Barry Smith is the host of Open Mic Poetry at New Park Centre, Chichester, which runs on the last Wednesday of most months at 7.30pm. Together with Joan
Secombe, he is the director of Chichester Poetry and editor of Poetry & All That Jazz. Barry is the director of South Downs Poetry Festival. His collection, Performance Rites, is available from Waterloo Press.
PERFORMANCE RITES - BARRY
Poetry & All That Jazz magazine is published annually in connection
with the Poetry & Jazz Café, the headline poetry event of the Festival of Chichester. It brings together emerging writers with established poets. Contributors include Andrew Motion, Don Paterson, Matthew Sweeney, Mario Petrucci, Vicki Feaver, Stephanie
Norgate, John Haynes, Clare Best, Brendan Cleary, Susan Utting, Simon Jenner and Frieda Hughes amongst others. Please see our Magazine page for more details.
Barry Smith has worked
in education, as a theatre director and reviewer of books and plays (TES), as well as being the author of various articles on creativity in education. Barry is currently the Co-ordinator of the Festival of Chichester, a month long celebration of the arts.
He is Director of Chichester Poetry, which runs the Open Mic Poetry and A Celebration of Poetry events in Chichester, as well as the Poetry & Jazz Café as part of the Festival. He is co-editor of the magazine, Poetry & All That Jazz. In 2018,
Barry became Director of the South Downs Poetry Festival.
Barry's collection, Performance Rites, is available from Waterloo Press.
Barry’s work has appeared online, on youtube and in magazines. He was runner
up for the BBC Proms Poetry Competition with Bruckner’s Eyeglass and shortlisted for the Bread & Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word award 2021 for The Masks of Anarchy. Recent readings include performance poetry and jazz with the Charlotte Glasson
Band at Blakefest. Recent poetry publications include Clown Town in the online magazine London Grip (December 2016), Being & Nothingness in Acumen magazine (January 2017), River in the Stony Thursday Book (January 2017), This Way Up in Ver Poets Anthology
(July 2017), Home Front in London Grip (December 2017), Pilgrims of Night in Acumen (January 2018), Transubstantiation in The Frogmore Papers (91, Spring 2018), Dallas Belle in South Poetry (May 2018), Antigone in the Stony Thursday Book (Oct 2018), Gift in
The Journal (Summer 2018), Synaptic and I and I (Indivisibility) in Agenda Online Supplement (June 2019), Home Front in Agenda vol 52 (Nov 2018), Elizabeth, Expectant in South 60 (Oct 2019), Deep Water in London Grip (June, 2020), Looping the Loop in
The Journal (June, 2020), River in Poetry South East (June 2020), On the Rocks in South 62 (Oct 2020), The Masks of Anarchy in Culture Matters (Jan 2021), The Music of the Spheres in Littoral, Candlemas edition, (Feb 2021), Between a Rock and a Hard Place/Artistic
Licence in Orbis 195 (March 2021), Noli Me Tangere in Littoral, Spring Equinox edition (March 2021) and Towards Church Norton in South 63 (April 2021).
You can view Clown Town by clicking on the link.The December issue of London Grip New Poetry can be found on-line at
The Masks of Anarchy can be found online at:
Barry works as a performance poet reading his own poetry with jazz and roots musicians, including Jamie Leeming (jazz guitar), Liam Ruth (roots guitar), David Johnson (keyboards) and
the Charlotte Glasson jazz trio. You can view Barry performing On the Rise with Charlotte Glasson band at Blakefest 2019 by clicking on the link below:
Blakefest 2019 - Smith’s own poetry contribution involved a fine collaboration with Charlotte Glasson’s jazz trio...The fusion of poetry and jazz was often near-perfect, particularly in poems
about legendary bassist Herbie Flowers’ role in Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, and another about a Paul Klee painting that transmuted into powerful and moving lines about the Holocaust. (Greg Freeman, Write Out Loud)
set with the Charlotte Glasson jazz trio was fabulous. (Louise Taylor, poet, comedian, workshop leader)
Thank you to 'Beatnik' Barry Smith for his properly jazzed up poems, performed with Charlotte Glasson and her band. (Naomi Foyle,
poet, novelist, editor).
You can watch videos of Barry reading some of his poetry at Write Angle by clicking on the link below. Poems featured include: Bosham Harbour, Bath Comforts, The Last Jew in Vinnitsa, Off Your Trolley,
Endgame, Eternal Riff, Broken Glass and Strictly X Factor: the Return of Dirty Den.
For 25 years, Barry Smith and Joan Secombe edited the multi-prize winning magazine of young people’s creative writing, Knight Life. Awards included W.H. Smith Young Writers, Cadburys, Poet of the Month (TES,
many times), Ver Poets, Poetry on the Buses, Foyles, Mary Glasgow, the Roald Dahl Foundation, Shelter/Waterstones and the Poetry Society. Contributors include Sam Meekings, James Simpson and Liz Adams who have all gone on to publish full poetry collections.
Barry Smith: Readings
Keats in the Making: sculpture and poems, Lavant, 22 June, 2016
Priory Park Festival (with Maggie Sawkins and John Davies), 10 July, 2016
South Downs Poetry Festival, Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton (with Stephanie Norgate, James Simpson, Alan Morrison), 21 July, 2016
Stony Thursday, Granary Library, Limerick, 19 January, 2017
of St Agnes, poetry of Keats, Vicars Hall, Chichester, 20 January, 2017
Linklater Pavilion, Lewes, with Wendy Klein, 24 June , 2017
Maltings Theatre, St Albans, Ver Poets anthology readings with Tamar Yoseloff, 8 July,
South Downs Poetry Festival, Chichester Cathedral (with Sam Meekings, Stephanie Norgate and actor Gareth Williams), 11 July, 2017
Harlington Manor, Beds, with jazz pianist David Johnson, 5 August, 2017
Eve of St Agnes, poetry of Keats, St Pancras Church, Chichester, 20 January, 2018
The Golden Thread, Story, Poetry and Prosecco, St Huberts Church, Finchdean, Hants, with James Simpson, Gabrielle Kimm and Melanie Penycate, South
Downs Poetry Festival, 7pm, 25 May 2018
Poetry and Music, Chichester Cathedral, with Robyn Bolam, Stephanie Norgate and actor Gareth Williams, Festival of Chichester/South Downs Poetry Festival, 6.30pm, 10 July, 2018.
Poetry and Prosecco, Andy Waite's Studio, Tarrant Street, Arundel, with Anne-Marie Fyfe, C.L. Dallat and South Downs Poets, Arundel Festival, 7.30pm, 23 August 2018.
Blakefest, Regis Centre, Bognor Regis, with Jamie Leeming on jazz guitar,
Sasha Dugdale and Naomi Foyle, 4pm 15 September, 2018.
South Downs Poetry Festival at Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton, Sussex, with Maura Dooley and Stephanie Norgate, 6pm 12 September, 2018.
War and Peace, marking
the centenary of the end of World War 1 in 1918, Midhurst Church, Sussex, with Lord Egremont, Patricia McCarthy, Steven O'Brien, Jeremy Page, Stephanie Norgate and South Downs poets and musicians, 7.30pm, 7 November, 2018.
1918 anniversary edition, Ditchling Museum, Hassocks, 7pm, 1 December, 2018.
Keats in Chichester, a dramatic reading, St Pancras Church, Chichester, 6pm, 19 January, 2019
Launch of Poetry & All That Jazz magazine,
with Robyn Bolam, Brendan Cleary, Janet Sutherland, Kay Syrad, Hugh Dunkerley and others, John Harvey Tavern, Lewes, 4.30pm, 9 June, 2019
St John's Chapel, Chichester, poems set to roots music, with Liam Ruth and Louis de Bernieres, 7.30pm,
June 20, 2019
Poetry and Music, with Dame Patricia Routledge, Stephanie Norgate and James Simpson, Chichester Cathedral, 6.30pm, 9 July, 2019
Poetry Cabaret, MADhurst Festival, with Maggie Sawkins and MandyPannett, Angel,
Midhurst, 7.30pm, 15 August, 2019.
Poetry, Paintings and Prosecco, with Clare Best, Arundel Festival, Frances Knight's Studio, Arundel, 7.30pm, Fri August 23, 2019
Paintings, Poetry and Prosecco - Ivon Hitchens exhibition
at Pallant, with Penelope Shuttle, at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 6pm, Thursday 19 September, 2019.
Blakefest, with Charlotte Glasson Band, Andy Brown, Alan Morrison, Raine Geoghegan and others, Regis Centre, Bognor Regis, 12 noon
onwards, Saturday, 28 September, 2019.
Celebrating Keats in Chichester, in partnership with the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, dramatic readings of La Belle Dame sans Merci and the Letters of Keats and Fanny Brawne, with James
Simpson, Emily Rose Smith, Stephanie Norgate and others, St Pancras Church, Chichester, 6pm, 18 January, 2020
South 62 Launch, via Zoom, 7.30pm, 12 November, 2020. With Wendy Klein, Camilla Lambert, Kitty Coles and other poets.
Celebrating Keats: the Bicentenary, YouTube premiere with actor Rosie Cavaliero, poets Stephanie Norgate, James Simpson, Barry Smith, Chris Hardy and others 7pm 18th February 2021 and thereafter by clicking on the link https://youtu.be/LuvyadFtSgU
Shakespeare's Birthday Party, by Zoom, 7.30-8.30pm, 23rd April 2021, readings with poets including Timothy Ades, Richard Williams, Barry Smith and others. Organised with
Dempsey & Windle, free but please register at
Poetry and Music, with Dame Penelope Keith, Stephanie Norgate and Hugh Dunkerley, Chichester Cathedral, 7pm, 6 July, 2021.
At the exhumation of Beethoven
the disciples and the ghouls gathered to watch
dank earth that smothered the master’s mortal
remains shovelled aside: see
piled on the graveside, gradually
releasing the casket which imprisoned
the emperor of music; did those assembled
edge closer in hope to hear
whisper of the hymn of joy, or step back
in disdain, dismay and stifled despair?
As cold iron lever ground on splintered wood
leant forward to stare, ear and eye to eye and ear.
All being accomplished, and Beethoven
returned to rest, the spectators dispersed
in a solemn diaspora of presence.
Herr professor, said one of Bruckner’s crowd,
where is your eyeglass? Bruckner, enraptured,
absently brushed his brow and
ocular absence. He stopped, searched and shyly
smiled: it lay now with his love for ever.