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Grizzly Pear: Transitions

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


Grizzly Pear is Writers' Bloc's very own spoken word night.

As this is the last Grizzly of this academic year, we'll be featuring a total of 4 duos, including Shaun Hill and Matilda Deterding, Leon Priestnall and Jasmine Gardosi, Andy Owen Cook and Sam Murphy, and another duo yet to be announced. The recent winner of Writers' Bloc's Colletti collection competition, James Thorp, will also be featuring. Open mic slots are also available (see below for details).

The theme this time is “Transitions”, however this is only for you to use if you need some inspiration. You do not have to read anything specific to the theme.

£3 entry!
However, if you bring someone along who has never been before, you can both get in for £5! You read that right! Two people for a meagre £5!

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 hosting a Haiku Slam! This will open the second half of the evening and will allow 8 individuals to compete in a head-to-head, single-elimination slam judged by some of our audience members. Who goes first in each heat will be decided by a good old-fashioned coin flip. Please be advised that 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 A FANTASTIC PRIZE. Want a gift voucher or a bottle of wine? Haiku it up!

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

Open mic slots are available in advance by contacting Sean Colletti directly and limited 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 do not 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!

Our headliners:

~ Shaun Hill and Matilda Deterding ~

2017 Unislam finalists, Milk Poetry Anniversary Slam winners, and Exeter Pride acoustic headliners. These baes are back doing their old routine of drinking too much wine and being gay with each other on stage. This is their first time sharing the mic in over a year. Get ready for some rainbows. 

Matilda is a London based writer who advocates for a variety of social justice issues through her work. She won a featured SpokesAmaze! slot at the BikeShed Exeter, and has performed her work for various charities working within the South West. She is currently working for Gay Star News helping them to create creative partnerships with international brands.

Winner of both the Exeter (2016) and Bristol (2017) Poetry Festival Slams, and a CommonWord national finalist, Shaun has done his emotional reading thing at venues across the UK. He has shared stages with poetry giants such as Joelle Taylor, provided platforms for marginal writing as co-founder of Loud&QueerEXETER, and is currently booked to perform at WOMAD 2018. 

‘His poetry is like lying in bed with a lover...intense and gorgeous, with so many unspeakable things’
-Malaika Kegode

~ Leon Priestnall and Jasmine Gardosi ~

Leon Priestnall is a Poet based in Birmingham. He has performed his poems up and down the country, headlining at The Door in the Birmingham Rep and performing spontaneous verse on BBC Radio. He is also host and founder of Birmingham spoken word night Howl.

Jasmine Gardosi is a multiple slam champion and Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist. A previous BBC Arts Young Creative and Poet in Residence for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, she has appeared on BBC Radio 3's The Verb, BBC Asian Network and at Glastonbury Festival. A recently appointed Ledbury Poetry Festival board member, she also runs West Midlands Poets’ Place, as well as regular school and community workshops. Her poems are due for video release on BBC Three and on Button Poetry.

~ Andy Owen Cook and Sam Murphy ~

Andy Owen Cook is a writer and performer from Sheffield. He graduated in with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham in 2012. His writing is often fantastical, political, and explores form for a modern reader. Andy has made work and performed at Theatre Deli, Camden People's Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Alphabetti, Arts Depot, DNfeatival, Edinburgh Fringe, and lots of other places, and has performed as a poet all over the country. of Forest Sounds Theatre. He has been published by Black & BLUE, Rockland Lit, New Fire Tree Press, Myths of the Near Future, the JOGGING, Internet Poetry, Now Then, Satellite's Telephone Project and the Wordlife Anthology. All this is to say, he's better than Sean.

Sam Murphy is the Poetry Editor for Dublin based website He is based in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA and MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing, with a focus on contemporary poetry. His poems have been published in Ink Sweat and Tears, Trashed Organ and was commended in the Verve Poetry Festival competition 2018. He writes about podcasts at, tweets infrequently @Sam_Murphy00.

~ James Thorp ~

James Thorp is a MA student of Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and part-time copywriter who creates a mixture of experimental short prose, poetry and prose poetry. His work is predominantly single-character focused and draws on themes of masculinity, alienation, mental/physical health and religion. He’s inspired by both the absurd and the surreal schools of literature but this mostly translates to him using dated pop culture references and awkward humour to convey his points. One day, he hopes he will write something that helps people