Happiness is simulating a romantic liaison between two origami cranes

Last Tuesday’s Open Mic Night looks set to enter University of Gloucestershire folklore. For those who weren’t there, here’s a wee taste of what you missed. By the time we arrived, the Jolly Autocratic Committee and friends had decorated the function room at The Frog and Fiddle with mobiles and streamers and giant origami cranes:

It looked completely amazing but it took a few moments for us to realise that every piece of decoration was inscribed with quotes from novels, writing advice, or interesting and unusual words. I saw extracts from David Foster Wallace, Kafka, Camus, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Melville, Richard Ford, and many more.

Everybody received a writing themed ‘Merry Quotemas’ card, which inside contained a stanza of poetry, or an extract from a great story or play. That was already super sweet (as Tyler Keevil would say), but we also got complimentary CDs – each hand-prepared and covered with individual artwork – with readings by Kathy Acker, Kenneth Goldsmith, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, and many more.

When we’d crammed into the room, the readings began, and performers covered everything from improvised spoken word to Wordsworth. There was impressionistic poetry, a monologue, found language, and realist prose set in South America. Here’s a wee sample of what we enjoyed. First, an amazing clip of a frocked and jet-lagged Tim Smith laying down new commandments. Next, here are two great pieces performed by Jess Searle: ‘Nice Shot’ and ‘Family Dinner.’

Many thanks to everyone who made it such an unforgettable night.