Tucked away behind The Biscuit Factory, the UK's biggest indie art gallery, you'll find Ernest's, the Ouseburn's coolest indie cafe. On Sunday five poets and a canny crowd of people ventured there for icy cold mocktails and some serious summer poeting, organised by Pippa Little.
An international gathering, the poets and audience came to Newcastle from nearby spots and from as far as Mexico. Poets Pippa Little, Jane Burn, Louise Hislop and myself shared readings to celebrate the visit of Canadian poet Kim Fahrner, recently appointed Poet Laureate in Sudbury, Ontario. Her new collection The Narcoleptic Madonna is fantastic.
Five Poets Go to Ernest's
Pippa Little, Jo Clement, Jane Burn, Louise Hislop, Kim Fahner
There wasn't a bad poem in the bunch, all notable for the strength of their images and music. At one point words fought the distant beat of Ernest's bar playing Mr Boombastic and something trippy by the Flaming Lips but the poetry won out. Keeping a beat in the sweltering heat, as Bunting might say. We heard poems about bees, obsessive love, a poem about a son by his mother and about a mother by a daughter. We had poems about coal mining and poems Against Hate. This was a very special night full of local and international themes, a great opportunity to hear five poets share their work.
Thanks especially to Pippa for organising and to those who came. Together we raised £40 for the West End Refugee Service. It's just wonderful what happens when we all chip in and do our part. Read more about this wonderful cause, here: http://www.wers.org.uk/about-us/values/