Cast your minds back to October for just a moment.  You might recall the mounting fear of a second wave of the virus that has so altered our lives, might have felt despondent at the growing possibility of a winter spent indoors away from loved ones, or resigned to once again having freedoms we once took for granted, stripped back.  Six months since Poetry Performance’s first foray into the online realm, it is where this staunch troop of Teddington poets remain, but the tantalising promise of lockdown lifting and a whiff of spring in the air lends a hopeful voice to this evening’s meeting.

In days gone by, as you will know if you have read previous reviews for virtual volumes One through to Four, these poets performing from their living rooms, would have been performing in person at The Adelaide pub, but they have settled into their new home on Zoom and the sense of community and comradery the group share is palpable.  There is also no keeping some members from the opportunity to enjoy the work of their fellow poets with a glass of wine in hand, which I commend!  There’s still always someone on mute, but such is the lie of the land on Zoom.

Virtual communities formed over the last year have been a lifeblood for many, and as evidenced by the volume of new writing shared this evening, a place for creativity to grow and flourish.  Confidence, too, can bloom even on Zoom and whilst some members are long-established, writing poetry since their teens, others are much newer to the craft and to the group.  Regardless, everyone is welcome, and Heather Montford (tonight’s host) offers words of encouraging feedback and reflection to all brave enough to share.  Tonight’s featured poet, Eddie Chauncy, also has a few pearls of wisdom to offer to budding poets in his insightful interview with Keith Wait; a treat sandwiched between the two acts.

“How many of us have made a promise, and how many of us have kept it?” Andrew Evzona asks us candidly, in his poem Promises, the title being the (loosely adhered to) theme for the evening.  It’s a question we might ask of ourselves but also of our leaders, as we look ahead to the road map that has been laid ahead of us, a yellow-brick road maybe, leading ultimately back to where we came from, but world-weary from the journey.  Evzona’s free, loose style runs like a stream of consciousness, asking big questions and offering up lots to think about on the matter at hand, almost too much all at once to hold in one’s head.  I find I would like to re-visit his poetry in writing which is handy, as he is one of the select number of poets who appear this evening to be published…


Continue reading at Mark Aspen reviews, below…

Virtual Fifth


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