Words & Ears is a monthly poetry performance night run by Dawn Gorman, held at the Swan Hotel in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. It includes readings from a guest poet - often of national standing - plus open mic slots for all-comers. It is, above all things, a friendly, supportive space where established poets, new poets and all those in between can relax, perform, listen and network.
The event was originally devised by Paul O'Mahony back in 1996, when it took place in The Dandy Lion, just across the road. Several wonderful things came out of that event, including a book showcasing poems by regular participants (Dandy Lion Poets, Ex Libris Press), and a semi-professional poetry performance group, The Dandelion Poets, featuring Paul, Dawn, Ursula Brooke and Andrew Stacey. When Paul left the area, Dawn Gorman took over the running of Words & Ears, and it continued for several years, then went into hibernation. In 2010, with the help of Helen Murray, it was revived, revised, and reopened, in the town's Georgian Lodge. On the closure of that building, it migrated to the Swan, where it has been enthusiastically supported by manager James Sullivan-Tailyour ever since.
The event has become a popular platform for visiting guest poets, who have included Allison McVety and Martin Malone. And it regularly attracts open mic poets from as far afield as Salisbury, Winchester, Bristol and Swindon.
To join in, just come along, with your words (optional) and ears (essential) at the ready. Guest poet slots are in high demand and are booked at least six months in advance. If you would like to guest at the event, please email Dawn Gorman.