FREE WRITE AT CHAPTER CWTCH 10.00-13.00 31.03.17

Come the last Friday of every month, come to…


Meeting once a month, with no fixed agenda, FREE WRITE brings together poets, storytellers,spoken word performers, novelists, comedians, creators of words in whatever form, meet up to connect, chat, share experiences, successes, cautionary tales relating in any way to writing, the process, the results, the joys, the pain, the paths and the pitfalls of  the word based life. And also write if the muse strikes!

MARCH  31 2017 MEETING: 10am to 1pm in The Cwtch, Chapter Arts Centre

No two Free Write sessions are the same, you may use the session to focus on getting some words down by yourself, or join the discussion, maybe a prompt will arise during the event and those who wish may try and create something on the spot. Work may be read out to willing listeners, you may learn of open mic or other occasions to try out your work publicly, something about writing generally or about your work particularly might be causing you grief and maybe someone will offer you a new perspective, deliberately, or even accidentally, via the flow of social intercourse.


As with all things creative, the trick is getting the flow started, however that happens and flowing to wherever the flow goes.

Which is FREE WRITE in a nutshell!


Drop in, tune in, drop out, as best suits your particular needs and inclinations

Free Write was created by Mab Jones and is hosted in Cardiff by Will Ford 

Mab recently created Free Write: Valleys Edition, which convened for the first time in Pontypridd Earlier this month. Keep your beady eyes on the interwebs for news on this and future Valley’s Editions, or better still, go to

and be close to the informational source!

 Come along and feel the flow of Free Write, you make it what it is!


Catching up with HEADSTAND poetry podcasts featuring new interviews with MARK CURTIS, DES MANNAY and JOHN ELIOT!!!



A little while back I had the pleasure of being featured in a podcast by HEADSTAND, CLICK HERE to hear, if you wish.

Since then I have been keen to keep anyone who happens upon my blogs up to speed with HEADSTAND, a semi-regular series of podcasts, some music based, others focusing on interviews with poets who perform their work.

Christmas meant I fell behind a little, so am now catching up with the three most recent HEADSTAND poet interviews, which as always, feature readings by the guest and the presenter, and prompts for the listener to contribute to future podcasts…


Every poet has their what they write, how they write and why they write and on this blog you will find links to podcasts about those very things, produced and presented by…

Patrick Widdess, the man behind HEADSTAND


Patrick (author of Feeding The Spacemen) is a performance poet himself and has a keen interest in  the what, how and why, when it comes to the work of  his fellow poets.

Click on the links below to be taken on  journeys with Patrick to find out what poets have to say for themselves…



A prolific writer on themes both intensely personal and universal, Mark is an enthusiastic and regular performer at open mics. Questioning assumptions about us as people and often exploring the effects of traumatic experience, Mark uses writing to find balance within himself, and, indeed, balances out his more serious writing with other more imaginative and humorous writing, sometimes with a tinge of comic horror.

CLICK HERE to listen to the interview, during which Mark offers the prompt ‘Balance’ and listeners are invited to write whatever feels appropriate to them on this theme. Patrick will select contributions to read out in the next poetry related HEADSTAND. Indeed, this podcast features responses to the prompt of  ‘You Have Three Minutes Left To Live, What Is Your Final Message To The World’ offered in the previous HEADSTAND poetry podcast featuring…



Driven by the desire to contribute to the cause of Social Justice, Des storms into open mic nights and competitions as a ‘Hooligan Poet’ shaking his fist at the causes of injustice as he perceives them, principally the grasping greed fed, but never satisfied, by the empty calories of Capitalism.

Unashamedly left leaning, with his political heart worn proudly on his sleeve, Des is not immune to the stirrings of the more romantic heart style, rarely more so than via the words of Remote Console, with its tale of unrequited love. CLICK HERE to listen and find out more about Des’s achievements during a hectic last twelve months. During the podcast you will hear responses to the prompt ‘Baby Shoes’ offered during the previous HEADSTAND podcast featuring…



John Eliot (author of SSH) waxes lyrical about poetry and how it can help people connect with each other. CLICK HERE to listen. Serious and subtle in performance compared to some of the more outlandish performance poets but it isn’t compulsory to be loud, and like most of us, John enjoys more than one type of writing and his attendance and readings at spoken word events demonstrates he is certainly a supporter of all kinds of self expression. The podcast includes responses to the prompt from the previous interview featuring Christina Thatcher, for words on looking at the aspects of life that are, on the surface, mundane, yet hold their own entire world of meaning…









find out more about the author of this blog on the following website…






WHERE? At Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, usually in the calmer part of the cafe/bar area called The Cwtch

WHEN? On the fourth Friday of each month.  10 a.m to 1 p.m

WHY? So that all kinds of writers of all levels of experience can gather to connect and explore creativity in any way they see fit! Commune with other writers, or find a space and make it your own and write something, off the cuff, previously planned, or however you choose. TODAY  I wrote a completely unplanned piece called…


Which I had planned to include in this blog but now have different plans. Can’t blog it because that would count as ‘published’.

SPOKEN WORD POETS AT KAYA FESTIVAL 2015 (MARGAM PARK 7-9 August) And a Busy Week Ahead!!!


Glyn Roberts, Jacks Lyndon, Fran Smith and me! Hours to go before the gig on the Manor Stage inside that little building behind us…Margam Castle, a hell of a venue.


Jacks Lyndon, serving up humorous, self deprecating poetry about body parts!


Glyn Roberts, the only Manc in the village of Ystalyfera…wry, dry, humorous observations and musings


Fran Smith, Philosophical Body Poet, bringing positivity and humanity, exploring the stuff of existence, taking in all levels, from the molecular to the cosmic. Why absorb the negative when you can choose where you place your focus?

MCing, impressions of a tiger and a Wookie, 100% committed, 73.831776% Bullshit (the latter is one of my titles, not a bad review!)


Many thanks KAYA, a really diverse festival with sounds and dance and words from around the world! Big ups to Mab Jones for doing the hard work of getting us on the bill, and then sadly not being able to be there on the stage due to unforeseen schedule clash 😦

And thank you Debi Jones-Beere, KAYA Artist Liasion Manager for all your hard work and keeping us well up to speed with everything we needed to know. Was nice to meet you, be cool to work with you again!

Before summarising a busy week to come here are some more pics from KAYA…


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Tonight at The Mackintosh (10/08/15) I will be your host for the free monthly open mic in Cardiff at the Mackintosh Sports Club, RHYME AND REAL ALE where you can come, listen to words said, rapped, sung, and if you have something to share, sign up for free for a five minute slot! Regular faces will be welcomed back, new voices always find receptive ears, come one, come all! 

Last Mic Standing semi final

Last Mic Standing semi final…got through and the final is coming soon, Friday August 14th 2015, featuring performances from previous winners, including the very funny character comedienne…Karen Sherrard!

Final showdown for me and three others at LAST MIC STANDING  on Friday, but Wednesday August 12 will be WHAT YA GOT, a twice a month open mic night at Ten Feet Tall in Cardiff, where I will be giving my LMS set a practice run and will upload footage of that 🙂

If that wasn’t enough, under my ‘event banner’ Megaverse I will be hosting OXJAM CARDIFF TAKEOVER PRESENTS MEGAVERSE at Milgi in Cardiff from 3-8pm, featuring a diverse variety of spoken word styles and music!

Maybe see you somewhere soon 🙂



HEADSTAND Returns to your podcast listening facilities with another warm conversational feature on poetry, performance and writing practise and inspiration. Join Patrick Widdess and Fran Smith to hear some readings from Fran’s compassionate and healing work that speicifically aims to add to the good feelings in the world, not merely describe the bad

Fran Smith

Fran Smith: Philosophical Body Poet

Fran  is relatively new to the performance poetry scene but has come on in leaps and bounds and can be seen at the KAYA 2015 festival on the Manor Stage this coming Saturday August 8th! The festival will be offering music, literary things, games, food and more from Friday August 7th until The end of Sunday August 9th.

For Fran, her poetry is ‘holistic’ and by that she means it is a part of her general approach to life and her therapeutic work which seeks to heal mind and body by any means available via physical therapy and words that create positive thoughts about life rather than reinforce the negative and the toxic flow of information coming at people from the world at large, and the media in particular!

Before you head off to HEADSTAND to bask in Fran’s warmth, may I be so bold as to link to a previous blog containing links to other podcasts in this series, featuring Costa Prize Winner Jonathan Edwards, the legendary Mab Jones, and more! 



Poetry collection My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards won the 2014 Costa Poetry Prize.

Thrust into the limelight by the success of his first collection after years of writing, he explains to Patrick how lucky he feels and gives insight into how he approaches writing. Also a schoolteacher, he tries to close the gap between the grand mystique the idea of poetry often conjures up and the real life experience of his students.

Jonathan delivers a few of his poems during the chat, Patrick reads his own piece inspired by ‘Japan’ (the prompt for poetry offered by previous guest Mab Jones) and I had the unexpected pleasure of hearing my response to ‘Japan’  being read out by Jonathan 🙂

I’m sorry Takeshi Kitano, please don’t hurt me (I promise that will make sense if you listen 🙂 )

Looking forward to more Headstand Podcasts in the not too distant future, and if you enjoy hearing this one, why not check out the archive. Not that I’m a past guest or anything, Ahem…

Anyway, listen to the new show, then off you go to the archive and immerse yourself in Mab Jones, Julie Pritchard, a poem by Fran Smith and check out more of the Headstand Radio past then keep going back for more for as long as Patrick keeps doing his podcasting thang!

If you want it electric, keep it eclectic, with Headstand Radio

My own website


My rather comprehensive headline pretty much says it all about what you can expect from another Podcast from Poet, Presenter and Producer Patrick Widdess, who recently recited his way to the runner up spot at the Made In Roath Summer Poetry Festival Slam, missing out on the first spot by the narrowest of conceivable margins. CLICK HERE to hear Mab and Patrick chat of things literary and international, of good and bad health and how someone can find themselves living the life of a performance poet without ever originally intending to. HEADSTAND is a semi-regular series of podcasts eclectically and electrically spotlighting poetry and music for the benefit of cyberspace. Give it a listen and check out the archive!


At this Valen-Time, how deep, or cheap, is your love?

The day after Valentine’s Day why not come and hear words from the heart and if you have some to share, bring yours! I will be joining in with the open mic, and there are featured artists of the poetic and musical kind at HEARTSPOKEN (two) the second of these nights organised by the engagingly wicked MAB JONES

15/02/15 The Kuku Club, Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff, 7.30pm-10.30pm

CLICK HERE for more details.



Rhyme and Real Ale returns to the Mackintosh Sports Club, Roath, Cardiff for its regular monthly free open mic night CLICK HERE

It is my turn once more to be the MC at the event, and I extend this invitation:

Join us as RARA launches the second collection of pieces from contributors to the Rhyme and Real Ale open mic nights, Voices From The Present. The warmly received and still selling first collection, Voices From The Past Year will also be available. Come one, come all. Join us and join in.

Sunday Feb 15th sees the second of the HEARTSPOKEN event organised by the brill Mab Jones. CLICK HERE for details of the appropriately and cunningly named HEARTSPOKEN 2

The day after Valentine gifts have been swapped, why not head along to the Kuku Club (Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff), 7.30-10.30, for words and verses on matters of the heart, featuring, among others, people who look like this:

Will be joining in with the open mic section myself.

A NIGHT OF SPOKEN INDULGENCE returns to the Hydra Bookshop in Bristol, click here for details. Matt Duggan is the organiser and host, as ever, and several of the Rhyme and Real Ale regulars will be taking part. Why not come along? Could be verse!

Rowan Talbot’s regular showcase for new performance art/theatre/spoken word etc will return to Four Bars at Dempseys, Cardiff, March 29th. CLICK HERE for details of SCRATCH PLATFORM 4. I have bagged one of the sought after slots and am looking forward to delivering comic verse, at various speeds

Free entry, and unlike other performance nights, this one definitely starts at the stated start time, so be early to get a seat!

And…nah, I think that is enough for now. Keep it warm out there, folks 🙂

LOVE sneeze LOVE cough LOVE sleepless nights


Sadly, no Heartspoken (click) for me. A cold, sneezes and coughing that have wrecked my sleep for days and left me as croaky as a sore throated frog so in no condition to sort of sing what is below, which was my plan for the open mic section.

But why not go along to the Kuku Club tonight and experience an evening of love flavoured poetry/spoken word and song brought to you by Mab Jones? See link above for further details.

Words of love can often seem cheesy, or mawkish, even embarrassing, but that is only to the weak minded so afraid of the necessity to lower the defences to accept/give love that they sneer at those they deep down know themselves to be weaker than and jealous of. So there 😉 Anyway, tonight I would have sort of sung these words…


Heaven Knows

(Written in early 2011, when falling in love/being fallen in love with was the impossible dream of a folorn soul)

The clouds are moving in the wind

The stars are coming out tonight

The Moon, moving into sight

To bathe the world in silver light

There’s something in the way it glows

Cool and devastating, oh

The wolf inside is growling low

How’m I supposed to let you know?

Come to me and do not be, afraid now

Lay your head near mine

Tell me it’ll be alright

And then please

Paint me with your lips tonight

I’m speaking metaphysically

To a girl I’ve yet to see,

I wanna go down on my knees

When you taunt me

With your verbal tease


The clouds are moving in the wind (they know)

The stars are coming out tonight (love wont wait)

Full moon drifting into sight (forever)

Bathing me in silver light

There’s something in the way it glows (blue silver)

Cool and devastating, oh (is the mirror)

Wolf inside growling low (he needs you)

How’m I supposed to let you know

I’m speaking metaphysically (to the ether)

To a girl I’ve yet to see (in the ether)

I wanna fall down to my knees (in surrender)

When you taunt me with your verbal tease

So you will be the one for me (soul mate)

And I will be for you also (soul mate)

But as for when our eyes will meet

How’re we supposed to ever know?

Ever know?

Ever know?

Heaven knows…


Arms Are Waiting

(Written as a birthday present song for my girlfriend, in the last week of October 2014)

(Hummed intro)

Gravity can pin you down, way too firmly to the ground

Making every step a chore, Angel I know you need more

Spread your wings and soar above, then look down at eyes of love

Raised to meet yours in between the reality and dream


If you fall from heaven and you need a catcher,

My arms are waiting, arms are waiting

Yes it’s you I’m talking to, I’m looking at cha

My arms are waiting, arms are waiting

If it takes forever to find your find your way home

My arms are waiting, arms are waiting

Every single moment that you feel alone

My arms are waiting…

When the world won’t let you be

When the truth don’t set you free

Other people hold you back

Tell you everything you lack, try to make you

Join them on their plane

Wings of heartbreak, sorrow, pain

On a flight from ecstasy, to where love is history


All the clouds in the blue sky that form to make the rain

Give Angels somewhere they can stand to see the sun again

Raindrops must fall so you just remember what sunshine is

The universe making you warm with just one tender kiss…


Look…you’re not falling…we’re flying