What a month November was. A month in which I have done tours before, mainly my Arts Centre tour of England and NI in 2017 reading My Adventures in Mental Health show for the first time (later became the book Bedlam’s Best and Finest). It’s always a lovely way to spend the month before the build up to Christmas. For me it was wonderful to have dropped in on so many poetry communities to see how poetry scenes tick and the in jokes and bits of banter here and there. And the end of the tour was no less important to me for that.

The Shrewsbury slam was ably and wonderfully compered by Poets Prattlers and Pandemonium, a trio of poets, Steve Pottiger, David Pitt and Emma Purshouse, I’ve had the pleasure of being a feature at their Home and Away event earlier in the year, representing Northern Ireland along with Nathan Elout-Armstrong and Cat Brogan, two poets I also admire. The slam was a great event and many poets came ready with their A game. It was also great to see poets in the flesh for the first time, mainly this time being Clive Oseman, who I have seen virtually many times now. It’s always an experience to see each other in real life and for the slam there was a really good turnout. Check out the Shrewsbury Lit Fest next year. It really is a lovely town

I was staying in hotels in Shrewsbury and enjoyed the place immensely, from its Tudor buildings to its cobbled streets it was a lovely place to finish the tour and Jackanory, an online event I was happy to feature at was a sweet ending to an amazing month

The week since landing home has been a bit of a blur, getting all the documents etc for going to Brussels on Wed for the Euro Poetry Slam on Fir has been done and now there’s little else to do but go for it! I am reluctant to publicise the event much on FB etc in case I jinx it. Saying that JF Travel in Coleraine have been most helpful. If you live nearby they are worth a shout.

It’s always emotional coming home, but with Lit Up coming up and the Brussels trip there’s been little time to just sit and reflect, but hey, I guess that’s what Christmas is for.

More news to follow….