New venue sets poetry in motion

POET'S CORNER: Word Up performers at the Old Auction House

Word Up, Tunbridge Wells’ monthly spoken word and open mic event, has moved to a new home at the Old Auction House on Linden Park Road.

A spokesperson for the creative collective said the move was temporary and only for the winter. “We’re usually based at The Forum but during the chillier months we decided the Old Auction House would be better.”

The group held its first event in the new venue last Wednesday night (November 1) and deemed it to be a great success.

The monthly event is hosted by local creatives Hannah Gee and Dan Culmer who invite both seasoned performers and those who have never taken to the stage before to perform a diverse range of poetry and spoken word pieces 

“Word Up felt super comfy in its new temporary home at The Old Auction House,” Hannah told the Times.

 “Over 25 poets read… There were tears of joy and sorrow and everyone left knowing a little bit more about each other. Another successful evening under their belt.”

Established in 2013 after Dan won a poetry slam competition in Brighton, Word Up has featured several award-winning published poets over the years, including Hollie McNish and Harry Baker. Together with Hannah, Dan hosts Word Up events on the first Wednesday of every month, bringing together creative people in a ‘warm and welcoming space’.

Hannah and Dan also started what they call the ‘most awkward workshop ever’ for local businesses, combining their writing and performance expertise over ten years of hosting Word Up events. Staff members can participate in a three-hour creative workshop that culminates in each attendee reciting their own spoken word piece onstage – no mean feat for those who have never performed before!

To keep up to date with upcoming Word Up events or to book a workshop, follow them on Instagram @word.uptw or email Hannah Gee at

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