Fen Speak: the first open mic session

This was the very first open mic session for Fen Speak at the Babylon Gallery in Ely. Organizers Elaine Ewert and Leanne Moden were delighted when the room filled to capacity. Over twenty readers entertained the crowd with poetry, prose and song. Performers included Fay, Jake, Miriam, Alan, Lindam, Liam, Tim, David, Elaine, Robin,  Lowan, Caoimhin, Jordan, Siavashm, George, Tony, Trevor, Ian, Zoe, Clive, Dominic and me.

It was heartening to feel that the crowd was with you – even though you felt nervous and that your poem was not quite right yet, nobody minded. We all had one purpose and that was to appreciate the most moving moments within the best of the writing and there were many items that fitted the bill. Writing is no easy game and one is always learning. There was some great talent amongst the performers.  Highlights for me were Tony’s traditional Irish song, Dominic’s poems of protest (I think it was the subjects, especially, that appealed to me) and Fay’s amazing poem that mixed French and English seamlessly – not that I fully understood what the French meant.

Nobody oversold their books and publications. Even I felt it would have been inappropriate to brandish the copy of my book I had filling my bag. For once, I kept mum and only read the poem ‘I grieve for my love’ that I had been inspired to write for the event that morning – a poem trying to express my feelings about my husband’s dementia. You may by now have realized that I have already been in the press a bit this year with the book ‘John, Dementia and Me’ available at Burrows Bookshop Ely or from http://www.northstaffordshirepress.com . There, I couldn’t resist it, could I?

Rosemary Westwell



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