Podio Preston caught up with Christine Buxton recently to find out more about Damson Poets who hold a monthly community poetry night in Preston from 7.30 – 9.30 pm every last Wednesday of the month.
The group host a variety of events ranging from headline acts and themed evenings to the occasional book launch. Damson Poets aim is to provide a platform for poets of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to perform in a relaxed and supportive environment. The mainstay of the evenings is Open Mic with five minutes per performer with one or two guest poets performing longer sets. Guests have ranged from nationally acclaimed poets to students putting their very first set together. Everybody is welcome, regardless of experience and background.
Damson Poets, formerly Korova Poets, has been going for six years. As well as welcoming local poets, guest poets and visitors and inspiring fledgling writers, they organise events in Preston to celebrate World Poetry Day and National Poetry Day.
If you like poetry and want to share something you have written Damson Poets is a great place to start. They also welcome anybody who simply enjoys listening to poetry. Writing, reading, and listening to poetry can be therapeutic, improving creative thinking and reducing stress. The group’s regular venue is The New Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JP which has wheelchair access and entry is free. More information about the group can be found on their website https://damsonpoets.wordpress.com/ The following poem was written by one of the Damson Poets members.
Proud of Preston Belisama: by Lorna Smithers
Proud of Preston heed my entry
Hear the voice of ancient memories
Hearts purloined by Roman sentries
Like a river shining bright.
Proud of Preston born free traders
Made by commerce and hard labour
Merchants gilded artists favoured
Like the Brigantes warred in tribes.
Mechanics shift the scene of battle
Raise the red brick smog industrial
Cording hearts like twisting material
On the wheels of the cotton lords.
Step the Chartists to the engines
Pull the plugs release the tension
The rioters face the sentries
Dye the river dark with blood.
Grey arise the business faceless
Fake fulfilment for the faithless
Mass the market for the tasteless
Selling life for capital.
High in the stone fortress
The sentries hold their rule
Beyond the mall and office
Do you hear a river call?
Proud of Preston I have carved you
In my sweeping spirit formed you
Through your veins floods dazzling water
My Setantii shining bright.
Will you hearken to my entry
Drown false dreams in ancient memories
Will the proud of Preston
Like a shining river rise?
Belisama: by Lorna Smithers