As I’m sure you’ll have gathered, we’re having to postpone our spring events for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemics. Obviously on the one hand we’re gutted about it, but at the same time, it’s clearly the safe and responsible thing to do.

To confirm, the postponed events are as follows:

  • LIVEwire Leeds No.4 with Toria Garbutt and Kevin P. Gilday on Wednesday 1 April
  • Chelping at The Leeds Library with Hollie McNish on Wednesday 22 April
  • LIVEwire Colchester with Luke Wright, Molly Naylor and Maria Ferguson on Wednesday 29 April

At this stage it’s impossible to say when we’ll be able to reschedule these, and as you know, the situation is changing drastically on a daily basis at the moment. My gut instinct would say that these will be in the autumn.

If you’ve bought a ticket for LIVEwire Leeds No.4, you’ll have already received an email from me with your options. I know that The Leeds Library are offering refunds for Chelping ticket holders, and you’ll have to contact Colchester Arts Centre directly regarding LIVEwire there.

As soon as we have a confirmed date for either of these events we’ll announce it, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to celebrate with a nice (safely) packed room!

Finally, an awful lot of artists are suffering really badly as a result of so many event cancellations, so if you can, please support them by buying their merch, sharing their work and maybe event donating to their various pages.

Stay safe and take care,
Matt x

We pulled no punches with our second LIVEwire Leeds event at Hyde Park Book Club, as Out-Spoken Press duo Joelle Taylor and Ollie O’Neill performed to another packed room. All photos and highlights video by Idle Work Factory.

LIVEwire Leeds No.2 highlights by Idle Work Factory

The third LIVEwire Leeds event will take place at Hyde Park Book Club on Wednesday 5 February, with Louise Fazackerley performing a headline slot.

The first of our ‘LIVEwire’ Leeds residency nights took place at Hyde Park Book Club on 2 October, with Salena Godden and Nafeesa Hamid going down a storm in West Yorkshire. The start of the event was delayed as we had to bring about 20 extra chairs down to accommodate everybody, and Matt Abbott was on hosting duties, including open mic.

Video by Idle Work Factory

As well as the video highlights from Idle Work Factory, they’ve also taken some ace photos (below). Huge thanks to our open mic performers: Lence, Sally Anne Earl, Claire Crossdale, Tahira Alia Rehman, Joe Williams, Natalie Davies and Camille McCawley.

Our next ‘LIVEwire’ Leeds event stars Joelle Taylor and Ollie O’Neill on Wednesday 4 December, and tickets are on sale here.

After a raucous launch event starring Salena Godden and Nafeesa Hamid, we return to Hyde Park Book Club on 4 December with internationally-renowned icon Joelle Taylor, plus fellow Out-Spoken Press poet Ollie O’Neill. Tickets are on sale here.

Nymphs & Thugs | LIVEwire Leeds No.2
‘LIVEwire’ Leeds No.2 | 4 December 2019

Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor who has recently completed a world tour with her latest collection ‘Songs My Enemy Taught Me’. She is widely anthologised, the author of 3 full poetry collections and 3 plays and is currently completing her début book of short stories ‘The Night Alphabet’.

Joelle will be the editor of Out-Spoken Press from September 2020 – September 2021, commissioning five new titles with a focus on women’s writing.

Ollie O’Neill is a London based poet and writer. She is a former UK Youth Slam Champion, and current Barbican Young Poet. In March 2019, her debut pamphlet ‘Ways of Coping’ was published by Out-Spoken Press. Her work explores themes of female sexuality, desire, and psychiatry.

She has previously read in venues such as The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Soho Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, and The 100 Club, as well as at Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Verve Poetry Festival, and Wilderness Festival.

As usual, there are 6 open mic slots up for grabs – each of which is 5 minutes in length, and can be reserved on a first come, first served basis by emailing Matt at eyup@mattabbottpoet.com. Please feel free to share the Facebook event here!