Amazing music and stunning poetry at Stockbridge open word on July 24th

We (Gavin especially) is very excited to bring you our guests to Stockbridge this month.

Duncan Green sharing his mobile phone poem

Duncan Green sharing his mobile phone poem

We saw Duncan Green at Gavin’s very first open word. Duncan’s poem about his life to date had a standing ovation. I’ve just seen him at June 2016 open mic where he gave us a glimpse of what is coming. The room went silent and roared into applause when he’d finished. Don’t miss this one, it’s going to be a groundbreaker.

This is what Duncan says about himself

Southampton based writer Duncan Green developed his performance style through amateur dramatics, entertaining his bored sister, counselling and regular attendance of open mic nights around London.
Duncan will be debuting two pieces at Open Word:

Les Kazoo D'amour, these two won't hurt a fly honestly

Les Kazoo D’amour, these two won’t hurt a fly honestly

1) Dear You: a fictional account of a father’s relationship with his child.
2) Function of Living: a poem loosely based on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Duncan Green hopes to see you all there so he can talk to you about writing, families and bored sisters.

Les Kazoo D’amour, is a two-piece musical duo who musical repertoire is full of funny, witty, wistful ukelele music. They charm audiences and give us enough time between songs to let us catch our breath. You need to because these accomplished musicians make you laugh and cry and cry because you are laughing so hard.

I know it’s my job to say come along, however, trust me, you really don’t want to miss this musical guest. Amazing just doesn’t do them justice. Bring a friend you’ll be glad you did.

Open Word is at The Grovsner Hotel, Stockbridge SO20 3EUon July 24th, doors open at 1pm and sign up for the Open mic is at 1pm .

Melodic comedy at Andover Afternoon Poetry Cafe

Two comic Hampshire poetry giants, Syd Meats and Ivor Bundell are the March guest for the Andover Afternoon Poetry Cafe.

Ivor Bundell former secretary for Big Up Words is the founder of Secret Poetry at It is a website which publishes free downloads, an occasional e-zine and sells poetry online. Ivor was M.C at the Poetry cafe pilot at the Bridge in 2012. He’s best remembered for his humorous poetry about carrots.

Ivor has produced three albums with his brother Kevan and a solo album entitled ‘Heart & Stone’. A poet, singer-songwriter and near novelist, Ivor hails from the Meon Valley and writes about the natural world and local history.

Guest musician Syd Meats is Romsey songwriter and poet.  In Syd’s early career he worked for the BBC writing songs for Nottingham BBC local radio.

In the 90’s he fronted surreal indie band Meet The Vicar, and also wrote and performed a one man show Meats Saves The Planet which was a mixture of songs and spoken word.  During this period his brushes with the famous included having a cup of tea in the same room as Barbara Windsor and speaking to Ernie Wise on the phone twice.

His musical Christmas guest spot at the Teapoet Collective was called a triumph. In a recent street performance in Andover, he re-wrote the town’s history to include a Viking founder with the unfortunate name of Eric The Hippopotamus. Not only have Syd’s songs been heard on local and national radio, but they have also been used to teach English in the Sudan and Natural History in the UK.

“We’re really excited to have such a fantastic talent coming to Andover,” said organiser Cat Randle.

Andover Afternoon poetry cafe is held on the second Saturday of the month at The Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA. The first half of the afternoon is reserved for local poets, entertainers and acoustic musicians. The guest spots are after a tea break with cakes supplied by The Great British Tea & Cake company.

“We picked the Rendezvous Cafe because it is has excellent disabled access. We are able to accommodate wheel chairs because it’s all on the level. I’m amazed at how well it’s doing. The big surprise was the special needs poets. One lady, Rosie, has come to every cafe and last time got up and performed a poem from memory. She even wrote us all our own copy so we could understand what she was saying. It was brilliant! “ said Cat Randle.

The cafe organisers are grateful for the support of  Pat West councillor grant and Hampshire County Council.

Andover Afternoon Poetry Cafe, March 28th from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover SP 10 1PA.

Syd Meats having a cup of tea.

Syd Meats having a cup of tea.

Ivor Bundell musing on Meon Valley

Ivor Bundell musing on Meon Valley

5 reasons why I like watching River Anton Writers

River Anton Writers,Dan Hooks, Elwyn Bull and Natasha Douglas are guest at January 10th Afternoon Poetry Cafe. Here are 5 reasons why I like going to their shows

1)You don’t have to be good at English to understand their poetry. Some poets poems are so complicated, you go ‘hmm’ because, frankly you don’t want to appear stupid. At a River Anton Writers readings, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve cared for the little guy. I understand their poems because they are clear and straight foward.

2) They are real. I enjoy their poetry because I can see myself in the poem. It’s about people like me, doing the stuff I do and coping with the things I have to deal with in Andover. They remind me why I like living here.

3) “We like their poems”. You hear that a lot when the tremedous 3 read. There is just something very likeable about River Anton Writers poems. That’s why they get so many commissions at their stall on a Friday morning at Rendezvous Cafe.

4)They are from Andover. Next to Bobbie Coelho,Paul Owens and Sharon Vennall they are fantastic examples of Andover’s style of poetry. Yes, Andover has its own style of poetry. If you need more examples just look at the poetry on the metal plates in our high street or check out our winners of the poetry competitions on our poetry page.

5) They are great entertainment on a winter afternoon in January. These are the kind of folks you drop in for a 10 min cuppa tea and end up staying the whole afternoon, you laugh a bit, you nod a bit and suddenly you realise the suns gone down. Where did all that time go? I suppose we’ll have to go home now but boy that was fun wasn’t it. That’s why I like River Anton Writers.

Dan Hooks, Elwyn Bull and Natasha Douglas are guest at January 10th Afternoon Poetry Cafe. Starting at 1.30 p.m till 3.45pm at the Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, SP10 1PA.

Dan Hooks, Elwyn Bull, Natasha Douglas the big 3 of River Anton Writers

Dan Hooks, Elwyn Bull, Natasha Douglas the big 3 of River Anton Writers

One Afternoon poetry cafe-December 13th at the Rendezvous Cafe

Graham explaining about modern day Tarzan

Graham explaining about modern day Tarzan

One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…an awesome poetry cafe! We have now found our permanent home at the Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA.

We will be starting at 1.30pm on Saturday 13th December with our new guest MC Damien O’Vitch. Open mic either email us here at or tell us on Facebook or turn up on the day.

Our guests are going to be Graham Brown, an exceptional poet who has heart stopping, poignant poems and breath taking funny poems. We also have our first poetry show, with Bryn Strudwick and Brenda.

There will be tea, cake, a book tombola and a chance to browse our Travelling Bookstall for last minute presents.

After wards we will be having a small writers workshop and explaining how Sally Startup will be holding workshops at the Poetry cafe in January.

See you there..

Click here to see Bryn Strudwick Diamond Jubilee show

Roy Chatfield, Cat Randle, Bryn Strudwick, Marion Chatfield, John Secluna

Roy Chatfield, Cat Randle, Bryn Strudwick, Marion Chatfield, John Secluna

The Travelling Bookstall at Appleshaw St Peter’s Fete

On Saturday from 12pm till 4, we are going to be up at Appleshaw School. This time as well as all the children’s books, we are taking ALL the pre-loved (second hand) books we’ve been donated. 50p a book or 3 for a £1.00. Bargain

Our aim is to raise enough funds to be able to hire the hall at the Wellington centre. Cat’s Writing Room is helping us run the poetry cafes there one Saturday a month. We don’t want to clash with the poetry nights put on at The Lamb at all which is why we are calling them performance cafes.

Our focus will still be poetry but there are other word forms and we are looking at Pop Up Bar de Arts as our role model. They have short theatre pieces and monologues and short comic skits which makes the evening varied and fun.

Why the Wellington Centre? Easy access from town, easy access if you have a wheel chair, a price that isn’t too steep and not a pub. Younger members of Big Up Words have pointed out, they have no where to perform and they can’t go to a pub.

So there you go, pop along to Appleshaw St Peter’s and pick up a bargain and support our local authors and writers.

Poetry Cafe Today! (Sat May 11th)

Cafe Bridge, Andover, 12:30 – 15:00, Saturday 11th May.

Audience Choice: 7 Poets Perform their Greatest Hits – expect the unexpected!

Entry  £2 on the door.  All proceeds towards Cafe Bridge by way of thanks for providing venue.

Informal meeting from 15:00 – 16:00 at Propaganda to discuss ideas for future Andover Poetry Cafes – all invited.

Feature poet:Ann Hamilton

DSCF5280When Ann was voted as audience choice in February 2013, we weren’t surprised. We did surprise us was she it was her second poetry reading. Her first in Andover was at Big Up Words celebration of National Poetry Day in October 2012. She impressed Steve Scholey, who was the winner of Andover Poetry competition 2012, with her mix of wit and self-deprecating humour. Andover by adoption, she lives in a village close to the town centre. She is currently building up a collection of her poetry on her open blog site Annode shades of life and says of herself,
“I’m seventy-two years young,confirming the rumour
That despite my life I’ve  a sense of humour.”
Her next first as part of the 7 of the best. She will have a longer slot performing with the audience choice poets on Saturday May 11th at 1pm, at the Cafe Bridge. SP101BE