The launch of Verse Matters was wonderful. Helen Mort kicked the evening off by reading a few of her fantastic new poems, taking us from the irritations of ‘blonde jokes’ to the diets of climbers.
As Helen was about to read her final poem, a phone chipped in with precision timing: “You have reached your destination”. It certainly felt like we’d reached our destination – with over 80 people squeezed into the Mugen Tea House, the atmosphere was supportive, electric and uplifting.
Danielle Jeanee Richards (Upscribe) followed Helen, with an Open Mic slot in which she read three moving poems about love and her children.
Carol Eades (Gorilla Poetry) performed a couple of great poems about body image, and the labels that we are assigned, and Kate Garrett (Poet and Editor) read a series of moving poems that took us through three generations of women.
Our third featured artist was Marina Poppa (A Firm of Poets), who travelled over to Sheffield to perform a fantastic set which had everyone cheering.
We ended the evening with Open Mic slots from some excellent Sheffield-based poets: Liz Ferrets’ politically committed poems, Rachel Garner’s SCREAM, and Kev Titterton’s rousing political poems.
It was a fantastic, inspiring night, and reminded us that We Are the Many. We live in an amazing place, with amazing people, and it was fantastic to come together to celebrate that and to challenge austerity Britain. Thank you again to everyone who performed, came along and helped out for making it such an awesome evening. Special thanks go to Sarah Haigh at the Mugen Tea House for providing the venue for free to support Verse Matters. Hope to see you at the next event on Thursday 13 August! There’s a Facebook event page if you want to join: https://www.facebook.com/events/892549417482922/