Now Then Presents...

Off The Shelf Opening Party.
Sunday 9th October. 7.00pm.
The Forum, Devonshire Street.

Now Then hosts a party featuring a poetry slam, poet and comedian Mab Jones ("utterly brilliant" - The Guardian) followed by hotly-tipped Sheffield group King Capisce and one of our favourite all time performers, Denis Jones.


Thursday 20th October. 7.45pm.
Montgomery Theatre, Surrey Street.
£9/£6 (cons).

Two of Sheffield's finest poets, Tim Ralphs and Simon Heywood, retell the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature known to man, preserved for millennia on clay tablets. The story follows Gilgamesh of Uruk (modern day Iraq and Kuwait) and is thought to be a combination of legends and poems written for the king.


Michael Symmonds Roberts and Paul Farley.
Friday 21st October. 7.30pm.
Jessop West Exhibition Space, University of Sheffield.
£7/£5 (cons).

Michael Symmonds Roberts and Paul Farley's Edgelands is an exploration of the boundary between urban and rural environments. Read recently on Radio 4, the book challenges conventional concepts of wilderness by looking closely at the country's railways, motorways, allotments, business parks and landfill sites. The two acclaimed poets cast a romantic eye over neglected post-industrial spaces in a bid to shine a light on their strange beauty.

This talk will see both writers explore the themes covered in Edgelands and is curated by Simon Armitage with support from the University of Sheffield.

Seeing Stars.

Launch of the Sheffield Simon Armitage Soundscape.
Wednesday 26th October. 1pm.
Jessop West Exhibition Space, University of Sheffield.

This event will offer the first snippets of a new soundscape project overseen by acclaimed Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage, which combines his verse with the voices of the people of Sheffield. Selected poems from Simon's 2010 collection Seeing Stars were discussed by Sheffielders and their responses recorded. This mish-mash of voices is combined with recitals of the original pieces by Simon himself, providing a powerful new framework for the appreciation of literature. There will also be some discussion of a recent University of Sheffield study into how people respond to poetry.


If I'm not sure, I can't say yes.
You need an answer by today.
Probably. Unless. Unless

I've freaked from all the strain and stress,
They've come and carted me away.
If I'm not sure, I can't say yes.

If I'm alive, at this address,
I'll try to do it. I can say
Probably. Unless. Unless

I'm down with flu or in some mess
So dire that I can't work or play.
If I'm not sure, I can't say yes.

I cannot guarantee success.
I'll blow it, forfeiting the pay,
Probably. Unless. Unless

I ask for help in my distress.
Does someone hear me when I pray?
If I'm not sure, I can't say yes.
Probably. Unless. Unless.


Taken from Wendy's collection Family Values, reprinted here by the kind permission of the author. You can hear Wendy read on Tuesday 25th October at 7.30pm at The University of Sheffield Auditorium. Tickets are £8 and £6 for concessions.


How oft do mates bang on at length about
the length they're hung and grab their crotch to slash
the air then chuck an arm at will around
a chum while necking Stella till they're lashed.

To tell the truth, I'm really not well hung,
and thus I hide from mates my prince's state,
this conk is king of my poor frame, no trunks
would lunchbox find to bank a lady's gaze.
And yet I hope the guys won't feel too down
when I recount my lover's hardly wimpish
-watch her stiffen over corrrrrs! from louts
who check her out too long (for she's that fit!).
In bed, most nights she'll sigh: O love, I love
the woman's way you work your subtle touch.


Taken from Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!, reprinted here by the kind permission of the author You can hear Daljit Nagra read alongside Lily Mosini on Thursday 27th October at 7.30pm at the Quaker Meeting House. Tickets are £6 and £4 for concessions.

Deaths I'll Never Live Through #3.

Yucatan, Mexico. 1009.

Beheaded on top of Coba temple,
relieved of my freight like a cab
unhitched from its trailer, down
a hundred and sixty epiphanies,
one for each step: at last, I get you,
Jackson Pollock, now I'm spraying
red in cartwheels, spinning past
the crowds who line the half-way
mark (Beware the Spaniards, friends!)
they cheer me as I pinball off
stone Gods of Extra-Life
then onwards, centrifugal, sparing
a thought for the sacrificial tourist
who, a thousand years hence,
(while stretching for a snap
that both frames the crumbling
monolith yet keeps his sister's head
attached) will fall, roll, pick up pace,
then skittle through the rental bikes.
Down again, I'm grinning meekly,
teaching physics with each bounce,
it's the world that spins, not me,
I prepare to meet my stack:
the heads of bad sports, bad poets,
the heads of the purest children,
all smiling up, I am coming my sweets,
I have so much news.


Taken from his Faber New Poets collection, reprinted here by the kind permission of the author. You can hear Joe read extracts from his latest novel Wild Abandon on Sunday 30th October at 6pm at The Showroom Cinema. Tickets are priced at £7.50 and £5.50 for concessions.