Loose Muse London

Last week I made the trip to that there London to read at Loose Muse London. Loose Muse is a network of monthly readings that showcase and encourage women and their writing. The evening was damp – London’s damp somehow feels more grim than damp anywhere else – but up the pub stairs was a cosy room and a lovely welcome. Here is London’s organiser Agnes Meadows‘ review of our evening:


Perhaps it was the bad weather that kept people away from the November Loose Muse, but they certainly missed an exceptional evening of exceptional words.

There were only three open mic’ers this time, with Izzy White kicking off with a short, lively piece about Rubens and Picasso + a piece in her usual humorous style about Whitstable that had some great rhyming. Sue Johns read a powerful piece about the Extinction Rebellion, and Faye Avsec read a piece about friendship which contained the best line of the night, I thought: ‘Sometimes your day is like an empty cup’. Loved it!

First feature was Rosie Johnston, who had come from Whitstable to join us. She first read a prose piece about the writing life, urging that you should keep on writing regardless of what happens in your life, advice I wholeheartedly endorse. The breath of the countryside and the need to be near the sea persisted despite her living in London for 40 years. She moved to Whitstable where she runs a monthly writers event now called Word of Mouth (I’m a feature there on 5 December!!!). Rosie’s Irish background was evident in the lushness of language in her poetry about aspects of her life, light and dark. Most evocative was ‘Wolf Memories’ about the aftermath of tragic memories snarling and snapping at the heels of her mind; she had suffered PTSD in the home, so this piece was redolent with dark emotions. Also writing about life by the seaside, and pieces paying tribute to other women writers she admired, all in all her feature was a truly inspirational one.

Second feature was the multi-talented Safiya Daly, who read from her collection highlighting the two sides of her heritage, both Syrian and English. Her work mixed English and Arabic, with Safiya successfully playing with the sounds of words in both languages. Her powerful pieces were an amalgamation of sound and emotion, underlining displaced identity, and touching on the 5 years she spent in Saudi. She spoke movingly and forcefully about the crisis in Syria, and how she feels distanced from it while admitting she should be more connected to it, certainly thought provoking for the audience. Safiya also read from her collection about ‘feminine deities’ equally impressive in breadth and scope. Overall a gobsmacking poet, highly appreciated by attendees.

The next Loose Muse London is on December 13th, featuring Charlotte Ansell and Sue Wrinch, both with new collections. So come along and enjoy the wealth of words…tell your friends…there might even be mince pies.


On Monday 13 January, 2020, I look forward to returning to read at WINCHESTER LOOSE MUSE: 8pm. Details soon.

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