28 April 2011

Mind your Language

Right then, let's get back to more literary pursuits. Last night saw another splendid spoken word event hosted by the Bad Language writing collective at The Castle. Once again, I was scarily scheduled in the first open mic slot, after BL's very own Nici West did the intros and a couple of poems. I read, not The Luck Department, as previously threatened, but my new, slightly saucy, story about electromagnetics (such a geek!), I See Electric. I like this story and it seemed to attract some admiring comments, so let's hope someone somewhere picks it up and publishes it. Ever the optimist, I won't be holding my breath.

After me was my Ask Ben & Clare and Flash Mob colleague Benjamin Judge, himself with a sexy story plus a poem, about Bradford. Not sexy. Ben was followed by Calum Kerr, plugging his new book 31, which contains 31 stories, one written per day in January, and Word Gumbo, the new e-zine from Gumbo Press, which aims "to promote the very best in stories, poetry, flash fiction, scripts and non-fiction" and of which Jo Bell (who cameoed alongside Calum) is poetry editor. Submissions for the first issue close on Saturday; they should be on the theme, aptly, of "beginnings".

Next up was Fat Roland, who read a very serious story in five parts, employing his usual performing flair - this time screwing up each of the five pieces of paper to "represent" each of the five sections. This guy kills me. He also reminded everyone that tomorrow (Friday 29 April) is the closing date for the Flash Mob Writing Competition and introduced everyone to the Literary Salon we'll be running on Thursday 26 May as part of Chorlton Arts Festival.

Nija Dalal was next, with a very personal story about 24-hour diners and Walmarts and her mom back in the States. She has a nice delivery; it's like listening to someone chatting when she reads. And she was there with Stuart Maconie: him off the radio. Stuart Maconie heard us read! Yowzers. The first section was then rounded off with Bad Language's Dan Carpenter, reading some of the poetry he's been writing for NaPoWriMo, which has been running throughout April.

The middle third saw poet Rod Tame take up the mic with a proper rehearsed set of jokes and poems about being gay, coming out, being gay, and not being gay enough. After another break, there was more poetry. Obviously by this point, a certain amount of the Grolsch had been quaffed, so my notes are somewhat limited and I didn't catch some people's surnames and, even when I did, can't find some of them in the interwebs. Third Bad Language host Joe Daly introduced the final round, and was followed by Steve, Dominic Berry (with some material from his upcoming Wizard show, starring the aforementioned Rod, at the Contact Theatre on Wednesday 25 May; which, incidentally, is when the next Bad Language night is - fight!), Kieran King (whose Whatever Happened To The Heroes I quite enjoyed), Jane Birch (who was persuaded by a certain Jo Bell to read some rude words, to much acclaim!), then a short story interlude with Flash Mobber Dave Hartley and Garment Feud from Roy Keane's Lucky Scarf, then finally another poet, called Ben.

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