Tearing up textbooks, striding across desks and quoting Walt Whitman at the top of one’s lungs- an iconic moment in cinema, as Robin Williams (RIP) delivers a gem of performance in the Oscar-winning Dead Poets Society. Despite the lack of table mounting, the first meeting of Newcastle’s Dead Poets Society was a success in its own right, 30 years on.
The crown jewel of cafes in the NE6 area, Heaton Perk provided the location for a couple dozen amateurs to gather and share poetry written by both past greats and members of the congregation.
True to type, coffee and cigarettes settled the nerves of the first courageous speakers to read their chosen passages before their numerous peers, with the majority (yours truly included) hoping to muster the courage to speak at the next meeting. Co-founders Alex Joyce and Hannah Couch said that they decided to organise the fornightly meeting in order to create a safe space for other amateurs to share and discuss their musings. Having listened to many original pieces, Newcastle is not short of blossoming poets, perhaps ones who will be read at at other dead poet society meetings of the distant future…(?) For less talented writers (yours truly also included) however, there is no need to fear the critics as the atmosphere of support and conviviality soon broke the ice and swept away many of the initial nerves of publicly speaking before a group of, by and large, strangers.
An experience shared, and one becomes slightly less so strangers. The Dead Poets Society next meet Monday4th November 7pm at Heaton Perk Cafe, on Heaton Park Road. All are welcome to come and share, or simply listen, appreciate and admire.
Last modified: 5th November 2019