Rhyme and Real Ale Returned to the Mackinstosh Sports Club Monday July 13 2015.  7.30pm  hosted by this man:

Patrick Widdess is a champion of the wonderfully woven word and those that make it happen live onstage, or come to life on the page. His Headstand Radio series of blogs about poetry and music can be checked out HERE The latest featured poet is Costa Poetry Prize Winning Jonathan Edwards!

Patrick came within a point of winning the recent poetry slam at the Made in Roath Summer Poetry Festival and is truly generous in spirit, and an enjoyably friendly MC, opening the evening with a droll parody of over cautious attitudes to safety awareness

He offered us more of his own well chosen words as he guided us through another great night at RARA with regular faces and new voices offered five minutes to share words, song, a short story, or whatever they had brought.

Pictorial record… 20150713_201513Christian Searle, as gently cuttingly sharp as always

20150713_201940 Bridget Leggy Tanner’s sore throat meant that her comic collaboration with Anna Ward will have to happen another time but here they are watching Dave the Rave fight the process of ageing with playful defiance

20150713_202143John Eliot, author of Ssh! Returns to RARA


Julie Croad launching her poetry book “The Important Things In Life”, opening with a naughtily delivered ode to the juiciness of Beetroot!


Yvonne, (a friend brought along by Julie Croad) read one piece from her book of 12 poems (one for each month of the year), nicely observed details adding up to epic imagery


Chris Norris, chucking words at us considerably more considered than my pun on the ‘Chuck Norris’ association his name brings to some minds!


Dave Daggers, in confessionally comic mood, and his props for Hell’s Bells related japery with the bells reimagined as doorbells!


Mark Curtis, speaking up for the weakest in society who get so squeezed by those at the top of the tree


Leon ‘Laz’ Lazarus bringing the shadows into the light and delivering a piece written for a friend’s birthday in his own inimitable edgy/spooky style


Des Mannay, in the habit now of being shortlisted and winning word related prizes sharing, among other pieces, a troubled personal perspective on the events known as 7/7, completed and first shared publicly on the ten year anniversary of that horrible day in London


Greg in spiky mood, tackling injustice!


A return to the mic for Julie Croad, offering more from her mostly humorous, sometimes serious poetry book


Ellie Powell returning to delight RARA again!


Bryan Marshall, as ever, slightly bashful about his often very forthright words


Vincent Thomas, delivery and presence getting stronger by the reading exploring the idea of the comedown, and how love and ecstasy don’t necessarily mesh together well…


Maggie Nash, sharing mostly sweetly remembered childhood related words



Ceri Sian DeStefano, our special musical guest was another RARA regular with sore throated voice impairment issues, so she wasn’t able to sing. She asked whether she wanted poetry or a little bit of instrumental play. I ‘helpfully’ called out “Both” and both were both delivered

Before Patrick wrapped up another successful and wide ranging RARA Night Chris Norris took his chance to deliver another piece he wished to share and then RARA was over for another month. See you next time. Oh, in true Columbo style, one more thing…


Because I was too focused on being about to perform that I forgot to ask anyone to take pics for us, this was taken at the end of the night, Fran Smith and I did part of our collaboration on the theme of Compassion, and we got great feedback, about our words and our contrasting styles.

Come to RARA :-), Come, Listen, Connect! Come one, come all!

My Website



Wish that headline was true but it does feel good to win a Poetry Slam, and last night I did, at the MADE IN ROATH SUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL 2015

Not exactly sure what to say about this. Suffice to say, it does feel good but also strange to win and it feels weirdly easier to find words to make not winning sound positive than to say something positive about wining without feeling like it is bragging. So I will say I am chuffed, but don’t think I am suddenly ‘The Man’ or any crap like that!

Slams can be merciless, with sometimes only one point making the difference between someone being knocked out or progressing to the next round. Slams can be a baptism of fire and it is very easy to feel burned by them, and previously I have felt more than a little singed. So to Patrick Widdess (runner up), Allie Downing, Dave Daggers and Johnny Giles, all of whom go places with words I never could, via routes I have never travelled, nice one people, the clock don’t stop tick-tocking, so keep it a-rocking!

Pic  by my photographic artist friend Terri Hoskings 🙂


I do like to make people laugh, and I am glad that people laughed last night. And not just at my face 🙂 Anyway, wealth is relative and sexiness is in the eye (and other parts) of the beholder 😉

And those who know me, know it’s not all about silly stuff 🙂

My Website www.willdeanford.com

STILL BUSY BUSY BUSY MEGAVERSE, The Millennium Centre and more…

Am writing this before going off to host Rhyme and Real Ale at the Mackintosh in Roath. En route I will be dropping into A Shot in The Dark to discuss and drop off posters for GUFFAWESOME which is a comedy night I am organising and will host for the Made In Roath Festival 2014

Along with Nicholas Whitehead, I will be reading at FREE MOUNTAIN Words at One, Thursday Oct 16th and later the same day, at Cider and Seduction (Made in Roath Festival)

All this follows a weekend of performing at Cardiff Central Library for World Mental Health Day, running my first ever workshop, about how creative writing can help maintain good mental health at World Homeless Action Day

And now on to the Wales Millennium Centre

where somewhere near the bottom left of the above picture, braving the cold weather, passing traffic,

Delivered three hours of eclectic verse, spoken word performance and acapaella song from a host of Welsh and non-Welsh mouths in front of the Dylan Thomas Touring Writing Shed. This event, which included additional feature performances from Claire Potter, Ffion Wyn and Rufus Mufasa was part of two occasions at once:

The entertainments aspect of the It’s My Shout Film Fest and the year of events celebrating the commemoration of the birth of Dylan Thomas, dt100

Some pics, starting with the rare sight of me suited and booted for hosting duties and then a selection of shots from the day, From Dave Daggers, Fran Smith and Simon L Read. Full list of readers at the end

Ian Cross, Emma Syrup, Francesca Murphy, Becca Kellaway

Fran Smith

Fritz O’Skennick on the mic

Simon L Read, Becca Kellaway, Ellen Duncan, Sophie Chei, Vincent Thomas, Fran Smith

Marilyn Kemeny

Leon Lazarus

Dave Daggers

Mark Blayney

Bridget Leggy Tanner

Bel Blue

Bel Blue

Steven Kenward

Sophie Chei

Gordon Anderson during a very funny spoof Commercial Presentation

Zaru from afar

Zaru unfazed by the wheeled traffic

Or the human kind

Dave Daggers

The actual running order was remixed to suit the needs of the day in the end, and there were sadly one or two unable to make it to read after all, but everybody who had any part in  this day helped to make it the great success it turned out to be. If I had pics of all who read, they’d go here. Just know all of you who agreed to read under the Megaverse Presents name on the day, you have my thanks and I hope we can do more of these kind of things.  Thanks also to the Feature Readers Claire Potter, Ffion Wyn and Rufus Mufasa.

Apologies to Vince Thomas, who exists, and no apologies to the typographical ghosts Vincent Garth and Brooks Thomas, who don’t 😉 and special thanks to Fran Smith for providing the portable PA that allowed the spoken word to be clearly heard!