2014-2015 Programme

Our last event before Christmas is coming up on Tuesday 25th November, when we're delighted to be featuring Dean Parkin, who will be entertaining us in his brilliant and inimitable fashion, and I hope reading some of the work from his latest collection Sunshine of Fortune, poems from his residency in the Stour Valley. It's timely, as Dean is currently poet-in-residence at the Mill Road History Project

For 2014-2015 our new venue is the Gonville Hotel on Parker's Piece, which has a ground-floor room and bar and at last a welcome lack of noise pollution. Fourth Tuesday dates for 2014-2015 are below. We're still lining up some wonderful readers for the events and will update the programme as soon as they are confirmed.

All events offer open mic floor spots. Readings start at 8pm, with doors open from 7.30pm, and usually finish well before 10pm.

Tuesday 23rd September 2014 -- Mark Waldron & Fay Roberts -- The Gonville, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 28th October 2014 -- Allison McVety & Ben Wilkinson -- The Gonville, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 25th November 2014 -- Dean Parkin -- The Gonville, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 27th January 2015, Tuesday 24th February 2015, Tuesday 24th March 2015, Tuesday 28th April 2015, Tuesday 26th May 2015 -- readers TBC

Tuesday 25th November -- Dean Parkin

Dean Parkin is Creative Director of The Poetry Trust (which runs Aldeburgh Poetry Festival) and divides his time between this role and his work as a freelance poet. An experienced performer, Dean is host of the Short Cuts Cabaret, one of many collaborations with jazz pianist Maurice Horhut. He was poet-in-residence on the Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Norfolk (2007-10) and his one man show, Dean's Dad's Ducks, (supported by an Escalator Live Literature and an Arts Council Award) premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010.

'He writes with an eye for detail and a winning sense of irony'  The Stage

He has given many readings across the UK and in the US, including StAnza Poetry Festival, the Dodge Poetry Festival, Poetry at Georgia Tech (Atlanta), Cambridge WordFest, The Wondermentalist Cabaret (Devon), The Troubadour (London) and in colleges, schools & pubs.

'A natural born storyteller'  The Scotsman

A Jerwood/Arvon Young Poet in 2003, his poems have appeared in many magazines and in The Forward Anthology. His first pamphlet, Irresistible to Women (2003) was followed by Just Our Luck (2008) - both published by The Garlic Press. A third, Sunshine of Fortune, featured poems written during a residency in the Stour Valley.

'I like Parkin's humanity and his understatement. It's refreshing.'  PN Review

Tuesday 25th November, The Gonville, Open Mic floor spots, books for sale. Doors 7.30, readings 8pm. Tickets on the door only, £5/£4.


for my great grandfather (1869-1923)

Not the stern family portrait 
with Alice, his churchgoing wife
and four children. The other photo –
just him with the Shire horse
is as close as I’ll get to his smile.

We know that she was trouble
(an accident, a man killed) 
enough so that a picture of this mare
at ease was something rare, worth catching.
He was the only one who could handle her –

John William Wilson, father unknown,
mother, Mary Ann, a milkmaid, dead at 25.
Brought up by his grandfather (who died),
his uncle (who died), his aunt who re-married
a thief who was jailed. From bareknuckle boxer

to head horseman, a man of few words,
we do know his last, from his sick bed
growled at the parson, sent for by his wife
I dunt wunt see no sky pilot.
Thirty years a widow, she never spoke of him.

Without him though 
they could do nothing with the horse
but sell her. It was something about his calm
hand on the bridle, the other gentle on the shoulder 
that steadied her down.

Dean Parkin