Award-winning Sussex poet Robin Houghton is the headline guest for Chichester’s Open Mic Poetry when she reads new poems and mines her back catalogue at the New Park Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 28.
Robin said: “When I think about it, I’ve written for a living for over 20 years – but the kind of writing that pays isn’t poetry! As a marketer and copywriter it’s been words all the way, and since getting an MA in digital media in 2000 I’ve worked in online communications and latterly social media. In recent years I’ve written five how-to books, three of which were commissioned and are still selling well in good bookshops.
“After 30 plus years of trying to write poetry, I decided to stop mucking about and to set myself the goal of getting a poem published in a reputable magazine. I needed a sign, if you like, that I had some modicum of talent worth working on. The Gods of Poetry (in the shape of Rialto magazine) gave me that sign in 2010, and it made me serious about writing and reading poetry. Since then I’ve had quite a few poems published, including three pamphlets.”
Looking ahead to her visit to the Open Mic, Robin explains how poets can learn from each other: “Until recently I lived in Lewes, a town with a vibrant community of fine poets from whom I’ve learned masses, among them Clare Best, Charlotte Gann, Jeremy Page and Janet Sutherland, who’ve all read in Chichester. I’ve also benefited greatly from workshops and courses led by poets like Anne-Marie Fyfe.”
Open Mic organiser Barry Smith said: “It’s a pleasure to have Robin bring her new collection of poems to Chichester. All the Relevant Gods (2018) was a winner in the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition and has been praised by reviewers. She is widely published in magazines and in numerous anthologies including The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017. She has also won the New Writer Poetry Competition, the Stanza Competition and the Hamish Canham Prize.”
Barry adds that local poets will get the chance to share their own poems in the open mic section of the evening: “Our audiences are always very supportive so it’s a great platform for writers to read their own work. Listeners are equally welcome.”
Open Mic Poetry, 7.30pm, Wednesday, November 28, New Park Centre, Chichester. Entrance £4 on the door. www.chichesterpoetry.simplesite.com. Info from 07813 244731.