The Poetry Show & Stairwell Books Presents…

In just 5 short minutes, The Poetry Show, Season 2, Episode 6 will discuss MACHINES with Neil Cathan and Becca Miles. Then in Stairwell Books Presents: we actually have Susie Williamson!

Today’s show is about MACHINES

I was trolling thru my poems, the old snippets of stuff, the finished stuff, notes and so on, and I discovered, I don’t write about machines!! At all!! Very funny. Maybe cars, and I might do a poem about riding on a bus past some hot dry scenery in Cyprus; and I have a piece about bells.
But most of what I do doesn’t require more equipment than a pen or a magnifying glass. Well okay and a camera: that’s indispensable.
I do write on a computer and I used to feel very creeped out by leaving the word processor behind, and that in itself was a jump from carbon paper and a type writer.

In examining skeletal remains, I use simple, old fashioned things: calipers and camera, books, and paper. Even analysing ancient DNA the way my friend Rika did it (in 2002, 2003) involved a gel, and running electrical charges over samples. Is that steam punk?

Next up, Stairwell Books Presents: Susie Williamson, who has now enjoyed two smash success book launch events for RETURN OF THE MANTRA, her fantasy novel that examines environmental destruction, greed and human rights. But in an adventure story! Not too preachy, just a great, rollicking ride.

Don’t forget to join Declan and I at True Story Cafe, Friday, 22 June, for an open mic about sleep. Restful, wonderful, necessary, sleeeee………………………

The Poetry Show 2.4 is on Gender (a controversial concept) & is followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Composer Nick Williams.

The Poetry Show 2.4 is on Gender (a controversial concept) & is followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Composer Nick Williams.

Last week we slipped in the episode on Sleep (S2.5) AND on Friday June 22, we’re having SleepEasy at True Story Café! Declan Minskip and I will host a low-key, friendly open mic for stories, poems, tales and yes… even lullabies about sleep. Or insomnia. Or peaceful things. Think: Hot (soy) Chocolate, lots of candles, and maybe even wearing comfy clothes as we share restful thoughts in our northern city that doesn’t get all that dark this time of year. Especially right around the longest days of the year.

But first up on Monday… a discussion on Gender.

This episode features Kit Marshall as co-host, Becca Miles, and Rose & Alan.

I start off talking about gender roles, and normative behaviour and the difference – and there is one! – between gender and biological sex. The poem I’ll do is based on poems written by a well-meaning guy in the early 2000s. He ran an open mic in Borders, in Stamford CT and that’s where I met Alan. This guy was a decent man but OH MY he thought rigidly about ‘men’ and ‘women’ and is the sort of person who makes sweeping statements, with conviction, along the lines of “Women do this and Men do that” and “All women want this”, and so on. Ghastly. So, I’ll read a poem from 2002 that replies to such biological determinism. Then I’m turning this over to Kit who will talk about gender more coherently than an old-school physical anthropologist who looks at skeletons and tries to determine PROBABLE sex. But I’ll never be able to tell what someone’s gender was. Like disability and race, gender is a social construct.

After The Poetry Show: Composer Nick Williams.

From Nick’s online bio: “Nick Williams studied music at York and Huddersfield universities. In 1982 he co-founded Soundpool, an organisation of York-based composers and performers. In 1989 to 1991, Nick was composer and performer with Snapdragon Circus, a company which brought together theatre, dance, circus and music and toured extensively with them.

“His music draws on minimalism, modernism and the immediacy of post-punk to create what The Times called ‘a hyperactive…postminimalism’ that has affinities with the urban energy of New York’s Bang On A Can composers and the rhythmic conceptualism of the Hague School.”

Let’s find out how circus and composing go together, and how we can all bring a bit of hyperactive postminimalism into our lives.

S2.3 The Poetry Show: ROLE PLAYING (no! not that kind. stop that.)  followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Return of the Mantra by Susie Williamson

The Poetry Show is about poems for everyone: it’s not that stuff you learned in school. This week, we talk with Becca about Larp: Live Action Role Play, which is, as Becca describes it, “a cross between Re-enactment, Fan Fiction, and camping.” Or…. something like that. Sometimes I just make stuff up. Becs said at least PART of that.

Anyway, when daughter Emily and I go to Anime conventions, I always go as Sally: I am forever putting myself back together after fate, and sometimes nasty people, rip me to shreds. Em goes as her OC du jour: Dead Marco, a motorcycle transformer, a fire-breathing Little Pony, or AU Frisk. What do OC and AU mean? Tune in and find out!

Stairwell Books Presents: Susie Williamson and RETURN OF THE MANTRA
After we learn all sorts of nerd lingo, it’s off to the AU created by Holmsfirth native Susie Williamson: a hot, drought-plagued land where the wild animals are gone, the men dig for crystals, it’s a hyper-capitalist society based on religion, and everyone worships a haughty, selfish just-won’t-die King. No, not Trump. Kinda close though.

Susie launches her sci-fi/fantasy novel RETURN OF THE MANTRA in Exeter later this week and in Holmsfirth in early June! We’ll discuss world building, investigating real life through speculative fiction, and human-made environmental disaster. Join us for role playing and alternative universes both on The Poetry Show and in Stairwell Books Presents.

The Poetry Show & Stairwell Books Presents

The Poetry Show  –  1-2pm

The Poetry Show talks about GRANDPARENTS followed by Stairwell Books Presents: Declan Minskip & barriers to writing: how can we surmount these?

The Poetry Show Season Two Episode Two is about our grands: the ones we inherit from our parents, the ones we find, the elders we may eventually become.

After that we have a Stairwell Books Presents discussion about writing, and barriers we may face before we even get started. Two Rivers producer Declan Minskip bravely endures Rose’s questions (eeek) (only kidding. I’m not scary….am I?) with planned input from Emily Drew. Can depression stop creativity dead or can we harness the isolation and introspection of at least a milder depression to tap our thoughts? No one will suggest we just “snap out of it.” Mental health issues will affect most of us at some point in our lives.

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.