Thursday, 1 June 2017

Turning the tide at Turner

When did it happen? I was convinced that the Medway poets had moved on and for poetry now you had to look to London. But here we are - drowning in a sea of artistic talent in Medway. I was wrong. And now I've discovered the Thanet poets are giving it some.

Lava drips into the sea, Hawaii big island
Image credit: S.M Jenkin
My perception is that the Medway poets of the 70s moved around much in pubs. As much as I can admire pub culture - and frequently do - I've noticed that something has changed. We're being noticed outside of the pubs now.

Among the pub and cafe events, there's a regular poetry gig at the Turner Gallery, run by the extraordinarily energetic Neanderthal Bard. Does this mean we're respectable now? I'm not entirely convinced that poets should be. Aren't we supposed to say the unsayable? Are we anything more than an event that ticks some funding box?

Try the Neanderthal Bard's social media feed - his listing of events is not to be missed. It's one way of holding onto the horses neck on the current merry go round of open mics, poetry slams and gigs.

Either way I'm going to be reading at the poetry gig at the Turner on Sunday, 9 July. The event (please note the new date) will be part of the Margate Festival. The poetry starts at 1pm. See you there...?