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PLU Open Mic featuring Kate Noakes launching I-spy and Shanty

PLU Open Mic featuring Kate Noakes launching I-spy and Shanty

Summary of the evening: great featured reader, great poetry, great music and great hats!

We started with some international flavour, with Jason and Bea’s simultaneous translation of Cappello. They’ll be at Poets Live on March 25th, if you liked the little taster they gave! Sean from San Francisco didn’t wear flowers in his hair, but did play us a great song on the guitar, followed by Musical Moe, I would marry her in a New York minute. Bill played “The Appropriate Role” along a chorus of clowns, and Youssef had us all on board with his piratical poetry (he has a book out: Death at Sea, Paper Press Books) Carole read her own translation of Paul Verlaine followed by some Zoë Skoulding, then Anya got angry with the stupid birds of Montmartre and Greedy Greta. Sharon embarrassed her daughter, and made us all proud of her Botticelli plump silkworm. She runs writing workshops in the mountains by the way (! Antonia was a porn star, and had a response to Henny Penny. Appropriately, the sky then fell down (rain & applause) for Kate Noakes, our featured reader, with her beautiful  brand new baby (book) – I-spy and shanty.

Start with something simple and white;

a round river-stone that fits

close in the palm of your hand,

in that dimple where life meets

and chance fans out.

( The rune)

Kate’s poetry is visceral and vivid, with a particular talent for unearthing and gently blowing the dust off memories. She read us a few pieces from I-spy and shanty, and if you’re interested in hearing from her latest collection, and maybe picking up a copy yourself, have a look at her reading nights, here.


Missy wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t about religion, it was just because she wasn’t available. David Sirois (we have to call him by his full name or his PR people will get angry) read the last section of his “Container”, and Megan was funny (so LAUGH, OK?) with Jacques Prévert. Flora wrote her morals on the cabin wall (damn that girl has a way with lyrics) and Donia offered a nickle of tar, sounding the horn for part two of Kate Noakes.

When you can least predict it lightening breaks

from its cloud-bonds, forks the sand,

makes something rarer than meteorite

(Colpo di fulmine or, love at first sight)

Sean and his gueetar – hope never followed you – were sentimental but not suicidal, and Canadian Aimée (I’m not saying anything) had an unspeakable appetite. Bea was back for a short tragedy with Emily Dickinson, and Catherine made Emily look up the spelling of UKULELE again. Annie no. 1 was in the lamplight, and Annie No. 2 was a pillow face first. Lousia’s boyfriend, aka Robin, was heartily approved of for both his handsomeness, poetic skills, and knowledge of… Adult Link (?) Vanessa finished the evening with a wonderful drunk performance of Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth or I Believe in Cod.

Open Mic free for all starting at 19.30h. Read, sing, dance, strip. No rules, no limits. Nudity encouraged. Our “special guest” is our very own Kate Noakes. She is the author of Ocean to Interior (2007, Mighty Erudite Press), The Wall Menders (Two Rivers Press, 2009) and Cape Town (Eyewear Publishing, 2012). This evening she will be launching her new collection I-spy and Shanty from corrupt press. Bring your pennies and take her home with you in print form. As well as hosting a plethora of PLU events, she is a busy jobbing poet and her work has appeared in a number of magazines including Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland Review, The North, Envoi, Magma, Mslexia, Poetry News,  Poetry Salzburg Review, Tears in the Fence, Planet and The Wolf amongst others. It has been anthologised by Cinnamon Press, Leaf Books, Two Rivers Press and Seren. Noakes won the Owen Barfield Prize in 2009 and blogs at

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