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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Y Tuesday - summer evening above the bar

Another evening of poetry and a little light music above the Three Kings in Clerkenwell. For many years this was my local, and it's an amazing pub with cool, quirky decor. The rhino head glared at me as if I had cut it off as I stepped up the wooden staircase to the little front room with the comfy leather chairs and the doo-wop jukebox where those gathered would play Fairport Convention tracks before the serious business of words and art kicked off.

The lynchpin, the foundation, the rock of Y Tuesday is Mr Steev Burgess, a great artist, a fine poet, who uses rhyme and rhythm and insight to produce gems which reflect on relationships our business of living in this disappointing and mixed-up world. His co-host, Ms Ceri May arrived with a recycled bag full of jammie dodgers and chocolate cake, looking divine in bottle green dress and yellow flower clip. In bare feet, painted toenails twinkling, she welcomed the motley crew of poets to share their work with fellow listeners.

Ceri and Steev read a couple of 'tango poems' together that Steev had written for two voices. This self-devised series were very effective. Not only did they have a rather musical dramatic presentation but Steev has, I think, a winning way with form, which enables his reflective subject matter to be digested with ease. This means that the content, which slides through emotional difficulties, encounter, challenge and changes, slips down. His bitter poison is sweetened with sugar, and the audience drink it in their ears.

Alec Bell, who read a few of his darker mediations with his rogue expression looked totally dashing with new beard and hat. He seems twenty years younger. He's running a new performance night in Richmond and I think poetry has made him a new man. I approve.

Poets who read one, two or three pieces included Cathy Flower, who gave a sinewy and forthright delivery of some fine narrative work, the talented and humorous Fran Isherwood (who I missed as I had to go catch my train) and the dedicated wordsmith Michael Wyndham, whose sister sat close by sipping a nice big glass of water.

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