15 December 2011

The power of speech

I'm making a concerted effort at the moment to write more stories and read at more places. Last week, I performed (yep, that's the pic) three pieces of flash at Say Something, a fairly new kid on the Manchester lit block and on its third (I think) trip out, this time at The Castle (the first two were at the Lass O'Gowrie). It's run by poet Zach Roddis, who I know from the Bad Language monthly spoken word nights, and it is tipped in favour of poetry - only myself, my FlashMob colleague Fat Roland and Bad Language's Dan Carpenter read prose. Still, it was a good event and well done to Zach for getting a regular slot at The Castle on Oldham Street. Follow him on Twitter (@zach2504) to find out when the next one is happening.

Also now going steady at The Castle is Mark Powell's Tales Of Whatever, a spoken word night with a difference: basically recounting a true story live and without notes (a bit like The Moth on the other side of the pond). Six story-tellers (including open mic, if you get inspired on the night) get around ten minutes each, and all three ToWs so far (September, November and last night) have been entertaining, interesting, informative and even emotional. They're the second Wednesday of every month and the next one is Wednesday 11 January; all the upcoming dates and details, and even some recordings, can be found on the ToW website.

01 December 2011

Another headline herey*

Last night, the Bad Language crew celebrated a year of spoken word shindigs at The Castle hotel in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The back room was really packed, and it was great to catch up with some lovely people I've met at the night (and at other literature events) over the last year and to meet some new folk too. There was birthday cake and much merriment, and the launch of a new anthology (BL's fourth, if I'm not mistaken) with readings from some of the contributors, including prose types and fellow FlashTag writers Benjamin Judge, Fat Roland and Tom Mason, plus Nija Dalal and Nick Garrard, and poetry types Sian Rathore, Anna Percy and Mercedes Fonseca.

The headline slot was divided into two flash fiction sets: one from National Flash-Fiction Day organiser Calum Kerr; t'other from grandmaster flash himself David Gaffney ...and me! Yep, for one night only, and kept secret til the last minute, I was David's "glamorous assistant". I read four of his new stories while he accompanied me on a Casio keyboard with some specially created tunes, and there was rapturous applause and laughter at our comedy double act, silly dancing and ridiculous amount of swears. And yep, we rolled out the "David and his organ" joke. It would be rude not to, really.

Audioboo here. Lawks.

More write-ups of the soiree, from Nici West and Jo Bell and Guy Garrud.

You can read two of the stories, Eat Less Pastry and Inches From What You Want, on David's website here.

*Another one for the sub-editors amongst you.