My Night Out with Brian Bilston

Hello Poetry Lovers

Yes you heard right I had a night out with the wonderful Brian Bilston! Well, me and about a 100 others but never mind….

The marvellous and clever poet Sharron Green got tickets and invited me! I was thrilled. The Candid Arts Trust was down a dark and unassuming road in Islington. Torrens Street – not dissimilar to the Ziggy Stardust album cover.

There were so many familiar faces in that long winter’s night queue, including Donal Dempsey, Dilly Orme and Lee Campbell.

Introduced by the charismatic Jack Shamash to an incredibly full room, we knew the evening would go with a bang!

Forgive the red light, someone said it was like being in a photo lab, but I quite liked it. Reminded me of a Warhol film!

There was a wealth of featured poets such as Brett Van Toen, Cheryl McLennan and Jude Simpson. So very unique and clever.

Then it was open mic and lovely Sharron Green read her great Oasis Nightclub piece, the marvellous Dilly read her wonderful three short poems, and Lee Campbell showed us his amazing teenage scrapbook.

With all the stampede to the open mic, I couldn’t believe it when I actually got a spot! I read ‘Scrubber Two’, a personal favourite and one I knew off by heart. The audience were receptive and warm.

When the hallowed Brian Bilston came on, the house came down! Mr Bilston asked me not to share his photos on Social Media. I can only respect the poet’s wishes, and therefore this is the one I’ll put up. Also there’s a tabby cat there – and I LOVE them! (Don’t tell Dobby!).

Anyway, who needs photos?! Not when such wonderful poetry was read! (That’s not him in the picture!)

From his new book Days Like These, the audience creased with laughter as he read about days before the internet where the only followers you got then were religious cult ones. Followed by humorous pieces from You Got The Last Bus Home, his older collection. He also pondered on popular superstitions, James Bond wielding a Hoover, and an updated last few Famous Five Books. Very surreal, political and witty.

The room went quiet for his poignant reading of Refugee, you don’t always have to laugh. And then read The Very Angry Caterpillar, based on Eric Carle’s classic children’s book.

All too soon, Brian’s readings were at an end. I arrived as a curious observer and left as a real convert. Thank you, Mr Bilston, come back soon.

What a great night of poetry! Thank you so much, Sharron for booking that and inviting me. And thank you, New Poetry Shack for bringing such joy…

Thanks for tuning in, PL’s, and reading about my night in Islington. We’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…….

2 thoughts on “My Night Out with Brian Bilston

  1. I so enjoyed reading this lively account of your evening at the Poetry Shack, and you’ve introduced me to Brian Bilston, a poet I shall look out for. Thank you Heather.

    Liked by 1 person

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