First meeting of the Black Cat Poets’ poetry night a great success

Four Black Cats With Lemon
Image credit: Four Black Cats with Lemon by Daniel X. O’Neil (Creative Commons License: Some Rights Reserved).

Thackeray’s Books of Market Street, Denton, launched their first poetry night at the Black Cat Café yesterday. In spite of sticky conditions, their inaugural night was a great success with almost 40 people in attendance.

The Black Cat Poets’ group is the creation of Margaret Williams, who runs the independently-owned bookshop in Denton town centre. She is assisted by Belinda Johnston and Scott Fellows. Belinda was the compere for the group’s first night.

At 7.30pm, the Black Cat Café was well and truly swinging, awaiting its first poets. Our first piece of the night was inspired by Hebden Bridge after the town’s summer floods in 2012. Other sources of inspiration came from one’s ignorance of Manchester Airport, being pernickety over the stacking of chairs, and life on a narrowboat (complete with duck calls).

Its inaugural night saw contributions by guest poets, who had five minute long guest slots. They provided support for the main act, Jo Bell. Ms. Bell recited her works in the second half of the night. Her observations on life on a narrowboat were eyeopening and quashed many popular misconceptions of life on the canals. She works across the UK as a professional poet and her delivery was tight and humorous. For one piece, she even asked for duck calls (which were lovingly provided by the writer of this blog post!).

During the two-hour long meeting, there was free soft drinks for all poets and audience members. There was also cake available – baked to dairy free and gluten free recipes – at a reasonable £1.50 per slice.

Thackeray’s Books has been part of Denton since 1981 and have previously leased premises on Hyde Road. Their present unit overlooks Civic Square, which was formerly the open market ground. The Black Cat Café is situated on the first floor with entry from the back of the bookshop.

The next event shall take place on Thursday, 14 July 2016 at 7.30pm. If you wish to book a guest slot, you can email Thackeray’s Books on As Fred Pontin used to say, “book early” to avoid disappointment. Admission for each night is £3.00, plus as much orange cordial or lemon squash you could get your hands on.

We wish Thackeray’s Books every success and hope the Black Cat Poets group becomes a long term addition to our literary scene.

S.V., 10 June 2016.

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