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Grizzly Pear : 'Beginnings'

  • The Bristol Pear 676 Bristol Road Birmingham, England, B29 6BJ United Kingdom (map)

We are very excited to be holding the first Grizzly Pear of this academic year!

Grizzly Pear is Writers' Bloc's very own spoken word night, held at the Bristol Pear in Selly Oak.

This month’s headliner lineup includes Nafeesa Hamid, and our featured duo, James Kearns and Jack Crowe.

Open mic slots are available in advance by contacting Jonah Corren directly or posting on this event page, and at least two slots will be available on the door. All open mic slots are 5 minutes long, maximum. This time limit will be strictly enforced. Both poetry and short prose pieces are highly encouraged!

If you don’t make it onto the open mic list, you will be placed on the waiting list and, if there's time, you may still be able to perform!

The theme this time is “Beginnings”, which we thought was apt to kick off the new year, and welcome newbies to the Grizzly Pear community. However, this is only for you to use if you need some inspiration; you don’t have to read anything specific to the theme.

Entry is £5/£3 for Students.

Doors open at 7pm and the event begins at 7:30pm.
We will be in the function room, upstairs in the Bristol Pear. (Feel free to ask at the bar if you can't find it).

We will also be opening the second half of the evening with a Haiku Slam! This allows any experienced or first time haiku writers to compete in a head-to-head slam judged by three members of the audience. Everyone who enters must prepare THREE haiku, because the finalists will have to compete in three heats altogether. Judges will definitely be taking syllables into account so make sure it’s 5/7/5. The winner of the slam will win an amazing prize, so we suggest you haiku it up.

If you would like to sign up to compete, feel free to post on this event page or message Jonah Corren on Facebook / via email at Those of you who compete in the Haiku Slam will still be allowed to sign up for an open mic slot!

Our headliners:

James Kearns is a poet and performer from Birmingham. His work has a focus on experimentation and collaboration and is interested in how people communicate, and what they struggle to communicate in day-to-day life. He is currently a poet-in-residence on Northfield Arts Forum's 'Crossing Bridges' project, and a member of Free Radical's BAIT cohort of art activists. James runs experimental poetry night 'Every Name Under The Sun', which gives open micers the chance to anonymously read the work of other attending poets, and have their work read in turn.


‘Jack Crowe’ is a term most widely used in reference to a Birmingham-based poet wearing quite a colourful shirt. In the past, the term ‘Jack Crowe’ has applied in poetry scenarios such Howl, Grizzly Pear (!) & Stirchley Speaks. Once or twice ‘Jack Crowe’ has been overheard further afield, at junctures like the RSC’s ‘Bright Smoke’ and The Hammer & Tongue Poetry Slam Finals. Contemporary examples of ‘Jack Crowe’ in speech include: “Saw Jack Crowe perform Thursday, couldn’t contain my joy/apathy/bladder”, and “Hey Jack Crowe, what’s that name of that excellent Jazz & Poetry collaboration event you run, again? Funkenteleky? Eh? How do you even say that? … Oh cool, right, now I know, and may well attend the next one.” Here, in a period of around 20 mins, we shall create circumstances to which the term ‘Jack Crowe’ is most applicable. We hope this is a well awesome, super worthwhile endeavour. So does he.


Nafeesa Hamid is a British Pakistani poet and playwright based in Birmingham. She has been writing and performing for 6 years at nights around the UK, featuring at nights such as Outspoken (London), Poetry is Dead Good (Nottingham), Find the Right Words (Leicester) and Hit The Ode (Birmingham). She was invited as a performer at TedxBrum 2016 (Power of Us). Nafeesa has also performed at Cheltenham and Manchester Literature Festivals as part of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, a recent (2017) anthology publication by Saqi Books, edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. She is alumni of Mouthy Poets and Derby Theatre Graduate Associate Artists. She runs Twisted Tongues, an open-mic only poetry night at The Station in Kings Heath. Her debut poetry collection 'Besharam' has been published with VERVE Poetry Press (2018).

Earlier Event: October 10
Mixtape: poetry and Music
Later Event: October 12
Jackie Hagan: This Is Not A Safe Space