Review of Fen Speak the Babylon Gallery in Ely on 19th Wednesday 2014

ADEC have definite struck a winner. The Fen Speak open mic session at the Babylon Gallery last Wednesday night was well supported with 21 budding poets and writers presenting their work. Contributors included Deb Curtis, Clive Semmens, Zoe Choileain, Richard McNally, Poppy Kleiser, JS Watts, Chris Morgan, Emma Ormond, Matthew Mansfield, Emma Danes, Mike Alderson, Pete Irving, Bob Sheed, Mary Livingstone, Jonathan Totman, William Alderson, Paul Quant, Tony McCormack, George Ashdown, Caroline Gilfillan and, of course, myself (Rosemary Westwell).
There were items for everyone, poems that were finely structured, verse that captured the imagination, dark moments dealing with serious issues and splendid moments of humour.

Some of the highlights for me included: Caroline Gilfillan’s imaginary description of the young Pepys journeying to his grammar school in Huntingdon, Richard McNally’s ‘My Devonian Girl’ which was straight from the heart, Emma Ormond’s very clever ‘Glove Bird’ complete with fascinating hand movements and Mike Alderson’s ‘Along a corridor’ tackling mental health issues. Phrases like ‘the sun never quite shines’ and ‘older than Belsen’ remain in my mind. There were also Bob Sheed’s entertaining ‘The Snake Oil Salesman’, Mary Livingstone’s poem that captured the cat perfectly, William Alderson’s ‘Anna’ containing memorable phrases like ‘ There is no greater summer than oneself’, and George Anderson’s take off of Mrs Bouquet.

Many of the contributors had entered the competition to be Poet Laureate of Ely and eagerly await the results on Wednesday 19th March.

The next Fen Speak at the Babylon Gallery will be on Wednesday 16th April.
for more information contact Leanne Moden email:


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