Chemistry at Chemic Tavern

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Joe Williams
Poet Joe Williams.

Chemistry at The Chemic Tavern, Leeds 27 January 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Leeds’ newest live literature night Chemistry promises an exciting mixture of headline guests and open mic acts, all introduced by Leeds-based poet Joe Williams. “For our first event,” said Joe in July, “we’re very pleased to welcome headliners Clare Shaw and Rachel Bower, two magnificent poets who, between them, have won a whole sackful of awards and prizes, as well as publishing many excellent books.” A roaring success, Chemistry returned in September with headliners Jimmy Andrex and Jenny Robb, then again in November with Pamela Crowe and Sarah Wimbush, and bi-monthly dates are now chalked up going forward into 2023.

The fourth Chemistry – Chemistry 4 (Be for Beryllium) – takes place on 27 January with headliners Gill Connors and Oz Hardwick.

The fourth Chemistry – Chemistry 4 (Be for Beryllium) – takes place on 27 January with headliners Gill Connors and Oz Hardwick at the Chemic Tavern. This historic real ale pub situated in the heart of the Woodhouse residential area, just over a mile north of Leeds city centre, is named after Johnstons Chemical Works, a local factory that produced Vitriol – also known as Sulphuric Acid.

Gill Connors, who also writes under the name Gill Lambert, is a widely published poet and teacher based in Yorkshire. She has a BA in English and Writing and an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Her work has been published both online and in print and she has been commended in several competitions. In 2016, Gill won the Ilkley Literature Festival Open Mic Competition. Gill’s debut pamphlet, Uninvited Guests, was published in September 2017 by Indigo Dreams and her first full collection Tadaima followed in 2019 with Yorkshire-based Yaffle Press. Her latest collection, A Small Goodbye at Dawn, was published earlier this year.

Oz Hardwick is a York-based writer, photographer and musician, who has been published extensively, and has read “everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to New York, via countless back rooms of pubs”. His chapbook Learning to Have Lost was the winning poetry collection in the 2019 Rubery International Book Awards and was followed in 2022 by Reports Come In (Hedgehog Poetry Press) along with his full collection A Census of Preconceptions (SurVision Books).

Joe Williams is an award-winning writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book, a short collection of poems on the theme of sport and games, The Taking Part was published last year by Maytree Press in 2021) and follows the critically acclaimed pamphlet This Is Virus, erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s lockdown letter to the UK, the verse novella An Otley Run, which was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award, and debut poetry pamphlet Killing The Piano. His work has appeared in many anthologies and in literary magazines including The North, Popshot, Prole, Strix, Poetry Scotland and The Blue Nib, and it has been broadcast on BBC radio. He has provided commissioned work for Ilkley Literature Festival and Leeds International Piano Competition, among others.

If you fancy signing up for the Chemistry open mic, “everyone from first-timers to veteran performers” is welcome – just ask Joe for a three-minute slot when you arrive. The entirely optional theme for January is Be for Beryllium. Entry is on a pay-as-you-feel basis. If you don’t feel able to pay anything, that’s fine. All donations go to the guest poets, who will also have books for sale. Dates for your diary are as follows: Friday 31 March and Friday 26 May 2023, guests to be announced.

Chemistry at The Chemic Tavern, Leeds 27 January 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Chemistry at Chemic Tavern

Woodhouse Moor
Woodhouse Moor

Woodhouse Moor is a popular park in Leeds near the universities district of the city and the Hyde Park area of Headingley.

Oranaise Cafe Leeds

Oranaise is a North African cafe with a smart range of fresh food, savoury pastries, and drinks.


LS6 is an independent café with flamboyant decor and a long-list of celebrity patrons. LS6 boasts a reputation for being the best breakfast around the Leeds area.

Image of exterior of Stage@Leeds Theatre

Stage@Leeds is a public theatre situated at the heart of the University of Leeds campus, programming a wealth of contemporary performance both on and offline.

Event venue
Hyde Park Book Club

Wine. Beer. Arts. Food. Music. Coffee. Lots of events and even a webstore selling zines etc. Vegetarian menu served 10am to 10pm.

The Riley Theatre
The Riley Theatre

The Riley Theatre at the Northern School for Contemporary Dance is Yorkshire’s largest dedicated dance house, hosting a year-round programme of dance and theatre events and performances.

Music venue
Brudenell Social Club

Perhaps Leeds’ most beloved music venue, the Brudenell is a lively and fun-loving place that often hosts two shows simultaneously.

Music venue
First Direct Arena

The First Direct Arena is a 13,781 capacity entertainment-focused arena located in the Arena Quarter of Leeds, West Yorkshire.

What's on: Literature

LIVEwire at The Edge

Following sold-out shows in 2019 and 2021, LIVEwire is back at The Edge this March, and again in June, with an electric line-up.

from £13.00
Rebecca Hurst
Carcanet online book launch: The Iron Bridge by Rebecca Hurst

We’re very excited about the launch of Rebecca Hurst’s debut poetry collection The Iron Bridge, published by Manchester’s Carcanet Press. The online event will feature a reading from the text and a chat about the book with host, poet Sarah Hesketh.

from £2.00
A white, middle aged man with short brown hair and wearing a light blue shirt, sits at a round table by a window and against a white wall. He has his arms crossed on the table.
David Nicholls at Central Library

Presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing, Creative Manchester and Waterstones Deansgate, best-selling author David Nicholls is one of the trailblazers of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.

from £10.00

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre in Manchester and the North

Affecting contemporary performances and fresh, relevant takes on enduring classics, we pick out shows that help us scrutinise the world we live in.

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.