Maybe because in another life my teenage punk band toured the world, or maybe because I'm just a narcissist, or perhaps simply to keep a catalogue of the times and places I've read my poems to people, here is a list of "gigs" I've done, with the ones I might be doing in the future (depending on when I last updated this page.)
The Poetry School/Newcastle University's MA Writing Poetry Summer School - 19th July 2017, London somewhere. Details TBC.
Haliwerfolc: Poetry and Songs from the Seam - Monday 11th July, Empty Shop, Durham. I read with Joanne Clement, Peter Armstrong, Joan Johnston and Tray Gillman. Wendy Smith and Bernadette McAloon performed a few of their collaborative music-poems, and singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones also sang. Thanks to the goodwill of the people of Durham, we raised a lot of donations and money for Tyneside food banks.
Haliwerfolc - Wednesday 1st June, Empty Shop, Durham. With Paul Batchelor, Joanne Clement, Mandana M. Ghoyonloo, Lisa Matthews and Padraig Regan.
The Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room - Ludlow, Shropshire: Tuesday 3rd May.
Newcastle Poetry Festival readings:
Thursday 5th May: Launch of Northern Landscapes - Ex Libris Gallery, Newcastle University, 4pm.
Friday 6th May: Announcement of the 2016 Basil Bunting Prize, judged by Don Share - Northern Stage, 1pm.
Write Around The Toon - Newcastle: Culture Lab, Newcastle University, 10th December.
With Joanne Clement, Bernadette McAloon, Jason Lytollis and Tracy Gilman.
Bookfinders/Queen's University Literature Society Open-Mic - Belfast: Wednesday 28th October. (My Northern Ireland debut!)
Stephen Connolly, Manuela Moser, Padraig Regan and Joanne Clement, alongside about 25 other poets, all read. There were 60 people crammed into a bookshop which, by all rights, should have contained no more than 40. I drank Irish craft beer from an offy down the road and ended the night drinking dandelion wine with a guy called Nial.
Launch of The Coast Will Wait Behind You - South Shields: 30th September, at The Customs House.
I launched my new pamphlet. Jarra lad and aall-roond good egg, Tom Kelly, also read.
Launch of The Rialto, issue 83 - 22nd July
I helped the good ship Rialto sail, at The King and Queen Pub, London, alongside: John Clegg, Katie Griffiths, Alyson Hallett, Emily Hasler, Hannah Lowe, Alex MacDonald and Rachel Piercey. I ended up in a Wetherspoons in Tooting until quarter-to-one in the morning. The barmaid poured our pints into plastics and asked us to leave.
Next Generation Poets - Newcastle: 3rd March, Culture Lab, Newcastle University
I read alongside Alan Gillis, Hannah Lowe and Bill Herbert. I dropped my poems from the lectern 10 seconds after getting on the stage, which was embarrassing.
The Tales We Tell - Glyndwr University, Wrexham (my Wales debut!) - 19th February
I co-presented a paper on ekphrastic collaboration in poetry and visual art, and read two poems, with my friend Mike Corcoran. Afterwards, we drank pints of Wrexham Lager in Glyndwr's Student Union.
The Quiet Compere Tour - Chester, Alexander's
I read with: Jim Bennett, Christopher Coey, David Costello, Jan Dean, Katy Konrad, Gill McEvoy, Edwin Stockdale, Angela Topping and Maureen Weldon.
I also read some poetry in a township library in Grahamstown, South Africa, and in the Ainsdale dunes, near Southport. There may have been a few readings in pubs, too - I can't really remember. I didn't do much poeting this season (hamstring injury).
Butcher's Dog editors reading at Morden Tower, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sunday 30th September
I read at the famous Morden Tower with Luke Allan, Sophie F Baker, Wendy Heath, Amy Mackelden and Degna Stone.
Joint launch of new issues of Cuckoo Quarterly and Myths of the Near Future at The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Saturday 28th July.
Café Writers at Take 5, Tombland, Norwich - Monday July 9th
I read as support to Mimi Khalvati, ate a wonderful Gazpacho soup and got a free mug off Martin Figura and Helen Ivory!
Southpaw at The Chillingham, Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Friday 29th June. A night of spoken word and music. A drunken bloke heckled me thus: "Hew, mate, where did you park your horse, like?"
Newcastle launch of Definitions of Distance at The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, Tuesday 19th June. Stevie Ronnie also read. This was a good night.
Old Cinema Launderette, Durham, Saturday 9th June. I remember Cara Brennan and Pippa Little reading, amongst others. Sheila Wakefield drove me there and back, cos she's canny.
Poetry Jam at Waddington Street Centre, Durham, Thursday 7th June. Steve Urwin put me on. Cheers, Steve (and Jenni!)
Zest! at Alexander's Jazz Bar, Chester - Monday May 21st
I read as one of two guest 'new poets', alongside Sarah Maclennan,
at Chester's long-running poetry-open mic night. This was the North
West launch of my first pamphlet.
South Shields launch of Definitions of Distance as part of the 2012 James Kirkup Memorial event
at South Shields Central library, Thursday 10th May. My pamphlet was launched alongside the announcement of the 2011 James Kirkup Memorial
Poetry Prize winners and the launch of a pamphlet by Martin Bennett,
winner of the 2010 Prize. The next day, I took Martin on a tour of Tyneside. He particularly enjoyed the Shields ferry and the Crown Posada.
I Don't Think We've Met? As part of Trashed Organ's Festival of Belonging Fringe Programme, I presented a new, multidisciplinary piece, produced in collaboration with visual artist Helena Venaki. Many beers were drunk.
The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, Thursday 3rd May, 8pm.
We're All Mad Here at The Central, Gateshead, Monday 30th April. The opening of Trashed Organ's Festival of Belonging Fringe with Andrew McMillan, Lizzie Whyman, Firas Kirala, Stevie Ronnie and Fiona's Jazz Express.
TenRed at The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Thursday April 5th. With W.N. Herbert, Ira Lightman, Valerie Laws, AJ McKenna, Emily Wolahan, Andy Willoughby, Degna Stone, Mark Robinson and Kevin Cadwallender.
- Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Wednesday 30th November. With Sean O'Brien, Degna Stone, Andrew Sclater, Matt Stalker & Fables and Fiona's Jazz Express. This was possibly the night that I won the second bottle of port(?)
Launch of new James Kirkup collection, Home Thoughts. Tuesday 1st November 2011, South Shields Central Library. Along with Tom Kelly and Alistair Robinson, I read poems from the late James Kirkup's posthumously published collection of poems drawing on his early days in South Tyneside. Pressure was on; I think I rose to the challenge.
National Poetry Day with Tom Kelly and Alistair Robinson. - Thursday 6th October, South Shields Central Library. An incredibly rude woman heckled Ali Robinson for "mumbling" (he wasn't). Ali dealt with it well, unlike my Granddad, who I think was about to punch her.
13th July, The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. With Tony Williams, Christy Ducker and Cara Brennan. I think I won the 'Trashed Laureate' bottle of port.
First We Take Manhattan #5
‒ The Blue Bunny Cafe, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, July 6th 2011. With John Challis, Mark Corcoran-Lettice, Jennie Pascoe, Steve Urwin, Amina Marix Evans, Andrew James Brown and Rob Haughton.
James Kirkup Memorial Poetry Prize
I read alongside Ian and Andrew McMillan, Kathleen Kenny and other prize winners at the announcement of the second annual James Kirkup Memorial Poetry Competition
‒ Central Library, South Shields, Tuesday 10th May 2011. Ian McMillan told me that he liked my work, which was canny.
‒ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April 28th 2011. I performed alongside Steve Urwin, Jennie Pascoe, Pippa Little, Simma and others. I almost certainly over-indulged on Wylam.
Inked, Open-Floor Poetry
‒ The Commercial Hotel, Chester, March 20th 2011. I performed alongside, amongst others: Joseph Hobson and Anna Mackenzie.
Shelter From the Storm (Trashed Organ)
‒ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, January 12th 2011. I read alongside performers Degna Stone, Daniel Hardisty, Radikal Queen, Jezz Anlbeyth and The Lake Poets.
Free as a Bard: Poetry at the Coast
‒ The Trojan Rooms, Whitley Bay, November 14th. I read alongside performers Diane Cockburn, Marilyn Longstaff, Alistair Robinson, Rob Tomlinson, Andy Cutts and Lydia Laws.
Pink Lane: Poetry and Performance
‒ The Jazz Cafe, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, October 14th. From memory, this was the first time I had a proper conversation with Amy Mackelden, who was also performing.
The Polite Room
‒ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, October 4th. I performed alongside Cath & Phil Tyler, Pete Hardaker and Matt Stalker & Fables. On the way hyem, Marty from The Lake Poets told me he liked my poems. Cheers, marra.
Ten by Ten
‒ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, May 20th. Jeff Price warned me not to get pissed. I obliged, despite it being my birthday.
Pints and Poetry
‒ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, May 18th. I performed alongside students including Rowan McCabe and Joe Dresner. I totally shoe-horned my way onto this lineup.