Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Green Man Poetry, 14.10.14

Occasionally you come across a poetry event that's a bit out of the ordinary. Last night, I'm proud to say, I was part of one.

Green Man Poetry, at Kendalls of Earlsdon, Coventry, was the perfect venue for an evening of poetry, song and performance, with the Green Man himself, Barry Patterson, leading the way. He bookended the evening with impassioned performances of songs, drumming, flute and bagpipe music, and a mixture of his own poetry and William Blake's. What's invigorating and inspiring about his performance is that his vision of what could be - man learning to live in greater harmony with the natural world - comes through at least as strongly as his indictment of what's wrong. If you get a chance to see Barry perform as the Green Man, don't miss it.

Antony R Owen (above) was the first of the guest readers. Another writer whose work is deeply rooted in his immediate environment, he manages to be both understated and powerful - no mean feat - and he has the knack, like most of the best readers, of creating a crackle of tension in the room (packed out, by the way, and a very fine venue it was too).

Tom Wyre's poem on the horrors of the fur trade was a highlight of his excellent set - poetry that made you uncomfortable, and asked questions without posing easy answers or reaching for consolation.

Leanne Bridgewater isn't a poet I'd heard before, but I hope I'll hear and see her again. Her performance (and it was a performance, complete with items of fruit handed out to audience members), was never less than intriguing, and hugely entertaining.

I read five poems, from The Elephant Tests and hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica, and felt privileged to have been part of such an inspiring evening. The icing on the cake was that Barry donated £50 of the takings to Ovarian Cancer Research, for which I'm doing a 21-mile walk on Sunday. I'm very grateful for his support, and if you want to add your own donation, you can do so here.

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