Preston’s live literature night returned with the subject of ‘Home’ and it was anything but warm, cosey and comforting as the assortment of authors picked up on the darker side of home.Advertisement
Paul Sockett’s set was part way through when I arrived but he’s always a delight to watch, although his rather morbid take on a news story he read of a girl who was raped 1,000 times by her father was not the best to be starting my pint on.
Sockett was followed by Carol Fenlon, an author from West Lancashire, who read from her novel Consider the Lilies – the story of a feral child growing up near Wigan. It was a tale peppered with Lancashire references and went down well.
After some music from Kevin Wilkinson whose acoustic strumming included a song with a fine lyric about fine women should be undressed it was into the second half. We weren’t treated to more music from Wilkinson to ease us back into the readings, he seemed to have a guitar malfunction, so host for the evening, Jenn Ashworth, came to the rescue and introduced a crew of budding authors from Manchester who are launching a lit/poetry magazine.
Bewilderbliss is a collection of hot new talent, and we were treated to it. The leader of their pack, John, read a great short poem based around the word ‘set’ (did you know it’s the most common word in the dictionary?), Mark read a short story of a man’s flight back to his home, Valerie O’Riordan had a good tale about the explosion of a man and his wife’s reaction to it and Holly, who was from Australia (easily the most exotic reader we’ve seen at Wordsoup so far), had a Paris inspired short story of a lady in red.
Watch Mollie Baxter reading from 5 Rooms
Mollie Baxter then took to the stage. From Morecambe, Mollie read an excellent short story about a 5-bed flat in Morecambe that picked up on all those little nuances about a house or flat being someone’s home. We were then treated to an extract from 50p for the Aquarium, and Mollie explained it was a different ending to the normal story, so it was an exclusive I guess, and it was a tale about a man finding 50p and going to the aquarium and finding his real home.
Thomas Fletcher finished the night with a rather scary and depressing tale of a barren landscape, with a man seeing his wife trapped in a TV and being stalked by a creature called ‘The Home’. It wasn’t the most uplifting of stories but he’s described as capturing the rage that crackles under the skin of Britain’s unemployed graduates – we’re the most qualified generation, but all stuck working temporary jobs for tuppence, apparently.
Overall the line-up was a bit hit and miss, and the poems/stories about home being where the heart is were what was needed on a wet November evening rather than the bleaker stories on the subject.
The night was hosted by They Eat Culture and the Preston Writing Network.
View videos from Wordsoup #7 on the Lancashire Writing Hubs channel.