If you were to ask a Random if the local poetry scene was any good around here, you’d likely get an… odd look. Doncaster isn’t the place for lace shirt-wearing daffodil sniffers. But it is home to a wealth of talented poets who write about grass roots and pit-deep subjects that really matter to us.
On 10th March, The Hub (Doncaster College) welcomed local talent from our fair town and beyond to a night of open mic poetry with a special guest in the mix.
Mick Pettinger, a poet from Rotherham, was the main act. His poetry about growing up ‘round ‘ere, the tragedy of losing his brother at a young age and how that affected him, is raw but conversational. Throughout his performance it felt like talking to a mate about his darkest days over a pint. Every line hits home.
Other local poets stood up to share their take on (to name a few) marriage, society’s injustices, depression, and identity mixed in with humour including: Naomi Ladd, Phillip Hammond, Kevin Walker, Damien Allen, Jane Pendlebury, Dan Ryder, Liz McKittrick, Maddie Bird, Jasmine Walton, Jess Thompson, Becky Guy, Sam Atkinson.
I don’t like to pick favourites and it would be impossible in this group of talented performers, but honourable mentions have to go out to ‘Mysterious’ Becky Guy for her take on the forgotten women found in graveyards and what that means for modern feminism, Damien Allen for his heartfelt take on a moment with his estranged father and the complex emotions that come with it, and Liz McKitterick’s emotional moment when reading from her poem on the recent Australian wildfires.
Finally, a huge thank you goes to Naomi Ladd (a fabulous poet in her own right) who made the whole thing possible and Doncaster College’s students who expertly ran the sound and lighting.
Mick Pettinger’s first poetry pamphlet, Just a Kid from Cortonwood is now available from Wild West Press, an award-winning local poetry publisher.
Eyes peeled on the Doncaster College LRC website for upcoming open mics and lots of other literary events!
Thanks for reading.