Ghost Dance 2002
Some members of the new house band

Poetry at the cafe is now well-established.  The first session at which we featured poetry was February 2000, when Sam Smith appeared. Sam is the author of 4 acclaimed poetry collections as well as being a novelist, publisher and editor (currently of The Journal,  amongst other poetry publications).

We experimented with integrating poetry and jazz, by Sam reading his work either over breaks in the music or against improvised passages from the band.  This went down so well with the audience that we have  repeated and developed the experiment over many occasions since, featuring poets ranging from haiku to beat style to rap. Pictured below is Jamaican poet Ripton Lindsay.

Ripton Lindsay performing at the Caribbean Cafe

Poetry from Ann Harrison-Broninski featured as a central part of the Nunney Sun Dance event on  Bank Holiday Monday 29 May 2000, and again in the Ghost Dance on 6 May 2001.  She is  pictured below with gospel singer Kizzy Morrell performing in the Sun Dance - Kizzy is on the left, Ann on the right.

There may be further spin-off events in future which involve poetry. Poets interested in working with jazz musicians, or performing in an unusual and exciting setting, please contact us.

We are also keen to support other poetry-related initiatives.  Check out Ted Slade’s Poetry Kit, for  example, for a guide to what’s happening generally on the international poetry scene.