Hard Rain Poetry was a monthly meet up of creative minds. Based in Levenshulme and hosted by Thairish cafe on Stockport Rd for close to ten years.
The evenings consisted of creative writing workshops, guest speakers and performers and an open mic session, where the audience was welcome to share stories, poems, thoughts or music.
The Hard Rain event was founded and the first session run by Shamshad Khan and Marie Crooks in August 2009. The initial idea for a local poetry night was put to poet Shamshad Khan by Mike Lyons artist and former owner of the Isis Café. Mike died in August 2013, in his last days he expressed a wish that Hard Rain Poetry continue to be offered free space at Isis café; his family agreed to honour this wish. Shamshad ran and co-ordinated the sessions until November 2016 , with input from regular attendees, support from Marie and with generous guest appearances from a host of the finest poets and writers from Manchester and further afield. Guest writers included: Hafsah Aneeela Bashir, Suzanne Batty, Cathy Bolton, Rosie Garland, Chris Jam, Cheryl Martin, Alan Strickson, Tina Tamsho Thomas, Kanta Walker, Merrie Guise Williams. In January 2017, the responsibility for running the sessions was taken on by Laura Collier and John Calvert. The group came to a close at the end of 2017.
Please find past flyers here hardrainpoets.tumblr.com
Below: Audience/Participant Reviews and a short clip of the much loved (late) Jeremiah O’Brien, improvising as he always did.
“A magical melting honey-pot of ideas, emotions, visions, sharing and inspiration in a space permeated throughout by … deep care, warmth, wisdom and sensitivity….a truly wondrous experience. Loved every second, feel ignited.”
Jonathan Power (primary school head teacher and audience/ participant)
“An excellent space for beginners and advance poets to share the work in a comfortable place. Shamshad has has a welcoming and patient approach to all learners/poets and makes them feel comfortable to express themselves freely… It really is a friendly and stimulating atmosphere and I have recommended others to join. I enjoy the variety and the diversity of the group.”
Sabbi (artist/ participant/audience)