PoetrySlabs at Feast

The  first Feast of the year is poetry themed!

Com­ing soon (on April 3rd, in fact) to a neigh­bour­hood excep­tion­ally close to you – West Norwood’s very first poetry-themed FEAST. This spe­cial day of occa­sion­al ver­si­fic­a­tion will be anchored by the instinct­ively lyr­ic­al Deborah Alma, the one-and-only EMERGENCY POET, who will be park­ing her Lark­inesque ambu­lance near the Fam­ily Well­being Hub (at the West Nor­wood Health and Leis­ure Centre) from 11am to 4pm.

A mix of the ser­i­ous, the thera­peut­ic, and the the­at­ric­al, the Emer­gency Poet offers con­sulta­tions inside her ambu­lance and pre­scribes poems as cures. In the wait­ing room under an attached awn­ing, Nurse Verse dis­penses poem­cetamols and other poet­ic pills and treat­ments from the Cold Com­fort Phar­macy. There are skulls, jars of eye­balls and other body parts inside the ambu­lance. Dressed in white coat and steth­o­scope, the Emer­gency Poet travels in her 1970s ambu­lance, accom­pan­ied by Nurse Verse or The Poemed­ic, to lit­er­ary and music fest­ivals, lib­rar­ies, schools, pubs, wed­dings and con­fer­ences… any­where where poet­ic help may be urgently required…’

March­ing in lock­step with the ele­gi­ac spir­it of the day will be PoetrySlabs, a two-per­son local ini­ti­at­ive to stick stan­zas, son­nets, dogger­el, and dithy­rambs on pave­ments and walls through­out bucol­ic West Nor­wood (bucol­ic, that is, if you factor in our mag­ni­fi­cent cemetery, whose per­man­ent res­id­ents include 12 dead poets, from prop­er Vic­tori­an ladies like Menella Bute Smed­ley to Alfred Watts Dun­ton, who looked after that par­agon of Vic­tori­an impro­pri­ety, Algernon Charles Swin­burne). From 3pm to 4pm at St Luke’s, PoetrySlabs will be host­ing read­ings from the work of poets as diverse as Wal­ter de la Mare, Wendy Cope, DH Lawrence, Liz Loc­head, and e e cum­mings. PoetrySlabs will also be form­ally announ­cing the open­ing of a poetry com­pet­i­tion as part of its wider mis­sion to make a super-pos­it­ive con­tri­bu­tion to West Norwood’s ongo­ing renais­sance.

Remem­ber – poetry is for every­one. We look for­ward to see­ing you.