Each second Wednesday of the month the Phoenix Artist Club stage is devoted to LGBT poetry 

Incite! Poetry is organised in collaboration with the Camden LGBT Forum and gives some of the best gay spoken word artists and performers in London a stage on which to air their voice to their community. It also gives anyone who wants to try their hand at spoken word a chance to do so via their open-mic night, if you’ve got more than as passing interest and you can write a line, why not give it a go? And check out our interview below with host Trudy Howson to get more of an idea what the night’s all about.


How did you get involved with the Incite! poetry event?

I performed at an Incite event a few years ago, and loved it.  I was living in three different places at that time (London/Norfolk/South East Asia), writing and performing poetry about exploring landscapes. So I had a pretty transient lifestyle. I made a decision to settle in London full time last year, and was looking for some kind of local poetry/performance event to get involved with. I met Tessa and Nigel from Camden LGBT who were keen to re-establish INCITE. I knew the Phoenix Artist Club from my acting days and loved it… So it all took off very quickly.

Do you think poetry has a good place in the contemporary gay scene?

I think that INCITE@The Phoenix fills a gap in the commercial gay scene. It’s cultural, but it’s flirty too. This is definitely a social event! The poetry is interesting and fun, and can also be an icebreaker and conversation opener.  The club’s live jazz afterwards adds another dimension.  We have free club membership for the evening: it’s licensed and serves great food. People seem to be coming along early, straight from work, and eating and hanging out.

What kind of audience members do you currently see at the shows?

The club has taken off really quickly. It’s pretty packed, with a mainly female audience. I’m keen to get more men involved because I like that easy ambience that mixed audiences bring. In fact I want our audience to reflect the full range and diversity of our community; youngsters and oldsters of every hue and type. I want Incite to be a fun chilled out place for all of us to enjoy.

What advice would you give to a new poet who wants to try their hand but has never done open mic before?

The poetry starts at 7pm and goes on until 9.15ish. We have three invited (top notch) guest poets, an interval, and then open mic for budding and flowering poets (before the jazz starts). You can just come along, sit back and listen if you like, but if you want to perform your poem come early and sign up. The venue is cosy and friendly… Have a go! I’m also looking for guest performers, and visual creatives who’d like to have a go at dressing the stage. Email me at [email protected]

And finally, what can we expect from the next Incite! event in June?

Katherine McMahon (delicate celebratory slam), Ernesto Sarezales (refreshing, surreal and slightly disturbing) and Julie Mullen (stylish and witty)!

The next Incite! Poetry event is on Wednesday 12th June at the Phoenix Artist Club, 1 Phoenix Street, Soho, WC2H 8BU.





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