wordy stuff at the organ grinder

Category: Poetry Readings

Tuesday Shannon & Alan Baker: Open Book 7th November


Alan Baker was born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and has lived in Nottingham since 1985, where he has been editor of the poetry publisher Leafe Press for the last twenty years, and editor of its associated webzine Litter.

His previous poetry collections include Variations on Painting a Room (Skysill, 2011), Letters from the Underworld (Red Ceilings, 2018) and Riverrun (KFS, 2019).
He has translated the poetry of Yves Bonnefoy and Abdellatif Laâbi.

His latest pamphlet is A Journal of Enlightened Panic (Shoestring Press, 2020).

Today The Snow

Today the snow, and tonight
it lies on my car, and on all
the roads that she must go.
To be in a warm hotel in midwinter,
isn't that enough comfort?
Today the snow, tomorrow
I will save you from the rest of your life,
or is it mine? I would like
to help someone to live after my death -
eyes, liver, kidneys, pancreas
left on the fields of morning
while I'm in a dreamless sleep.
What could be more idyllic
than an exhibitionof the latest luggage?
Are your shoes clean, young man?
One believes so. And who are we?
To argue, that is.
I earn a living, recount
colourful episodes from my past,
swell my feet on crystals of white.
Isn't that enough? But no.
'Our researches must continue'
and there are language courses
yet to be complete. The latest
adult films to be watched.
Slide softly into the bed of white.
Protect the night, snow,
and don't allow yourself to be fooled.

“Today the Snow” originally appeared in the pamphlet February Hotel from Bamboo Books.



Tuesday Shannon

About Tuesday Shannon

Tuesday Shannon has an AHRC-funded PhD from Nottingham Trent University where she now an associate lecturer.
Her work has been featured in Soundswrite Press’s ‘Take Three: Volume One’, Left Lion, P.N. Review and others.



Between a boarded-up chippy
and a boarded-up florist
second- or third-hand fridges
lean to attention.

But there are no passers-by,
no eyes to catch and tempt –
just fallen leaves, empty buses,
artificial light.

In the shelter of a closed shop door
a teenager tugs at his hoodie,
lifts a cigarette with his left hand,
shakes a cannister in his right.

August Poets – Fiona Robertson and Andy Sutton

Fiona Robertson began writing poetry in 2013. In 2019 she was a top ten finalist in the Nottingham round of the UNESCO City of Literature Slamovision poetry slam. She has been a featured speaker at Words Out Loud in Chichester and Katie Curtin’s Creativity Caféonline. Her debut poetry collection, Eve Was a Realist: Poems for the Untamed Soul will be published later this year. Fiona is also the author of The Dark Night of the Soul: A Journey from Absence to Presence. In 2021, she graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MA in Philosophy, forty years after graduating from the same university with a BA in History. She is also learning to speak Scottish Gaelic.


All of it happened.

All of it finite.

All of it gone.

Yet here’s me

trying to rearrange 

the chairs

on the long-submerged deck

as if there is still a chance

of rendering the shipwreck 

bearable, somehow.

Many leagues beneath 

this futile activity

abundant life blooms 

in the stillness, 


(Better sailors 

know when to 

jump ship.)

Andy Sutton is a Nottingham based poet who writes poems that rhyme and all that. Designed to be accessible, often witty, and infused with word play, his poems may also have something to say. His poems deal with the familiar absurdities of life, and the injustices suffered by too many people. In there are also observations about fatherhood and his mixed-up dog. Andy enjoys performing, and aims to make you smile and think.

Things to be Made Illegal

Putting paper napkins on the plate under the snack

Cutting short by DJs of a long and classic track

Stickers on book covers that won’t peel so cause a rip

Queue jumping and hailstones, drinks too hot to sip

Yappy dogs, and cities where they charge for public loos

Cutting public services that people need to use

Plastic cups for indoor drinks, fonts too small to see

Adding to a ticket price a further booking fee

6 June 2023 –  Claire Meyrick & Kathy Pimlott


Claire Meyrick (nee Hancock) is originally from East Anglia and now resides in West Bridgford ,Nottingham. She is a writer, spoken-word performer and singer. Claire has performed in a number of events across Nottingham including Crosswords open mic night and The Avenues Sneinton Market with DIY Poets. She can be seen at open mics across Nottingham or singing with West Bridgford Liberty Singers.

Recently, Claire has set up her own YouTube channel: ‘Claire a bells words’ to showcase her poetry.



Kathy was born in Nottingham, in the shadow of Player’s cigarette factory but has spent her adult life in London, the last 40 or so years in Covent Garden, specifically, in Seven Dials. She has had a rag-bag career in social work, community activism, arts television and artist development and now works on community-led public realm projects. She has published two pamphlets with The Emma Press, Elastic Glue​ (2019) and Goose Fair Night (2016). Her work has appeared in Magma, Mslexia, Brittle Star, The North, Poem, ​The Rialto and Under the Radar.

Find out more on Kathy’s website

Martin Stannard and Jo Dixon: 2nd May….

Next reading is 2 May 2023 – Martin Stannard & Jo Dixon 

’27 Poems’ is what it says on the tin: 27 short poems – twelve and a half lines each, to be exact – which does and doesn’t practice what’s suggested in one of the poems:                                  

  . . . . we had roast
  chicken, roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts
  for dinner and it was very delightful. For
  pudding we had banana and custard and really
  I don’t know why more people don’t write
  more poems about these kinds of things.
  If you want more people to read more poems
  you should write more poems about this stuff.
  I would read them.

Published in February 2023 by Red Ceilings in a limited edition of 50 numbered copies.

Red Ceilings is here.

Jo Dixon

Jo Dixon is a poet, critic and academic living in Nottingham. She was born in Stepney and spent her childhood in Colchester. Her poems appear in a range of publications, including New WalkThe Interpreter’s HouseFuries (For Books’ Sake), In Transit (The Emma Press, 2018) and South Bank Poetry. Her debut poetry pamphlet, A Woman in the Queue, was published by Melos Press in 2016. An article on the poetry of Alice Oswald can be found at C21: Journal of 21st Century Writings. Her poem ‘Skegness Wake’ is included in Poems of Place: Mapping the Nation in Verse, edited by Andrew McRae and introduced by Paul Farley (London: Oneworld Publications, forthcoming Autumn 2020).

Jo reads her poetry across the East Midlands and in 2018 she visited Estonia to read at the Crazy Tartu Festival. She has worked on community poetry projects with Bilborough Sixth Form College, Nottingham Contemporary, St. Ann’s Allotments and UNESCO Cities of Literature in Poland, Estonia, Ireland and the UK. Her most recent commission is a poem written for the 50th anniversary of the twinning of Nottingham (UK) and Karlshruhe (Germany). Currently, she works as a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester.

© 2024 OPEN BOOK

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑