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Poets wax lyrical at first open mic event in south Shropshire

By Charlotte Bentley | Bishop's Castle | South Shropshire entertainment | Published:

Sonnets and limericks were the order of the day as poets gathered together for the launch of an open mic event in south Shropshire.

Renowned local poet and novelist Paul Binding, performs at the first open mic poetry evening at the Poetry Pharmacy, 36 High Street, Bishops Castle.

Held at the world's first Poetry Pharmacy in Bishop's Castle, an open mic event was launched by Pat Edwards, organiser of the Welshpool Poetry Festival, this week.

The sounds of iambic pentameter and blank verse filled the walls of the historic building on Bishop's Castle High Street as around 20 poets, amateur and professional alike, joined together to hear one another's work.

Pat runs a similar event in Montgomery, and decided to bring one to south Shropshire because the Poetry Pharmacy was the perfect venue.

"Bishop's Castle is close enough it can attract people from Wales and the border towns," she said.

"The Poetry Pharmacy is the perfect venue, it has been so sensitively restored and having poetry read aloud inside brings it to life."

Renowned Bishop's Castle poet, Paul Binding, attended the launch and read some of his published work, which Pat said inspires others.

"It is nice to have a guest poet because then all the rest of us who are in the open mic can see the standard and gives us something to aim for," she added.

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"To hear other people's work, it feeds our own work.

"We like to have guest poets because they attract their own followers.

"We encourage people to bring their own work because it really is a good sounding board. Us poets get so little feedback."

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Pat started the sessions in March 2016, wanting to create a bi-monthly poetry event in Wales, and said the launch night went very well and was well attended.

Deborah Alma, who runs the Poetry Pharmacy, said: "Occasionally people will read another's lines but almost always they will read their own new writing.

"The event is so that local poets have the chance to try out their work in front of friends and peers.

"Every weekend right through to September this year we have lots of events planned at the Pharmacy."

The next open mic will be on Wednesday, March 25 with guest speaker Ruth Stacey from University of Worcester.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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