Poetry is for Everyone!

14 November 2023

This December, online poetry evening ‘Speakeasy’ celebrates its 21st gathering with acclaimed guest poet Roy McFarlane, the brilliant National Canal Laureate, former Birmingham Poet Laureate and one of the Bards of Brum, performing in the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. 

The Speakeasy, hosted by Bob Walton and Sue Hill of The Write Box, takes place online on Wednesday 6 December, 7.30pm – 9pm. It follows the success of the recent Weston Lit Fest where ‘Poet Criers’ took to the town’s High Street with a joyous proclamation of poetry for all to enjoy. The event marked the launch of the Literature Festival with the resulting highest footfall in October recorded in the town centre.  

Roy McFarlane’s debut collection, Beginning with Your Last Breath, was followed by The Healing Next Time, shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. His third collection Living by Troubled Waters (2022) is out now, available from Nine Arches Press.

McFarlane shows his broad and remarkable technical skill, his passionate and convincing voice and is destined to disturb his way into our conscience. Go and hear him read from this book and you will feel it too:” Pat Edwards of ‘The Healing Next Time’ in Ink, Sweat & Tears.

Bob Walton and Sue Hill at The Write Box, said: “We are thrilled to mark the 21st Speakeasy with a poet of such calibre. Roy will perform poems from his dynamic collection of work, sending your evening sizzling with the energy of his language, passion, imagination and reading!

“We’re also looking forward to hearing the range of poems performed in the open mic spot, which provides a platform for an eclectic mix of poets, from local and emerging talent to published poets, to take to the Zoom stage and share their work.”

Speakeasy, now in its fourth year, is hosted by Bob Walton and Sue Hill of The Write Box in partnership with Super Culture. During this time it has welcomed an esteemed, professional cohort of local, national and international guest poets to share and perform their work alongside a growing wealth of ‘open mic’ talent. 

Former award-winning guest poets have included Kim Moore, Jonathan Edwards, Jess Mookherjee, Kathryn Bevis, John Freeman and Beth Calverley, the poet-in-residence at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. 

Poetry-lovers in Weston and North Somerset have been joined at the popular Speakeasy events by people across the UK and around the world, bringing together people from all walks of life to soak up the wonderful array of wordery that offers something to appeal to everyone. 

For more information, contact thewritebox15@gmail.com.

Book tickets for Speakeasy Poetry Night #21 HERE