Review: Haworth Hodgkinson in Glenbuchat

Poet and composer Haworth Hodgkinson performs a curious mix of words and sounds

Sunday 14 September 2014

Glenbuchat Hall, Glenbuchat (map)

Original listing

Haworth Hodgkinson

One of the sure highlights of this year's New Words festival sees curator Haworth Hodgkinson in a packed Glenbuchat Hall doing what he does best – apparently making it up as he goes along.

Haworth emerges from an assemblage of weird and wonderful instruments armed with his two collections to date – A Weakness for Mermaids and Tractor Bastard – and a clutch of new poems that may soon make up his third. His poetry is a deft mixture of the funny, the touching and, occasionally, the delightfully obscure. His opener Imaginary Friends is a warm yet timely warning to those of us who spend too long living through social media and, later, western island shorelines are recounted over breakfast after breakfast.

Haworth Hodgkinson

But it's when he brings in some of his weird and wonderful instruments that Hodgkinson really impresses. The wonderful new poem Duck Song is accompanied by a deep, resonant djembe mixed with audience mirth while the brand, brand new River Permit sees the public debut of a gas cylinder, played with percussion mallets – both are phenomenal additions to his set.

Seasonal – a thirteen poem sequence set to a mystical drone – features highlights of local geography brought to life through words, recorders, gongs and the eerie sounds of re-imagined creatures. It's very much the North East crossed with the Far East and is a worthy showpiece.

Perhaps still the highlight of Haworth's set is the lead poem from his second collection, Tractor Bastard, today performed not far from its setting. The audience are enthralled by this tale of revenge taken by two Laura Ashley farmers on a sexist tractor salesman interspersed with sideshows of nature.

He ends with Retributional. Six words. Six gongs. A lesson to us all.

Review by Richie Brown

Photos by Petra Vergunst

More images from Haworth Hodgkinson in Glenbuchat

Promoted by

North East Writers

Supported by

Gordon Forum for the Arts
Glenbuchat Hall

Terms and Conditions • Website © HH0 2006–2016