In Lichfield, the place was lit up by spoken word on Tuesday as I managed to get along to do a bit and listen to the Nine Arches Press Editor and poet, Jane Commane and Roy Marshall at Poetry Alight…
Poetry Alight is hosted by Gary Longden and brings together two headliners and a space for open mics to thrive in the limelight. There is also a raffle, with some great literary prizes, so it’s a real mix of page poetry, performance poets and good old fashioned fun.
It was Jane Commane’s debut appearance at Poetry Alight. We are more used to seeing her introducing poets and running Q&A sessions as their publisher, but this time she was up front and centre to read her own poetry. Touching on her memories of growing up in Coventry and being inspired by her family, work and trade, Jane’s poems drew evocative images to the fore. Lyrical poems with a real narrative thread woven throughout, Jane’s reading was a delight to listen to and get lost in as well. I hope this is not the last time she ventures out on to the stage in her own right.
Roy Marshall was making a welcome and much anticipated return to promote his book, The Great Animator, which is published this February. Roy’s poems explore a plethora of topics and two sets book-ending the open mics gave us plenty of opportunity to get to know Roy’s work more deeply. Reading from The Great Animator and also other published work, Roy was able to perfectly translate the complex world around us by taking the minute detail and distilling it into descriptive verse, which was both beautiful and wholly accessible. His observation of nature was particularly well captured and Roy very cleverly adapted his set on the fly in reaction to other work being read out, which was great to see.
I would recommend both headliners if you get a chance and judging by the schedule below, there are some more treats in store from Poetry Alight over the course of the year:-
All Tuesdays at the George IV, Bore Street, Lichfield – 7.30pm start.
July 4th James Sheard/ Deborah Alma
Oct 3rd Gregory Leadbetter/ John Mills/ Bert Flitcroft
Dec 5th Special Guests!