Review: Flash Poetry by Candlelight

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At the end of last term, Flash Journal held their second ever event, ‘Poetry by Candlelight’, an evening of open mic poetry. The majority of the performers were students of all ages and degree subjects who read their fantastic works of poetry and prose. Flash had also invited a couple of guest speakers from the English Department, Graham Mort and Eoghan Walls, who closed the event by reading examples of their own work and telling us anecdotes related to how they came up with the subject of each piece.

For anyone unaware of Flash, they are a creative and critical journal run by undergraduates. They publish an issue twice a term and hold launch parties for each where the editors and writers can meet face to face and celebrate the publication of their work. Flash not only offers experience for budding editors but also a 1:1 editing process to anyone who subdues their work, whether it is chosen for publication or not. They welcome any Lancaster students to submit poetry or flash fiction, and often publicise the deadline for submissions on social media.

The Flash editorial team fit their decor excellently with their theme, turning Cavendish Colloquium into a theatre for the performers simply by turning off the lights and using a plethora of LED candles, which cleverly flickered away and created a real ambience. The lecture theatre was full as the first perform stood at the front of the room, the guests happily enjoying the complimentary refreshments.

Though the room may have been dark, the works read out were full of humour, the room erupting in laughter particularly during the performances by Warren Mortimer and Eoghan Walls. The subjects and styles covered by the writers were vast but all excellently executed.
The feedback about the event was extremely positive and a number of guests expressed their enjoyment and their hope for future events. This event was originally put on due to the success of Flash’s previous event, Night of the Uncanny, at which Jenn Ashworth and Catherine Spooner spoke, held the previous year, and they hope to hold many more in following years. The Candlelight event also coincided with the launch of the 16th issue of Flash, entitled ‘Harness’ as each issue is titled after the piece selected as Editor’s Choice for that issue, the creme de la creme of the batch of submissions the team receive. Extracts from the pieces featured in the issue were featured around the room for guest to read during intervals.
Issue 17 will be released later this term. To see what Flash are up to head over to their Facebook, Twitter (@FlashLancaster) or website (

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