Archives for the month of: March, 2015

I’m looking forward to supporting Kevin P Gilday at the Cumberland Arms on Friday with his The Man Who Loved Beer show.

kevin p gilday

Described as “part spoken word performance, part drunken monologue – ‘The Man Who Loved Beer’ dissects a life experienced through the haze of casual alcoholism with all the riotous nights out, sexual misadventures and profuse vomiting that entails. Oh and the fear, don’t forget the fear.”

The Man Who Loved Beer is also a song by Lambchop and that’s a good enough reason to include a pic of TV classic Lambchop.


Back to  Friday evening and there’s also support from singer/songwriter, George Sharpe and poet Vinny McHugh.

The evening kicks off at 7.30pm in the upstairs of the Cumberland Arms in Byker.



The Counsel of Trees is a fantastic poem by Vicky Arthurs. I shared it at Poetry with Friends at The Mission tonight. I’d set tonight’s theme at our last session. We had discussed local councils so I suggested Council/Counsel as tonight’s theme.

We shared a range of poems by Robert Browning, Alice Walker, Spike Milligan, Michael Longley, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Hentry Normal, Hillare Belloc, Pam Ayres and everyone’s fave poet, Anon.

alice walker

Poetry with Friends regulars Harry, Elizabeth and Ken shared their own poems. Subject matter ranged from the sea, eclipses to the wisdom of Nana.

The next Poetry with Friends at The Mission will take place on Tuesday 21st April. The theme, suggested by Harry is “Names”.

We’re a very friendly group and new attenders are always welcome. The only thing we ask is that you book a place, so we know how many people to expect.

You can book via email to

Happy Planet

Anne Proctor and I’s latest book, Souvenir of Tynemouth is now on sale. Buy it from our stalls at Tynemouth’s weekend market.

Here’s a shot of the first print run!

souvenircover003For more information about Anne’s work visit her blog


Sinead O’Connor, Bjork and Sir David Attenborough popped up in conversation at yesterday’s Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay Library.

We had lively debate encrusted with fantastic poems delivered beautifully. Highlights for me were newcomer Jeff/Geoff’s amazing poem about penguins, Joyce’s reading of A Policeman’s Lot by Wendy Cope  and Elizabeth’s astonishing rendition of Eliot’s The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock.


We also enjoyed poems by Amy Lowell, Josephine Scott, Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Kathleen Raine and others.

NPG P1680; Kathleen Raine by Rollie McKenna

Our next Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay will take place on Maundy Thursday, April 2nd at 11 am in Whitley Libary.

In the meantime we have Poetry with Friends at The Mission this coming Tuesday at 7pm. The theme is Counsel/Council.

For more information on both Poetry with Friends groups please visit

Happy Planet


The theme for tonight’s Poetry with Friends at The Mission was “Numbers”, suggested last time by The Legendary Ken Creen. I had forgotten this but that didn’t matter. Most of the friends brought number-related poems…and cake and biccies.


Featured poets included A P Herbert, Edward Thomas, Philip Larkin, Mary Cornish, Tara Bergin and Wes Magee.

Benjamin Zephaniah and Adrian Mitchell both featured twice and Alan performed two of his poems.He also produced a birthday cake for me in the break and got me to blow out the candles and make a wish. I didn’t need to. All my wishes have come true thanks to Happy Planet!

Happy Planet

And Happy Birthday to Happy Planet: one year old on Friday 13th!

Our next session at The Mission will be on Tuesday 24th March. The theme is Council/Counsel. Please visit Happy Planet’s site for more details

I’ve been collaborating with artist and printmaker, Anne Proctor for over two years. We met, inevitably, at Tynemouth Station’s weekend market where we both have stalls, hit it off and started collaborating.

Anne’s created three beautiful handmade books filled with her images and words and my words: Allotments No 1, Swifts Screech and Circle in the Afternoon Sun and Waspish (made out of a Wasps’ nest).


Our next book, Souvenir of Tynemouth is almost finished and will be available for sale at my gig at Jam Jar Cinema on March 22nd, from Anne and I’s stalls at Tynemouth market plus Anne’s Moonkwayk Studio store on Etsy.

I’m blown away by Anne’s artistic response to my poem about a place we know well: Tynemouth Station. Check out Anne’s blog for snippets about the book but your best bet is holding the book in your hands. It is a work of art.


I’m thoroughly looking forward to performing Souvenir of Tynemouth at The Jam Jar Cinema on March 22nd. I will be performing alongside poet George Jowett

George jowett

and the musical duo The Primates (they devised and run the Whitley Bay Film Festival, you know…)

The Primates

For tickets and more information visit

jam jar


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