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.