I have been to the Open Mic event at the Otley Word Feast.
It was a nice afternoon, the Black Sheep slipped down nicely - even is it is a pint that lacks body and sophistication.
The judge was a lesbian, and as per usual for these events the standard of their work was poor, Char March was her name.... no, I've never heard of her either.... and having suffering through her set before hand I wasn't expecting much discernment in her judging. And she duly delivered, giving the first prize to a stand up comedy routine that included the word 'fuck'. had nothing to say of any worth or interest, was a semi-rap and rhymed every other word in annoying runs. Oh and she was a a woman of a certain type that appeals to the inhabits of Lesbos.
Not at all.
I rather enjoyed myself. I got to catch up with people I haven't seen in years, Brendan Partlin was his usual quirky self, and played the host admirably - it's a shame that Wicked Words has gone the way of all flesh. I got to hear the wonderful dialect of wot-his-name, I'd like to tell you his name, as he is poet I greatly admire for the way his uses his Lancashire burr to crunch the art of the ordinary, but unfortunately I can't. For despite having the most interesting conversations with him smoking outside, for some reason we never remember each other's name.... probably because we are too busy talking to actually exchange monikers....
Kevin Byrne was on good form, and his friend Dave gave the best poem of the day with his piece about Muriel, the love of his life. Other notables were the bloke who gave the subtle villanelle about not being able to write a villanelle, and a woman, who I think was called Ros, with two short and very intelligently constructed poems.
I also rather liked the chap who performed ancient Greek poetry with an umbrella to beat out the rhythm and a tuneless harp for the second piece. Obviously he is not going to win - because he had something interesting to say about the nature of these events but fair play to him to have the balls to actually stand up and say it.
I did find myself sniggering at the end when the winner was described as someone we would be hearing more of in the future.... yeah right....
Cue random picture to illustrate the facebooks
The Blue Book, now with stuff, £1.84