The Hi Zero poetry night is a monthly event for poetry lovers in Brighton to gather over a pint, mingle, and enjoy the work of contemporary poets from across the globe performed on stage. The night- an appreciation of new, exciting and experimental poetry- takes place upstairs at The Hope pub. A cosy and atmospheric venue with a small bar, the ambience at The Hope allows the poetry reading to be delivered in an intimate and relaxed way. Each reading is followed by a short break so that the wordsmiths’ offerings can be fully digested, and the audience can refresh their pallets before the next act while grabbing another drink. All-in-all a delightful set up and, minus the price of entrance fee and the bar, September’s event held on the 25th generally lived up to expectation. With a full audience made up of both new and old comers, the mob of poetry- lovers squashed up on the floor to make up for a lack of seating; not the most comfortable, but who needs comfort when they’ve got poetry? The first two poets- Stephen Mooney, followed by Nick Potamitis- took on the challenging task of performing substantially lengthy pieces that were politically charged, addressing global and local realties: coincidental similarities that meant their weight of the poems was fairly hard to absorb. Particularly in the first reading, the density of the work was hard to penetrate so that at times the full significance of the words was lost. The final poet, Justin Katko, however, was much more accessible and warmly received by the crowd. Equally loaded with biting social and cultural relevance, Katko’s reading was intelligent, sharp, and powerfully performed, seeping energy through its abstract nature, meaning his reading was highly refreshing and thought provoking. All three poets, although challenging, pulled the audience into the depths and delights of experimental cotemporary poetry at its freshest. As the night crescendoed up to Katko’s faultless finale, everybody was left feeling content and inspired.
Look out for the next Hi Zero event coming up in October