The final leg of our Poets in Pubs pub crawl last night, and what a triumph these events have been. Taking in Southborough, Rusthall and the Top of the Town itself we’ve entertained and been entertained by old friends and new faces alike, introducing special guests like A. P. Staunton and Roger West to new audiences along the way. And it goes without saying that our guest MC’s, Harry Barden and John Wheeler, have done Voices and regular hosts (Pam) Flitt & (Ivor) Folio proud.

Huge thanks to all, and to the lovely people at Even Flow, Rusthall Club, and Plant Base for making us all so welcome, with an extra special thank you too to all those who have cut their performance teeth with us at these evenings; first timers are the life blood of community poetry, and we have been delighted by both the number and quality of newbie readers we’ve gently nudged into the limelight. The warmth and generosity of our regular Voices audiences plays a big part in that process, so thanks again from Pam and Ivor to all the old lags who make these events so special.

Next stop for Open Mic action is the festival’s Wordplay Fun Day and Verse-a-Tility variety evening at Tunbridge Wells Forum on Sunday (26th), where we’ll be catching up with Harry Barden and A P Staunton again, along with a host of other special guests and performances. This is far too big an event to do justice in a paragraph here, so we’ll post a dedicated blog with full details soon.

Still plenty to come before Sunday, though, with Siân Thomas offering an al fresco workshop in Ashdown Forest on nature and poetry this afternoon (Thursday 23rd) and Costa winner Hannah Lowe sharing her words in an intimate reading and book signing at Waterstones tomorrow.

The latter, we should advise, is now SOLD OUT, so if you haven’t got tickets you have missed your chance (we did warn you!). There are still a few spaces left for Sian’s workshop if you act quickly, and we are hoping the grey clouds currently hovering will be quickly chased away to provide the glorious backdrop the forest afforded us last year.

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