By Jen Hughes
If there was anything that could perfectly encapsulate ‘punk’, it was Poetry @ Inn Deep. It was on Tuesday 24th October it celebrated its 5th birthday, and it was a night of intelligent prose and rowdy audience participation. As it was a special occasion, they had a projector up with a social media feed where the audience could post pictures of themselves on Twitter and Instagram at the event under hashtag #spec_books. It filled up pretty quickly, not just of pictures from the event but also with memes and pictures of cute animals.
By the time the show had started, the seating areas were packed out and a mass of people were accumulating in the archway. It was hosted by the deliciously enthusiastic Sam Small1. He beckoned the people at the back closer, to sit on the floor and delivered the news of a new publishing company, Speculative Books which he is a part of. For a modest monthly fee, you can receive a pick of their best poetry and fiction through the post. Then he got onto reading his own poetry, one about making books great again and another surreal one where everything in the universe is worth the same.
He is a delight to listen to and constantly kept the audience engaged, even during a 20-minute epic poem about 3 different people in his life. There was no poet who was exactly the same, and with so many interesting poems it’s difficult to fit everything into one review. There was Imogen Sterling, who almost sang her poems. Adam V Cheshire2, who tended to scream in parts of his poems including: “Poetry isn’t known for giving a lot of fucks”. There was Jack McMillan, who popped up to recite his ode to ladders before passing the mic to Bibi June3. She was very skilled in the art of audience participation by playing games and singing parts of songs, which are related to her poems.
After this, in a bizarre move to make things more accessible to the people in the back, Sam decided to move the whole gig to the centre of the venue’s foyer and recited another one of his poems standing on a chair. Then, in a rockstarish fashion, he crowdsurfed his way back to where we all were before. We heard some songs and poems from Cee Smith, before the show finished off with poet Iona Lee4. She was rather soft spoken and sounded a lot like a narrator of a children’s bedtime program.
If you love poetry, non-conformism, drinking on a Tuesday, or are just looking for some inspiration or something outrageous to do during the week, I highly recommend checking it out.
Poetry at Inn Deep is on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month. If you’re interested in the idea of supporting Glaswegian poets or even just discounted books, check out https://www.speculativebooks.net/for more details.
2 @eitherorbored (Adam)