An intimate venue, a glass of wine and a bag of Haribo Tangfastic. It’s all very relaxed at the venue for my first poetry performance night. I await the start with bated breath. It’s not an evening I’m used to, but new experiences are wonderful in their uncertainty.
We were introduced to the evening by host Antosh Wojcik, a witty student with clear enthusiasm for his craft. He briefly informed us that each writer would be reading from a different area of the room. The various outposts of the large room worked perfectly with this idea. It became clear that the poets were performing. This was not a boring, monotone reading off the page. Individual voices rose from all corners of the room to immerse us all in delicate verse. The effect of hearing poetry from several different locations was mesmerising. You could hear every word, which is understandably important for poetry. I didn’t know if it was to be a sombre evening, what with poetry being a fairly intimate writing style. My doubts were unjustified as there was laughter in the first few minutes which continued throughout.
I enjoyed the fact that each poem was different and they clearly hadn’t been hurriedly written in order to fit a certain theme. Ideas of entrapment, death and inward questioning seemed to appear in more than one poem, but there was no stark moral being shoved down audience’s throats. I appreciated that. It allowed to me to appreciate the poetry for the craftsmanship and emotion that goes into it. Each poet had a definitive style which kept the whole performance light and interesting.
It surprised me when our host introduced a musical act. I’m not sure music has its place in a poetry performance night, I almost want to keep the siblings separate. Matt Jones has a beautiful voice, but it undeniably interrupts the smooth flow of the poetry. He performed with his guitar from a balcony perch that I couldn’t see due to my positioning. Even my fellow audience members gave up craning their necks to watch, instead opting to stare ahead with a glazed expression. The music is wonderful, but I did not buy a gig ticket.
I wonder if it is the intellectual connotations of poetry that is the reason that I’m relishing the evening. Perhaps. But the poems are making me laugh. I’m with friends. The free glass of white wine is going down a treat. Although our adventure with poetry performance ended at the interval (my companion had an early start), I still thoroughly enjoyed myself. This will not be my last poetry performance night.