Launch of CRASH poetry night unveils local creative talent

A new poetry night organised by two local poets delivered a broad range of experimental poetry which is set to return in the new year

James Knight, left, was one of the poets to take the CRASH stage and read a number of his published and unpublished poems


A new poetry night hosted at the Flute & Tankard on 30 November showcased experimental themes from a number of established and up-and-coming poets. 

CRASH, organised by two local poets, invited established artists to perform pieces at the intimate venue. Aspiring poets were welcomed to try out their works during an open mic session at the end of the night.

Matthew Haigh, co-organiser of CRASH, said: “We started this night because, even though there is a poetry scene here in Cardiff, I think the type of poetry that I write and enjoy doesn’t have a platform.

“We’re looking at promoting a more alternative scene of experimental and imaginative poetry. Something that’s at the fringe of what’s going on in contemporary, mainstream poetry at the moment.”

Matthew continued to say that the event was created for poets to feel they are in a safe space to experiment and not worry about their work being polished and ready for performance. 

Matthew Haigh, co-organiser of CRASH, performed some of his works including adaptations of US crime drama, Murder, She Wrote


Vik Shirley, a poet from Bristol, kicked off the evening with a selection of dark yet humorous readings, including poems titled I fell in love with a Braun electric shaver and It was finally time to get myself a serial killer

Next to take the stage was Matthew himself, who performed his collection of adaptations based on the US crime drama series, Murder, She Wrote.

After a short break, experimental poet and digital artist James Knight entertained the crowd with readings from his collection titled Void Voices, a reimagining of the epic 14th century poem Inferno by Dante Alighieri. He also tested out some of his new material on audience members.

The last poet to share her work before the open mic session was Sarah Cave, from Bodmin. “I’ve been writing poems for around six years. I went to university to do an English degree and I became addicted to poetry,” she said. “I did an MA and now I’m doing a PhD – it’s my whole life! Matthew is a great poet and he told me he was organising a poetry night so I decided to come.”

The evening drew to a close with the open mic segment as budding spoken word artists read out their material to the supportive crowd. 

Watch the video to find out more about the very first CRASH event.


Voxpops: What do you think about the cultural scene in Cardiff?

Lloyd Evans, 31, Maesteg, graphic designer

“That’s tough. I think it’s good but it could be better. There’s potential in Cardiff but it could improve.”

Anna Hollowy, 23, Bournemouth, admin

“You have to go out of your way to find out about things like this. There used to be a couple of really local clubs but they don’t exist anymore, it’s all chain places now.”

Omar Shtewi, 35, Cardiff, financial crime

“I think it’s getting better all the time, it’s becoming competitive. Events like this are a positive step in getting Cardiff to compete with Bristol.” 

Sarah Cave, 32, Bodmin, PhD student & poet

“I don’t know the cultural scene in Cardiff very well, I’m from Cornwall. I’ve come all the way here to read my poems. But from what I can see, I like the cultural scene!”

Originally published here on Alt.Cardiff

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