The Shrewsbury Poetry night will always be one of my favourite poetry events. It’s where I first got on stage to do an open mic slot, and it runs every month. After moving to Cheshire, I couldn’t attend as often as I liked, and sporadic attendance turned into complete absence. The lockdown helped here as it was one of the events that moved online. What had previously involved an hour and a half drive either way, suddenly dropped to the time it took to open my laptop and click on a zoom link. I got to see old friends, and read in a familiar setting, even if we weren’t technically in the same room. I was able to wear anything I wanted to, including pyjamas and a blanket. You can wear pretty much whatever you want to a poetry event. The limitations come less from a dress code and more from the venue. Cafes and pubs don’t pose much of an issue no matter the season, while events in community halls can be a little chilly if the heating isn’t on and it’s the middle of winter. If you find yourself in an old church, or a market hall, the heating might not cut it even if it’s switched on.
Since restrictions were lifted, Shrewsbury Poetry has gone hybrid. One month in person, one month online, alternating as the months go. This February was the second in-person event since Covid struck the UK, and I was finally home. Back in a room watching poets with the people who had given me the courage to pursue poetry beyond scribbling in journals, and posting a few bits online. I was thrilled.
I was also freezing.Continue reading →
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