Exciting Times ahead for Ninos Poetry Nights



Making it onto the nominees list in the category for Best Spoken Word Poetry Event in the United Kingdom at the Saboteur Awards was quite the honour for Cannock town's Caffe Del Nino. Given the caliber of the competition that they were up against, the simple recognition alone and being mentioned in the same line with some of UK's biggest cities, was enough to make the town folk proud!
"Out of all the spoken word nights in the UK, people voted for Caffe Del Nino to be a nominee for Best Spoken Word Poetry Event, we reached the top 5 and in that final round we were up against some pretty big cities such as Manchester and London.
"It really was incredible to be shortlisted, as Cannock is such a small town it was really overwhelming to have our cafe recognised! Many people see the Midlands as a bit of a slower place, but I was so proud of our area and our local poets that show that the scene is alive and kicking!
"I am so beyond grateful to everyone that voted! When you think of it in terms of sheer numbers compared to larger cities, our small town banded together to achieve something really great! I'm also very appreciative towards everyone at the Saboteur awards, the London event was fantastic with workshops, lectures and fun poetry gameshows before the awards ceremony on the evening. It was great to make friends with people in the industry", said Scarlett Ward.

The exposure that came with making it onto the nominees list is something that is sure to benefit both the town and its poetry community fot a long time to come.
"Well it has certainly brought with it exposure for our little cafe, but really it means the world for our local poetry community to be recognised.
"We have an excellent and supportive community in the midlands, and I always try to push the sales of writers that come to our evenings by selling their books in the cafe, hosting book launches and having special guests showcase their new work etc. So it really does mean the world to us to be recognised in this way", said the 25 year old.

With its new_found fame, 'Ninos', as it is referred to by the local folks, is certainly the place to be for poetry lovers and as such, Scarlett sees a need to improve upon a few areas.
"We currently have a scheme in place whereby poets may leave a poem at the cafe for someone else to read or to hang on the walls, and I would love to make either a monthly zine or an anthology of these deposited ninos poems to raise money for charity. It is definitely something I am going to make happen in the near future!
"I think what sets Ninos apart is the relaxed nature of it. We chill out with coffees on our slounchy sofas, we aren't formal and we don't tolerate ignorance. Above all, we are a safe space for people of all backgrounds to make friends and enjoy poetry!", said Ward.

Scarlett herself is a graduate from Keele University with a degree in English & History and she says that she "has always adored poetry + reading" and that writing was her escape from a tough time in the latter years of high school.
"I devour books at a rate of knotts and in the past few years I have been developing my poetry skills as much as possible", she said.

Her own poetry has featured in numerous anthologies such as Verve Press, Diverse Verse, and Fishbowl Publishing anthologies.
"I am currently working on my own collection and on making Ninos poetry nights bigger and better with every month", said Ward.



BACKGROUND

Caffe Del Nino is a small family-run business in the tiny town of Cannock and has over the last two years opened its doors to some of the best poetry talent that the community has to offer.
"The extra 'F' is not a spelling mistake, it's Itallian for "Cafe of the children!" I have always had a keen interest in poetry since I was in university and I noticed that the closest poetry evenings or spoken word events were over an hour away in the nearest city of Birmingham and not very accessible for people in the more northern areas of the Midlands.
"I realised that I could use our cafe as a place to promote and encourage poetry and meet like-minded people as well as developing my own writing skills.
"I started out with two other people who have since left, meaning that I now run the evenings by myself. In the 2 years we have been doing this, the evenings have gone from a small group of friends to really busy crowded nights with special guests and often extend past curfew. I wanted to make an environment that was easy to get to, and with a comfortable laid-back atmosphere, and I'm really excited with how fast it is growing in popularity!", said Scarlett.



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