On Friday I attended the Wax Lyrical event at Cockermouth's Kirkgate and hosted by Ann The Poet.
I cannot possibly express how much I enjoyed the event. To say that it exceeded my expectations would be an understatement.
The audience was fairly modest and the atmosphere was relaxed. Ann immediately put everyone at ease and livened the mood with her wit. She is certainly a good host for this type of event.
The event opened with Ann reading some of her own poems from her own book 'Synesthetic' and then she introduced the Open Mic. As yet, Open Mic is not something I have ever had the bottle to participate in and after Friday and seeing the talent on show, the growing of that bottle may take a little longer.
One of my favourite performers, Jesse, read a short story. I said read, she performed from memory and sang the song that was part of the story. The story was about a sea child and I found it very moving, and the fact she could actually sing made it all the more enjoyable.
Another poem read by a local gentleman was about growing old. The reader was obviously nervous and I felt the room hold it's breath, you could not help but will him to do well. I loved the poem and as someone with many years to go until I myself am old I think it was thought provoking.
The two scheduled poets performing at the event were Sarah Miller and Emma McGordon.
Sarah was introduced as a beautiful goth playwright, evident in her make-up. Her poems were modern and reflected real life. After listening to her session I don't think I will ever look at make-up counter women in the same way. The leaflet advertising Wax Lyrical stated that Sarah's poetry was 'infused with dark humour and influenced by youth culture' this was certainly evident especially in 'If I loved you I would burn your f*****g house down' which she read with some apprehension.
The final performer was Emma McGordon who I immediately fell in love with. Emma was born and raised in West Cumbria and her first poem 'Love Letters' based on the phonetic alphabet was inventive and raised several smiles.
The most moving piece for me was 'The Scary Thing About Those Who Jump'. Emma explained that she wrote the piece after a woman had jumped from the top of the Whitehaven multi storey car park. Towards the end of the poem I did struggle to hold my emotion.
At the end of the night I bought Emma's book 'Those Who Jump'. After hearing her work there was no way I could leave without buying it.
I think the event certainly gave a good representation of the exceptional talent we have in Cumbria and I will be looking forward to the next.