The Poetry Show, Season One Ep 34, ‘Mythology’

On Two Rivers Radio, The Poetry Show, Season One Ep 34, ‘Mythology’, is  due to play. There’s some confusion cos last few weeks we were in ‘Murica. *IF* it’s Ep 34, O! M! G! It’ll be one of the best eps ever. Kit Marshall does Pygmalion. Like “Shy People”, by Laurence O’Reilly, Pygmalion is a poem i can hear again & again & again.
Plus heck the episode is also very good.

Tune in! Let’s ALLLLLLL find out what’s on.

Two Rivers Radio, 1pm – 2pm, The Poetry Show

The Poetry Show Ep 35 THE OPEN MIC recorded live at The Ex Pub followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Glen Taylor, editor of MORE EXHIBITIONISM Anthology! 

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The Poetry Show Ep 35 THE OPEN MIC recorded live at The Ex Pub followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Glen Taylor, editor of MORE EXHIBITIONISM Anthology!

The Poetry Show, Season One: Ep 35.
We saved this episode for the last-but-one show from Season One, though it had been recorded a year earlier.
The Poetry Show poets on the road! Rose, Alan, Laurence and Charli are live at the open mic where they first met: York Spoken Word. The gang meet up and chat about open mics, what you can expect if you go to one, and what you can get out of reading your poetry or prose out loud to others, if you do.
The episode is like sitting in on an Open Mic, and in fact it’s very much like going to one where you have decided not to read, but to just relax, sit, and enjoy listening to others. At The Spoken Word, like other open mics, you can show up, sign up, and then stand up and read when your name is called. No need to plan, just sign up on the night and at most open mics, you can even read the work of others if reading your own poems feels (at first) just a bit too daring. Listen in on this open mic, recorded in February 2016, and see what an ‘open mic’ is all about.

Followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Glen Taylor and Becca Miles
In 2008, Stairwell published an anthology of poetry and prose from regulars of the monthly open mic York Spoken Word, which has met the first Tuesday of every month since 2006. The book was so well received; it reached Number 10 on that year’s small press anthologies, as selected by Purple Patch. In 2016, we decided to revisit the concept and invited Glen Taylor to select and organise the work received. The book MORE EXHIBITIONISM was the result. Glen will talk about curating an anthology.
The next York Spoken Word is 1 May, 2018 in the Conservatory of The Exhibition, Bootham. Join us! 7pm for a 7.30 start. Free.

The Poetry Show & Stairwell Books presents…

What’ve You Been Reading??

A few years ago, when I was down in Winchester a lot, I went to an excellent poetry workshop organised by Matt West. We were all to bring poems along, but they could not be OUR poems: at all. Poems that we find meaningful, memorable and important reflect on us, on our way of looking at the world, as much as anything we may choose to write.

One of my favourite poets is Charles Rafferty, who is based in Connecticut, a small state to the east of New York. About 12 years ago, Charles was the featured poet at the amazing Bethel Wednesday Night Poetry Series, which met Every Single Week for about 15 years. Charles talks about important things but he has a wonderfully light touch, very reminiscent of Billy Collins. I’ll read “Staying in Love”, which is about obsession and control.

Followed by: Stairwell Books Presents: MORE Other people’s poems!

If I had had time in that episode, I’d have read Tim Clare’s “In the unlikely event you spot my face in the seething zombie horde”, which is sort of about surviving (or not) a zombie apocalypse but might really be about trust. On Monday, Alan and I will continue the theme set out in The Poetry Show S1:32, and read poems by others. Maybe send a few in!

Tune in here between 1-2pm to listen and find out more!

Schedule – 26/03/2018

Tune in today for some fantastic community radio from the Two Rivers Radio team.
Declan Minskip presents the lunchtime rush from midday ’til 1pm. He will be playing upbeat music to get you going on the first day of the new week. Tony Mccormack should be dropping in to talk about mental health and promote his new charity CD, too. A CD of fab music co-produced with Craig Vinnie Whitehead and available for £10. Get in touch if you would like to buy one!
Between 1 and 2pm the The Poetry Show will be discussing Folk Tales. Rose will also be talking about the recent and very successful Poetry For All event and about plans already emerging for 2019!
2-3pm – Ask York was recorded on Saturday afternoon as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of St Nicks fields and Environment Centre. Tune in to hear our panel:
Cllr Denise Craghill (Green Party)
Cllr Andrew Waller (Lib Dem and Environment Portfolio holder)
Cllr Keith Myers (Conservative; Exec Member for Education, Children and Young People
Cllr Kallum Taylor (Labour, Holgate)
Ivana Jakubkova of St Nicks
discussing their views on the future on York from an environmental perspective.
Between 3-4pm the Soul Man, Mr. Paul Coull brings you an hour of the finest classic and contemporary soul music. This will be Paul’s final show in his current slot as the Soul Show will be moving to 10pm in April.
4-5pm Upside Your Mind will be in the mix with another sensational selection of tunes to take you on a voyage from the basement to the tropics and back. Again, this will be Upside Your Mind’s final show in this slot as he moves to 10pm in April.
Mr. Judge to You is back between 5-7pm with “Stuck in the Midlands With You” – to find out what it all means you’ll have to tune in to Steve and his very special guest, all the way from Australia!
7-8pm – Ask York will be repeated for those that didn’t catch it earlier in the day.
Kate Lock is in the hot-seat from 8-9pm with Glass Half Full. This is going to be a packed show covering a lot of group so fasten your seat-belts as we dive into topics as diverse as fracking, community-led housing & a local school who are re-cycling their plastic waste into teaching and learning tools.
Two Rivers Radio is the City of York’s community radio station; by the people of York, for the people of York in the heart of York.
Our dedicated team of volunteers produce and present independent, fresh and unique radio every week with no adverts.
Please tune in, like, share and comment!
If you would like to get involved or support is in another way then please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

The Poetry Show Season 1 Ep 30: History Rewritten, and Stairwell Books Present: Bob Horton.

“Bob is on the Left”

First up, a playback of a show w Laurence O’Reilly and guest Tanya Parker: History Rewritten! Or, Tory Policy heh. Then we’ll chat with Bob Horton, scientist and poet, about his thoughts on society, history, science, poetry, and so on. I’ll also promote the upcoming Poetry For All event, this Saturday, March 24, at St Clements Hall, presented as part of the York Lit Fest.

Monday’s podcast is S1.30, and is HISTORY, the redux.
Yes, we covered history a little while ago with guest STEVE NASH, [and Two Rivers guest that same day!] but after all, history is constantly being rewritten. And if we don’t remember history, we are doomed to REPEAT IT.
or, if we don’t like it, we can just REDO it. Hence Trumpsky claims his inauguration was the BIGGEST ONE EVER (despite photographic evidence to the contrary)
And, your memories are someone else’s ancient history.
We were at an event recently, took place in a grammar school and students were working as assistants. As usual, I’m talking about politics: Trumpsky, war, angry people trying to solve things with violence, etc. I was talking to several thoughtful young people. “Well” I finally said, “you know, after 9/11…” and she blinked at me. “I was 1 when that happened.” “One?” I repeated weakly. “You’ve always known only a state of war”. “True, but that means I don’t fear it.” HER history starts about two thirds of the way into mine. And at least I’m still here to discuss the past! What happens when it’s not 15 yrs from now, but 115?

And then, there’s Bob.
We promise not to argue about GMOs. Heheh

The Poetry Show Season One: Confrontation; and Stairwell Books Presents: Sue Lister Confronting sexism, ageism and homophobia, as our guest for IWW.


What synergy! What a perfect fit! Our guest this week, Sue Lister MBE (awarded for “Equality, Diversity and the Arts in Yorkshire”), has spent her life thus far confronting bigotry, and promoting feminism. Also, Rose is baaaaaaaaack and oh so happy to chat with y’all.

First up, a rebroadcast of Season One’s The Poetry Show episode about Confrontation. Also known as: “You! Yeh, you! HEY YOU! Come over a here right now!”
Or….the passive aggressive version:

Okay. Wait a minute. What exactly does ‘passive aggressive’ mean? I’ve seen it to refer to almost ANYTHING, such as a note left next to a pile of dirty dishes, or to sarcasm, or actual rudeness which doesn’t seem ‘passive’ but just ‘aggressive’. As for leaving a note: What else can you do if the roommate ducks you?

CONFRONTATION. Do you LIKE having it out with a nasty waiter or that rude clerk? Or does your tummy tighten up at the mere thought of asking the GP to investigate the blood pouring out of your, idk, ears? Do you thrill at the combativeness? Or do you dread it?
When I was younger, I dreaded it. But then in those days, my mom made every debate an argument, every argument a battle and every battle was WW III. She seemed to enjoy escalating a disagreement. Now, I like to confront unfair ness but won’t go out of my way to pick a fight. How about you?

* * * *

After The Poetry Show, Stairwell Books Presents: Sue Lister. Sue actually has had a few poems published by SWB, notably in MORE EXHIBITIONISM, our 2016 anthology of poetry and short stories, edited by Glenn Taylor. Sue has been on the front line of a lot of battles, from fighting for equality (that’s what her MBE is for) to combating ageism, sexism, and homophobia. Sue is on her way to becoming Two River Radio’s Reporter at Large, as she’ll soon sit down and chat with Jake Furby and, last week, met with Kate Lock. Join us to hear about combating the bad things while keeping your cool. Well, sort of.

The Poetry Show waffles about AMBIGUITY and Stairwell Books Presents: John Gilham

John Gilham is the ME of his notorious tales of FOSDYKE AND ME: two malcontent youths living “under the flight path from Heathrow” in the 1960s. Actually, John and Fosdyke are more benign than malign and have delighted York audiences for at least 15 years. John will set me straight on their longevity.

More recently, John is the editor of international arts magazine Dream Catcher, truly a home-grown journal, founded over 20 years ago as part of a York St John’s project by then-student Paul Sutherland. John will no doubt chat to us about trains, Fosdyke, Dream Catcher, poetry, and bicycles!

The photo is John Gilham, speaking as editor of Dream Catcher at the May 2017 London Poetry Magazine Fair. Alan is lurking in the wings.

But before all that, Monday’s The Poetry Show Season One episode is about Ambiguity. I think…. I’m not sure…. Perhaps I’m a little vague.

When you write a poem, are you being clear? Actually, that’s a big deal isn’t it. Some of us *ahem* like to have multiple meanings, a sort of Pollock canvas spatter of words. Or, Picasso. Poem Descending Staircase.

Others want it blunt. Clear. Open to all. To that end, I’ll read “A Celebration of My Ignorance.” There are plenty of snide comments about “approachable” poets, such as were made about Carol Ann Duffy when she became Poet Laureate, and more recently about Hollie McNish. The most damning comments seem to be along the lines of ‘she’s too popular’. I like that their poetry isn’t elitist. At Yale, I was accused of writing in too popular a style. “Oh, you mean, I sound stupid?” The man blinked but demurred to answer.

On the other hand, laying it all out, spoon-feeding the reader is a guaranteed way to bore them. Why do all the work? Why lock down every image so that the listener or reader can add NOTHING?

So, is it better to be explicit, or a little vague?


The Poetry Show and Stairwell Books Presents: POLITICS AND BLAME, followed by a chat with John Wheatcroft

John Wheatcroft at Cull Valley Book launch

On Monday, 12th February, The Poetry Show episode is “Politics and Blame” (brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department). Following that, former newspaper columnist, now novelist and playwright John Wheatcroft joins us to talk about newspapers, his first book Here In The Cull Valley, and his upcoming operetta, a work in progress being created with his wife Kay.
John Wheatcroft’s debut novel Here in the Cull Valley, is a ‘why-dunnit’ beginning with three deaths in an apparent road accident. It unfolds through articles and features written in two newspapers, one of them a ‘national’ publication which exists only in the head of its dying protagonist.
Despite the engagingly eccentric format, Wheatcroft has produced a novel which also plays by traditional rules of character and narrative, and features a grittily realistic West Yorkshire setting.
John says: “The story came first – then the format. I set out to tell the tale of a more-or-less decent man who is destroyed by a consuming passion for a woman he doesn’t even like, and by his struggle with a troubled past.
“So Here in the Cull Valley is not a book about journalism. However, the format I’ve chosen and my own experiences on newspapers do give me an opportunity to provide a picture of life on a regional publication in an industry which is on the cusp of real crisis.”

Before John sits down in the Corner Pin, enjoy the Poetry Show episode about POLITICS ….and by that, we mean our culture of BLAME. Frankly the show will just write itself and then throw a tantrum.
What is going on? What happened? I thought that old arc of the moral compass was bending toward justice but it’s taking a detour out past No Rights Lane and down by Blame The Other Blvd. Srsly wtf. And I REALLY thought we were past all the so-called race hatred stirred up lately. Oh, MY.
Its everyone’s damn fault except the real villains! Blame refugees…. but not war mongerers. Blame the desperate but NOT those who slashed the social safety net AND taxes. When you cut taxes? You replace them with FEEs. As an example, in the USA, that’s become the loss of fire fighters in small towns, and the rise of VOLUNTEER fire fighters.. .who work for FREE. These guys can just go burn their arses off for free. Guy will hear the alarm and think “Oh no, I can’t walk out on yet another shift! I need the money! Probably another brush fire” and no, it’s a house. Or a fee for fire fighting services…. when GW slashed taxes, towns had to instigate Fire Fees and if you didn’t pay? They’d spray the neighbour’s house in case your fire spread, but not put water on your actual burning house. Yes. This happened in Ohio. Woman didn’t pay the $75. Her house burned down while the fire crew watched.
Here, we close hospital wards, throw the ill people out, then arrest them when they beg for food money, or sleep rough. We slash tax on the wealthy and then complain that scroungers are not working at jobs that aren’t easy to find. We blame incomers for ‘stealing’ jobs but you can’t steal a job, like stealing an election or dodging tax in offshore accounts. Jobs are given out, by the one in charge. Tune in to hear us talk about politics and blame.

Job Share and Tom Dixon. The Poetry Show and Stairwell Books Presents:

On The Poetry Show episode (1pm ’til 2pm) , Job Share, we have the original crew of Charli, Laurence, Alan and me, but also with guest Lucy Furlong up from London.  So the ep was a job share too. If I recall it was a seat share too!  The recording studio at Eden Agency is a small space with four chairs, but we somehow fitted five of us in the room.

Job sharing is popular among parents of tiny kids. Back in the 1990s, job sharing became a feminist issue, a way for women to keep a foot in the job market and yet still have a life. Sort of.  Tiny babies are HARD WORK!  When I first had my baby, I had dreams: I was gonna learn sign language, maybe brush up on my French….. and I was grateful when I managed to get dressed and clean my teeth the same day.  I then went back full time and it was hard.

Then, following the Poetry Show episode, we have Tom Dixon joining us on Stairwell Books Presents:

Tom has a book out this summer called ON SUICIDE BRIDGE and Tom will talk to us about the inspiration for the book.  The featured picture above is of Tom at the Spoken Word, December 2016. No, the people gazing down at the floor aren’t praying, they’re listening intently. That was a very packed night!