Friday, 28 January 2011

Bard of Exeter Contest

Has come and gone - hosted with customary brilliance and aplomb by Liv Torc (who really ought to add MC to her list of job descriptions! as performance poet, comedian and Wondermentalist), and with really excellent performances by all the contenders (no kidding - all of them). Performers/contenders included Clive Pig and Jon Freeman (plus ourselves W&D) representing the Storyclub - Jon doing a mixture of serious poetry and Zen-like story, Clive a wacky poem-tale about crazy neighbours and a full-of-energy song with guitar, from Taking the Mic there was Tim King doing his very clever letters-as-sounds piece amongst others with great assurance, Morwenna Griffiths doing the best performance I've seen of her work, having learnt it all and moving well, Jackie Juno from Totnes fresh from the spoken word night which she hosts there doing an amazing turn for the first slot of the evening, and going for audience participation in an A-Z letters-as-words piece, and the Stand Up Philosopher doing a beautiful rendition of Spinoza's Ethics in seven minutes. It was a tough call for the voting audience, and a good result as Clive and Jackie tied! and a resolution was passed that the new Bard could be a double-headed dual entity! Which was a perfect and ideal result. They then both did storming encores to a packed audience, and then much hilarity ensued as they both wore the single blue robe - which it has to be said, was big enough and mysteriously seemed to have holes in the right places for two - so all was well that ended well! All power to Jackie and Clive in their new roles!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Starting the New Year with a Bang!

After a hectic Christmas of seeing lots of folks, and just after taking down the decorations, it was time for last night's Storyclub on Twelfth Night, very appropriately. There were many top notch tales on offer with Jon and Dave doing two very fine stories each including a hilarious explanation of how come the cuckoo lays its eggs in other bird's nests, and a post modern twist on a Zen what's luck anyway? wisdom tale. Jenny Moon turned up and did a great tale from China about a potter, with her usual wonderful dance-like movements. Deor did a truly epic tale from the Finnish Kalevala about the suitors of the Maiden of the North. I was impressed, as it was right at the end of the evening, and we'd had a whole lot of stories, when he embarked on the epic (in all senses) song from the cycle, and it's quite a depressing tale too (despite the marriage at the end) but the audience made such a racket at the end that they'd obviously been held in its grip all the way! It went down a storm. I was going to tell my tale on my own, but had been torn between three tales - a tale about lighting (which Deor assured me I'd told there before!), the Plat Eye (another from the American Deep South tales of the supernatural which I've been telling a lot of lately) and finally, a ghost story set on Christmas Eve from Cornwall. I favoured the last, but the 'voice' wouldn't come. The first two and I knew how I'd tell them, but the third? 'I can't hear it' I said. To which Deor replied as the central character 'Hrumph!' and so it turned suddenly into a duo tale! I told the tale, framed it, and was the two other characters, while Deor was Ezekiel Gross. It seemed to work, and was fun to do for the first time! It was a really good evening, and our book stall had more stock than ever, as, in addition to the Books of...Trilogy, 'Porlock the Warlock' and 'A Brief History of the Concept of Justice', we also had the fourth in the Trilogy, AND - having taken advantage of (rather than getting cross about) the snow having cancelled so many things, in addition to the Christmas break, to work on projects instead, Cartwheels Collective Press has now just issued a booklet of my short stories - 'The Dream Realm'. So the stall could offer seven books, chapbooks, etc. in all, and very kindly, people came up to buy 'Porlock'  and the first copies of 'The Dream Realm' to be sold! Then I remembered something I'd heard somewhere about marketing - that when there are just a couple of things, folks don't generally buy. But when there's a whole lot of things to really choose from...that's a different story.
   Then today, I got paid for a couple of articles which I wrote before Christmas for a web content provider, and Pemmican Press e-mailed to say that the poem they accepted last Autumn is now up on the website! What a great start to the New Year...I hope good things come to you all too!