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poetry cafe 6The reading evening for the Connections Anthology (buy here) in the Poetry Cafe last Friday was a triumph! As always the venue proved that it is just the right place to read and share our words. Intimate and un-threatening, even first time readers feel at home straight away in this setting. The audience is close enough to touch and so every nuance of the voice is carried easily to all corners of the room and for the depth of emotion carried in some of the readings on Friday, it was perfect. Equally though the space lends itself to humour and cold hard fact – a brilliant place to perform.

As for the quality of the readings – well we always knew the standard of work included in the anthology was high, but Friday night confirmed the diversity and excellence of the writing. We had something for everyone ranging from heart-rending to unapologetically erotic! The audience collectively held their breath, laughed aloud and sighed in sympathy depending on the piece being performed.

Writers who had previously been names on the end of an email met face to face and bonded, new friends were made and old friends met up again. Gigs were booked and the Paragram Poetry Competition 2013 was launched. Importantly for me, I had the rare opportunity to publicly thank two mentors (Adrienne Dines and Agnes Meadows) without whose support my own writing would have floundered and none of this could have happened – Paragram would have remained a twinkle in somebody else’s eye. Equally I must pay tribute to the founder members of Paragram whose vision and enthusiasm has taken us from germ of an idea to successful reality – Andrew, Jill, Kate, Laura, Lesley and Maria – all absolute stars in so many ways.

With over 100 Paragrammers  who have supported us by sharing their work, more than 50 of whom have been published in an anthology and/or performed at one of our events, Paragram is firmly on the Poetry Scene and our aim is to double that number for 2013…so watch this space for news of the competition!

Finally a heartfelt thank you to everyone who had a hand in making Friday night such a roaring success…founder members, writers and their supporters and venue staff.