Last night saw the culmination of weeks of hard work finally actualise into an event packed with culture and celebration.
What a night!
Plural was a brilliant platform to showcase some of Plymouth's top poets. The man behind it all (Matthew Carbery) kicked us off with a poem from Allen Ginsberg and introduced the reasons behind staging Plural. I had the pleasure of introducing the first half readers which featured Melisande Fitzsimons, Jackie Wacha, Danny and Angela from Mayflower Mavericks, and Norman Jope of Plymouth Language Club. Melisande shared some of her work including a piece about her Kurdish barber, Jackie talked of injustice, Danny and Angela shared some revelations about The Mayflower and 2020's 'celebration' and Norman ended the first half by sharing a sequence of poems about the Sahara - with links to the current refugee crisis.
After the break, Melisande took over hosting duties and I opened with a reading of three Native American poets, linking to how their expression of culture and spirituality helped inspire me with my own pagan ideals. Following this we heard from Merris Longstaff who read a brilliant piece on Donald Trump using a Jamaican dialect called Patois. After Merris we had an outstanding reading from Kenny Knight (who also channeled the spirit of Ginsberg) and the night concluded with Bertel Martin sharing his own experiences of his family settling in the UK, as well as his perspective on challenging attitudes towards race. Hopefully this is the first of many Plural events and I look forward to seeing how this idea grows in our city.