Chemistry at Chemic Tavern

Part of our Literature guide

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Clare Shaw

Chemistry 1: Clare Shaw & Rachel Bower at The Chemic Tavern, Leeds, 30 September 2022, free entry - Find Out More

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,” says Joe, “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.”

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.

Co-director of the Kendal Poetry Festival, Clare Shaw has published four poetry collections with Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), Head On (2012), Flood (2018) and Towards a General Theory of Love (2022). Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes, Clare has won several awards, including a Northern Writer’s Award, an Arvon/Jerwood Young Writer’s Award, a Royal Society for Literature “Literature Matters” Award. Clare is a tutor with a range of literary organisations, including the Poetry School, the Wordsworth Trust and the Arvon Foundation, and works with the Royal Literary Fund and the Writing Project, supporting the development of writing skills in academic settings and workplaces.

Sheffield-based Rachel Bower has written two poetry books, These Mothers of Gods (Fly on the Wall Press) and Moon Milk (Valley Press), as well as a non-fiction book on literary letters, Epistolarity and World Literature (Palgrave Macmillan). Rachel edited the Verse Matters anthology with Helen Mort and is currently editing an anthology with Simon Armitage (Faber & Faber). With poetry, fiction and academic work widely published in journals and magazines, including MagmaThe London Magazine, Stand and The White Review, Rachel won The London Magazine Short Story Prize 2019/20 and the W&A Short Story Competition 2020, and has had stories listed for many other prizes, including The White Review Short Story Prize, the BBC Short Story Prize and the RSL V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.

Chemistry takes place at the Chemic Tavern, a historic real ale pub situated in the heart of the Woodhouse residential area, just over a mile north of Leeds city centre. Fact fans may appreciate that the Chemic is named after Johnstons Chemical Works, a local factory that produced Vitriol – also known as Sulphuric Acid. Check out Tubthumping for another Leeds night out.

If you want to sign 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. 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.

The second Chemistry – Chemistry 2 (He for Helium) – takes place on Friday 30 September with headliners Jenny Robb and Jimmy Andrex. More soon…

Doors at 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start.

Chemistry 1: Clare Shaw & Rachel Bower at The Chemic Tavern, Leeds

30 September 2022 7:15 pm
Free entry