Past Events

The Wolverhampton Literature Festival Fringe Room at the Lych Gate

Date: 1st February 2020

Time: 12.30pm to 6.30pm

Location: Lych Gate Tavern, 44 Queen Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1TX

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists once again bring to Wolves Lit Fest a selection of the finest shows from the Edinburgh Fringe. Entry to each of the five events is free, with the hat being passed at the end of each show. All the money goes to the artist. Shows are as follows:

12.30pm: Wum Med, Wum Growed, written and performed by Heather Wastie
1.45pm: 300-1, Corin Rhys Jones
3pm: The Empathy Experiment, Rose Condo
4.15pm: The Tanner’s Tale, Alex McSherry
5.30pm: One Foot in the Rave, Alexander Rhodes

Heather Wastie : Wum Med, Wum Growed

Heather grew up in the Black Country, soaking up her local dialect but rarely using it. Through original poems, characters and songs with accordion, she will take us to the street in Cradley Heath where she was born and raised. She will drap aitches, tek a dialect test, and translate where necessary. With the help of alter egos Barbara the Bostin Darter and Black Country Pat, she will chew over the subject of ‘learning ter spake’ and would love you to join in.

Heather is a widely-commissioned former Worcestershire Poet Laureate you may have seen or heard in a Nationwide Building Society advert. Some of the pieces in her show were written for the 2016 project Where’s Our Spake Gone?

Corin Rhys Jones: 300-1

What’s better than a glorious death? Escaping his war poetry homework, 15-year-old Elliot re-enacts the movie 300 to the ghosts of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Corin Rhys Jones brings the award-winning production of this comical and moving one-man show to Wolves. Written and directed by Matt Panesh.

Rose Condo: The Empathy Experiment

Could you survive without your phone for a day? Award-winning Canadian poet Rose Condo embarks on her own Day Of No Mobile Phones, exploring tech addiction and compassion. Rose uses herself as the test subject … but can her experiment save empathy? Best Spoken Word Show, 2019 Greater Manchester Fringe.

Alex McSherry: The Tanner’s Tale

The Tanner’s Tale ★★★★★ (Edinburgh Fringe)
Alex McSherry performs a great single-handed play about William Wallace’s fight against the English. Taken from the point of view of a tanner who fought alongside Wallace, we get the blood and guts. In fact we get lots of bodily fluids, thus is the nature of a tanner’s work. A real treat.

Age guide: 15+

Alexander Rhodes: One Foot in the Rave

A disillusioned 23 year old Jehovah’s Witness breaks free from the controlling cult and lands on the dance floors of 90’s clubland. Shunned by his family and everyone he knows, he is not prepared for what lies ahead.

Age guide 16+ Contains Drug and Alcohol References and adult themes.


Date: 28th January 2020

Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm

Location: Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolvehampton. WV1 1SE.

Open mic night MCd by Emma Purshouse, Dave Pitt and Steve Pottinger. All welcome. In the first half people read creative writing written on a theme. This month it’s ‘Free Will’. In the second half anything goes. Come along and share your work.

Roaming Postcard Poets for Wolverhampton Literature Festival

Date: 25th January 2020

Time: 10.30am - 2.30pm

Location: Wolverhampton City Centre

Watch out for Jane Seabourne, Emma Purshouse, and Steve Pottinger who will be going out and about in Wolverhampton city centre, handing out Poetry On Loan postcards and generally promoting the Wolverhampton Literature festival.

Price: Free

The Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Slam 2020

Date: 25th January 2020

Time: 7.30pm - 10.30pm

Location: Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolvehampton. WV1 1SE.

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists present their high-energy, high-entertainment poetry slam. Fifteen contenders make their way to Wolverhampton from all over the country to share their poems, in the hope of winning a slot at next year’s festival. This is always a popular event and may sell out – Get your tickets early from the Arena Theatre website.

Price: £12 full price / £10 concessions

Yes, We Cant

Date: 5th January 2020

Time: 7.00pm

Location: The Pretty Bricks, 5 John Street, Walsall. WS2 8AF

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists present their ever popular spoken word night.
We are delighted that our January headliner is the truly wonderful Liz Berry. The proceeds from this event will be given to Black Country Women’s Aid. As ever the night is a pay as you feel event, but you will need to reserve a seat in advance. Get in touch for more information.

The ‘alf ender slot will be taken by Nick Pearson who is published by Offa’s Press.

10 open mic slots available. These are a strict five minutes. We will be drawing names from a hat to see who gets those. Again do get in touch if would like to be in the running for one of those.

Emma Purshouse leads a workshop for Tipton Writers

Date: 14th December 2019

Time: 10.30 am - 12 noon

Location: Tipton Library, Owen House, 17 Unity Walk, Tipton. DY4 8QL.

All are welcome to join this free writing workshop at Tipton Library.

Poetry at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Date: 8th December 2019

Time: 12.30 - 2.00pm

Location: The Star and Shadow, Warwick Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE21BB

Join us at lunchtime as two top Midlands performance poets and Newcastle’s own Harry Gallagher perform their work.

The Café is open so have your lunch while you are here.

Emma Purshouse is Wolverhampton’s first ever poet laureate, and an outstanding performer who’s funny, sharp, and outspoken. She is winner of the Making Waves poetry competition (judged by Luke Wright) and her work features in the Common People anthology of working-class writing (edited by Kit de Waal).

Steve Pottinger has performed across the UK, and achieved notoriety when his letter to Caffe Nero, attacking their tax avoidance, went viral. His work is political, satirical, and celebratory.

Harry Gallagher is well-known to poetry lovers in the north-east. He is widely published, with several books and pamphlets to his name. His book ‘Northern Lights’ came with endorsements from John Hegley & Henry Normal. Harry runs the north-east Stanza of the Poetry Society and tours nationwide.

This will be a pay-as-you-feel event, starting at 12.30pm.

One Track Minds at The Sage, Gateshead

Date: 7th December 2019

Time: 7.30pm for 8.00pm start

Location: The Northern Rock Foundation Hall. The Sage, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR

OneTrackMinds brings its trademark mix of songs and storytelling up to Words Weekend for a celebration of the life-changing power of music.

An engaging cross between Desert Island Discs, TED Talks and The Moth, OneTrackMinds sees five guests share stores about the one song that changed their life – before we play that song to the audience.

“A London institution waiting to happen” – Erica Buist

Our Words Weekend OneTrackMinds line-up will be featuring stories about life-changing songs from historian David Olusoga, journalist Rhik Samadder, performance poets Emma Purshouse and Malik Al-Nasir and playwright and author Cash Carraway.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry – and you may well find yourself dancing in the aisles…

“This show is like stepping into a warm bath” – Vanessa Kisuule
(incl. 20min interval)

Presented by Words Weekend.

This is a 14+ event. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Mouth Pieces

Date: 6th December 2019

Time: 7.00pm

Location: The Harvester, Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield. B73 5UP

Emma Purshouse will be a featured poet at December’s Mouth Pieces in Sutton Coldfield.

Poetry Alight, Lichfield

Date: 3rd December 2019

Time: 7.30pm - 10.00pm

Location: The King's Head, 21 Bird Street, Lichfield WS13 6PW

Emma Purshouse is a featured performer at Poetry Alight for the December event.

£2 entry with free raffle tickets – to win a poetry book prize.
Sign up for 3 min. open mic nights on the night.