Cafe Poetry: ‘and then came the rain’

With the age of literary correspondence dying, it seems more important than ever to provide spaces of warmth and comfort in which writers can not only retreat, but meet, share, critique and discuss their writing, face to face, without the insipidly pale protection of a computer screen.


Creativity of any kind is a deeply personal and private process. Poems go for months, perhaps years unheard and unread by family members, friends, partners – even editors and publishers.  This is inevitable. Writers are generally small, dithering little things without a shred of unnerved confidence between them. All the more reason to free oneself from the narrow (and often dimly lit) restraints of the writing desk, and confront the world – manuscript in hand.

As daunting a task as this might seem, it is a necessary one. One’s writing could be magnificent. But this magnificence can never be heard if it remains in a desk drawer.  Readings too can be terrifying. Showing your work to a partner – threefold. A gentler introduction to revealing the fruits of one’s private labours are writing workshops; and what better way to house these often nervous and tricky introductions, than in the relaxed and impartial setting of a ‘café’….

Read more @ The Birmingham Press 

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