Tag Archives: Verbose

Verbose’s Relaunch

Fallow Café’s Verbose was my regular spoken word night in 2014 and I was gutted to see it go on hiatus in June. Fortunately, under Sarah-Clare Conlon’s new supervision, Verbose is back and bigger than ever! Whilst I have fond memories of 2014’s Verbose and how Helen Isserlis ran it, it would be misleading to say that this new iteration of the night continues in the same vein as before. Verbose is reincarnated in Conlon’s hands with monthly headliners guaranteed and a huge variety of open mic acts as well as publications from some of Manchester’s newest authors. For January’s Verbose, we were treated to performances from Conlon herself and the publishing collective, Inklings. These performers are well-established Manchester acts with several publications between them. This proved to be a good thing as I was drawn in by their performances and ended up leaving the night with two new collections to check out! The key standouts from Inklings, for me, were David Gaffney (via video as he could not make it) and Sian Cummins who presented new interpretations of what it means to write and be a writer. I was shocked and ecstatic to see just how many people turned up to this event! This was all thanks to Conlon’s advertising of the night, drawing in a huge crowd with people standing on the stairs just so they could listen. It was a success in all senses. However, it would have been nothing if not for the open mic-ers. I often think that it is the open mic slots that make, or break, a night because you see a range of artists from first-timers to professionals and seeing different styles filter through their writing is inspirational. It is in the open mic that you see people practice new material and if you are lucky you’ll see people have realisations and perform a piece in an entirely different way. I know Verbose has done that for me in the past. What Verbose focuses on is the variety of writing and spoken word: from prose to poetry to improv, you can find anything you can imagine at this night. My favourite performance of the night was done by an adorable open mic-er who offered us a piece about Bic pens and sexism (it has to be seen for full impact) to huge rounds of applause. Another stand-out performer was Andrew Georgeson, a hilarious act who discussed his conversation with a moth ending with roars of laughter. He is an act I am eager to see more of and, if this performance was anything to go by, anyone who has the opportunity to see Georgeson in his element would be foolish not to take it up. Doors open at 7.30pm for Verbose, every final Monday of the month, and I would recommend getting there early if only to get a seat. Although, you should treat yourself to some of Fallow’s delicious food (even if it is a bit pricey) and their amazing drinks and cocktails whilst you are waiting! The next event is Monday 23 February where Curious Tales will bring their exciting entries to the Manchester literature scene. It is going to be a fantastic night for sure and I look forward to seeing just as many people as last time in February. Treat yourself during this month of love and hear some heartbroken poets lament, it’ll be a highlight of your month for sure. Alex Webb

February’s Verbose – attend on Facebook

Check out the new Verbose website here for updates and news


The Week in Words: Top 5 Manchester Spoken Word Events

Manchester is a hotbed of artistic opportunity and this includes the spoken word. Whether you want to perform or just sit back and listen, here is my list of the top 5 regular spoken word nights, from my experience, around the M20 area:


  1. One Mic Stand – Contact Theatre, Oxford Road

onemicstand_2_jpg_710x400_crop_q85One Mic Stand, run by writers’ collective Young Identity, is one of the most professional and enjoyable events I’ve been to in a long time. An energetic blend of spoken word and music, hip hop is the flavour of the night. But it’s really inclusive – all styles of performance are present, and made to feel welcome. The main event of One Mic Stand is a poetry slam where 8 poets are pitted against each other in the hopes of winning a £50 cash prize. If a slam is not for you, this night still hosts a 20-30 minute improv session where anyone can show their skills. One Mic Stand are sure to give you a night to remember and have by far the most welcoming and interested crowd I’ve seen in any Manchester spoken word event.

Admission: £3 Conc. £6 Full.

Sign up for a spot at the next One Mic Stand by emailing them at: onemicstandmcr@googlemail.com (date for the next event is yet to be announced).

For a taster of what the night has to offer check out their Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/youngidentity


  1. Young Identity – All over Manchester!

1f39ab4c-4b0d-412f-954e-35ba317b59f8_jpg_450x300_crop_q85Every week, Young Identity hold workshops to help refine young people’s word skills. Open to anyone aged 13-25 with workshops in Rusholme and Longsight on Tuesdays, Cheetham Hill on Wednesdays and every other Saturday at Old Trafford this is one of the best opportunities to keep on improving. Young Identity are some of the most enthusiastic people I’ve had the pleasure to meet and if you’re looking for ways to add something new to your performance-style then here is the place to go! Next up: Tuesday 22nd July, 7pm at Contact Theatre

Admission: Free!

For more information visit Young Identity’s website at: www.youngidentity.org


  1. Verbose – Fallow Café, Fallowfield

Verbose-Blue-BG-Blue-Woman-460x420Verbose is my regular night on the spoken word scene, attracting a relatively small but very interested (and interesting!) crowd. Run by Helen Isserlis this night allows those who are just starting out to find their feet in the spoken word scene. The conversation stays lively throughout the night centered on the performances that switch from emotional engagement, to something as serious as abuse, and then to a hilarious narrative on why exams are so shit. Unfortunately this night is taking a break until September when it will be on every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 8pm onwards.

Admission: Free!

For more information about the event check out the regularly updated page: https://www.facebook.com/events/385522188257735/


  1. Manky Poets – Chorlton Library, Chorlton

img_25441Manky Poets is a monthly open mic night hosted in Chorlton offering a nice variety of talent. What I valued most about Manky Poets was that on top of the open mic the audience is treated to a special guest performer. This provides a nice contrast between those just starting out in the scene and those who are seasoned performers. At Manky Poets you experience a huge variety of spoken word in one night. Held at Chorlton Library with the next two events planned for the 18th July and 15th August, make sure you get down to this massively creative night (usually held on the 3rd Friday of every month).

Admission: £1 Conc., £2 Full.

Learn more about this event here: http://www.writeoutloud.net/public/eventview.php?day=18&month=07&year=2014&eventID=59


  1. The Other Room – Castle Hotel, Northern Quarter

aug14The Other Room is a brilliant experimental poetry night. Whilst it doesn’t give you an opportunity toperform many of my friends liked the fact you could just sit back and enjoy the wide variety of performers on offer. On my first visit I enjoyed the poetry of Chris Stephenson among others. It opened my eyes as to just how varied poetry can be. If you’re looking to broaden your poetry-know-how without feeling like you have to perform The Other Room is for you! The next event is set for 13th August.

Admission: Free!

To find out information about the next The Other Room look no further: http://otherroom.org/


For other Manchester literature events check out Write Out Loud’s calendar updated regularly: http://www.writeoutloud.net/events/


– Alex Webb

A Night at Verbose: The Pleasure of Poetry and Performance

Resident purveryor of all things poetic, Alex Webb, visits – and performs at! – the launch of Fallowfield’s Fallow Cafe’s new live poetry night, Verbose

On the 17th March, Fallow Café (previously Trof) launched their poetry and prose night, Verbose. I was unsure what to expect as I had not seen anything published about the night online and had only heard about it from someone working at Fallow. However, the night quickly proved that it is here to stay. Attracting a huge audience for a launch night, Verbose was, by all accounts, a success.

An interested audience is the best thing a performer can ask for and, unfortunately, something you have little control over. Luckily, Verbose attracted a vibrant, lively and insightful audience with conversations between performers and the audience being constant. It was a small community united by a common interest: spoken word. There were six performers in total, myself included, each bringing an individual and distinct style. With this came a wide range in performers’ ages and this showed the effect experience has on writing. The older members offered more intelligent, insightful pieces whilst the younger members were equally inspiring as they tried out a variety of styles, evidence of us finding our feet.

The standout performer was a young woman who translated writer’s block into a commentary on an orgasm that just will not come (excuse the pun). I made sure to thank her for her performance after the night and was surprised to find someone come up to me and talk to me about a piece I had done myself. This is testimony to art’s dialogical nature: it is something that demands to be discussed.

The night allowed for repeat performances and what was most interesting, for me, was the change the poets had between their two performances. After getting the nerves out of the way with the first performance everyone was much more relaxed as they took to the microphone again. The second time around my style was much more humorous and I felt ready to perform some of my more blunt, sexual pieces. The night had liberated me. Tonight, I was a spoken word poet.

Despite the pricey drinks, as a venue Fallow is brilliant, the food is excellent and the top floor is a well-decorated and welcoming environment. If you are interested in taking part or even just sitting in the crowd, head on down to Fallow every first and third Monday of the month. Fall into the world of spoken word and the Manchester poets will catch you with open arms.

Like/follow Fallow Café on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the brilliant events that they put on including any future Verbose nights:




– Alex Webb