The Lyric Lounge is coming home to Leicester
A FEAST of words, poetry, performance, music and fun will take on a new look when The Lyric Lounge returns to Leicester for a day-long celebration to mark National Poetry Day on Thursday October 4.
The Lyric Lounge was launched in Leicester four years ago and since then has toured to towns and cities across the East Midlands.
The 'homecoming' event takes place on Thursday and forms part of the Everybody's Reading festival in Leicester.
The Lyric Lounge, which has the spoken word at its heart, will include workshops, performances, live music, knitting, singing and plenty of opportunities to listen, enjoy or just chill and enjoy the atmosphere.
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"I'm incredibly proud and excited to see The Lyric Lounge return to Leicester, its 'home' city, after an four incredible years on the road," said Lydia Towsey, who developed the project initially and is artistic director of next month's event in Leicester.
"No-one could have predicted the huge success of the festival's debut here. It first took place back in 2009 at The Y Theatre then went on, a year later, to take over New Walk Museum for an incredible Weekender attended by thousands.
"Since then it has continued touring the East Midlands to great acclaim. To have it return to where it began feels a bit like hosting a homecoming for some kind of marauding pop hero, so we're looking forward to doing something really special.
"We've got everything from Flash-mob poetry knitting to the Emmy Award-winning writer and performer Kwame Dawes, who will flying over from America to workshop and perform throughout the day.
"There's the legendary Selecter singer Pauline Black, the 11th birthday party of WORD!, the longest running poetry night in the region, the launch of a book specially commissioned by the festival – and more cup cakes and canapés than a canapé-cup-cake convention!"
The day begins at 10am with a choice of free events. At the Central Library in Bishop Street you can bring your knitting along and listen to poems that make you think performed by writer Alison Dunne. The session runs until noon.
Meanwhile, over at the Chapel Cafe in Bishop Street lyricist and musician Mellow Baku will be leading a workshop where those taking part can create work which can feature in the Lyrical Lunchtime session later in the day. The workshop runs from 10am til noon and is free but places must be booked in advance via email@example.com
You can enjoy a Lyrical Lunchtime session at the library from 12.30-1.30pm. Open mic spots are available and the session will be led by Mellow Baku.
Poet, author and playwright Kwame Dawes' first event of the day is WORD!Shop, a writing workshop from 2-4pm at the library. Places are limited and booking is essential via firstname.lastname@example.org
The launch of the Showcase Smoothie project's first anthology takes place at 4.15pm. The work has been produced by young black men with experience of mental health issues who have been taking part in a project led by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Tickets are available from email@example.com
From 5pm you are invited on a date at the Ridiculously Romantic Restaurant of Lurrve, a pop-up comedy show that's full of surprises and takes place in the library and Town Hall Square.
Pauline Black, singer with the legendary 2-Tone band The Selecter, is talking about her autobiography Black by Design at the library at 6pm. Tickets are £3 (£2 for library members) and can be purchased from Leicester Central Library.
The day culminates in a celebration at the library which marks the 11th birthday party of WORD!, the longest-running spoken word night in the Midlands, Black History Month and World Mental Health Month.
The evening, which begins at 8pm, will feature an open mic session, where performers can sign up from 7.15pm onwards. There will also be a performance by Kwame Dawes, who will be reading from his latest poetry collection Wheels and his edited anthology of 50 great Jamaican poets Jubilation. Tickets are £6 (£4 concessions) on the door.
"Expect poetry, music, performance and debate to delight everyone from the die-hard fan, to the poetry virgin. We'll be pulling out all the stops and we can't wait to see people, chat and celebrate," Lydia added.
The Lyric Lounge began its 2012 East Midlands tour, which is part of the Cultural Olympiad, in Lincoln in April and has since visited Chesterfield, Corby and Nottingham. Leicester is the final stop on this year's tour.
The Lyric Lounge is a Writing East Midlands project produced by literature production company renaissance one (lower case corr). It was artistically developed by Lydia Towsey and is funded by Arts Council England and Legacy Trust UK creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.
Find out more about at the Lyric Lounge at www.lyriclounge.co.uk