A poetry night aimed at people of all genders and sexualities is holding its second monthly event in Deptford tonight at The Albany.
Poetry LGBT South launched last month as a sister project to the well-established Hackney event Poetry LGBT, which for two years has been giving a platform to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) performers.
Andreena Bogle-Walton started the night in Dalston two years ago when she started performing her own work around London: “I noticed the lack of LGBTIQ+ open mic/poetry spaces and felt an urgent need to create a space where we can feel comfortable to share our words.”
There hasn’t been a dedicated LGBTQ+ venue in the borough of Lewisham since 2013, a symptom of a trend of venue closures across the capital. Local resident Shamicka Jordan is pleased the open mic night is now in Deptford: “I live just up the road, usually we have to go out in other parts of East London. There’s a lot of LGBT people around here but not many places to go.”
Bogle-Walton says: “Poetry LGBT gives people an opportunity, a platform to express themselves in front of a like-minded audience. The poets, writers, and audience are a mix of heterosexual and LGBT people from London and afar. I don’t feel the need to exclude anyone, and why should I?”
The open mic night welcomes not only poets but also musicians for its five-minute open mic slots.
The venue is fully accessible, fulfilling a long-held ambition for Bogle-Walton: “We were inundated with calls from people telling us they would like to access the event [in Dalston] but had been unable to due to having limited mobility.”