7.30pm – 9.00pm
Dodo Modern Poets was formed in 1989, its name a play on the famous imprint, Penguin Modern Poets, which published poetry in affordable paperbacks.
Dodo has presented emerging and established poets through London residencies at the Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden and the King & Queen, Fitzrovia and at festivals and events throughout the UK and Ireland.
Prior to Dodo, Pete and Patric founded Ragged Trousered Cabaret, together with other activists from the labour and union movement. RTC was established in 1984 to support workers during the Thatcher years. It received social bookings from Labour Party branches, left organisations and national unions, including print workers’ union Sogat.
RTC organised benefit shows featuring poets, comedians, actors and musicians. During the miners’ strike RTC repeatedly took performers, supporters and supplies to Snowdown Colliery in Aylesham, Kent. One acclaimed performer was 15-year old Ellie Bence, a miner’s daughter from the village. She wrote songs and poems about the hardships and pride of the community.
The group took part in Pit Dragon, a day-long performance at Neasden power station to halt the entry of coking trucks. During the Wapping dispute it organised an Alternative Royal Wedding Show on Wapping Green opposite Murdoch’s plant to protest the sacking of 6,000 workers. The Anti Apartheid Choir brought their voices to the Wapping show from the 24- hour picket line outside the South African Embassy. RTC had taken performers to the anti-apartheid picket line on many occasions.
RTC supported seafarers, the NHS and other workers during disputes. It performed for Arts For Labour at the Labour Party conference and for Militant at a Royal Albert Hall conference.
Many RTC performers went on to continued success – the alumni includes Jazz singer Barb Jungr, Jo Brand, John Hegley, Mike Myers, Denise Black, Harry Enfield, Jenny Eclair, Marxist magician Ian Saville, Phil Jupitus, Maria Tolly, Jenny Le Coat, Joolz, Owen O’Neil, Surfing Dave, swing group Some Like It Hot and Skint Video.
Performing will be Patric Cunnane. Patric’s poems have appeared in publications including The Guardian, The New European, The Morning Star, Wapping Post, US title Atlanta Review, Poetry News and Dreich. Several poems appear in Cornish anthology Time for Song. Work appears in Welling Up and Can You Hear The People Sing?, two anthologies from Palewell Press and the anthology Reflections, published by South West London Poets in October 2022. Poems have been broadcast on Radio 4 and Croydon Radio.Patric’s latest collection The Ghost of Franz Kafka is published by Palewell Press. Two further collections, Looking for Eden and Baltimore are available from the author. Patric.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Murry. Pete has been writing and performing poetry for many years. Once he taught in a North West London College which is now being demolished to make way for unaffordable housing. He’s also a painter and sculptor, with work exhibited by Free Painters and Sculptors and Brent Artists. His writings can be found at http://quadraoptica.blogspot.com/ and in a collection entitled The Glowing Nightsoil Of The Concealed Emu, obtainable from him at <email@example.com
Sue Johns. Sue originates from Cornwall where she began performing as a punk poet in the 1980s. She has published three pamphlets and two full collections, the most recent Hush (Morgan’s Eye Press 2011) , Rented:Poems on Prostitution and Dependency (Palewell Press, 2018) and a new pamphlet Track Record (Dempsey & Windle, 2021). She was highly commended in the Prole competition and the Amnesty International competition. She has an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University/ The Poetry School. Her work has appeared in anthologies including Can You Hear the People Sing (Palewell Press, 2020), Alter Egos (Bad Betty, 2019) Welling Up (Palewell Press, 2019) and Time for Song, Contemporary Cornish Poetry ( Morgan’s Eye Press, 2009), Ver Prize anthology, 2022 and magazines including Poetry News, The Morning Star, Southbank Poetry, Dreich, The Atlanta Review, Prole, The Alchemy Spoon, Brittle Star, The Big Issue and London Grip.
Organised by ACR