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Biting the Biscuit

My writing friend Lewis Brown has been in residence at the Biscuit Factory. The Biscuit Factory was once a biscuit factory but, sadly, is now a large and exciting commercial art gallery instead. During his residency, called Poetry Bites, Lewis wrote poetry inspired by the artwork. More, he ran workshops supporting others (including me) to write poetry inspired by the artwork. More even than that, he organised a poetry evening for writers to share their work, including the poems we’d written inspired by the artwork.

It was a joyous project and a grand night out. The Biscuit Factory showcases a huge variety of art and craft, and writers responded to different works in different ways, leading to an evening of sharing that was also massively varied in style and content, but that held together through the theme of responding to art. I love spoken word events – I think I’ve mentioned it before in my blog. I love how throwing together such an array of writers at different stages in their writing and performing makes you listen in a different – and more generous – way to what’s being shared, which means you get to hear new things and hear things new.

I won’t share the work I produced here – yet – because I’m so pleased with what I got that I want to put it out into the world, to a competition or a journal. But I do want to share that we open mic-ers got paid. It wasn’t what you’d call a princely sum but with bus fares what they are currently it more than covered my travel, and Poetry Bites got me to a milestone in my writing career: it was the first time I’ve been paid to read my own work.

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