Friday, January 27, 2017

Storm and Golden Sky: We're Calling it a Day (a Friday, actually)

Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee reading September 2016

After nearly three years, the organisers of Storm and Golden Sky have decided to call it a day. The decision, I think, was made by the three remaining organisers fairly independently. I definitely felt that the Allen Fisher reading felt like the end, as I organised it alone. It was a great reading, but I couldn’t quite see into the future for another event. None had been arranged.

I’m proud of what we achieved and I was surprised (given I’ve also been smoothly running poetry readings at Edge Hill since 1998-ish (take a look here for a description of that series) and was part of the Sub-Voicive Readings in London for a number of years before that, not to mention the Collected Works readings at our house a few years ago) how difficult it was. The runaround to find another venue for the Brown-Corcoran reading was a steep learning curve. (The staff at Bluecoat were wonderful in accommodating us.) The moment when Elly and I managed to lock ourselves out of that reading (which was in full flow) and our immediate and uncontrollable hysterics perhaps sums it all up.

It was good to organise readings for some of the great writers of our time (look at the list) but I also particularly enjoyed meeting people I didn’t know before, who delighted by their performances: Sophie Collins, Claire Potter, Sophie Mayer, Lauren De Sa Naylor and Nathan Walker. 

A (hopefully) Complete List of Storm and Golden Sky readings in the Caledonia, Liverpool

Organised by Eleanor Rees, Robert Sheppard, Michael Egan, Nathan Jones (with Michael dropping out during 2015)

February 28th 2014: Crispin Best and Melissa Lee-Houghton (with 10 minute sets by Eleanor Rees, Robert Sheppard, Michael Egan, Nathan Jones).

March 21st 2014: Sarah Corbett and Lee Harwood

April 25th 2014: Keston Sutherland and Zoe Skoulding

May 30th 2014: Joanne Ashcroft and Rhys Trimble (with short set by Nathan Jones)

June 27th 2014: Evan Jones and Holly Pester

July 18th 2014: Helen Tookey and Niall Campbell

September 26th 2014: Sophie McKeand and Tom Jenks

October 31st 2014: Richard Barrett and Sophie Collins

November 28th 2014: Steve McCaffery and Karen MacCormack (with short set three voice piece by Robert Sheppard, Jo Blowers and Steve Boyland. Steve also performed briefly with Steve McCaffery as HEN STEP)

January 30th 2015: Claire Potter and Tim Atkins

February 27th 2015: Luke Kennard and Claire Trévien

March 27th 2015: Maggie O’Sullivan and Chris McCabe

April 24th 2015: Tim Allen and JR Carpenter

May 29th 2015: Ross Sutherland and Patricia Farrell

June 26th 2015: Andy Brown and Kelvin Corcoran (with long supporting set by Maria I. Bennett). This reading occurred at Bluecoat.

July 31st 2015: Eleanor Rees and Robert Hampson

September 25th: Natasha Borton and John Redmond

October 30th 2015: Alan Halsey, Geraldine Monk with singer Steve Boyland

November 27th 2015: Sandeep Parmar and Robert Sheppard (with short set by Adam Hampton)

January 29th 2016: James Byrne and Leanne Bridgewater

February 26th 2016: Lizzie Nunnery and Scott Thurston

April 29th 2016: Nathan Jones and Sarah Crewe (with short set by Abigail Goodhart)

May 27th 2016: Sophie Mayer and Jeff Hilson

June 24th 2016: Mark Greenwood and Rachel Sills

July 22nd 2016: Lauren De Sa Naylor and Nathan Walker (Liverpool Biennial Fringe Event)

September 30th 2016: Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee (Liverpool Biennial Fringe Event)

October 28th 2016: Yvonne Reddick and (Andrea Brady was ill so Robert Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, James Byrne and Tim Allen read with very little preparation)

November 25th 2016: Allen Fisher and (Linda Stupart was ill so 8 Edge Hill poetry writing students read: Rob Edge, Brendan Quinn, Phil Carter, Izzy Lamb, Bill Bulloch, Jen Murphy, Laura Tickle and one other with a couple of days preparation)

NB: Hannah Silva read a short set at one of the earliest readings.  

That’s exactly 70 readers by my counting, which is a hit to be proud of.
Reading photographs of Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee, Charles, Susan and Robert Sheppard © and courtesy of Adam Hampton: September 30th 2016.