Hammer & Tongue is an English national poetry franchise, and I’ve been attending the Cambridge branch shows since the very first one in September 2009. From April 2010 I was helping to run them as Front of House and scorer, then moved onto fronting the shows in January 2012. I’ve seen H&T Cambridge crammed into unbelievably tiny, practically inaccessible venues where we had to cart our own gear in and out, to selling out Cambridge Junction. We went online during The Plague Years, then hybrid back at Cambridge Junction from February 2022, always doing our best to promote democratic poetry competitions by the people, for the people. Our champions have gone on to compete and perform at national and international level, and we’ve hosted an extraordinary range of spoken word names big and small.
This chapter is now closed for me, having moved away from Cambridge, but I’ll always carry amazing memories of over ten years of high-octane, brilliantly varied verse across a spectrum of voices and every other demographic.