Our next event will feature poets Ian Duhig, Fiona Benson and Becky Cherriman with music from Chris Davies, Katy-Anne Bellis and Henry Botham. The venue is the Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, time 2.30-4.00.
This is a free event open to all and there’s no need to book.
Photo credit Gerry Cambridge
Former homelessness worker Ian Duhig’s seventh book ‘The Blind Roadmaker’ is a PBS Spring Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2016 Roehampton Prize, the Forward Best Collection Prize and the TS Eliot Prize. A Cholmondelely Award recipient and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duhig has been a joint winner of a Shirley Jackson Award, a winner of the Forward Best Poem Prize and twice winner of the National Poetry Competition.
Fiona Benson lives in rural Devon with her husband James Meredith and their daughters, Isla and Rose. She was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and then St Andrews University, where she completed the MLitt in Creative Writing and a PhD on Ophelia as a dramatic type in early modern drama. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2006, and was a participant in the Faber New Poets programme in 2009 with the pamphlet Faber New Poets 1. Her first full-length collection Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape, 2014), won the Seamus Heaney Prize for first collection, was a co-winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, amongst others.
Becky Cherriman is a writer, workshop leader and performer based in Leeds. Published by Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed and in Poets For Corbyn, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and lead artist for Altofts Festival In A Day 2016. Becky is a co-writer and performer of Haunt, a site-specific theatre commission for Imove, a project about homelessness. She is currently working on her one woman show, Corseted. Her first poetry pamphlet Echolocation and first collection Empires of Clay were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively. http://www.beckycherriman.com
With music from Chris Davies, Katy-Anne Bellis and Henry Botham
Chris is a Musician, Composer, Performer, Buddhist, Hairdresser and Oudist with over thirty years experience working in the Arts, mainly with visual theatre and dance. His current projects are preparing to tour performing live accompaniment for the first full length animated film ever made ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’, touring in 2017 with a play called ‘Spring Reign’ about the current situation in Aleppo, Syria, Saxophonist/raver with Mr Wilson’s Second Liners who play early 90’s dance classics in the style of a New Orleans Brass Band, a few haircuts, transforming the mind through Buddhist study and practice, and sound technician for Poets and Players. For more information please look here ~ http://www.musichris.co.uk
Katy-Anne Bellis is a performer, puppeteer, maker and producer. She is co-founder of Headstrung a company based in Liverpool dedicated to sillyness and puppet based mayhem. They have created puppet cabaret and their latest show the Cryptid Petting zoo continues to tour to Venues and festivals across the country. Katy-Anne is the founding member of all female performance group Caustic Widows and was recently commissioned to develop a street theatre show inside a giant golden birdcage which toured to various festivals throughout the UK. She has been working as a puppeteer with the lantern company since 2007 and has worked nationally and internationally as a street theatre artist, performer and puppeteer. Credits include “Imaginary Friends” and “Pig” (Whalley Range All Stars), “Cosmic Trigger” (Daisy Campbell) and “Pinocchio” (Proper Job)
Henry Botham is a professional pianist based in Manchester, UK. He specialises in Harlem Stride Piano, New Orleans music and playing vintage and analogue keyboards, organs and electric pianos.
When he graduated from Salford University with a first class degree in music he had already been working for several years with his first band the HB3, a jazz trio that performed gigs around the Manchester jazz circuit. At around this time he also toured and recorded with RSL, where he developed his love of vintage and analogue instruments that led to the formation of No Good Beatniks, an originals project with a stellar line up of UK jazz talent.
In an unusual departure from the work he had been doing Henry then turned his focus on learning 1920’s Harlem Stride piano by studying the great pianists Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith, Luckey Roberts and Dick Wellstood. He found that there weren’t many gigs going around for stride pianists in modern day Manchester so he formed 52 Skidoo. They have since gone on to become one of the leading 1920/30’s bands in the UK and beyond.
Having developed a taste for vintage piano and ‘old time music’ he discovered New Orleans piano, which draws from a wide range of influences including Blues, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Rhumba, Ragtime and even Classical music and Rock, all epitomized by the recognised master of the genre, James Booker. Through studying his recordings, as well as those by Dr John, Professor Longhair and Jelly Roll Morton, plus visiting New Orleans to meet and study with Tom McDermott, Josh Paxton and Jon Cleary, Henry has emerged with an intricate knowledge of this little known approach to piano. He puts this to good use as pianist for New Orleans R&B band The Nightcreatures.
As well as regularly playing with all three projects he runs a New Orleans jam at Matt and Phred’s, Manchester (3rd Monday of the month), plays trombone in Mr Wilsons Second Liners and is a keen flautist.
Henry performs solo piano (a mix of everything described above) and enjoys accompanying singers and soloists whenever he can. He has done session work in a wide variety of situations and continues to do so. He also runs his own private teaching practice.