PLU Open Mic featuring Tony Curtis
Review by Kate Noakes. Photographs by Chris Magana.
Out came the roaring boys and girls, but more Dylan Thomas and our fabulous special guest, eminent Welsh poet, Tony Curtis shortly.
Our first investigations were into where all the bodies are buried with Quitterie on Whitman’s Compost heap ‘disposing of carcasses of foul meat’ and Paul’s New Owners ‘digging up the bones and the roses’ before taking to the The (empty) Motorways of France. Johnny was busy travelling on the subway: ‘two stops and I’ve already forgotten your eyebrows,’ while Steve welcomed us to the abyss and offered a little wisdom: ‘in all moments of mundane crisis, look at the sky.’ One to remember on the next bad day at work, perhaps.
Dominic engaged in a little French bashing reminding us, as if we needed it, that ‘you have to follow the procedure.’ While Annie, wondering ‘what it would feel like to suddenly have a dove appear in her mouth,’ and Emily, abandoned poetry for prose. At least Megan managed to keep to the programme with Baudelaire by heart – impressionante, as was Andy’s translation of Rimbaud’s Democracy and his own Hazards of Love.
Tony Curtis read many wonderful poems from the personal for this mother to the public about war. He even read from PLU Magazine, so if you didn’t buy his books, you can read him there. His second set was made up of wry andecdotes and episodes from his hot off the (Mulfran) press book My Life with Dylan Thomas. We laughed. We cried. But we didn’t manage the eighteen straight whiskies. It is as always a huge joy to bring the best poets around to our stage and Tony did not disappoint. Check him out, if you missed him and you’ll see what we mean.
Musicians 8 – almost as many as the poets! It was a pleasure to hear Brain’s Scots ballad, Tramps and Hawkers. Do bring your talented parents again folks. We heard too from the wonderful Vanessa, Catherine, Ruth on her backpacker, Moe and Seth jamming together for the first time, and Fun King Nero. Peter’s been in the studio recording his first album. Remember where you heard him first, won’t you?
Tony Curtis is Emeritus Professor at the University of Glamorgan (USW) where he set up the Creative Writing programme thirty years ago. Later this year his play about three Welsh painters Augustus, Gwen and Nina is to be prooduced and the bi-lingual book with Grahame Davies Alchemy of Water is to be published.