Fen Speak is Ely's regular poetry, spoken word and storytelling open mic night where local writers come together to share their work in a friendly environment.

Who: all are welcome - poets, spoken word artists, non-fiction or fiction writers, or those just wanting to listen! The events include first time readers as well as regular contributors.


What: poetry, fiction, non-fiction - each reader gets a slot of around 3 minutes, depending on how busy the night is. It's free to attend, with donations taken to cover running costs. Just turn up and sign up, or email in advance to book your reading slot. There are also often special guest readers, such as local poets who have recently had new work published.

Why: come to share your work, gain confidence in performing it, hear and meet other fantastic writers, and find out more about writing happening in the fens - the reasons to come are endless!

Where: All events are happening online via Zoom until further notice. Usually we would be in Ely's Babylon Gallery, Waterside, CB7 4AU.

When: third Wednesday of every other month - see below for the latest dates. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start, and we usually finish around 9.30pm. 

Events on Facebook
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Next Event:

Wednesday 16 June 2021, featuring Zoe Brooks

On Zoom. Register via Eventbrite. 7.30 start

Part of this year's Ely Arts Festival, Fen Speak is delighted to bring you a bumper event this month. Featuring a main guest slot from Zoe Brooks, plus a set from Suman Gujral as part of Bablyon Gallery's 'I Matter' exhibition. Plus spoken word open mic slots for your poems and stories.

Zoe Brooks worked with disadvantaged communities in London and East Oxford before returning to her native Gloucestershire to write and grow vegetables. Widely published in print and online magazines, Zoe’s first poetry collection Owl Unbound was published by Indigo Dreams in 2020. Her long poem Fool's Paradise won the EPIC award for best poetry ebook 2013. Zoe is on the management team for the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and has gained a reputation as a performer of poetry.

Suman Gujral is an artist who returned to writing poetry during lockdown. She has used it to reflect on the upheaval caused by Covid and explore issues around race and identity raised by BLM. She has recently been awarded ACE funding to experiment with showing poetry and visual work together. She is featured in the Babylon Gallery's 'I Matter' exhibition, and will be reading her poetry from the exhibition.

Sign up for an open mic ticket if you'd like to read a poem or story, or just come along and enjoy the show.

Upcoming events:

  • 18 August 2021: Fen Speak ft. TBC

  • 20 October 2021: Fen Speak ft. TBC