On Thursday the 28th of March 2024, a northern poetry night celebrated an exciting milestone – its second anniversary. That might sound like a humble achievement, but to those present at Out of Your Head, it felt anything but small. With more than 80 people in attendance, the Cumberland Arms (a great venue in its own right) was packed to the rafters. That’s quite the community, and it made for an incredible atmosphere.

Full disclosure – I’m definitely a little biased. Of the fifteen poets performing that evening and featured in the anniversary zine, I was one (delivering a poem on the theme of ‘Rage and Rhyme’) so I’ve got plenty of incentive to share and celebrate the event. Having been along for a large part of that two-year ride, I’ve become very fond of Out of Your Head and made some great friends among the regulars. But there’s a good reason for that.

The north is full of good poetry nights which I’d encourage you to check out, too many wonderful events to even keep track of them all. But there’s a reason I’m always talking about this one; no other night has quite captured the warmth, diversity and the power of spoken word in quite the same way. Opportunities to celebrate queerness and neurodiversity are precious, now more than ever, and nowhere else have I found such outpourings of joy and rage and creativity. So congrats to Amy Langdown; you’ve definitely earned some celebration.

The featured poets and their themes, in order of performance:

Char @palegoldenflowers representing ‘Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad’

@sydney_whiteside representing ‘Mental Health’

Emily Mackellar @poemsfromtheforest representing ’Pride’

Cooper Robson @coopsie_xoxo representing ‘Up North’

@sarahfaewords representing ‘Public and Private’

James Brittain @decent_craic representing ‘Past, Present and Future’

Lucina Wareham @andalucina representing ‘Music’

Iqra Choudhry @iqrawritesthings representing ’Love in Action’

Heather Robinson @heatheralicepoemsandstuff representing ‘A Collection of Recollections’

Anna Holland @anna_needsanap representing ‘Pride and Protest’

@_brontecook representing ‘Dreams in Motion’

@broganbrannan representing ‘The Path Not Taken’

Bisi Ajala @bisionmars representing ’Presenting Introspection’

@lewisbrownpoet representing ‘Rage and Rhyme’

Rhian Jade @rhianstorm representing ‘Starting Lines’

Photos taken by Charlie Care and Haley.