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Grizzly Pear: 'Community' @ the Bristol Pear on 17th Jan

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

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

Taking on our duo headline slot this month are Alex Calver and Mikey Barnes, and our solo headliner is Connor Macleod. 

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 ‘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 £3 for students and £5 for non 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:

Alex Calver has been dominating the South West with their presence for the last two years, ransacking open mic slots as they go. Since then, they have branched out to London, joining the London Queer Writer's Collective and performing alongside Jordan Smith, Lowkey, Fay Roberts and National Slam Champion Ussama Minhas. President of the Spoken Word Society at Bath Spa University, Alex became part of Bath Spa's UniSlam 2018 Team where they placed second, before setting up their own Spoken Word event, Poetry+, which launched in Bath in April 2018. Their status as a trans poet has started turning heads across the UK, through performing at Edinburgh Fringe's acclaimed BBC Slam, Raise The Bar's Annual Showcase and the Roundhouse Slam with their heart-on-sleeve works surrounding love and heartbreak and their stronger focus on raw and moving poetry about mental health and LGBTQ+ issues. Returning to Bath Spa's UniSlam Team for 2019, and with an Edinburgh Fringe show in the works, Alex is continuing to infiltrate the scene for their own benefit, finding a platform for activism through personal and narrative-led poetry.


Mikey Barnes is a University of Birmingham Modern Languages student currently undertaking a year of studying abroad - though he promises not to talk about that too much. Last year he was part of the University's winning team at Unislam, and had the opportunity to perform abroad as part of the CUPSI slam. Reflecting his firm belief in the personal within the political, his poetry explores his attempts to understand himself and his place in the world as a queer trans person. A degenerate postmodern neo-marxist, he hopes to question dominant narratives of identity, bring new perspectives, and open dialogues within and between communities.


From humble beginnings reading passive aggressive complaint poetry on the backs of napkins in SU bars, to the giddy heights of being asked to host poorly attended open mics in those same SU bars, Connor Macleod has truly done it all! A Hammer and Tongue national finalist, Unislam runner up and Poetry Rivals highly commended finalist, everybody's second favourite poet just won't stop almost winning everything he turns up at. Macleod is a host, playwright and has recently completed a masters researching spoken word education and analysis.

“A real voice to contend with in spoken word.” – Vanessa Kisuule
"F*cking fire." - Jordan Stephens