|Photo by John Carre Buchanan|
Guernsey poetry stalwarts, Lester Queripel and John Blaise, together with John’s lovely wife, Sharon, have been instrumental in keeping the island’s monthly Open Mic sessions on track through ten exciting years of changeable literary weather.
At venues like the Fermain Tavern and, more recently, La Villette Hotel, Lester has, month in, month out, booked space, supplied and checked sound systems and handled publicity, while John and Sharon have brought order to potentially chaotic performance nights and ensured that everyone wishing to read has had the opportunity to do so.
It’s no mean feat but they’ve done it with remarkable enthusiasm and style.
After this month's event, however, all three are stepping back from their demanding roles.
They will be sorely missed, but I’m assured that Open Mic evenings will continue, under new management, in the new year.
Lester and John were well established stars in Guernsey’s poetry firmament when I arrived on the island twenty-two years ago.
Today, they’re still going strong and we can only hope that, freed from the burdens of shepherding other poets to and from the mic, they will have time to add more excellent poems to their extensive back catalogues and retain their high profiles on the poetry scene.