't give everyone who
applied a spot. You have three dates to choose from, so let us know
which dates you are
interested in and we will try and give everyone their ten minutes of
fame (If you can call
performing at the Bridge Hotel fame).
Email us now…
Jeff & Annie Zebra Publishing

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What I am Reading (as if you care!)

George Bernard Shaw
Oscar and Bosie (right)

(my daughter Shani at Oscar's Grave in Pere Lachaise, Paris) (S.J.Litherland right)

Currently engrossed in Lord Alfred Douglas' correspondence with George Bernard Shaw. Fascinating stuff, Ego meets Tantrum, the Childe Alfred and St. Christopher. Snapshot of Victorian manners and literary dogfighting. Oscar must be spinning under all those lipstick kisses and concrete.
Draft of 'Mugs' by Paul Bodie. Haven't read it all but will comment further at a later date. Enjoying it so far!
The Silver Crown by Robert O' Brien, classic children's book he also wrote Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of Nimh I think. Enjoyable adventure romp.
Lord Cucumber by Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, Wodehouse style mucky farce.
Work of the Wind by S.J.Litherland (reading Mac Sweeney's Book of Demons too) A matched pair. Fabulous tour de force from Jackie, Review to follow for BEE.
Lots of books on Diabetes as I have just been diagnosed as having it. That should put paid to my drinking! Ah well it says nothing here about the sugar content of cocaine.
More later.

Two Poems for Mr.Bodie

Both poems from up and coming collection,
'The Lost Art of Catching Trains'


We have already bought the t shirts
they say
‘God Wears burberry’
They will appeal to all demographics,
youth culture , womens institutes,
they will sell like hot cakes.
we will sell hot cakes too,
(they will sell like t-shirts.)

On the allotment someone
has pulled the head off a pigeon
it blinks once as its body attempts flight.
I don’t like this world much.
I throw up on Gary’s new combats,
he scrapes it off with a Bowie knife.
Named after the famous Byker Wall
frontiersman Bob Knife.

I once pissed on a homeless gadgey
when I was an anarchist whispers Kieron
But I was younger then and full of principles
Time is elastic and stretches to fit me in
like a cervix states Gregg
who says he is a film maker,
although he has never actually made a film
although he has now made a poem
(although this is open to dispute)
although is an overused word and works badly under repetition
Billy is an Ulsterman
his accent does not give him away
who wants to know why we would assume he was a protestant.

What part of Ireland do you come from?

The North!

Yes, but which part of the North?

Erm ....Limerick

Limerick’s in the South....I think

Yes well, it’s a long way from Tipperary

Actually, it’s just not!

we reckon he’s half Irish.
Half Irish and half wank.

Michael comes in and reminds me of a joke poem
that hardly anybody ever depends on a knowledge
of T.S.Eliot, Adam Faith and Inspector Jack Regan;
We call it Sweeney among the Budgerigars
‘Get your strides on Budgie, you’re nicked!
we laugh like pretentious drains.
I am explaining the joke to
a seventeen year old Darlington supporter
He looks at me with a blank expression
I look at him with an empty glass
neither of us takes the hint.

Amelia is a woman of many faces
I don’t like any of them.
She looks like a young Glenda Jackson
Her mother looks like an old Glenda Jackson..
Amelia you are the ghost of alienation,
false as alarms you wear
the hexagram of the 7/11
plucking dayglo strings and feathers,
and I, am Icarus with Daedalus envy.

The morning cracks under interrogation
the loaf I bought this morning smells of vinegar,
angels shoplift featherlite condoms from superdrug
wings hidden under coats borrowed from the
cursed and charmed and others of us who are truly alarmed

Captain Black is leaving for the last metro
I drink up and follow.
A drunk teenager mistakes me for Troy Tempest
as I make for the exit.
I didn’t think her generation would remember.

These are the days of indolence and expedience.

Daedalus Envy

We fall from grace so easily
Cut Price Angels
with our little fuck off wings
We count the cost too readily
of stuff that doesn't mean a thing.

We burn with anger too soon
Criticising others under a red nose Moon
We beg for forgiveness
When the drink is in full flow
We wait to go anywhere but here
when there is nowhere else or left to go

Love and all its ridiculous rules
we settle for the commonplace
When Ignorance is blistering the
smiles from off our faces.

Let's settle for anything and call it a dream
and keep our mouths wide shut
for our silent soulless screams.

I know what you are saying is the truth
because you wouldn't lie, would you?
I know how I feel don't I? and you
would never intrude , would you?

We push our bodies together
we pull our hearts apart
we end as we began, clueless in our art
and so wrapped up in ourselves
that we cannot see how clear
the answer is, somewhere not
too far away from here.

We fall from grace so easily
Wingless unhappy fucks
under the heel of the god that made us
or under the wheelbase of a truck.

I know what you are saying is the truth
because you wouldn't lie, would you?
I know how I feel don't I? and you
would never intrude , would you?

I know what you say is the truth
you wouldn't lie would you?
I know what I said was true
and you would never lie, did you?