14 Hour @ The Poetry Cafe

I recently wrote about my first experience at The Poetry Cafe, where I read and networked with some nice writerly-minded chaps, including Jody, who runs an event called 14 Hour. It’s a freestyle arty event, mostly ‘performance poetry’ with some music mixed in…from the looks of it, 14 Hour gets together various artists at various venues and just kind of lets it happen- like a chemistry experiment.

I’ve been invited to read at the next 14 Hour- at The Poetry Cafe. The Poetry Cafe is at 22 Betterton St, Covent Garden. The event will be at 7pm on the 27th Aug, and it’s free to get in. You can get food and/or drink at the Cafe upstairs and then come down for some poetry, music, etc!

I think it’s going to be really fun & interesting; I’m really pleased to be part of this. I’m going to poach Jody’s description from the Facebook link in case you can’t get to it (only people who are on Facebook can get to it…)

14 Hour @ The Poetry Cafe:

Featuring: Inua Ellams + Anne Brechin + Kelley Swain + Nick Potamitis + Claudia Grant + Vintage Poison

Guest host for the evening, Inua Ellams recently took his one-person production The 14th Tale to Battersea Arts Centre: “a scratch performance of a long narrative. In his typical, free flowing, beautiful, lyrical style, it tells the hilarious exploits of a natural born mischief-maker, growing from the clay streets of Nigeria to rooftops in Dublin, finally to London.”

Described by one admirer as “the fizzing starlet” of the poetry scene, Anne Brechin returns to the 14 Hour fold with her expertly delivered poems on love and city alienation.

In her many-splendored career, Claudia Grant has worked in theatre, film and TV. Teacher by day, actress by night, she is now trying her hand at showcasing new writers’ work encompassing poetry, drama and prose.

the vibe


Nick Potamitis has taught Film Studies at various institutions and writes on the history of Greek cinema. He is a printmaker and one of the co-editors of Perdika Press. His work was recently included in the Openned Anthology.

New to London readings, Kelley Swain recently moved to London from the States. Her book, Darwin’s Microscope, will come out in 2009 with Flambard Press. Her young adult fiction novel, Martin Baudelaire and the Great Spoon Adventure, requires a publisher still.

Representing cult underground publishers Vintage Poison, Kevin Reindhardt, Ray Diamond and Toby Davies will be causing general unrest.

I have to admit I’m quite curious about this “Vintage Poison” character and the “general unrest” he (she?) will be causing.

I have to take a moment to say I’m not a performance poet, at least according to a loose definition claiming that performance poetry is somehow different from your “average(?)” or “classical(?)” poetry reading. There’s no good way to distinguish because it seems that it will just wind people up…I think of performance poetry as people who are doing more acting/singing/rapping sort of stuff than reading words from a page.

It is definitely a situation of ‘one is not better than the other, they are just different.’ You can have good and bad performance poetry just as you can have good and bad “regular” poetry.

I think there’s a very good opportunity here to learn some tricks of the trade in terms of delivering words to an audience. I was initially a bit anxious about not being a performance poet in this crowd, however, Jody did invite me after hearing me read at Open Mic Night, so I’ll do my thing, and I think all of us together will be quite a mix- and I think that’s the point of 14 Hour!

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