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Chester Writers – Chester Literature Festival Evening

October 26, 2011

Last Thursday 20th October was my second Chester Writers Literature Festival event.

This year it was held in the upstairs function room at the Bull and Stirrup pub on Northgate Street. When I accompanied Clare Dudman a while ago to check it out as a venue, the empty room seemed quite dauntingly large, but in the event we needn’t have worried. The turn-out for the evening of readings from both Chester Writers members and later open mic, was absolutely fantastic. Several Chester Writers anthologies and a few advance copies of Re-Vamp were onsale and I was thrilled to have the Re-Vamp copies sell out almost immediately.

I read a short story which I originally intended as a childrens’ story but now I’m not too sure (!), entitled ‘Nix’ which seemed to go down quite well. The full reading lineup was as follows:

Timothy Heavisides – 3 poems, Die Booth – ‘Nix’ a short story, Suzanne Iuppa – 2 poems ‘World’s End’ and ‘The Marriage Blanket’, Christopher Atherton – 2 poems, David Atkinson – travel narrative, Michael Hall – poem ‘Disability Living Allowance’, Hilary Alexander – short story ‘The Chinese Rice Paper Shell’, Ian Cai Mercer – 3 poems ‘The Chocolate Killer’ ‘The Chocolate Ghost’ and ‘Attack of the Scream Eggs’, Jane Mack – 2 poems ‘House Martins’ and ‘As The Moon Turns’, Michele Rimmer – prose ‘The Stolen Elephant’, Muriel Bradbury – 3 poems ‘Jigsaws’ ‘Tribute to a Predecessor’ and ‘The Joys of Cruising’, Ravi Raizada – 4 poems ‘The Big Issue’ ‘This Much I Know’ ‘Poetry of Science’ and ‘Pancake Tuesday’, Clare Dudman – short story ‘The Red-Haired Woman’, George Horsman – 2 poems.

I didn’t catch the first author’s name at the open mic, but her reading of her short story ‘Arabella’ was compelling and it was one of the weirdest stories I’ve ever heard (in a good way!) This was followed up by Joe Hobson reading his poem ‘Message in a Bottle’ and John Ivor Jones reading his poem ‘Once We Were Gods’ which features in the Re-Vamp anthology.

This year’s evening was certainly a success and can only bode well for next year. Thanks ever so much to Clare for working so hard to organise it, for everyone who read and turned up to listen and a special thanks from me to everyone who bought Re-Vamp!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2011 2:00 am

    Ah yes, but the musical version of ‘Attack of the scream eggs’ very nearly made it!! Wasn’t it Hilary who did a second piece in Open Mic? And I got stung by a Wasp!! What a day!!

    • October 30, 2011 6:26 pm

      Soldiering on despite the wasp sting! Ooh I’m not sure… I’ll feel awful if I’ve met her before in writers and not remembered her, I have a shocking memory for faces…

  2. November 1, 2011 11:57 am

    Hi Die, thanks for the great write-up! I think the first person who read at the open mic was called Sian Williams – she was helping at the Daniel Owens Festival in Mold this year. I think Hilary read second.

    • November 1, 2011 9:22 pm

      Hi Clare, thank you for adding that – my memory is pretty terrible at the best of times and I wasn’t taking notes for once (so all my festival write-ups are probably going to be a little sketchy!)

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