This year we invited Halima Mayat, Honorary Vice President of Black Horse Poets and leader of Wakefield Womens Poetry Group to review two days of the festival.

Saturday 30th September
Lets talk about music

Ric Neale & Rob Reed, Never Worn.

The first premise of their set was based on Ernest Hemingway writing a novel in 6 words. Rob tried fitting his introduction into 6 words. This is much harder than you think! Try it & see.

They challenged the public on Facebook & Twitter, to write a novel in 6 words. Also, asked the public to describe how they would save the world in 6 words. Final example of using 6 words, famous quotes from films. Rob read out entries accompanied by Ric on piano. It was very inspirational, got me thinking of squeezing in a idea in 6 words & how I would approach it.

The second premise was based on mainly biographical events that had happened to them. The final premise was on the idea of loss. Rob expressed his ideas through poems, whilst Ric played on the piano & sang. Both had audience in fits of giggles.

The audience seemed to be energised, by this show of bursts of creativity, as they went for the interval.

The Dead Sea Poems
Words by Simon Armitage

Music was loud which made it difficult to listen to poetry. The poetry was performed by a variety of people including Ralph Dartford & Simon Widdop. Each performer had a presence on stage. They used the projector behind them to add mood to the poems, by using an image to compliment the poetry. Dream Holiday by Dean Freeman had the image of a door in a hallway.

Jacqui Wicks was hypnotising performing I say,I say, I say. A mixture of poetry & music, her voice beautifully raising in the high ceiling room.

Sunday 1st October
Rising Renga: creating a poetry chain.
Dave, chairperson of Coalshed poetry, ran the workshop on the theme of seasons.
We were given a format to follow. It is handy when you only have a short amount of time to write about season/ topic given.

The format was: Formula A: (3 lines, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). Format B: (2 lines, 7 syllables each). They was a lot of poets using their fingers to ensure that their poems followed the format.

Throughout the workshop Dave referred to using either format A or format B.

At the end of the workshop, Dave collected in our scribbles & will be forming them into a poetry chain so watch this space.

Welcome to the Mad

The stars of the show were William & Valerie Gaskill. They read out autobiographical stories following the format of : Valerie & then William. It was an enjoyable event with a dry, dark sense of humour. The audience was engaged & entertained as their stories covered a variety of topics, ending with the story of how the Gaskill’s met.

Yorkshire Penguin Posse

The lectern they used had a picture of a penguin on the front, a reference to their name.
The meteoric poet: Alicia Fernandez was amazing.She told stories about her experiences & inspirations that led to the poems she performed. Her poetry was very engaging.

The Oracle of Ossett: Simon Widdop

He read out a poem that was in celebration of Radio 1’s 50th birthday. I didn’t realise that it was today. The poem focused on his love of vinyls, which shone through. The final poem he performed involved audience participation, which energised the audience. We had gone into a Sunday afternoon slump & Simon made us practice our participation before he began performing.

Sole Majors: a duo playing guitar. Lovely music that was relaxing & the singing had a raw quality that was endearing.

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