Art and Performance Weekend – Poetry Performances

Participate In Art and the Royal Porcelain Works will host the first Arts and Performance Weekend on 24th to the 26th August 2019 at the Royal Porcelain Work, off Severn Street, Worcester.

A weekend like no other bringing all aspects of arts and culture together in one place, from poetry, a book shop, artworks to interactive performances.

An amazing weekend of culture and experience with live music, song, poetry, plays, interactive installations, art and artists in the beautiful surrounds on the recently renovated Royal Porcelain Works. This event is suitable for all ages and appreciations.

Poets who will be performing over the weekend...

Over 12 poets, including the new Worcestershire Poet Laureate, will be performing sets of their work ranging from family friendly to dark and gothic.

  • CS Barnes (Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2019-20)
  • Suz Winspear (Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2016-17)
  • Holly Yuille (Worcestershire Flash Fiction Winner 2019)
  • Georgie Bull
  • Bob Woodroofe
  • Sue Johnson
  • Mel Wardle Woodend
  • Io Osborn (Worcestershire Poetry Slam Winner 2019)
  • Sharon Carr
  • Amanda Bonnick
  • Claire Walker
  • Holly Daffurn
  • Scott Cowley

A bookshop presenting titles from Black Pear Press and V Press and the performing poets will also be available.

There will be poetry performances throughout the weekend, with something for everyone.

The Poetry performers are:

Charley Barnes

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2019-20

Charley Barnes has performed her work at poetry salons, open mic events and festival stages around the UK since starting her poetry career back in 2014. Charley’s work looks at everything from motherhood to mental health to silly life mistakes.

Through her work, Charley aims to pack an emotional and intellectual punch by finding new ways of looking at age-old issues, and she does this through a mixture of performance and page-based poetry, ensuring that there is a little something for all audience types.

Charley debut pamphlet of poetry, A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache, was published by V. Press in 2018. Well-received by reviewers, the pamphlet discusses everything from real-life relationships in the modern world through to living with a disability – having suffered from a chronic illness for much of her life, this is something else that comes through a lot in Charley’s work. Her second pamphlet is forthcoming and is due for release later this year. This second release is focussed around the issues of body dysmorphia and eating disorders and, a small but mighty collection, the book aims to shine a spotlight on the reality of these conditions.

All of that said, Charley also has one or two poems tucked away about ending up outside an ex-partner’s house while being totally sloshed. So, there are some easier poems in the catalogue as well!

Twitter: @charleyblogs Website:

Suz Winspear

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2016-17

Suz Winspear, will take you on a riotous, disquieting and often humorous guided tour through the world of those people, the outsiders, the awkward ones.

Your itinerary will introduce you to Worcester’s late-night population, a 1940’s hair salon, giant squid dancing under jellyfish chandeliers, misanthropic day-trippers, folk- horror, time frozen pubs, steampunk, dysfunctional families, eyeball bouquets, malign urban tress, and a transgender Velociraptor. Suz Winspear’s unerring eye for the offbeat and bizarre finds poetic inspiration and even laughter in the darkest, most unlikely places

If you are looking for sugary poems about sunshine and babies, or are turned off by strange, dark themes, look away now!

Holly Yuille

Worcestershire Flash Fiction Winner 2019

Holly Yuille looks on the dark side of life with her short fiction and poetry. Often drawing on the weird and wonderful characters from her native South Wales, she’s a big fan of a twist in the tale or a good old unhappy ending.

Her work is written to be shared aloud and enjoyed – she’ll even do the funny voices.

After graduating with a Creative Writing Degree from Swansea University in 2008, Holly took a short ten-year hiatus from writing until 2018 when she found a suitably weird home in Worcester’s spoken word scene. Since then she has been a regular at The 42 Worcester and The Long and the Short of It.

Her work has appeared in Roundyhouse Magazine and The Big Issue Cymru. She recently won the 2019 Worcestershire Litfest Flash Fiction Slam and her short story You Don’t Know Me was shortlisted for the 2018 John O’Connor Short Story Competition. Holly is currently working on a magic realism novel set in South Wales about a young woman and her Country and Western fairy godmother.

Holly hosts Time to Write Worcester once a month at the Kiln where she locks other writers away for 6 hours at a time and forces them to eat vegan cakes and write.


Georgie Bull

Georgie Bull is a freelance copywriter and published author living in Worcester.

She has lived with bipolar disorder and depression since she was a teenager, and her writing, often focused on mental health issues, is refreshingly honest. Her stories dive into shocking depths of desperation and despair, but also examine how bonds of family, friendship and love can provide a bright spark of hope in the darkest of days.

She runs the writer’s community blog Fiction Fridays and is the artistic director of Brain Cocaine, an immersive theatre company.

A homeless woman struggles to find her own identity in a society insistent on pretending that she doesn’t exist…A young girl is plagued by menacing ghosts that nobody else can see… A young man runs away from his abusive home and prepares to raise his own child, while the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father haunts him every day… A lonely woman starts an extramarital affair with the man she is obsessed with, who also happens to be her new boss… A teenager is pressured into an arranged marriage by her parents in a society where it is unacceptable to be gay… An elderly woman with dementia has to make the difficult decision of whether life is worth living while her precious memories are stolen from her by the dreadful disease…

These are just a few of the characters in Voices. Ordinary people in extraordinary, often horrifying circumstances. Inspired by true events, this collection of short stories gives a voice to those who are not often heard, but should be.

Website:  Website:

Bob Woodroofe

Born and bred and still living in the Vale of Evesham Bob is scientifically trained and has worked in the engineering, computing and environmental fields.

He is inspired by the natural world, the countryside and its rural traditions and ancient mysteries. Intrigued by the crossover between science and art he attempts to bring the magic of nature and its restorative and healing qualities to a wider audience.

His poems are performed at various local venues and have appeared in many poetry magazines. Bob has published several collections including a trilogy about the local Vale of Evesham and a pamphlet about his search for Greenness.

Two joint collections with Sue Johnson about their Family Trees and their Journey together. All publications are also available on Amazon in print or e-book format. The full collection entitled ‘Pick of the Crop’ includes local poems about Evesham, Worcester and Croome Park.

Website: Email:

Sue Johnson

Sue is a poet, short story writer and novelist. She also creates books aimed at helping other writers. Sue is a Writing Magazine Creative Writing Tutor and also runs her own brand of workshops. She is a member of the Society of Authors.

Sue’s work is inspired by country walks, visiting historic houses, eavesdropping in cafes and reading fairy tales.

Many of her ideas begin as poems and then grow into something bigger. She never goes out without a notebook and a supply of pens. Sue is a great fan of writing competitions. Some of her best successes have resulted from entering a competition including the publication of her first UK magazine short story in ‘Woman’ in September 2000. She has since published nearly 100 stories in UK, European and Australian magazines. Her first Pocket Novel ‘The Girl With Amber Eyes’ was published by My Weekly in 2017. She has since republished with Toadstone Press and an audio book should be available soon. So far, Sue has published five novels, three poetry collections and two joint collections with partner Bob Woodroofe.

In 2017 Sue and Bob joined forces with singer-songwriter Colin Pitts to create a CD called ‘A Town Like Evesham.’ They will be performing poems and songs from this at Number 8 Community Arts Centre, Pershore in October 2019. Sue is very fortunate to have lexical-gustatory synaesthesia – she experiences certain words and names as a specific taste. She is a member of the UK Synaesthesia Association. Sue’s other interests include reading, learning Italian, cooking and yoga.

Further details of Sue’s workshops, publications and events can be found at

Mel Wardle Woodend

Mel Wardle Woodend is a keen reader, writer and body boarder from the West Midlands.

Her family, animals, interactions with the people she encounters on her journey, and the natural world all inspire her work, which includes three dyslexia-friendly children’s books, nature poetry collections, and Just a Thought (2019) exploring mental health issues.

Mel holds an MA Creative Writing and is a full-time writer, editor and performance poet; organising poetry slams and events, facilitating workshops, participating in slams and open mics, and performing at festivals in London and the Midlands; including Wolverhampton LitFest’s 2018 Poets Against Racism, Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2019, and Worcestershire LitFest 2019.

Facebook: melwardlewoodend

Io Osborn

Worcestershire Poetry Slam Winner 2019

Writing has been a compulsion for most of my life. I was educated in several countries and in several languages and I always struggled to limit my school essays to the required word limit.

My friends and family were regaled with letters that started off with Dear and ended some few thousand words later. I guess all this was an indication which way my path should go, yet, although I never stopped writing, it never occurred to me to do anything with it.

When I did, so many years later, it was through connections I made when I joined writing groups.

Since then my poetry and prose has been published in several anthologies and I have contributed in international poetry projects, including collaboration in the University of Granada translation department. I write poetry in several languages, and recently managed to write my first two poems in Russian, which surprised me as well as my Russian audience. I am a member of Worcester Writer’s Circle, Coachhouse Writers and Robin Woods Writers. For the last eight years I have been performing at spoken events and including the Worcester Litfest Poetry slam which I won two years running in 2018 and 2019.

Writing for me is essential, like food that you also enjoy sharing with others. What you offer to others should be the best you can make it and I take my writing seriously, although I have no great ambition to be published or to make a name for myself. It is enough to be able to write, and to know that some people like my work makes me feel satisfied that I have served something worthwhile.

Sharon Carr

Originally from Canada, Sharon Carr-Wu has been a Midlands dweller for many years.

Beginning her storytelling career in 2010, Sharon worked as one of the resident artists at Birmingham Storytelling Café.

Since leaving the Cafe, she has run her own spoken word event: StoryVibes – storytelling, spoken word & music that she co-hosts with fellow storyteller, Pyn Stockman every two months in South Birmingham. 

For the past two years, Sharon has had a short residency as a Storyteller at Tudor House Museum in Worcester and returns this summer for more family storytelling. Sharon has performed at festivals, museums, libraries, theatres, spoken word events and wherever she gets a chance to tell a tale!

Facebook: StoryVibesStorytellingSpokenWordandMusic Twitter: @Story_Vibes

Amanda Bonnick

Amanda Bonnick is a Worcester writer. She is also a producer, director and actor with Melting Pot Theatre Company.

She has co-hosted the Word and Sound open mic event and has performed her poetry at Parole Parlate, SpeakEasy, Licensed to Rhyme, and Stirchley Speaks spoken word events.

She has recently published her poetry pamphlet ‘Pick Your Own’ with Worcester’s Black Pear Press and her work has appeared in anthologies ‘Voices of 1919’ (by Mike Alma), ‘Ripples’ by Jackie Summer, and several small presses (Envoi, Fire, Critical Survey, Agenda)

She is currently writing her third novel in a Children’s fiction series. She is interested in collaborations through poetry with other art forms, especially the visual arts. She has co-led Creative Writing Workshops with Polly Stretton for Worcestershire LitFest and is very keen to develop this side of her work.

Claire Walker

Claire Walker’s poetry has been published in a range of magazines, webzines and anthologies, including The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Ink Sweat and Tears and The Chronicles of Eve.

She had two poems shortlisted in the 2019 Welshpool Poetry Festival Competition.

She has two pamphlets published by V. Press – The Girl Who Grew Into A Crocodile (2015) and Somewhere Between Rose and Black (2017), which was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet at the 2018 Saboteur Awards. Her third pamphlet, Collision, is due in September 2019 from Against the Grain Press. She is Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine (


Holly Daffurn

Holly Daffurn’s work rages from the political to the confessional, flitting from witty anecdotes to stark cutting observations; the uniting feature is a distinct and brazen honesty.

Holly Daffurn’s debut poetry collection is a book about extremes. ‘Crossing The Line’ offers a storm of sexuality;

snapshots of mania and depression; brooding portraits of fractured love; musings on boundaries crossed, conflict and duality… and a hunger for the forbidden. Out in July through Bite Poetry Press.


Scott Cowley

Opening doors for conversations into difficult subjects.

Multi slam winning poet Scott Cowley is known for his uncomplicated truth, hard hitting lines and emotive delivery.

Scott’s poetry offers a refreshing blend of reality and artistry that will leave you reeling. Scott Cowley’s first collection of poetry screams in the face of his inner demons. ‘Not Under My Breath’ shouts about Scott’s battles with addiction and the mental illness that almost killed him, while offering intimate reflections on his absent father, his relationship with his son and grief. Out in July through Bite Poetry Press


Over the August Bank Holiday Saturday and Sunday 11-5pm and Monday 11-4pm, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in art and culture of all forms at The Royal Porcelain Works, Severn Street, Worcester, WR1 2NE.


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