Wisbech Words returns from lockdown with open mic events - are you in?

Wisbech Words are holding their next open-mic evening in September, allowing the likes of poets and

Wisbech Words are holding their next open-mic evening in September, allowing the likes of poets and rap artists to showcase their work. Picture: ADAM FAIRBROTHER - Credit: Archant

From poets to novelists and rap artists, residents will get a chance to showcase their work at Wisbech Words’ next open-mic event.

Fenland Poet Laureate 2019-2020: Winners announced at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Wisbech, with Steve

Fenland Poet Laureate 2019-2020: Winners announced at the Rose and Crown Hotel, Wisbech, with Steve Barclay, Metro mayor James Palmer and Wisbech town mayor Michael Hill among the guests. Picture; IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

The team returned for the stand-up show at Wisbech Castle earlier this month for the first time since January with social distancing measures in place, enabling participants and audience members to enjoy the event.

Usually held quarterly, residents voted to have an extra Wisbech Words event in September after the open-mic nights were postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Wisbech Words welcomes anyone to the event, including short story writers as well as audience members, the atmosphere is informal and readers who may be anxious can feel at ease by returning to read again.

Started by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough 18 months ago, the open-mic evening is part of the Fenland Arts Development Scheme funded by the Arts Council, which also includes the annual Fenland Poet Laureate competition.


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Originally from the Fens, Elisabeth moved back to the area in 2017 and was keen to reinstate the open-mic evening and Fenland Poet Laureate competition after both had come to an end due to the previous committee stepping down.

At the time, Elisabeth said: “The Fens are such a springboard for the imagination that it seems such a shame there are limited avenues for people to express their love of the region.”

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With support in kind from Marketplace: Creative People and Places and MP Steve Barclay, Elisabeth applied to Arts Council England for a two-year grant to start the Fenland Arts Development Scheme.

Now in its second year, Elisabeth hopes that as the grant period draws to a close, more people will become involved in the project to help secure its future.

She said: “I hope that people will continue to attend Wisbech Words, described by previous attendees as ‘a special event’ and ‘an engaging and unusual evening.’”

The next Wisbech Words evening will take place at Wisbech Castle on Museum Square on Thursday, September 17 at 7pm.

There is no admission fee or charge for refreshments, and the next event will also include readings from some of the 2019 Fenland Poet Laureate prize-winners.

To take part, participants can turn up on the evening or sign up in advance by emailing wisbechwords@gmail.com.

The closing date for this year’s laureate competition is Wednesday, September 30. For further details, visit https://fenlandartsdevelopmentscheme.co.uk/ or email fenlandpoetlaureateaward@gmail.com.

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