In this current climate of Arts funding cuts and uncertain futures the only thing to do is go out there and make things happen. Tonight's Write To Speak performances were the result of such an approach.
All the writers tonight have taken advantage of the poetry writing and performance workshops hosted by Joe Hakim and Mike Watts from Write To Speak in conjunction with thisisUll.com
During the Larkin25 season of events, vox pops were collected from members of the public, in order to discover what Hull folk knew about the celebrated poet Philip Larkin .
The responses were varied and illuminating. The show opened with one of these clips; a local bobby telling us that although he's aware of Larkin, he much prefers the work of John Cooper Clarke.
The first of the debut performers was Ashley Fisher (takes a lot of courage to open a show) I was impressed with his confident delivery and a poem that described a loved one's bereavement place in the local press and one about cheap flights.
Always on the lookout for new ways to write and perform poetry that subvert the form and genre, I was rewarded with a found poem made up of just twelve words, the two hander worked around computer commands, and the stream of conscious with rhythmic voicing, almost sung by the writer that does most of his thinking in his garden shed.
Talking of garden sheds - the one about ageing - I was particularly struck by the line 'die drunk and dishevelled in my garden shed.'
This writer's work came alive, as she crafted different characters into the verse.
Some of the poems being read tonight looked to the past. They recreated images of a Hull slowly fading and perhaps, in the very vivid recollections of Holderness Road being bombed, of having been completely erased from the landscape: but not the memory.
At this moment I must also mention the tale of the reluctant evacuee, who walks the many miles along the tracks back to war torn Hull three times, before being allowed to stay amongst the comfort and security of familiar streets and houses - wonderful story-like quality in the delivery from this particular writer.
There were happier moments of recalling halcyon days; descriptions of boarding the ferry across the Humber; senses awakened for a special trip out to Cleethorpes beach.
Tributes to Larkin came in the form of poems written with him and his work in mind.
There was the lovely one about the channel hopping toad; another where the writer shares well-worn images of the city streets then confronts Larkin and his dour musings of Hull.
There was teenage musing in sparkly shoes with Eros and Thanatos knocking at the door; suicides in straight-jackets; visiting men from mars; the unwelcome return of student neighbours theatrically played out
among the many café bars and pubs, and then finally to shades of grey and the uncertain yet compelling air of Pyjama Man.
To be fair to all the writers there were hardly any nerves on show or misplaced words.
It was hard to believe that they were not a tried and tested, experienced writers collective.
I'll put this down to sheer hard work and steely determination to succeed, and maybe a little help from their mentors and supporters.
Many of the poems tonight can be seen on thisisUll.com or by way of the new iPhone and iPad apps
developed by thisisull; iPoetry and Larkin25.
We the audience - which probably numbered to fifty or so - were reminded that the workshops and tonight's performance were just the beginning of something.
Some of the poets on show tonight are going on to get their work published in anthologies; going out and organising their own poetry nights, going through life with a real sense of achievement and a new outlook.
Perhaps it is that final thought that is the most important and rewarding thing, about what can transpire when, you just get out there and make things happen.
Reviews, Theatre Tango Passion at New Theatre, Hull - Friday 29th October 2010 By Melanie Fullard
This show has played to standing ovations on world famous stages in places like Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Rome, Broadway. How the hell did they manage to land here - wrong turn?
Well, whatever happened, we are so glad they came. For one night only, Hull became a hotbed of lust in a small theatre, not far from British Home Stores.
A cast of 30 dancers and musicians
Reviews, Arts - Write to Speak - The Petty Concerns of Luke Wright and Helen Mort at Hull Truck - Wednesday 20th October 2010 By Mark Walmsley
Hull Truck 0 - Luke Wright 30.If this had been the cricketer Luke Wright, you would be forgiven for thinking that the headline was a cricket score result between the Hull Truck cricket team and the solitary England Batsman but on this occasion it was worse news.
On his second visit in 2 years to the Hull Truck Theatre, Luke Wright, one of Britain's leading performance poets played to a house of around just 30 people.
Reviews, Arts - 1st September 2010 - Write to Speak Featuring Ian McMillan - Talking Myself Home By Jess Fullard age 16
This poetry thing's alright!
Right, me auntie asked me to go to this poetry thing - her mate couldn't go so I sez I wud (only coz she was gunna buy me a beer!).
I woz a bit worried it might be all, 'thee, thou' stuff. Am onny 16 an Eminem is the most famous poet I know!
Anyhow we goes in an it turnz out to be o'right, you know. I woz real surprised. Mike Watts and Joe Hakim did their poems and these woz real good.
Reviews, Arts - Write to Speak featuring Dennis Wild at The Adelphi Club - Thursday 5th August 2010 By Melanie Pearce
The Write to Speak group has become an extended family and like all families they like to get together for a bit of a do.
The chosen venue is the local Adelphi Club - round at mad Uncle Paul's house. Like any mad uncle's house, it's small, messy and always full of waifs and strays. You certainly wouldn't eat there but its home all the same.
Reviews, Books - Old City, New Rumours - Edited by Ian Gregson and Carol Rumens Reviewed by Tim Roux
In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino, or rather his character, Marco Polo, declares that a port approached from the sea is of a very different character from the same port as approached from the land.
Being brought up in Hull in the 1950s and 1960s, I remember that you could drive into Hull down the Anlaby Road and have no sense of entering anything other than yet another Northern industrial red-bricked city until you either drove onto one of the docks
Reviews, Arts - They F*** You Up - Spoken Word Workshop at Hull Truck By Julie Corbett
A steady stream of people went in to Hull Truck and climbed the stairs or took the lift to the first floor. We were all heading for Inter@ct - the space and the first Write to Speak Poetry workshop. A few Hello's but it was mainly a community of strangers.
Joe Hakim began by introducing himself, Mike Watts and Cilla (the editor of www.thisisUll.com . And gosh we the audience were all quiet and attentive.
Reviews, Films - Avatar - iMax Cinema, London By Michelle Dee
I'd seen the clips and a brief 'making of' documentary on Film 2010 but nothing prepared me for the complete immersion into James Cameron's spectacular vision. I wasn't sure how I'd get on with the whole 3D thing, I worried it wouldn't work for me; how wrong was I.
London's iMax cinema on the south bank is huge and was apparently sold out that day although there were a number of
Reviews, Books - Missio by Tim Roux Reviewed by Clive Ashman
Thirty-six years ago, at the height of the West's Cold War with the then Soviet Union, a Hull fishing trawler called The Gaul and its thirty-six crew suddenly disappeared in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea, off the cost of Norway. Hundreds of miles from home, and hundreds of feet down, the fate of the missing vessel and its lost crew continued to haunt their grieving relatives and the whole City of Hull for the next thirty years (and Stevie Francis).
Reviews, Books - Triple Trawler Fiction - Clinging to the Wreckage Reviewed by Tim Roux
By the 1960s, there was still a significant deep sea trawler fleet fishing out of Hull but only three literary figures had as yet been associated with the city: Andrew Marvell, a seventeenth century politician and poet, Winifred Holtby, author of South Riding, and Stevie Smith, a poet and novelist whose most famous line is 'not waving but drowning'.
Reviews, Arts - Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in Hull Contemporary Art Continues Despite the Big Freeze By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Andrew Quinn
While the city of Hull struggled against the adverse weather conditions on Friday 8th January and people tried in vain to get home after many businesses were closed earlier than usual, a group of dedicated contemporary artists were preparing for the opening night of Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in the city.
Battling against all odds, the show opened on time just minutes
Reviews, Books - Seers by Karen Wolfe Reviewed by Tim Roux
Ever since the publication of The Philosopher's Stone, I have been troubled by a niggling concern. It doesn't keep me awake at night but I do regularly accost strangers and ask them, 'Whatever happened to Harry Potter's grandparents?'
Harry Potter was a baby when his parents were killed. His parents look like they were in their twenties, max. thirties.
Reviews, Books - Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill Reviewed by Tim Roux
Over the last couple of years, Nick Quantrill has made an enviable reputation for himself as a highly accomplished true-to-the-gospels (of St. Elmore Leonard and St. Raymond Chandler) crime fiction writer who reliably delivers precisely crafted plots, authentic hardboiled dialogue and classic PI fisticuffs action.
His tales are suffused with an atmosphere of compounding tension
Reviews, Books - The Unitary Authority Of Ersatz by Rich Sutherland Reviewed by Tim Roux
You know when you are sitting there typing away at your new book and suddenly a million tons of waterfall cascade all over you and sweep you away, and there is nothing you can do to resist as you tumble mid-air among all those words and ideas, but you know that when you hit the pool at the bottom, and should you survive, you will be handed a tick-box questionnaire by the publisher
Reviews, Books - Breaking Faith by Stuart Aken Reviewed by Tim Roux
One of the great pleasures of reading indie authors is that they are often literary Luddites, exuberantly smashing the commercial frameworks imposed on their more industrially-produced cousins, replacing them with a more zestful, fresh, individual and, might I say, compelling approach to their work.
It is not that they do not recognise as well as anyone the existence of the rules
Reviews, Books - A Book at Christmas Reviewed by Tim Roux
About eighteen months ago I decided to look around and see who else was writing books in the Hull and
East Riding region, much encouraged by discovering the work of Hull crime fiction and gangster authors
Nick Quantrill and Danny Birch.
I thought that there would only be a few of us knocking about, veritable prophets on our own shifting
mud banks, but Nick Quantrill and Rich Sutherland (then at Waterstones) Read more...