There are several things which I hold to be universal truths: people who go sockless when wearing shoes that are neither flip flops nor sandals are not to be trusted, I will never know all the words to Mr. Brightside and pizza makes just about everything better. All agreed? Good. Then we can be friends.
But what happens – you may wonder – when the thing you’re pairing pizza with is already really, really good in the first place? Well, folks, it may come as a shock to you, but in those extraordinary circumstances you may find yourself in the same kind of stone-fired alfresco bliss I enjoyed on Market Street last night.
Give me poetry and I’m a happy gal. Give me pizza and I’m a happy gal. Give me poetry and pizza and I’m a happy gal who’s ready to settle down and have a couple of kids with you.
So it’s safe to say when I heard there was a ‘Pizza + Poetry’ event on at this year’s Festival of Words, I was already sold: “Two of my favourite things” (I thought to myself) “Why has no one stumbled upon this perfect, alliterating combination before?”
This evening was one of the first events of the Festival of Words and I had the pleasure of seeing it unfold in a make-shift poetry lounge, on a tiny side street in the town where I grew up.
The event was compared and curated by John Paul O’Neill of Farrago Poetry, who hosted the first ever UK poetry slam in 1994. John immediately created an atmosphere which made nervous mingling transform into raucous audience participation which is no mean feat. The understated, but whip smart wit of Anna McCrory verse was an absolute delight as the evening meandered effortlessly between the performing slam poets’ work and that of local writers who volunteered in the spur of the pizza-fuelled moment.
As dusk fell, poems fell from mouths with garlicked breath and I’ve never seen so much dough and assonance in one place.
The event was lovingly and attentively hosted by the instantly likeable Nick Perchard-Rees, the brains behind up-and-coming food venture Pizza Projekt and his team.
We were plied with perpetual plates of pizza as we pondered a potent plethora of pentameters; positively permeated with pepperoni and Pomodoro.
Pictures: Peter Mourant and Jennifer Bridge