Word 4 Word / Kindle
Lured by the prospect of an evening’s free entertainment, I wandered down to Cardiff’s Ten Feet Tall, to check out Word 4 Word – a spoken-word open-mic night, presented under the auspices of National Theatre Wales. Wittily hosted by Mark Blayney Stuart, it involved a dozen performers, some of them making their live debuts, clambering onto the stage to bare their souls, having been given the broad theme of “Space” and a time limit of five minutes (not always rigidly enforced). Pretty enjoyable, all in all – a broad range of participants and styles; mostly poetry, some fiction extracts, some rambling. At first it looked as though it was going to conform to gender stereotypes – men being playful, women more nakedly emotional; but the picture grew more complex as the night drew on. Personal highlights for me were the poems about loss by Jill Berrett, Hassan’s subtle musings, and Jack Pascoe’s punk rock lament. There was a competitive element, the main official prize being to headline the next event (the audience prize being an old Doctor Who Annual), but I guess that for most participants the prize was the experience itself. The December headliner was nonagenarian Betty Lane, who charmed all present with her poignant verse, not to mention her account of a close encounter with Dylan Thomas. And the whole thing was all the more entertaining for the knowledge that I’m too cowardly and inarticulate ever to attempt such a thing myself.
In other news, I’ve managed to make my novel “Yer Blues” available as an e-book in Amazon’s Kindle store – a bargain at £1.45. Not to mention my novella “Oliviaville”, for even less. Irresistible.