Edgewords Renewal Anthology Launch

Saturday 8th December sees the launch of the Edgewords Renewal Anthology.

flyer by Lisa Evans 2018

flyer by Lisa Evans 2018

At The Edge Cafe on Mill Rd.

Doors open at 6.30pm, contributors readings start at 7pm. The cafe is open through out the event, selling hot/cold drinks (TIP: Ask Jacob for a Wild Encounterand cake. 

Copies of the chapbook anthology cost £5, proceeds to The Edge Cafe to support their recovery work.

Plus, it’s Simone’s birthday…

Come along and enjoy an evening of creative writing in Cambridge.


5th December 2018




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Submissions for Edgewords Renewal Anthology

The deadline for Edgewords Renewal Anthology draws closer, next week in fact, so please do get your finger out and send us your wonderful SHORT fictions and poems. There is a word limit of 300 words or 30 lines – details are on the Edge Cafe website – here.

The new anthology is edited by Munizha Ahmad-Cooke, Lisa Evans and Jean Dark. We have had several very wonderful submissions already, and the 19th September deadline is now looming. We are still waiting for you to send us YOUR contribution.

We recently recorded Munizha’s beautiful piece -Ripe – which appeared in the first Edgewords Anthology, you can listen to our reading of it here.  It was recorded a few week ago at Lisa’s, in the home studio she shares with her partner Colin. So many thanks to Colin for making the recording, we had such a lovely afternoon!

Follow this link to send your submissions to us – Edgewords Renewal Anthology

The Edgeworders. by Victor Manuel-Ibanez for Oblique Arts. 2017.

The Edgeworders. by Victor Manuel-Ibanez for Oblique Arts. 2017.

The first Edgewords Anthology was published last year, and came about through a series of Creative Writing workshops during September and October 2017. We were lucky to have the support of Oblique Arts, The Edge Cafe and Cambridge City Council who made the project possible.

Here is a photograph of the writing group by Victor. I think we look like a rock band! In fact, we are pausing during a workshop, at The Mayan Pyramid near Snakey Path on a writing expedition to Cherry Hinton Hall.


Edgewords Renewal Anthology Submission Form


Flash Fiction

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Dream Damaged

I have just posted up my first attempt at a Youtube video.
Dream Damaged

Derelict Elm 14



The text is one that I’ve had knocking around for sometime. It’s one that I used extensively when working with Jonny Marvel on Thee Sex Toy Library Experiments during 2015 to 2017. I have reused the text here with sounds, samples and support from Eli Saxman and Shakey Navel-Bones. The images are of a supposed derelict Elm in Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge. June 2018.



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Jonny Marvel 1968 – 2018

Today I wrote this for Jonny.

Meerkat with Binoculars - 2018

Meerkat with Binoculars – 2018

Dammit Jonny…
Sitting in unbearable still, lamental and heartbroken,
I recall the sound of Jonny laughing,
The black sheep love child of Sid James…
And Mutley – QiQiQi!
Then I remember the broken legged meerkat
with binoculars left anonymously by my gate.

Dammit Jonny…

Searching for old photographs,
I come across a carrier bag
Of Jonny’s books, borrowed the other christmas
And I can’t bear to look at them for grief.
I turn away and drink more coffee.
Then I remember his jibe
about the coincidence of my menopause
and the break up of my marriage.

Dammit Jonny…

The only two photos of Jonny I can find
Were taken at my wedding picnic
Taken at the same time, consecutively even.
KT, Jonny, Marc Vaubert de Chantilly, Pat, Kat and Jesus.
Jonny’s looking overheated, chill in the July heat
A scarf, or sarong, or pashmina-thing,
He’d know what to call it,
Slung nonchalantly around his shoulders.
In the sunset gleam his skin shines like porcelain,
He looks fragile.

I wish I had a photo of him, ten years later,
Rotund and hale with ill-health, serenading
A whole drunken Strawberry Fair Benefit in The Dev,
With That Robert Wyatt song, acapella.
And I weep into the washing up.
Dammit Jonny…
I love you.


Liminal Phases at CB1 Cafe. Temporary Temple Promotions 2015

Up til now I have been lost for words at Jonny’s sudden death. Finally I have managed to write this poem. Jonny and I were not always on good terms in recent months. I felt wounded and raw when I heard of his death, and confused. I have been looking at Jonny’s Diary of a Foolish Man site, which Jill Eastland had set up in 2013. Jonny and I worked together on content for the website during 2015 and 2016. All we managed was to upload  photographs, and set up links to recordings, of his Awkward Instant performance with Justyna Latoch and Vapour at ReWorks Outer Music festival in 2012.

Check out the links below

Jonny’s website

Ady Panic’s poem

Liminal Phases

That Robert Wyatt song

We Wrote, And Wrote, And Wrote

Here, for your pleasure,  is the report I wrote for The Edge Cafe Newsletter April 2018 about the Creative Writing group at The Edge Cafe…

On 12th January this year a thronging crowd gathered at The Edge Café for the combined Launch of Edgewords Anthology and Oblique Arts Exhibition.

Edgewords Launch 12th January 2018 The Edge Cafe cambridge

Edgewords Launch 12th January 2018 The Edge Cafe cambridge

As I stood beside the Community Fridge, I wondered how many more people could comfortably fit into the room. In nervous anticipation I watched, as more chairs were dragged out from the back room to seat the expanding, buzzing audience. Victor, Munizha, Lisa, Faith, Kate and I (The Edgeworders) were waiting to perform from Edgewords Anthology chapbook. Chapbook is a sixteenth century term for an independently printed pamphlet. In making our 2018 chapbook we participated in the whole process of it’s production: from writing content, through editing and collating, proof-reading and printing, to bookbinding paperback and hardback copies, using traditional hand binding methods.

We started writing back in September last year, our Creative Writing sessions ran on Friday afternoons, and we spent two hours a week in word games, outings to Cherry Hinton Hall and a local bookshop. We played with images, rune cards and even a chess board to ignite our imaginations. Our writing was posted weekly on our blog-page (https://oblique-arts.com/tag/creative-writing-workshops/). We chatted, drank tea, laughed and got to know each other, but mostly we took quiet time to explore, follow and write out our thoughts and inspiration, we wrote, and wrote, and wrote.

By November we had gathered enough material to edit our chapbook, which we then proof-read, printed and bound. Later, preparing for the Launch, Edgeworders worked together at solo performance and in devising collaborative group performances.

Edgeworders at The Maya Pyramid at Cherry Hinton - by Victor-Manuel Ibanez

Edgeworders at The Maya Pyramid at Cherry Hinton – by Victor-Manuel Ibanez

The accompanying Art Exhibition, in deep white frames around the walls, encompassed a range of media – photography, painting, sketching, illustration, bookbinding and collage, work from Oblique Arts visual art workshops in December and January.

For me, the Launch was a thoroughly enjoyable success, and a satisfying culmination of working with inspired and inspiring writers. I hope we can secure funding for future creative writing sessions, and produce an Edgewords 2 Anthology.

I am hoping we Edgeworders will meet again soon
for yet more Wild Encounters.see footnote

Thanks to Bev, Sarah and Jannie of Oblique Arts, Andy and The Edge Café staff, Simon and ASH Coop, and to Cambridge City Council. I mostly want to thank Munizha, Lisa, Victor, Faith, Kate, Jane and all who joined us in the Creative Writing workshops, for the enthusiasm and joy they brought to the project.

Footnote: Wild Encounter is a delicious ruby-red fruit tea served at The Edge Café.

Edgewords Launch running order:
Introductions from Beverley Carpenter, Jannie Brightman and Jean Dark.
Performing Haikus Medley – Group Collaboration Performance.
Mill Road Day by Victor-Manuel Ibaῆez.
Speaking of Smoking by Bella Basura.
Recovery Runes by Faith.
Fiction by Munizha Ahmad-Cooke.
Rainy Hearthfire by Jean Dark.
Gaia by Faith.
The Narrow Escape by Victor-Manuel Ibaῆez.
Ripe by Munizha Ahmad-Cooke (performed with Lisa Evans and Jean Dark).
The Cuckoo by Lisa Evans (Group Collaboration Performance)


Jean Dark
Spring 2018

Day 5 of NaPoWriMo

Today, the 5th day of NaPoWriMo, I went back to a poem I first constructed in 1998. 

Taking the Permutation Poems of Brion Gysin as a starting point, a form that is defined simply as listing the random re-arranging of a the words in a four or five word sentence. I was particularly influenced by  his poem Kick That Habit Man. ( written manually in 1959). I actually saw this particular poem performed back in 1982 at The Final Academy in the Brixton Ritzy. That weekend found Brion Gysin performing alongside fellow beat writers William Burroughs, John Gionio, as well as sound artist Z’ev and  Genesis P-Orridge’s nascent Psychic Television.

They were performances that deeply impressed my mind, as a working class 18 year-old who had jumped the train from the home counties to be at this event, it was a peak experience in my development as a writer.

Years later, in 1998 in fact, I coerced a geek-friend into writing a simple computer programme to generate a list of word order permutations of any given four-word phrase.

Suddenly, I could write like Brion Gysin at the touch of a button.

In this context, my programmed poems are connected to a literary formal continuum that first appeared ten years before Gysin named them Permutation Poems. In George Orwell’s 1984, popular proletarian culture is dominated by “sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator” (George Orwell 1984 Part 2 Chapter 4 Secker and Warburg 1949). Later,  J G Ballard in Vermilliion Sands (published in 1971), describes “a world in which verse is churned out to order by a machine, and is measured by its length” (Chris Beckett The Context and Date of Composition of an Abandoned Literary Draft Electronic British Library Journal, Mar 2014). Further, the concept of mechanically derived literature has resonances in current debate around definitions of AI. It seems to me, that Permutation Poems may yet prove to be a dominating form for poetry in the 21st century. 

The most successful of my programmed poems was entitled “F**king”, and is reproduced in full on my NaPoWriMo page here.


Clutches of Love

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Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

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Bella Basura Live in March

Two performances for Bella Basura coming up this month…

Scarecrow Corner Springtime Benefit Gig, Cambridge
At The Devonshire Arms, 19th MarchScarecrow Corner S[ringtime Benefit Gig

Poetic Springs Bury St Edmunds

Poetic Springs, Bury St Edmunds
Anselm Community Centre, 23rd March

Limited copies of The Short Answer chapbook will be on sale at both events.

Granny gets Shortlisted!

Liminal Phases flyer.JPG

Back in February I took part in Liminal Phases, a Temporary Temple Productions spoken word performance event with Jonny Marvel, Shakeynavelbones and Faradina Affifi  at CB1 cyber café in Cambridge. One of my pieces, Granny Takes a Trip – billed as a psychedelic puppet show, was  entered for the Soundwork 2015 monologue competition in September  and although it didn’t come first Granny was shortlisted. See here. The winning entry was recorded by Soundwork  so I’m pretty sad that I didn’t win. I guess I’ll need to find another  way, maybe recording the piece myself. Any ideas?