Milk Poetry presents: Made Up – Poetry as Fiction

“Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King

Poetry is about honesty, not facts. Join Milk Poetry for an evening of poems about things which never happened. Incredible things are possible in fiction, including the truth.

Curated by Tom Sastry, author of A Man’s House Catches Fire (Nine Arches Press), Made Up is a celebration and exploration of fiction in poetry.

Come along for a unique, fun and inquisitive couple of hours of poetry and performance.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry featuring Iona Lee and Callum Wensley

Iona Lee is a poet, writer and visual artist from Scotland. After being crowned Scottish Slam Champion in 2016, Iona has gone from strength to strength. She has performed on festival stages around the UK, including Glastonbury and Port Eliot. In 2018 her debut pamphlet was nominated for the Saboteur Award. Now she’s bringing her distinctly cool, effortless style to Milk Poetry.

With support from Callum Wensley. Poet and host of Craftwords open mic in Horfield, Callum’s candid, emotive poetry won him the Milk slam last year. Come and see him do a full set.

Plus our audience voted slam, open to all. Just get in touch to book your spot.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry featuring Dan Simpson and Mega Slam

Join us for a 5th Birthday special edition of Milk Poetry featuring a book launch and a massive slam.

Writer, performer, producer and educator Dan Simpson comes to Milk Poetry to launch his second poetry collection Totally Cultured.

He has performed his brilliantly witty poetry at festivals and literary events around the world, including Glastonbury, Auckland and Chicago. Covering topics from science and technology to people and place, he’s a star of the spoken word scene.

Plus a mega-super-duper-slam, featuring an all star lineup of poets who have performed at our events over the past year. See your favourites and vote for them to get the coveted, limited edition gold Milk trophy.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Cecilia Knapp: Losing The Night

‘What would you say to him? If he was here? Right now? Drinking at this bar?’

A pub. A long shift. Two mates and a whole heap of unruly memories. How do we remember those who aren’t here anymore? Do we always put them on a pedestal? How do we find the language to talk about mental health and addiction? How do we carry on in the face of loss? Why does everyone want to leave their home town and what happens when you’re the one left behind?

Liam and Mitch haven’t seen each other since they lost Dylan. Trapped in a pub during a dead shift with nothing to do but wash glasses and eat Bombay mix, they start to dig deep into the past and try to get to the truth.

Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and performer. She has performed all over the UK and internationally. Commissions include the TATE, The Guardian and the BBC and she has been featured in Vogue as one of the UK’s young poets to watch. She was shortlisted for the role of London Laureate in 2018 and longlisted for the 2019 Outspoken poetry prize. Her first show Finding Home was recently published by Burning Eye Books and toured the U.K. extensively. Her writing has been described as ‘light as a birds feather’ (Lyn Gardner). She is working on her first novel and her debut poetry collection. She is currently poet in residence at Great Ormond Street hospital and tutors the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Her work often looks at how we confront the current mental health crisis in the UK by platforming stories that can often be sidelined, that breed empathy, challenge and start conversations. She believes in the transformative act of writing and sharing stories. She is an ambassador for the mental health charity C.A.L.M.

Supported by Arts Council England
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Milk Poetry & Blahblahblah: If Music be the Food of Love…

Poetry and music are soul sisters. So, this December we’re bringing them together a poetic symphony to warm your cockles and your toes.

Grab yourself a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie from the Old Market Assembly bar and let our specially selected line up of musical poets and poetic musicians do their thing.

If music be the food of love, play on!

Milk Poetry selects the finest, freshest poets from the UK and beyond to produce the most nourishing and eclectic spoken word bonanza you could ever hope for!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry presents: John Hegley

A special edition of Milk brings our friend John Hegley to The Wardrobe Theatre.

Performance poet, comedian and musician John Hegley is one of the pioneers of the British poetry scene. He’s been performing since the late 80s, from gracing the stage at The Comedy Store to becoming a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.

Join us for a rare opportunity to see John in a more intimate setting, featuring poems and songs and all good things.

Plus support from Cardiff poet Sarah McCreadie, and our audience voted slam!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry presents: Strong Bones

How do world-class poets evolve? What was their early work like? Who inspired them? Join Milk Poetry to celebrate journeys through writing.

Internationally-acclaimed performer and City Poet, Vanessa Kisuule, will be joined by Casey Bailey, Stephen Lightbown, and more. They will read from their early writing, covers that inspired them and recent work.

Vanessa Kisuule: “All good writing takes the reader/listener on a journey. Even if the destination is already known, the route is winding, strange and scenic.”

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry’s Moving in Party

Join Milk Poetry as they touch down in a brand-new venue. Presenting you with some top notch spoken word, balloons and the friendliest slam Bristol has to offer.

Featuring grime poet and theatre maker Debris Stevenson. From her 5-star rated run at The Royal Court for her show Poet in da Corner to her work mentoring young poets in over 25 countries, Debris is a poetic force to be reckoned with.

With support from Sean Colletti. Birmingham based, California born, Colletti is an emerging star of the poetry world.

Plus our famous audience voted slam, you choose the next poetry star!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Loupe Theatre Presents

Sharp Teeth Presents is passing on the baton… The legacy of Sharp Teeth Presents will live on through the fresh-faced, eager beavers; Loupe Theatre Company, who are taking over these monthly Sundays from September 2019.

Each month Loupe will bring together performances from a collection of artists from the South West (and other places). From poetry and storytelling, to music and theatre, there will be something to tickle your fancy.

Check out line-ups online, and come on down for a pint or three and dip your toes into a exciting night full of art.

Our recommended donation is £5, but many people give more. Remember there is no cash point at The Wardrobe Theatre or immediately nearby.

Photo credit: Louis Smith
Running Time: 90 minutes (with interval)

Tony Walsh (plus special guest Stephen James Smith)

“Now a national hero” (The Guardian) having “stunned millions of people” (Huffington Post) with his iconic performance in Manchester in May 2017, international audiences are quickly discovering what has been an open secret for well over a decade: an evening with Tony Walsh is a rip-roaring rock and roller-coaster ride from a profoundly inspiring artist at the very top of his game.

Tony’s performance will including brand new and little heard poems from his eagerly awaited new collection, WORK | LIFE | BALANCE alongside some much-loved audience favourites. Tony’s poems have had over five million views online in 2018 alone.

Tony will be available for book signings after the show.

Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. His poetry videos have amassed over 2.5 million views. In 2017 he was commissioned by St. Patrick’s festival to write a new poem as a “Celebratory Narrative” of Ireland. The resultant piece ‘My Ireland’ is accompanied by a short film which has been viewed over 300,000 times and was screened at the London film festival.

“Seriously amazing!”

“Stirring… stunning.”
TIME Magazine

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)