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Caroline Bird at Norwich Arts Centre

The Norwich Arts Centre provided a much needed sanctuary of warm laughter and enjoyment on a snowy Wednesday evening in the city. The former Latitude Poetry Club, may have had a change of name but the standard and level of entertainment remains as inspiring and as creative ever.

Caroline Bird - Norwich Arts CentreCaroline Bird. Photograph: Norwich Arts Centre.

Many braved the icy death-trap of frozen cobbled streets for a night of female poetic delight, all overseen  by compère, organiser and talented poet, Luke Wright.

Opening the night with a humorous and witty poem about a posh plumber, Luke was a likeable host and created a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. His poetry had a signature tone and was delivered with vibrant energy.

Opening the night was UEA student Hattie Grünewald, whose poetry had a charming strength whilst still obtaining the sassy streak of youthfulness.

Poet and writer Molly Naylor followed, whose talent ranges from playwright to radio presenter. Molly’s poetry managed to tackle the delicate subject of depression in which she read, for the first time, a series of poems involving the illness’s symbol, the black dog.

The selection tackled the frail subject matter in an innovative form, creating a variety of different scenes through each of the poems, and exploring the variety of forms in which depression can reside. The performance created an intimate audience-poet moment. In using the symbol of the black dog, however, the poems still had an accessible quality, using recognisable habits of the household pet combined the image with an eerie surrealism.

Headlining the night was Caroline Bird, who read a variety of poems from her three published collections. Her poetry managed to blend both a humble intellect with a cheeky neuroticness, making her performance both energetic and thought-provoking.

Her poem on the subject of atheism provided many a laugh and highlighted the absurdity of the term “non-believer”, whilst another about deciding to leave a lover, created a moving performance whilst still keeping that dark comic element.

Her most resounding of poems were her “relationship inventions”, which included a lolly pop lady and bottled tears and spoke to all in modern relationships. Overall, the night was inviting and a joy for any lover of poetry.


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