Live literature night Verbose has burst into 2023 under new ownership, with Lisa O’Hare, Ilaria Robinson-Passeri and Alicia Fitton now at the helm, shepherding headliners plus various open mic performers on the fourth Monday of each month.
January’s guests were Zainab Imran alongside Will Stevenson of Switchblade Society; “Fabulous Fiction February” invited Gaynor Jones and Tania Hershman, showcasing her debut hybrid novel, Go On, published at the end of 2022 by Broken Sleep Books and Fuel: An Anthology of 75 Prize-Winning Flash Fictions Raising Funds to Fight Fuel Poverty, just out.
For March, Verbose welcomes to the mic seasoned performance poet Dominic Berry, on tour with his new book Yes Life, out with Salford’s Flapjack Press. Featuring plenty of new material – including introducing audiences to the concept of a ‘sadness café’, which we like very much – and even a lockdown poem, there’s lots to enjoy on page and on stage. As full of energy as ever, he’s been busy this spring, reading already at Word Central in Manchester as well as Attic Stories in Huddersfield at the end of January and A Lovely Word in Liverpool at the start of February. On Friday 3 March, you can catch him at Leeds Literature Festival at a Chemistry special, then on Tuesday 7 March, he’ll be at Crooked Poets in Prestwich.
For March, Verbose welcomes to the mic seasoned performance poet Dominic Berry, on tour with his new book Yes Life, out with Salford’s Flapjack Press.
Award-winning poet Dominic Berry was 2017 Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence, and he has toured his verse across the US, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia, South America and Europe. He won the 2020 and 2017 Saboteur Best Spoken Word Artist award, New York’s Nuyorican Poetry Cafe Slam and UK Superheroes of Slam. Dominic has performed his poetry on BBC2 showcasing the best of 2017 Glastonbury Festival, BBC’s Greg and Celia’s Festivals Highlights (highlights of 2014’s Edinburgh Fringe), Channel 4’s My Daughter The Teenage Nudist and Channel 4 News.
As well as writing poetry for adults – as well as Yes Life, just out, his collections for adults are No Tigers, Wizard and Tomorrow I Will Go Dancing – he has a children’s poet persona, ‘Dommy B’. With this hat on, he introduced his pet, Dave the Dragon, on CBeebies Rhyme Rocket and he has published the books Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Dinosaurs!, The Dragon Who Hates Poetry, When Trolls Try To Eat Your Goldfish and Spark The Goblin Wizard, all available in paperback from Flapjack Press.
Joining Dom as guest performer is Bent Key Publishing founder Rebecca Kenny. She publishes and amplifies marginalised voices and authentic stories, and calls Bent Key – founded in February 2022 after recovering from a car crash in which she broke her neck and back – her ‘love letter to the poetry community’. Her debut collection Crash & Learn was shortlisted as part of the Top Ten final books in the Poetry Book Awards in 2022 and her poem ‘Elephant Juice’ has been nominated, by her peers in Bent Key, for a Pushcart Prize. She has performed in fringe shows in Brighton and London, and is currently working alongside poet Stevie Turner to develop a new, immersive poetry and spoken word experience in Manchester. Keep an eye out for more!