Videos: Chocolate Lightbulb @ Keats House

Poetry, Video

Funny what turns up when you plug your name into a search engine. I didn’t know these videos had even been taken! They’re from a gig at Keats House a few months ago, where I do some work with the Emerging Poets Form — a group of young poets including Ray Antrobus, Simon Mole, Deanna Rodger, Dean Atta, Anthony Hett, Laila Sumpton and a bunch of other greats who’re working to build Keats House into a centre of exciting poetry work. I love reading at Keats House, because it has such a strange heritage: it’s now in the middle of wealthy London suburbia and feels like part of green&pleasant Heritage England, but it’s famous because Keats dossed in the back rooms, sponging off his mate, and holding sonnet competitions in the same drawing room you can see below. And though Keats is now a bastion of English verse, alienated from most readers, when he was writing he was young, brash, and on the edge of invention. Which is what the young poets working at the house aspire to.

Anyway, these are performances of my Chocolate Lightbulb Experiment stories. CLE updates three times a week with a 50-word story inspired by titles sent by the readership. There’re almost 250 stories up there now, ranging from sci fi to romance to serial killers, from naturalism to absurdity and back again. It began as an experiment to keep me writing and imagining, but is now something I’m deeply committed to: at least once a month it turns up something I’m quite proud of. And I should have some exciting news about the future of CLE coming up in the next month or two…

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