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WoM Bristol Prize Special

Word of Mouth is teaming up with the mighty Bristol Short Story Prize for an evening of short and flash fiction at The Thunderbolt. Here are the details and an eflyer you can forward to your literary chums. Don’t forget there’s still time to enter the 2013 Prize and check out the website for details of The Prize on Radio 4

Our readers on April 3 are Tania Hershman, Holly Corfield Car, Kevlin Henney and Nick Rawlinson.

Tania Hershman is the author of two short story collections, My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008). Her short stories have been published online and in print and broadcast on Radio 3 and 4.

Holly Corfield Carr is a Bristol-based writer and artist. She received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012 and is currently working as writer-in-residence at Spike Island, supported by Arts Council England. You can hear Holly’s short fiction for Portwall Lane Car Park as part of Missorts, a permanent public soundwork for the Redcliffe area of Bristol, produced by Situations. And you can follow Holly’s other projects at

Kevlin Henney writes shorts and flashes and drabbles of fiction. His fiction has appeared in or online at Litro, New Scientist, Word Gumbo, Fiction365, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-oil Cure, Every Day Fiction, The Pygmy Giant, The Fabulist, The Liminal and, and has been included in the Jawbreakers and Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories anthologies. He is winner of the 2012 Oxford Flash Slam. He lives in Bristol and online.

Nick Rawlinson is a Bristol-based actor and author whose short story The Final Whistle was shortlisted for the 2009 Prize and appeared in Volume 2 of the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology.

The Thunderbolt
Weds 3 April, 8.00 pm

Trevor and Joel dark and comic combination

Word of Mouth at the Thunderbolt was a stunning night. An audience of 50 experienced an evening of dark, dangerous humour.

The evening started with Mr A. Reading tales from the diary of his departed aunty. The tale was polite and civilised but had a death count that any horror movie would be proud of.

Trevor Coombs introduced the evening putting the audience in their place. A story that accurately portrayed the role of the audience yet made you feel aware of your presence in the Thunderbolt in a strange and disturbing way.

Trevor’s writing works because he fuses his powerful, detailed observations with a mastery of English and a sense of rhythm and pace that drives the tale to a controlled yet surprising conclusion; a true joy for the audience.

Joel Kirby is a talented and incredible singer songwriter. His words and music capture the dark and tragic sides of human life underneath the smiles and happy sensations of existence. Joined in the second half by  John Stirling on bass it added a dimension to the music and performance. With John, Joel was more comfortable on stage and with rapport between them down to meaningful eye contact it was a great joy. Musically they did some wonderful tricks; on one song John took the lead with the bass while Joel kept rhythm.

The audience were spell bound throughout the evening from Mr A to Joel K, no one drew any z’s.

Word of Mouth at BOV, Monday, 16 January

Bohdan Piasecki and Lucy English
Word of Mouth at Bristol Old Vic
Monday, 16 January
8.00 pm
King St
Tickets: £8.00/6.00
Box Office: 0117 987 7877

Bohdan is a performance poet and slam host born in Warsaw, Poland, currently based in the UK, where he is putting the finishing touches to a PhD in poetry translation.

Before his move to England, Bohdan started the first poetry slam series in his country, introducing Poles to spoken word and creating a platform for a whole new generation of performers.

Bohdan has travelled around Europe (with some forays into North America) with his poetry; he represented Poland at the 2007 Poetry Slam World Cup in Paris (and was the only European poet to reach the finals), proudly wore the title of the 2008 Hammer & Tongue Oxford Season Slam Champion, and was an artist in residence at the European Poetry Slam Days in Berlin in 2009.

He has a keen interest in literary translation and ways in which it can be used in performance, and actively pursues collaborations with other poets as well as artists from fields such as photography, video, music, and dance.

Bohdan derives a perverse pleasure from inflicting poems in Polish on unsuspecting international audiences. He has a tendency to speak too much, enjoys walking, but not chewing gum, and still hopes to learn to play bass one day. He also finds writing about himself in the third person has lost a lot of its lustre since the advent of social networking sites.

Visit his website.

lucy-20101-250dsLucy English was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in London. She studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

She has three novels published by Fourth Estate: Selfish People (1998), set in contemporary Bristol; Children of Light (1999); and Our Dancing Days(2000), set in a Suffolk commune in the 1970s.

She is best known as a performance poet, winning the first Bristol Poetry Slam in 1996, and going on to tour worldwide, performing her poetry at several international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe, Austin International Poetry Festival, Wordfest, at Calgary in Canada and The Cuirt in Galway, Ireland.  Her poetry has also been published in a variety of anthologies.

In 2003 she co-ordinated the International Conference in the writing and practice of performance poetry at Bath Spa University and since then run the only performance poetry module at a UK university.  In 2006 she was artistic director of Apples and Snakes Poetry Tour, Exposed. In 2007, she was a finalist in the first BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam.

She has toured Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Taiwan with the British Council running workshops and performances. She has also run workshops for the Arvon Foundation and The New Writing Partnership.

Lucy English is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She was the Royal Literature Fellow at the University of Swansea from 2003-6 and the Royal Literature Fellow at the University of Cardiff Institute during 2007-08.

Audience wowed by cracking poetry performances

Bristol Old Vic was rocked by two great performers in the intimate Basement Studio.

Luke Kennard and Tom Phillips performed sets that covered a wide range of styles swerving past haiku.

The evening started in blistering style with host, Byron Vincent, recounting his experience of his recent stay in one of Bristol’s finest establishments for nutters.

A great evening was had by all.

Tom Phillips radio star

If you are in Bristol this morning tune into BBC Radio Bristol. Tom Phillips interviewed by Dr Phil Hammond at 11.40. It will be a corker.

Word of Mouth at Bristol Old Vic, 21 November

Word of Mouth at Bristol Old Vic featuring Luke Kennard and Tom Phillips hosted by Byron Vincent

Word of Mouth are pleased to bring to Bristol audiences the exciting talent of Luke Kennard and bring to Bristol Old Vic a Word of Mouth at the Thunderbolt favourite Tom Phillips. Their work covers the spiring towers of literary academia to the depths of drunken, debauched nights in the bars and on the streets of Britain.

Word of Mouth at Bristol Old Vic
Monday 21November

Bristol Old Vic
Ticket Price: £8.00/£6.00 concs
Box office number: 0117 987 7877

Luke Kennard is an award-winning poet, critic and short-fiction writer. He works as a research student and assistant teacher at the University of Exeter.

His first award-winning collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers was published by Stride Books in 2005 and won an award. He has worked as regional editor for Succour, a biannual journal of poetry and short fiction based at the University of Sussex and as an associated reader for The Kenyon Review. He is currently reviews editor of Exultations and Difficulties. His award-winning poetry has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals. He exists in a permanent state of award-winning; he is like a giant magnet for awards or, if awards are moths, a giant light.

Tom Phillips has lived in Bristol for 25 years. After ten years working in radio, became a freelance journalist, and is now chief sub-editor for Venue magazine. He’s published two collections of poetry (Reversing into the Cold War and Burning Omaha) and eight of his plays have been staged in Bristol and Bath, including Hotel Illyria and Arbeit Macht Frei. Having spent three summers idling around eastern Europe by train, he’s now studying for a PhD in travel writing at Reading University.

Word of Mouth at The Thunderbolt, 2nd November

Word of Mouth at The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Bristol with compere Bertel Martin
Wednesday, November 2
Free Entry

Our guests

Back by popular demand, Mike Scott is one of the most popular and influential musicians on the local acoustic and folk scene. Mike’s work is rooted in the protest tradition of folk. Sometimes the songs are overtly political, but more often they are themes of more personal protest and reflection but they are always delivered with a whimsical humour and a sideways glance at a host of subjects from wealth to growing old. Check out his work at

David C Johnson is a prize-winning performance poet and Radio 4 playwright. His witty, observational poetry has entertained audiences at literary and poetry festivals in the UK and North America. He was Appledore Book Festival’s Garrick poet 2010 and Bristol Bike Festival 2010’s Poet in Residence. His latest collection is “Holding on and Looking Out” (Paralalia April 2010).

Claire Williamson has published two narrative poetry collections: Ride On (PoTA Press, 2005) and The Soulwater Pool (Poetry Can, 2008) and is currently working on a novel, The Scarab Bookshop. She has been on three National tours with Apples and Snakes in Exposed, Performance Prose with Words Allowed and Performance Poetry with Pimp$ of the Alphab£t Press. Claire lives in Bedminster with her poetry-phobic husband, two beautiful daughters and two equally scruffy dogs.

Autumn, new season, new blog


welcome to the new look Word of Mouth blog space. Content will be filling these pages very soon.

Stay tuned here for our autumn season, news of our activities and useful links. Please let us know what you think and what you would like to see here.

More updates soon.