wordy stuff at the organ grinder

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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.

December triple-header: Fulwood, Bowd and Wright

Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham in 1972, son of a truck driver, grandson of a miner. He still lives in the city and works as a bus driver. Somewhere along the way, he started writing poetry and hasn’t yet found a good enough reason to stop. He has published three collections with Shoestring Press: ‘No Avoiding It’, ‘Can’t Take Me Anywhere’ and ‘Service Cancelled’. His most recent collection, with Smokestack Books, is ‘Mad Parade’, which brings together political satires and response poems written over a period of six years. 

Neil has also published three books of film criticism, including ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. He co-edited, with David Sillitoe, the tribute anthology ‘More Raw Material: work inspired by Alan Sillitoe’.

Neil’s poetry, short fiction, articles and book reviews have been published widely in the small press. He curates and emcees the monthly Open Book poetry and spoken word events at the Organ Grinder. He is married, no children, and has a time-share option on next door’s cats.

My poem: 


You were one of us 

once – early swerve, early

doors, two fingers to them

in their panelled offices.

Now you’re grasping

at rungs still far up the ladder,

eye on the classic poacher

turned gamekeeper scenario

but you’re not even that:

just a starry-eyed villager

with holes in his shoes

dawdling near the manor.

Andrea’s biog:

Andrea Bowd is a PhD Student at the University of Nottingham, Poet, Writer, Cat Sitter, Invigilator, and follower of all things strange.  Which combined, leaves me little time for much else. I’m constantly composing poems in my head, and also constantly forgetting to write (most of them) down.

A few of my poems have been published in magazines such as SnakeskinSkylarkFront HorseThe Ekphrastic Review, Mud Press and Dreamcatcher. And in places including The Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, The Nottingham Contemporary Gallery and The Department of The Built Environment at Nottingham University.

I’m so looking forward to sharing some of my poems with you at this fantastic regular poetry event at the Organ Grinder!

Andrea’s poem:


I see fronds


translucent ice,

like hair,

pulled straight with

the flow of fast,


I feel the fronds

waving, screaming,

hiding white mouths.

Lips opening and closing

with the ebb and flow.

If I listen closely

a limb might appear

and break a fist shaped hole

through the cold blanket.

Trevor’s biog: 

Trevor Wright is originally from Bulwell and works in health and social care, specialising in autism. He is a member of Nottingham’s DIY Poets collective and has performed at many local poetry events as well as the Nottingham and Gloucester Poetry Festivals and Edinburgh Fringe.

He has been a commissioned writer on the Writing East Midlands Local: Vocal former coalfields project, with older people’s mental health on the Elder Tree initiative and led the Beyond the Spectrum creative writing for autistic people project.

His work has featured in several anthologies including Nottingham (Dostoyevsky Wannabe), Over Land Over Sea (Five Leaves Press), World Jams Us v Covid (Beam Editions) and has two poetry collections, Outsider Heart and Salt Flow published by Nottingham’s Big White Shed.

“Trevor’s poetry is a bruised and brave music and if justice is to be done, should be housed under soul”. Poet, Publisher and Educator, Miggy Angel.

Trevor is also a Writer Trustee of the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Trevor’s poem: 


Shadowed by fissured rock,

fingers funnelling cooling sand,

the pull of the moon carving

the rhythm I need to pierce 

the gloom, smell the horizon,

taste futures. I hunker down 

to take soft hand to hand as

she quietly asks, who hears?

Who sees? Will land touch us?

Night folds in. Of course, I laugh.

The stars listen, the moon sees,

new lane will find us. Yalla!

Yet another dawn,

chest to chest, rib to rib, my

last daughter curves in my lap,

exposed to a firmament fully

intent on pressing our shared

breath to the depths. I raise

my trailed palm, cool my brow,

wrinkled fingers stroke dreams,

residue all at odds with the tides.

Does anyone tune into the stars?

Who cares what the moon sees?

Will land reach out? Yalla! Yalla!

OPEN BOOK 1st November: Tuesday Shannon & Jeremy Duffield

1 November 2022 

Jeremy Duffield & Tuesday Shannon


Jeremy Duffield is a Derbyshire poet and playwright who has been writing since the mid 1970s.

His work has featured widely in magazines and anthologies and he has been successful in many competitions.

His poems have most recently been published in the Peterloo Competition Anthology, StaplePoetry Nottingham and by Ragged Raven Press.

He has had two collections: Danced by the Light of the Moon (1994) and Oak Apples and Heavenly Kisses (2000).

He also facilitates poetry workshops and was a member of Inside Out – a collective of Nottingham-based writers who worked with prisoners at HMP Nottingham, and Open Doors at Sudbury Open Prison in Derbyshire.

His plays have been performed by the Pomegranate Youth Theatre in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. and his other interests include painting, walking, theatre and music.


The outside steps to the store room

are only a zigzag mark in brickwork now, 

and there is no smell of brine

where sausage skins were left to soak.

I walk into the yard.

On the right is the bake-house.

My glasses steamed up on cold days

and I worked through finger smears, 

jellied pies,

caught cockroaches,

had tea-breaks.

In the next room

Trevor took the end off his finger in the mincer;

Pop called him a twerp.

The end room is where we boiled hams,

chawls, black-puddings

in three great coppers.

The deep-freezers are empty shells,

only hinges in door-frames

where foot-thick doors once hung.

Reg would never have got out

had Pop not gone back after the telephone call.

Almost as cold as New Zealand lamb

Reg didn’t seem graetful,

just angry,

a string of expletives

as Pop rubbed his hands and shoulders, back and legs.

Reg laughed a funny laugh, then walked home.

‘The alcohol in his blood stream must have saved him’

Pop said.

How did so many beasts fit into this slaughter-house?

I take photographs of rusting hooks,

runnels in the floor,

brambles trailing through a broken window.

There was a scalding tank here,

brim-full of boiling water

where pigs’ heads bounced as I scraped

bristles from shoulders and flanks

leaving flesh as clean and fresh and pink

as a young girls.

My camera flashes and flashes and flashes.

How can walls this thick be bulldozed?


from The Regulars

Tuesday Shannon

Tuesday Shannon

About Tuesday Shannon

Tuesday Shannon is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University. Her work has been featured in Soundswrite Press’s ‘Take Three: Volume One’, Left Lion, 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.

Across every shutter
one word in thick black paint
repeats like a mantra, or prayer.
The streetlights splutter on.

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