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Poetry performers come from far and wide

Matthew Corrigan

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The Samuel Oldknow Bar Poetry Mathew James Publishers Stockport Write Out Loud

A blanket of bleak midwinter fog fell across Marple on the eve of the shortest day. With the lights of the Market Street Christmas trees reduced to a faint, subdued glow, a definite Dickensian atmosphere was discernible. It was all too easy to imagine one could hear the rattling of spectral chains, as though Jacob Marley himself were out there, wandering somewhere in the gloom.

By contrast, the lights of The Samuel Oldknow burned brightly, and the spirits on offer there were of an altogether more welcome nature, as, too, was their mulled wine and ever-popular beers. And, for the many hardy souls who braved the weather, a festive treat was in store. Once again, the micro pub was playing host to an evening of verse, in conjunction with Matthew James Publishers and the Stockport Write Out Loud poetry group.

The venue was packed ahead of the eight o'clock start and for two hours as many as ten poets read some of their own works. The event had a broadly Christmas theme: some humour, some romance and some poignancy. Notably, much of the writing came from personal experiences. With young and old represented equally, it was striking to hear how many memories cross the generational gap.


Performers came from far and wide with Martine Anson and Nicola Hulme representing the local area. One, Randy Horton, hails originally from Houston,Texas. He told of missing home, entirely understandable given the time of year.

The evening was split into two rounds with a brief interval in between. It's fair to say it was a roaring success; standing room only in the bar. As we reported in the Winter Issue of Marple Review, Matthew James Publishers are holding a series of literary themed events over the next year. They are planning another poetry evening at the Samuel Oldknow early in the New Year – keep checking our “What's On?” section for details.