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: Events are mix of in-person and online events, with the in-person ones in Ely's Babylon Gallery, Waterside, CB7 4AU.

When: third Wednesday of every 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 18th May 2022

Online via Zoom
7 for 7.30 start.  Register via Eventbrite.

This month's guest act at Fen Speak is Kathryn O'Driscoll.


Kathryn O'Driscoll is a spoken word poet, writer and activist from Bath, England. She is a U.K. slam champion (2021) and a World Slam Finalist. Her poems mostly focus around mental health, disability, loss, and survival. She has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Bath Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Bristol Poetry Festival, on BBC Radio Bristol, and was one of the featured poets on the (BAFTA winning) Sky Arts spoken word TV show Life and Rhymes. She was longlisted for both the Outspoken Prize for Performance Poetry and the Saboteur Awards Best Spoken Word Performer in 2022. Her Arts Council England funded debut poetry collection ‘Cliff Notes’ was released by Verve Poetry Press in February.

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:

  • 22nd June 2022 Ely with TBC

  • 20th July 2022 Online with TBC