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Bookstore Day: Sketching the Stars AMASS Artist Chantal Pitts sketches the Outsideleft Bookstore Day Evening at the Bear Bookshop

Bookstore Day: Sketching the Stars

AMASS Artist Chantal Pitts sketches the Outsideleft Bookstore Day Evening at the Bear Bookshop

by Danny Rose, Local Entertainment Impresario
first published: October, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Chantal Pitt's sketches are near-like the tintypes I used to produce out in the old west, at Knotts Berry Wild West Farm

Book cover poster Bookstore Day @ Bear Bookshop Bearwood
Charlie Hill
Al Hutchins
Meave Haughey
Glyn Phillips
Jay Lewis
Wayne Dean-Richards
Gracey Bee
Duncan Jones
Ancient Champion

There's no doubt that arranging talent for a Bookstore Day event is a challenge. Almost everyone who can spell has an arrangement to be somewhere or other. Money changes hands, yes, even for poets. I have to commend Jenny McCann and Outsideleft for securing what I am told were their first choices for their Bookstore Day event. I think you'd agree this underlines the value and esteem Jenny McCann and her independent bookshop is held in in the Bearwood community. To paraphrase one of the Bear Bookshop performers, "When she reaches out her hand, you'll have to go!" 

The evening was ably helmed by poet and MC for the event, Jay Lewis. Outsideleft arts editor, the artist Chantal Pitts, from the Birmingham based Amass arts group was on hand to produce identikit quality sketches, capturing the guilty! I kid. The evening saw the most fantastic array of talent. Chantal has shared her sketches with me and here they are, I think, in their ephemerality, perfect capturing the essence of the artists as they performed. Chantal said, "I wasn't aiming for exact likenesses. There was too much movement. I just tried to quickly capture their characters as they were reading/performing. They were just 10 minute sketches." About Soho, Chantal said, "The tiny guitarist with Soho is the inadvertently funniest I think. I was drawing the shop when Soho began, then decided to add them after. They were so brilliant, though the Jacqui and Pauline were bigger characters I think."

Meave at bookstore day by Chantal Pitts
Meave Haughey, read from her addition to Best British Stories of 2021.

Glyn Phillips at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Glyn Phillips, stellar generational memoir set right here in Bearwood and the Black Country.

Wayne Dean-Richards at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Wayne Dean-Richards read from the Outsideleft Booklet, 'It's A Mad World But Funny'.

Jey Lewis at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Jay Lewis doubled as poet and MC and kept things glued together. A notable early season reading of The Hospice hushed his home crowd.

Gracey Bee at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Gracey Bee captivated with her beautiful Jamaican inflected poetry. Breathtaking!

Soho, Tim, Jacqui and Pauline at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Soho- Tim, Jacqui and Pauline were astonishing, drawing deeply on memoir - Tim's ancient gas board days, to produce moments of magical musical theatre. Wow!

Duncan Jones at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Outsideleft contributor and this weeks' Sunday Morning Poet, Duncan Jones made his concrete poems real.

Ancient Champion at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Outsideleft columnist, writer and musician, Ancient Champion sang his contribution while playing a very small guitar.

Charlie Hill at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Charlie Hill, still the best laconic chronicler of a certain Birmingham life often unrecorded elsewhere...

Al Hutchins at bookshop day by Chantal Pitts
Al Hutchins almost stole the show with his audience interaction and energy, at one point, not breaking the fourth wall, but the one that lead out into the street. What a performance!

Essential Information
Sketches of 2023 Bookstore Day by Chantal Pitts. Chantal is on Instagram, here
Chantal Pitts at Outsideleft

Danny Rose
Local Entertainment Impresario

In his real life beyond writing a regular entertainment column for the music, arts and culture magazine, Outsideleft, Bearwood based, Danny Rose, is an a entertainment impresario of some standing. Always on the look out for low rent talent.

about Danny Rose »»



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