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In September 2009 Spoken Word Antics ended its 6-year run at the Red Deer. For the time being it's in limbo. There are plans to resurrect it in a different venue, perhaps in a different form, maybe even with a different name, so we'll keep you updated as those plans develop.

Meanwhile, you can read about the people who performed at Antics over the years on this site, you can listen to recordings on the sound archive, and browse through the Spoken Word Antics Radio Show listings - if anything takes your fancy send us a request and we'll make it available on the sound archive.

SPOKEN WORD ANTICS was an open mic without the mic, reliant on the warmth of human technology, and open to all kinds of spoken word: poetry, stories, urban fairytales, found poetry, folk opera, spoof newsreel, comic monologue, anything goes.... There were usually one or two guests, and plenty of open slots. See right for details of dates and guests. Click on the images above to find out about the online sound archive and radio show.


Skype Me! Sheffield and the World, 29 October 2011

On Saturday 29 October 2011 Spoken Word Antics is getting together with Off the Shelf to put on a Skype night, where writers in Sheffield will be joined by writers from around the world appearing via Skype. The evening will alternate between appearances from local writers and remote writers, who will be projected onto the screen in Showroom Cinema 5, and will include one specially commissioned Skype script.

There are six slots for writers to take part in Sheffield and one £150 commission for a Skype script. To find out more about how to take part, visit the Skype Me! Sheffield page.

Manager Recordings Now Available on Antics Sound Archive, 11 May 2010

Three poems from Robin Vaughan-Williams's The Manager are now available to listen to on the Spoken Word Antics Sound Archive: 'Risk Assessment Exercise', 'Fired!', and 'Follow the Leader'.

New Poetry Improvisations Available, 24 September 2008

You can listen to some of the new collective poetry improvisations we have been developing in the last month on the Antics MySpace page. 'Everything Changes' was devised by Robin Vaughan-Williams and recorded on 23 August 2008 with Philip Howarth, Tina McKevitt, Oliver Mantell, and Robin Vaughan-Williams. We used Cicely Herbert's poem by the same title as our starter text. 'Are you my friend?' was also devised by Robin Vaughan-Williams, and recorded during the Spoken Word Antics Radio Show on 22 September 2008 with Sarah Thomasin and Adele Geraghty. Both improvisations feature in some form in the performance Life 2.0.

Life 2.0: words and technology (17 October 2008)

link to Life 2

Spoken Word Antics presents Life 2.0, an exploration of words and technology, featuring improvised soundscape, skype readings, viral text poetry, and Lost Voices, a collective poetry performance developed especially for Life 2.0, as well as performances from Richard Bolam, Linda Lee Welch, Brian Lewis, Jake Harries, Robin Vaughan-Williams, and more...! See the Life 2.0 website for more details.

New Antics flier, March-July 2008

click here to see poster (jpg)

If you would like to help promote Spoken Word Antics, please hand out some fliers or stick up a poster. These can be downloaded in PDF format, or you can pick some up next time you turn up to the night.
Antics fliers (PDF), 4 to one A4 sheet: 495KB

Celebrate 5 years of Spoken Word Antics!

image of birthday cake

On 9 October 2007 Spoken Word Antics will be celebrating its fifth birthday with:

  1. CAKE
  2. SPECIAL REQUESTS let us know about any performers or performances you'd like to see again, and we'll try to arrange a programme based on what you have told us. Alternatively, you might have a Sheffield-based writer or performer in mind who you haven't seen at Antics, but would love to see there. What have you enjoyed? What sticks out in your memory the most?

Please email us you requests and suggestions (see right for contact details).

To jog your memory, view this list of people who have performed at Antics in 2006 and 2007, or listen to the recordings from the three-year celebration in January 2006.

New material on Spoken Word Antics sound archive, June 2007

Extracts from the last three month's shows are now available to listen to on the sound archive. Matt Clegg's and Simon Heywood's 'Trig Points', a fusion of haiku and guitar sounds; Philip Howarth on the day it snowed feelings in 'Nice Weather'; Jim Caruth reads from his Staple 2006 Manuscript Competition winning A Stone's Throw; Anna Robinson brings together voices and memories from a Waterloo housing estate: 'how much sky can you see above the rooftops?'; Trinny and Suzanna, throw-away smiles...Matt Black does love poems his way.

Antics launches 10-or-less: a democratic, innately relevant, and undemanding poetic mini-genre for the 21st century, may 2007

I love Tony Blair because...
he wears eye make-up
for the people
on TV.

by Robin Vaughan-Williams

I love hyperlinks because...
they open up Vistas to other worlds.

by Paul Ottaway

I love bras because...
I need all the support I can get.

by Ruth Grimsley

If you've been trying to discover how strictly defined formal criteria can unleash your creative potential, but just end up feeling like you're banging your head against a brick wall, this could be right up your street. Based on a marketing technique commonly used in 1980s junk mail, the rules of 10-or-less (perhaps properly know as the tiebreaker competition) are simple: think of something, say you love it, and finish in ten words or less.

10-or-less is the perfect way for the multi-tasking modern individual to get in touch with his/her creative self and still have time to juggle multiple jobs, commitments, and partners. Who's got time to write a proper poem these days? Even haiku can be a struggle sometimes. But you can dash off 10-or-less in just a few moments � everybody's got it in them! And because of its origins as a marketing technique, 10-or-less usually ends up saying something about the commercial world we live in.

Please send any 10-or-less to Antics at the email given on this page. Meanwhile, here's some inspiration. 10-or-less on IndyMedia.

New material on Spoken Word Antics sound archive, March 2007

Extracts from February's Spoken Word Antics radio show on Sheffield Live are now available for download on the sound archive. Dusan and Sanja Radunovic perform a bilingual reading of the Serbian poet Vasko Popa's 'Give Me back My Rags' and discuss the poet's use of folklore, his position in relation to socialist realism in Yugoslavia, and how he is perceived today in Serbian and Croation cultures. Tom Stafford reads the latest of his historical vignettes, '1983', about a man who stopped the cold war turning hot.

New material on Spoken Word Antics sound archive, October 2006

New material from the first two Antics on Air radio shows has been added to the sound archive, including poems from Michael Greavy and James Lock, an interview with September's guest poet, Phenzwaan, and On the Wonk, a story by Steve Scott.

Antics on Air trial runs, SheffieldLive, September 2006

Spoken Word Antics is trialling two radio shows in September and October:

  • 10-11pm, Wednesday 27 September 2006
  • 10-11pm, Wednesday 18 October 2006

The first show will feature an interview recorded with Phenzwaan, guest at September's Spoken Word Antics, live readings from Michael Greavy, Marshal Lore, and James Lock, and soundbites from the Seattle slam scene. Comments, suggestions, ideas for the shows welcome.

Launch of Spoken Word Antics sound archive, May 2006

The Spoken Word Antics sound archive is now ready, with recordings available for download from the Antics 3rd birthday event in January 2006. Keep an eye out, as there is quite a backlog of recordings that will eventually make its way onto the sound archive.

Who has performed at Antics in 2008?

Robin Vaughan-Williams, James Lock, Charlotte Wetton, Michael Greavy, Ruth Grimsley, Zoe Lambert, John Proud, Jack Richardson, Mitch, Doreen Bottomley, Tom Stafford, Corinne Salisbury, Matt Black, James Nash, Matt Clegg, Philip Howarth, Cora, Oliver Mantell, Peter Beeston, Paul, Stan Burt, Jim Caruth, David Jefferson-Porter, Dean Lilleyman, Chris Jones, Paul Ottaway, Steve Sawyer, Ruth Messer, Tina McKevitt, Bill Cooper, Linda Lee Welch, Andy Weaver, the Only Michael, David Stead, Joe Chrys, Ben Wilkinson, Matthew Wade, Abdi, Malcolm Grok, Clive Brookes, Ruth Messer, Sam, Catherine Clarke, Rosie Garner, Mud, Tim Ralphs, Adam White, Mihalis Walsh, Simon & Ben, Dan Grace, Karen, Sara Thomasin, Jenny Donnison, Joolz Denby, Roy Blackman...

Who has performed at Antics in 2007?

Tom Stafford, Joan Hoare, Tina McKevitt, John Hall, Jackie Hagan, Doreen Bottomley, Matt Black, Matt Clegg, Sarah Thomasin, Robin Vaughan-Williams, Philip Howarth, Roy Blackman, Steve Sawyer, Simon Heywood, Margot Douaihy, Ruth Grimsley, Paul Ottaway, Paddy Moran, Mike Jones, Jeff Cottrill, Corinne Salisbury, James Lock, Jonathan Woolley, Bill Cooper, Peter Beeston, Jim Caruth, Vicky Morris, Dave Roberts, Andy Hirst, Janet Hassall, Michael Greavy, Anna Robinson, Jo Roach, Janet Hassall, Dusan Radunovic, Sanja Bahun, Eleanor Rees, David Stead, Catherine Clarke, Raff, Gavin Hudson, Adam White, Sue Wallace, Ben Wilkinson, Kayo, Joe Kriss, Paul Mitchell, John Proud, Sarah Murphy, Ruth Messe, Mihalis Walsh, Jack Richardson, Trev Teasdel, Keith Armstrong, Dex, and Guy Hudson.

Who performed at Antics in 2006?

Richard Bolam, Rosie Ford, Kayo Chingonyi (Requiem), Joe Kriss, Keith Jafrate, Dianne Darby, Thom the World Poet, Steve Scott, Matthew Wade, Peter Jones, Joan Hoare, Jonathan Baxter, Matt Clegg, Jerome Kiel, Christine Kiel, Marshall Lore, Phenzwaan, Ruth Grimsley, Ben Wilkinson, Chris Bates, Michael Greavy, Doreen Bottomley, Graham Roos, Andy Hirst, Ana Maria Oliva, Oliver Mantell, Sue Levan, James Lock, Elizabeth Barrett, Mike Fox, Roy Blackman, Matt Black, Kate Gilbert, Jonathan Woolley, John Hall, Sue Wallace, David Cox, Roland Miller, Tom Stafford, Chris Brownsword, Scott Thurston, Bruce Barnes, Philip Howarth, Jim Caruth, Eddie Bourke-Fox, Terry Marshall, Corinne Salisbury, Tina McKevitt, Sarah Gittens, Helen Tunny, Beccy Virgo, Bill Cooper, Andy Walker, Angela Kaye, Dave Maass, Brian Yates, Chris Hammond, and Bird.

If your name is not up here but should be, or it is but you don't want it to be, please let us know!


Antics home

Skype Writing

Radio show

Sound archive (online)





Antics on MySpace

Live in the Red Deer
(see below for dates and times)

Nowhere! (But it was upstairs in the Red Deer Pub, Pitt Street, Sheffield)

You + guests (2007, 2008, 2009)

The Damage?
£2/1 in the hat

Some future unspecified moment in time

Tuesday 14 July
Cathy Grindrod + open mic Tuesday 9 June
open mic + Joe Kriss Tuesday 12 May
Mouth of the Cave
Tuesday 14 April
Rosie Garland
Tuesday 10 March
Sheffield Young Writers
Tuesday 10 February
Under Aquarius
Tuesday 13 January
River Wolton

Tuesday 9 December 2008 Mark Goodwin
Tuesday 11 November
Simon Heywood
Tuesday 14 October
Rachel Pantechnicon
Tuesday 9 September
it's cooling towers!
Tuesday 8 July
Joolz Denby
Tuesday 10 June
Matt Black + Adam White: Careless
Tuesday 13 May
Rosie Garner + Catherine Clarke
Tuesday 8 April
Linda Lee Welch + Tina McKevitt
Tuesday 11 March
Matt Clegg + Chris Jones
Tuesday 12 February
James Nash
Tuesday 8 January
Zoë Lambert

Tuesday 11 December
Keith Armstrong + Trev Teasdel
Tuesday 13 November
Sarah Murphy

Tuesday 9 October
5 years of Antics!
Tuesday 11 September
Matt Black, 'Surf'
Tuesday 10 July
Eleanor Rees
Tuesday 12 June
Anna Robinson and Jo Roach
Tuesday 8 May
Jim Caruth
Tuesday 10 April
Nell Farrell and River Wolton
Tuesday 13 March
Jeff Cottrill
Tuesday 13 February
Margot Douaihy
Tuesday 9 January
John Hall and Jackie Hagan

Tuesday 12 December
Tuesday 14 November
Tuesday 10 October
Dianne Derby, Keith Jafrate, and Thom the World Poet
Tuesday 12 September
with Phenzwaan
Tuesday 11 July
with Oliver Mantell
Tuesday 13 June
John Hall + Kate Gilbert
Tuesday 9 May
avant-garde adventure
Tuesday 11 April
Tuesday 14 March
politics into poetry
Tuesday 14 February
Tuesday 10 January
3 years of Antics

Tuesday 13 December
Tuesday 8 November
with Keith Armstrong + Trev Teasdel

Tel. 0114 255 4030

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