Monday, 24 August 2015
The Spirit Glass
Another blast from the past... The Spirit Glass was a poster of poems, compiled by Mark Madden from the legendary open mic nights at Arcadia Coffeehouse in North Street Arcade. It was launched at the very first Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival way back in 2000 (which kind of makes me feel old).
Arcadia was at the time the only real public platform for poets to get together and share their work. It existed before the Cathedral Quarter had any real night-life: all the bars would be shut at 11pm, no buses home, and you might have to walk a half-mile before you even found a chippy that was open.
I had only read there once or twice before when Mark asked me to contribute to the poster and invited me to read at the launch, which I was incredibly grateful for. Mark, Brian Bailey, Royce Harper, Stephen Gharbaoui, Colin Hamilton and others were featured on the poster. Looking back, my own poem was embarrassingly woeful, but it was the start of a love affair with live poetry, and Arcadia will always be an important part of my poetry roots.