PechaKucha Night Cardiff

PechaKucha Night Cardiff

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The seventh ‘PechaKucha Night Cardiff’ was held in Chapter Arts Centre on Tuesday 24th January. Organised by local poet, writer and performer Mab Jones, this night is part of a worldwide phenomenon which sees over 1000 events take place in 400 cities each year.
For anyone who hasn’t stumbled across this ingeniously creative concept yet, PechaKucha Night started in Tokyo in 2003 as an event for young designers to showcase their work and network. PechaKucha takes it’s name from the Japanese word for “chit chat”, and the key to these events is their presentation format: participants show 20 images and talk about each one for 20 seconds. This simple idea aims to keep things moving at a swift pace.
The latest PechaKucha Night Cardiff was a collaboration with Literature Wales. It saw eight poets take to the stage to present their work and talk about their recent creative projects.
In the spirit of PechaKucha’s focus on the number ‘20’, I’m going to review each poet in 20 words:
Will Ford
Interesting opening about his father’s time in prison. Animated poetry reading about WW1 soldiers’ suffering. A bit over the top.
Clare Potter
This presentation felt experimental and song-like. The poet played with different voices. Timing slightly off with slides, but bravely unusual.
Gillian Brightmore
Talented poet with excellent style and pace. It’s a poetic ode to the city (and lover?). Mesmerising artwork accompanied it.
Philip Gross
Clearly a passionate and gifted writer, but this poetic attempt to make a pylon interesting failed to hold my attention.
Jack Pascoe
This humorous “punk poet” got the audience laughing with his cheeky verse. Prince Harry’s Stag Do poem was a highlight.
Naomi Alderson
A response to the May 2011 Japanese earthquake. This sensitive piece took the audience on an imaginative and poignant journey.
Susan Richardson
Four poetry readings from her recent book. Powerful writing on themes such as the environment and extinction, with well-selected images.
Mark Blayney
An amusing tongue-in-cheek ‘Boney M Studies’ lecture! People laughed, clapped and even danced in response. A lively and unique finale.
Overall, PechaKucha Night Cardiff provided a refreshing and accessible insight into the diverse poetry ‘scene’ in Wales today. And it wasn’t just me who was won-over. A group of men sitting behind me moaned and contemplated leaving at the start when they realised that only poets would be presenting. Yet by the end of the evening they were laughing and applauding as much as the rest of us.
This event was an entertaining reminder that poetry is at its best and most powerful when read aloud, rather than staying static in the pages of a book.
Visit Literature Wales’s YouTube Channel to see some of the poets in action.
For more information on future events, join the ‘PechaKucha Night Cardiff’ group on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @pkn_cardiff.

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