July 22: summer party – Hylda Sims, Joan Byrne, Eddy Bonte, Rattle on the Stovepipe

Friday, July 22nd, from 8pm at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, is our annual party with poetry from Peckham’s Joan Byrne, Belgium’s Eddy Bonte and a few lines from me (Hylda Sims) as well as voices from the floor. Music, mostly Appalachian, from Rattle on the Stovepipe.rattleonthestovepipe

There’ll be a glass of bubbly and nibbles.  £8/£6


Rattle on the Stovepipe explore the interwoven worlds of traditional British and Appalachian songs, ballads, and tunes: Morris dances & their Appalachian counterparts; Minstrel songs brought to Britain in the 19th Century sung by Cotswold rural labourers; English jigs and Scottish pipe tunes evolve into fiddle and banjo reels; 18th century British ballads become ‘hollers’ of Kentucky, Georgia and N.Carolina…

Joan Byrne is a Rye Poet, one of a triangle of poets who live near Peckham Rye, which is one explanation for the name; the other is that the poetry is often wry. Joan is also a photographer – she gives not only a voice, but a face to Peckham life.

Eddy Bonte runs an online radio programme and is an Anglophile music-lover. He says: ‘Most poems are ‘originals’, i.e. they were written directly in English though my mother-tongue is Dutch (Flemish). In fact, I’ve used the English language as a poetic vehicle from the very beginning…’

Hylda Sims writes poems, songs and novels:  http://hyldasims.wordpress.com

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Fourth Friday June 24 – poetry: Harry Eyres, Ruth O’Callaghan; music: Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke

At the Poetry Cafe from 8pm, £8/£6

Words from poet & presenter Ruth O’Callaghan; blues and original songs from Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke; words from poet & journalist in the slow lane, Harry Eyres. Ruth O'C


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Next Fourth Friday May 27: poetry from Valerie Laws, Owen Gallagher; music from Balabustah!

Valerie[1]balabustah                                          Gallagher, Owen




Valerie Laws,  http://www.valerielaws.com/poetry , is Infamous for painting poetry on live sheep to celebrate quantum theory. 13 books published – unlucky for some!

Originally from Gorbals, Glasgow, Owen Gallagher lives in London. Widely published in the UK and abroad, his poems have been displayed on London buses, in public places in Ireland and on the Listening Wall at the Southbank Centre, London. Collections : Sat Guru Snowman (Peterloo Poets, 2001), Tea with the Taliban (Smokestack Books, 2012) A Good Enough Love (Salmon, 2015).

Balabustah! are a wonderful accordion & Fiddle duo  playing everything from Klezmer to Brahms to original material.


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Next Fourth Friday is April 22 – poetry: John Harvey, Danielle Hope; music: Liz Simcock

Ace thriller writer (remember Resnick?) and poet John Harvey; accomplished poet (4 books with Rockingham Press) and editor Danielle Hope; fine singer songwriter Liz Simcock (one of our favourites) and  Voices from the floor.


www.lizsimcock.com   danielle  mellotone.co.uk

liz simcock

John Harvey



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February 26, 8pm. Poetry from Racker Donnelly, Leah Fritz; music from Carol Anderson (fiddle), Alex Seel (singer songwriter/guitarist)

carol andersonCarol Anderson is an accomplished fiddle player and for many years one of the leading lights in the North-East. She has a style of her own, handling all types of tunes from pipe marches and strathspeys to slow airs as well as more recently composed tunes.

-13899278087FBF6DE8Leah Fritz’s poetry constantly reminds its readers of the important problems of life – poverty, hatred, war – yes, these of course – but also love, respect, how ordinary, everyday things can be invested with a life-enhancing sensibility if viewed aright.


rackerRacker Donnelly, Irish Folkpoet & Entertainer, has done thousands of live performances in Ireland, Britain, America & Australia. His racks and songs, mostly comic, many commissioned, are about Sheep, Smoking, Tennis, Oysters, Joyce, Horses, Midsummer, Politics, Christmas, Swans, Yeats, Football, Dracula, Cameron, Goldilocks, Irish Proverbs, English History, Irish & English folktales, & whatever you’re having yourself.

Alex SeelAlex Seel is a young singer songwriter who plays excellent guitar to accompany his fine songs.   http://www.alexseel.com



(Please note that there will be no Fourth Friday in March – the Poetry Cafe is closed for Good Friday – the next Fourth Friday will be April 22nd with John Harvey, Danielle Hope & music from Liz Simcock – details to come)

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next event 22/1/16, poetry from Jo Roach, Valerie Laws; music from Dave Ellis & Boo Howard

Tried & trusted duo Dave Ellis & Boo Howard with songs from their new album Facebook Friend and more besides.  www.daveandboo.comellishowardpic6



and two excellent poets:

Jo Roachjoroachphoto has written ‘Dancing at the Crossroads’ (Hearing Eye) and much more. She is also a dedicated and decorated cyclist.            See Jo’s page at www.poetrypf.co.uk

lighthouseValerie Laws is infamous for spray-painting poetry on live sheep to prove quantum theory. She’s also had 13 books published. ‘Vivid images and language that rattles and sparks…‘ Poetry Review.  www.valerielaws.com

And, as always, our excellent floor readers.

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November 27: poetry: Myra Schneider, Simon Richey; music: Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke


Blues, folk and original songs from Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke – frequent and well-loved performers at Fourth Friday www.franmike.com




Myra Schneider has 5 published collections (Enitharmon), has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, has edited several collections and co-runs Poetry in Palmer’s Green… ‘an essential poet: … her fusion of the domestic and the global… the sensual and the spiritual…’ (Acumen); ‘a sharp yet tender eye for the natural world… and the most       ordinary domestic object…’ (Artemis Poetry)

Poet, portrait

Poet, portrait

Simon Richey is featured in the current Poetry Review. His recent collection, Naming the Tree (Oversteps Books) has ‘the clarity of something that is looked at through water’ – to quote his poem ‘The Moment’.  These are ‘… attentive, lucid, moving poems…’ (Maura Dooley).

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