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The Comedy of Errors

Music, Madness and Poetry Party-Animals at Mudfest

2 May 17 words: LP Mills
photos: Nadia Scola

Notts-based publishers Mud Press launched their latest poetry anthology Woman last week. We rolled up our sleeves and dived into Cobden Chambers for the launch party. 

Cobden Chambers, Nottingham's own little slice of Brixton-esque artiness set firmly in the city centre, has hosted its fair share of great events lately. This weekend saw Nottingham-based publishing house Mud Press take centre stage with their anthology-launching extravaganza Mudfest.

Far from being a stale and stuffy book launch, Mudfest boasted a lively bustling atmosphere and a busy hubbub of activity. Featuring musical appearances from Daniel Ison, Emily Franklin, and GOA Choir, Mudfest  felt like equal parts book launch, zine fair, outdoor gig, and block party. At any given moment punters could watch live artists scribbling away, listen to live music, hear performances from Mud Press contributors, wander around the indie market, have their face painted, or receive a custom-written masterpiece from the event's Poetry Kissing Booth. 

Hosted in part by THiNK creative space, the event also gave its support to independent art and publishing groups, with stalls flogging the best work from Big White ShedDizzy Ink, Hi Vis Press, Laura Nielsen Illustration, and many more of Nottingham's great indie scene. The publishing group's own stall featured a wealth of femininity-themed trinkets, including badges made out of Scrabble tiles and decorative broaches shaped like knitted vulvas. 

Despite a few technical wobbles involving an explosive PA system, the event proved to be a success, with a happy and pleasant crowd and a charming, intimate, pop-up-market feel. 

 

Mud Press' new anthology Woman is available for purchase at www.mudpress.co.uk. 

 

Woman 
Ed. Georgina Wilding
£8, Mud Press

The second anthology launched by the publisher, Mud Press' latest anthology Woman features poetry from fourteen independent artists based in and around Nottingham. As is to be expected from Mud, these poems run the gauntlet of poignant, sincere, brutal, bitter, meaningful, and downright hilarious. Particular note foes to Georgina Norie's 'Stings', which offers grandmotherly wisdom in the form of an anecdote involving a trampled wasp nest and an elephant-shaped pin cushion. Leanne Moden's 'Shaving Grace', a witty indictment of "the twelve-year-old girl look", is another piece that commands attention with its playful structure and excellent grasp of comic euphemism. Overall, the anthology is a well-crafted love letter to the women that make up much of Nottingham's independent poetry scene, celebrating femininity and womanhood in all its glorious forms. LP Mills 

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