Pinggg…K! Annual Summary – 2015
February 1, 2016
Pinggg…K! ANNUAL SUMMARY – 2015
Pinggg…K! celebrated its fifth year with a Limited Edition hardbound book, four and twenty in preparation. Blackbird-earthworm genre couplets were matched with cartoons by Peter Buckley, Alain Lucron, Pammy Raymond, she wicked, Citizen Bxtr and Litya and Rumbi McLeod-Markee. Outstanding blackbird-earthworm poems by David Pollak, Liz Gray and Drew Walton were included and the book edited by June’s featured poet, Helen Ivory.
Overall the year was one of consolidation as the venue, Duffy’s Bar, 18 Pocklington’s Walk, Leicester LE1 6BU developed as space for sharing as well as performance. Monthly Pinggg…K!s began with a poetry circle and after a break sigued into ‘open mic’ and featured performances. The circle succeeded in drawing out more personal and spontaneous verse, with contributions from those who might see themselves as audience only, and the performance potential of the bijoux stage area began to be realised, especially under the watchful eye of Darren Baxter, technician and house person. The event continues to be FREE, and that is a consequence of the generous support of the proprietor, Jackie Duffy.
Generally the attendance was lower than in previous years, the data for this not possible because of the loss of the recording sheets for January to September. Those who attended, however, were more likely to contribute to the Poetry Circle and Performances. Students, especially from DeMontfort University with its Creative Writing course and LGBT society, made a distinct contribution. The lower numbers must be seen as positive in one regard – excellent alternative poetry events are now on offer in Leicester, some of these where ‘metrosexual’ poetry would feel most welcome – Find the Right Words, House of Verse and ANERKI.
The most significant development of 2015 has been two events both linked with support from our big sister organisation and mentor, WORD. Beginning with its launch in August at the LGBT Centre in Wellington Street, LGBT Joined Up Writing offered six workshops at different institutional venues in Leicester culminating in a support act performance at WORD in November: ‘More per Verse – a Poetry for Change’. From this project the inspirational poetry of Joelle Taylor and Toby Campion and the artwork of Mandy Brook will lead into events in the coming year. The second event was a scripted (audience as well as performers had copies) Secret Santa Special at WORD in December. The performance event was preceded by a workshop led by Bobba Cass. As in previous years there was also SPRING at Embrace Arts / Attenborough Arts Centre. Sadly that was the last because of the funding drying up.
Featured performers in 2015 included Carol Leeming, Marcus Joseph who performed both as saxophonist inviting audience response and as poet, Richard Byrt, Coral Greenhill, Helen Ivory, and Calvin Jeffrey and Mellow Baku, who perform their own songs. Carol Leeming and Rob Gee took charge of two Pingg…K!s leaving a brilliant ethos on the event. Another Pinggg…K! celebrated an initiative by Christine Rivers and effected by PAC (Peoples Arts Collective) through Everybody’s Reading Festival funding – Talking Tablecloths.
Three Pinggg…K!s in the year are ‘in TRANS lation’ events – ‘trans’ in body, language and place. These are beginning to work towards a development of longer term Pinggg…K! commitments. Coral Greenhill’s ‘Cross-Dressing in Ancient Crete’ script and performance led to a workshop and performance with Carol Leeming; Sonja Grossner’s translation of her mother, Margarete Klopfleisch’s poetry, the originals being performed by German speaking Pinggg…K! participants, will lead to an exended refugee and asylum focussed event in 2016; and Mellow Baku’s singing the year out in December brought together the best attended event of the year which was hosted at Firebug! because of electrical problems at Duffy’s Bar. Sixteen members of an audience of forty performed, three of these first timers. And Magnus Gestsson from Reykjavik opened Galleri Gestur for December. It is this kind of energy which bodes well for the coming year.
Pinggg…K! has its own website … pingggk.wordpress.com, an email contact list and is on Facebook as an open group.