J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

Brighton & Hove

Have a Word Summer Special

Founder of Have A Word

Founder of Have A Word

Ellis Collins, the brainchild behind Brighton literary event, Have a Word, returns for a summer special on 27th August, at the Latest Music Bar, Manchester Street. An all male line-up promises to be an exciting and diverse range of poetry, story telling and music.












Nicolas Collins first collection of poetry, Washing the Duvet, spanned the life of a gay man exploring subjects: love, lust and loss with equal amounts of soul searching and humour through personal experience and wry observations of the world around him with a panache of exploring the world of cats! For the Have a Word Summer Special, Nicolas will be reading from his new collection of poetry.
Nicolas’s first book, Washing the Duvet will be on sale on the evening and from amazon.co.uk.






Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Glenn Stevens passion is the short story, taking great pleasure in dissecting the world of suburban gothic in his collection of stories, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare, available on the night to download as an ebook. He will be reading the Brighton based tale, Dead Famous.

During a ghost walk in Brighton’s Lanes, Bryan bumps into Janice and Nick. As a new boy in town, Bryan is pleased to meet such a nice couple. Even better, Janice loves the fact that Bryan longs to be a writer, an actor or someone famous. With their help he will be, but at what cost?
www.blanchestreet.co.uk (website coming very soon)










Liam Murray Bell who will be reading second novel,The Busker, published by Myriad in May 2014 and Scottish Book Trust 2014 Pick of the Year.

“A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic exposé of the music industry, the occupy movement, homelessness, squatting — and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”








Singer, song writer.

Singer, song writer.

Paul Diello is a Brighton based singer songwriter and it is a real treat that he will be bringing his soul drenched songs to Have a Word Summer Special, singing songs from his second album, Looking Glass, including new double side single, (I am) a Voodoo Doll, reminiscent of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond in both sound an dark lyrics, with the flip side bringing Paul’s soulful sound to the Bronski Beat/Jimmy Somerville classic, Small Town Boy


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Sound and Visionary: Francis Poulenc

Francis Poulenc

Way back in 1899, famous French gay composer, Francis Poulenc was born to Emile and Jenny Poulenc. His mother, an amateur pianist, taught Francis to the piano, which in turn would begin his life-long love affair with music.

In his early career he embraced the radical Dada movement, (imagine the work of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam without any restraints and that’s Dada art)an art form that suited Poulenc’s playful compensations as shown at the end of this blog.


During this time, Poulenc joined forces with a group of French and Swiss composers who would become known as the avant-garde group, ‘Les Six’. Together the group set about redefining musical compositions, while reacting against the impressionist and late Romantics of their time; including, composers: Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.


From the aged of eighteen, onwards, Poulenc had an extremely successful career in music, which would take him across the globe. During the years of 1921-25, Poulenc undertook his first formal training, but the majority of his learning from thereon in was self taught compensations. It has been said that he’s work was influenced by that of Stravinsky and Satie, but when one listens to his work, it is distantly his own. 

Although it has to be said being gay in 1920’s Paris wasn’t seen as particularly shocking, Poulenc was always open about his homosexuality, had a string of affairs with men but was rather taken by the painter, Richard Chanlaire to whom he dedicated  the ‘Concert champêtre’ and is quoted as saying of  Chanlaire, “You have changed my life, you are the sunshine of my thirty years, a reason for living and working”


Random fact: Poulenc’s piece, Perpetual Motion Nr. 1 was used as part of the soundtrack for Hitchcock’s gay themed film, Rope.

Poulenc’s , Perpetual Motion Nr. 1used in the film, Rope

Poulenc’s , Perpetual Motion Nr. 1used in the film, Rope

in 1936 the death of his close friend and fellow composer, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, led Poulenc to return to his Catholic faith, which interestingly did not stop him embracing his own homosexuality. However, his musical output changed dramatically where he composed both liturgical music and compositions laden with religious themes.

Pierre-Octave Ferroud,

In later life he would dedicate the one act opera, La voix humaine (The Human Voice) to his lover, Louis Gautier who was with Poulenc on the day he died of heart failure in Paris on January 30th 1963.

As well as giving a little history lesson, the Brighton Writer wrote this piece because, with Christmas but a distant memory, and those New Year shenanigans locked away as you get yourself back to the grindstone, he asks you to take a moment of time from your day to sit back and enjoy the beautiful composition from Francis Poulenc, while watching this brilliant piece of Dadaism at the same time.


Suite en 3 mouvements, FP 19 (1920)


1928 Dadaist Film

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