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David's Bookshop, Music & Cafe is located in Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE
Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE

John Gohorry

Poet-in-residence, John Gohorry, will launch his new collection, Squeak, Budgie!

  • Sat Jun 08, 2019 - 10.30 onwards

David’s Bookshop Poet in Residence John Gohorry will be in the shop from 10.30 on Saturday 8 June to entertain shoppers with readings from his poems, including from his latest book, published in mid May by Smokestack Books.

Squeak, Budgie!, his tenth collection of poems, follows in the footsteps of John Skelton’s sixteenth-century satirical poem, Speak, Parrot! offering a sequence of indignant outbursts on the unfolding events of Brexit Britain from the referendum back in 2016 to the present day.

Sometimes in his own voice and sometimes in the voice of Pipsqueak, a particularly articulate budgerigar, he engages with the twists and turns of Brexit and related events (Trump, the Skripals, the World Cup, Windrush, the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry, the royal wedding, UK Party Conferences) before receiving a surprise and unwelcome summons among the birthday cards dropped onto the floor of his cage on May 9.

The 24 poems in this collection were written in response to events as they occurred, and so they reflect history in the making. At the same time, Gohorry and his budgerigar speak up (or squeak out) loudly and forcefully throughout in support of Remain.

Each poem culminates in a satirical song sometimes giving a fresh twist to another well-known model (Arlene, squeeze tight, Arlene; The Brexit bells go ting-a-ling-a-ling for you but not for me....) sometimes breaking out into a lullaby, a Christmas carol, or a rap in the manner of Busta Rhymes, (Money talks money talks that’s no lie) and peppered here and there, like Skelton’s original, with some choice snippets in a Classical tongue (Sapientior fieri, calceos hospiti gerere debet.)
So come and meet John (Donald Smith for the 35 years he taught at North Hertfordshire College) and enjoy some of the liveliest, sharpest, satirical verse being written in Britain today.