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Sidetracks and Detours present PASS IT ON weekly walkabout Sunday Supplement 27

Sunday 19th November 2023

Hello. You know how diligently our volunteer contributors scrour the sidetracks and detours of their habitats to find scraps of news to send us. We, and they nevertheless remain very grateful to those organaisers or artists who send us news of their own accord. It is these surprise offerings that create bumper bundles like this week´s PASS IT ON. Our friends have sent in news of of poetry events and visual arts exhibitions both here and in the UK. Claudie, our great friend and independent artist messaged us about her home gallery open day which you can read all about in today´s supplement-

For instance. we received the following e mail from our friend Mercedes Mngeula. I’m participating in this poetry and wine festival.  Last weekend it was in La Rioja Alavesa. The 24th and 25th is here in Lanzarote.  Go to the website I have sent you to see what activities are going on. Thius was immediately followed by another piece from Mercedes saying

I would also like to tell you that: he Academy of Sciences and Humanities of Lanzarote has invited me to give a talk/recital about me and my poetry. It is next Tuesday the 14th at 7:00 p.m. at the Lancelot hotel. If any of you can and dare to come, I would feel very honoured and very accompanied at this time!!

Our friends have sent in news of of poetry events and visual arts exhibitions both here and in the UK. Claudie, our great

friend, and an independent artists here on Lanzarote told us about her latest home-gallery open day.

Most regular readers of Sidetracks and Detours should by now bery familiar with the names of Larry Yaskiel MBE and his wife Liz They are ipso facto ambassadors fopr the whole culture and history sector due to their wonderful quarterly magazine Lancelot  The sent us an e mail this week saying

Norm and Dee,  Hoping you are well. This Thursday at 7 pm Teguise Town Hall are launching a book in Spanish about Canarian Descendents of San Antonio Texas with Lanzarote origins at the Municipal Library Biblioteca. It is just a minute from the main square.

You met the author, Juan Romero, at the session with  the Ambassador at Lancelot.

You are very welcome.

Best wishes

Larry and Liz

A long-standing friend from the UK, poet and artist Seamus Kelly also contacted us about a showcase for his art work.

You can read more about all these events here and some will appear again in a different format in forthcoming Sidetracks and Detours editions.


Researching History

Remembering the Dancers:

Home Town Thoughts On Armistice Day


Live Visual Arts

Butterworth  Hall, Milnrow 

preview by SEAMUS KELLY

 a sparkly event

previewed by CLAUDIE, artist

Live Classical Music

Rochdale Music Society; Jill Crossland: piano


Live Jazz

Jazz At Progress


preview by JAZZ IN READING

Traces 3
Original music from Jamie Howell’s trio

preview by JAZZ IN READING

Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits baked by STEVE BEWICK

A Place For Poetry

A Festival With Two Venues

Vino Poesia


A(nother) Place For Poetry

identified by THE POET IN THE RAIN


Estadoundidsenes cons Pasado, Lanzaroteno

written by Jose Juan Romero Cruz


A Reader´s Perspective : All Points Forward

Covers And Tributes

reviewed by PETER PEARSON

Island Insights

Guitar Recital by Diego Barber


Researching History

Remembering the Dancers:

Home Town Thoughts On Armistice Day


Every Year  on 11 November  we in Britain and many countries around the world, commemorate the coming into effect of the Armistice which temporarily stopped the fighting between the Allied and Central Powers in 1918. This allowed the German armies in particular to retire out of France and Belgium in peace, and it also prevented Germany being occupied by the Allies.

However it took until June 1919 for Germany to sign the Treaty of Versailles, due to its harsh punishment reparations, and in the meantime fighting continued in Russia as the Allies occupied Russian ports and arms depots. Yet we do not commemorate the June 1919 date, the true ending of the First World War, but the earlier November Armistice.

With all this in mind I attended my local parish church Remembrance Service on Sunday 12th November, then walked over to Royton Park to take part in the civic service at the town cenotaph organised by the local Royal British Legion. Royton Air Training Corps (ATC) band and other cadets were there with standards and poppy wreaths. Despite the rain several hundred folk turned out to take part or witness the proceedings. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded, hymns were sung, familiar poems read and wreaths laid beside the cenotaph bearing the names of the fallen. Two names poignant for me were Joseph Noone and William Holt, two Royton Morris Dancers depicted on photographs taken at Royton Wakes in 1911 when the team had temporarily split into two factions. Joseph Noone is on the Church Inn team photo, While William Holt is on the Commercial Inn team picture. The following year the two factions joined forces again until war broke out and civilian life received a sharp shock. Another dancer before 1911, James Cheetham, reputedly the best dancer of all, was also killed, not in the French trenches but on the Salonika front.

These men are remembered as part of a lost generation of men, who in folk song terms ‘in the cruel wars were slain’. And the dancing families also lost brothers and family outside the dancing. The most tragic was John Johnson, who had been serving in the Grenadier Guards until his enlistment terms ran out in 1913. The following year he re-enlisted, to become seriously wounded and eventually invalided out of the army. He died shortly after before the end of the war. Sadly, because he had been discharged before war end his grave in Royton was not classed as a war grave. Happily the Ministry of Defence this year allowed a change to the old rules so his grave is now definitely so designated.

After the War the dancers had a patchy time getting back into dancing as many had been gassed and had breathing issues.  A young team was trained in 1926 for a parish church pageant and Mr Harvey, the landlord of the Duke of Edinburgh public house, did his best to keep the team going. In 1928 Maud Karpeles (left), a former protégé of the folk song and dance collector, Cecil Sharp, heard of the team and came up to ‘collect’ their dance. This was a new step for her as Cecil Sharp had based his researches round the so called ‘Cotswold’ style of dancing – bells on knees and handkerchiefs waved in hands- all the while accompanied by recognisable folk tunes played on old fashioned pipe and tabor or single fiddler or accordionist.  

When Maud Karpeles met the team’s concertina player, Lees Kershaw and noted his tunes, she found they danced to a completely  different sort of ‘folk music’, including a set of popular dance rhythms adapted for the Morris dance. The traditional south east Lancashire rush cart tune known variously as Rushcart Lads or Morris Dance is a Very Pretty Tune, was however preciously kept in the repertoire. As was a variant of Blowsabella known as ‘Nancy’, or ‘Number Four’ which always ended the dance.  Miss Karpeles was not keen on this set and when she published her dance notation in 1930 as The Lancashire Morris Dance, she substituted other more pleasing tunes that would be acceptable to the sensitive English Folk Dance Society ear.

The Royton Morris dance was unlike anything she or Cecil Sharp had seen before, being danced in iron clinkered, wooden- soled clogs with bells, danced to a polka step chorus, with various clog steps intertwined.  Each man swung plaited and beribboned cotton rope slings from side to side, or twirled them overhead. The dance actually accommodated eight side dancers and two centre dancers, and a band of several concertina players and base and kettle drummer. In the 19th century the dance had accommodated 16 side dancers or more, and in the old Rushcart procession days, as many as thirty-odd. The dance was orchestrated by a ‘conductor’ and the many figures could be called out in any order as time, size of audience and largesse of the crowd permitted.

And the leaders of the reformed team, James Coleman, dance leader, and Lees Kershaw, musician were nothing like the deferential men she and her late mentor had encountered before, both men demanding outlandish sums of money for their help, frittering away the original money donated by the EFDS for costumes, and deliberately restricting what they were prepared to teach her. Indeed, when Mr Harvey and the lead dancer of the day, Robert McDermott, endeavoured to put the team on an honest, open footing as a ‘club’, Coleman and Kershaw pulled rank and brought in the old boy’s team and new recruits numbering 30 dancers to train for an English Folk Dance Society performance in London instead, by-stepping   Mr McDermott, the McDermott family, or Mr Harvey and his new club. Fortunately for the EFDS the mothers of Royton stepped in to prevent their boys going anywhere out of Royton under the hazardous control of Messrs Coleman and Kershaw. The rebels and the EFDS- favouring dancers had to come to terms. The Coleman and the McDermott faction had had a long rivalry predating the innocent coming of Miss Karpeles, but even the hard hearted James Coleman half succumbed to her ameliorative charm. As old team members told me many years ago, ‘the dancers thought the world of her.’

In 1930 the once- more reconciled adult team (right) went down to London to dance at a folk festival at the Albert Hall. On arrival in the capital they first visited the Cenotaph in Whitehall to lay a wreath before performing. This to me seemed a poignant end to the saga of war, interrupted dancing, and a return to civil life.  As I watched the many wreaths being laid around the Royton cenotaph in the dancers’ home town last Sunday I thought of the old dancers laying that wreath by Lutyens’s own London memorial to the fallen of what was until 1939 known as the World, or Great, War. And I thought of others, such as my great Uncle Christopher who did not survive and my Grandfather, wounded three times and who survived both Flanders and Salonika, to die the year before I was born. 

As the poem by Canadian medical officer Lt Colonel John Mc Crae,  In Flanders Fields, was read out I thought of the Canadian side of our family, particularly my parents who lived near  McCrae’s home town of Guelph Ontario.  But most of all I was struck how many in attendance were there just to remember the fallen, whether victims of the macabre dance of war or those who bore their torch, as the poem begs, and survived.

Live Visual Arts

Butterworth Hall, Milnrow

preview by SEAMUS KELLY poet and artist.,

I am set up at Butterworth Hall Xmas fair in Milnrow with a range of my #linocuts, #giclée prints, greeting cards, #postcards and #photography for sale. Come along and have a look.

#butterworthhall #milnrow #rochdale

Live Visual Arts

a sparkly event

previewed by CLAUDIE, artist   

photo poster dear Dee, dear Norman,

I would like to invite you to a little, sparkly ✨ event, my next open studio on Sunday the 19.11. 😄 the scent of xmas is in the air and I am working constantly on a lot of magic things. Many, many new Seaglass fairy tales, zillions of illustrated beach pebbles, tidal wood art still wet from the ocean, paintings and mucho más 😄 there will be some special offers on paintings and deco and if all this is not enough, cava and a nice chat with new friends await you and my happy self. 😁 Let’s spend a lovely sunday afternoon. My door is open from 11:00-18:00 in the calle peña hendida 11, Orzola.

Here you go: https://maps.app.goo.gl/5vgHaeQb4k52Qkhc6

Have a good night and a great week, see you on Sunday

Live Jazz

Jazz At Progress


preview by JAZZ IN READING

Friday 22 December | Progress Theatre, Reading (details below) | 7:30pm |
£19.00 (£17.00 concessions, £10 under 16)
Katya Gorrie vocals
Jonny Bruce trumpet
Mirek Salmon accordion
Andy Bowen guitar
Andy Crowdy bass

 Moscow Drug Club (left) is a curious musical place where certain elements of 1930’s Berlin Cabaret, Hot Club de France, Nuevo Tango & Gypsy Campfire meet, have a few to drink and stagger arm in arm into the darkness of some eastern European cobbled street on a mission to find the bar where Django Reinhardt & Tom Waits are having an after hours jam with the local Tziganes.

Combining their original material with songs by the likes of Jaques Brel, Leornard Cohen, Tom Waits & Eartha Kitt, Moscow Drug Club provide an intoxicating & intimate musical experience. You are cordially invited to share a wry smile with us as you enter the darkly comic world of Moscow Drug Club…..this way please and mind the stairs!

The band is much in demand and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues such as WOMAD and the Royal Albert Hall. We are delighted to have been able to bring them back once more to the Progress Theatre.

Review comments include statements like “Absolute knock out performance!” “Artfully designed for success!” and “Best music entertainment we’ve ever seen!” 

Live Jazz

Traces 3
Original music from Jamie Howell’s trio

preview by JAZZ IN READING

Traces 3 is an exciting new project with new music written by guitarist and composer Jamie Howell. The group takes the basic format of a jazz trio, but, inspired by the eclectic approach of guitar pioneer Bill Frisell, infuses it with a wide range of influences including Americana, funk, Arabic maqam music, and British folk.

Jamie’s album Traces 9 expands on the Traces 3 line up with violin, cello, tuba, bass clarinet/flute, tenor sax and trumpet.

The music is very personal and reflects Jamie’s interest in the meeting points of contemporary classical music and Jazz.

Come and watch this first public performance in one of the best venues for live music in Berkshire: The Retreat, 8 St John’s St, Reading RG1 4EH

Saturday 25 Nov | 8:30 – 11pm | FREE entry

(donations for the band welcome)

Drums: Simon Price
Double Bass: Paul Jefferies
Guitar: Jamie Howell

On air sign background

 Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits baked by STEVE BEWICK

Next week Hot Biscuits jazz broadcast examines the new jazz and improvised recordings of `Spinning work.` Members included were, Tom Ward, Cath Roberts, Oli Brice & Johnny Hunter. Also included in this broadcast is a new single, Ringing Bells, from Jenny Bray.  

You may have seen Norman´s review of the track in   a recent PASS IT ON but if not it will still be available in their archives of over 1,000 articles. I´ve also heard from Norman that Jenny will also be speaking about her forthcoming new album One Hare One Owl in an exclusive interview for Sidetracks And Detours on Monday 27th November.

There will be jazz, too, from Jonathan Vestergaard Andersen from `Muse Meant Business.` Kenny Burrell on Verve Records will feature with Blue Bossa and Bud Powell gives us Anthropology.

The last two Hot Biscuits on the plate will be Elena Anastasiou, which is a short but sweet piece, and one by JJ Johnson and Richard Davis on Bud’s Blues.

If this looks interesting then PASS IT ON and catch the podcast anytime at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/ 24/07

A Place For Poetry

A Festival With Two Venues

Vino Poesia


Vino Poesía is a festival of poetic, landscape, cultural and food and wine exchange that unites Lanzarote with other territories where the wine horizon is alive. Canarian and Basque poets recite in incomparable natural settings.

On this occasion, the wine regions of the island of Lanzarote and La Rioja Alavesa come together in a poetry festival that passes through two wine regions. So, we can offer two regions with a great agricultural and cultural identity that celebrate multiculturalism and food and wine with a series of activities.

This November 2023 Lanzarote and Álava come together to celebrate the 1st Edition of the Wine and Poetry Festival. A festival with two venues: Lanzarote and Álava. And with two names: Vinopoesía in Lanzarote and Ardopoesía in Álava. “Ardo” means “wine” in Basque.

A festival with two venues:
Lanzarote and Álava.


We unite poetry and viticulture: poets, culture and wine.

Three activities hav e taken place earlier this month at the Basque headquarters and another three activities are still to be heldat the Canary Island headquarters. With the participation of three wineries from the island of Lanzarote combined with three wineries from La Rioja Alavesa where we can taste their wines.

The first half of Vino Poesia, categorised under three headings of Music, Hiking and Gastronemy, and all included poetry and wine.

These took place last weekend in Alava with the music event being held at Cosme Palacio Winery on Friday November 3es with Poetry accompanied by music by Lanzarote guitarist and poet Domingo Corujo Tejera. The wines tasted were supplied from the host Cosme Palacio de Laguardia Winery and the guest winery El Grifo de Lanzarote.

The Hiking event took place on Saturday 4th November from 11.00 am following a poetic route that led to Bideona Winery along which the participating poets recited through the vineyards of Villabuena, where the group enjoyed the wines of the host winery Bideona de Villabuena and the guest winery La Geria de Lanzarote..

The Gastronemy Event was held at 6.00 pm at Alútiz Winery.Gastronomic tasting of Canarian products, amalgamated with poetry and wines from the host winery Alútiz de Samaniego and the guest winery Vega de Yuco.

The events now move across to Lanzarote when the Music, poetry and wine section will be held at El Grifo Winery, from 7.00 pm on Friday 24th November. The poetry will be accompanied by traditional Basque music with Mertxe Fernández de Bastida (trikitixa) and Kepa Pinedo (tambourine) and Canarian music with Alexis Lemes (timple) in the oldest winery in the Canary Islands, El Grifo. With the addition of a wine tasting from the host winery El Grifo de Lanzarote and the guest winery Cosme Palacio de Laguardia.

The Hiking, A poetry and wine event, is to take place at La Geria Winery, where poetry lovers will follow a poetic route with interpretation of the landscape by Senderismo Lanzarote and with the participating poets reciting through the vineyards of La Geria, There the crowd can also enjoy the wines of the host winery La Geria de Lanzarote and the guest winery Bideona de Villabuena. This will be staged on Saturday 25th November from 10.00am.

Later that same day at 7.00 pm Lanzarote will brign the Vino Poesia Festival to a close with Gastronomy, poetry and wine.At the Municipal Theater of Teguise with Vega de Yuco. Gastronomic tasting of Basque products, combined with a poetry recital and wine tasting from the host Winery Vega de Yuco and the guest Winery Alútiz de Samaniego.

Next weekend Sidetracks and Detours will bring you prfiles of several of the poets scheduled to perform in Vino Poesia on Lanzarote.

We are also hoping to bring you an exclusive interview with one of Lanzarote´s leading poets, who is also a dynamo behind many literary events on Lanzarote.

We have featured Mercedes R. Minguela a number of times in Sidetracks And Detours and she has become a family friend as my wife attended for several years the yoga classes facilitated by the writer. Mercedes is not only a wonderful writer but also is a major player in creating the profile of poetry on Lanzarote. She was very much involved, earlier this year, in the collating and publishing of Parablas Para Toas, with Berbel and we then reported on a very successful launch event on these pages.

Mercedes is one of the poets who will be rading at the Lanzarote performance at Vino Poesia on Lanzarote next weekend and she is in good company.

Mercedes (left) is a Graduate in journalism, yoga teacher and poet. She was born in Segovia but from a very young age she moved to Madrid, where she first worked in regional newspapers and later she was marketing director of a company, combining her time with writing and yoga. She currently lives in Lanzarote where she practices and teaches Yoga and writes poetry, because she wants to make in herself the change that she would like to see in the world. He has published his poetry in various poetry anthologies such as: Espiral de Poesia7 (Lanzarote), 100 Poetas en Mayo (Vitoria), Versos Volcanes y Viento (Lanzarote), “Canarias en Verso, voices for eight islands” (Abra Canarias Cultural- La Palma ). Participation in “From ancestors to endemisms” pictorial-literary project (Gran Canaria). Director of the Lanzarote Poetry Festival “Verses, Volcanoes and Wind”.

look out for a major exclusive interview with Mercedes R: MInguela in our article Mercedes Minguela unbdressing The Words, on Tuesday 28th November.in Sidetracks And Detours. This will be available in both English and Spanish Language.

 Thorn Guinea (right) is a Poet and rhapsode born in Vitoria/Gasteiz on July 7, 1961. Member of the Poetas en Red group since 2009. Member of the organizing team of the International Poets in May Festival since 2016, of which she is coordinator of “One Hundred Poets in May”, “Crystal Pages”, “Poetic Concert” and “Poetry in the Murals”. In 1978 she won the first “Year 2000” poetry prize with the poem “Senderos”. In 2008 she participated in the “Vedruna Story Contest” with the story “The Grandfather” with which she won first prize. She is the author of the books: 2015 “Desojando poppies” (poetry), 2017 “Stiletto-heeled shoes” (poetry), 2020 “The game of life” (story), 2021 “All the faces of the moon” (poetry ) and 2023 “A notebook in the suitcase” (poetry). Participant in several Anthologies: One Hundred Poets in May (Vitoria Gasteiz) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023. *2008 “Five Voices” edited by the Vitoria Gasteiz City Council. Participant in the meeting of poets on the Internet: 2011 Sigüenza, 2012 Bilbao and Peñíscola, 2013 Madrid, 2014 Calatayud, 2015 Barcelona, ​​2016 Cáceres, 2017 Valladolid, 2018 Salamanca, 2019 Castro Urdiales, 2020 Toledo, 2022 Alboraya (Valencia), 2023 And ujar (Jaén). Other publications: *2019 Speak Cultural Association / Valladolid City Council, “Here to free the times” and “She, equality”, *2021 “Cuenca, unique and magical” (Cuenca), and *2022 MIGAS Association “Poets for peace ” (Badajoz).

Manuel Concepcion (left) is Canarian  poet and narrator residing in Lanzarote. In 2011 he published “Poems of love and life”. From 2013 is his collection of poems “From end to end”. In 2016 he published “The Friendly Sea”, a novel, and in 2017, “El Cogedero and Other Canarian Stories”. His latest novel “The Power of Their Looks” is from 2022. He is a regular in the “Spirals of poets around the world” (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th). He has also taken part in the publications, “Short stories for boring couples, or boring stories for brief couples” (2018), “Monsters and Superheroes, earthquake stories from the Canary Islands” (2019) and Hombres 88. He participated in “Poets in Mayo”, Vitoria-Gastéiz (2022 and 2023), in the I Lanzarote Poetry Festival (2022) and in the I Baltasar Espinosa Poetry Festival (Gáldar 2023), with poems in all its anthologies, as well as in the recent “ Words for everyone.

Domingo Corujo Tejera (right) is a composer, poet and writer from the island of Lanzarote. At the age of 14, he received, together with the Ajei Folkloric Group of San Bartolomé, the first prize at the Santander International Dance Festival of 1960. At the age of 17 he emigrated to Venezuela where he continued to be linked to music, learning guitar with the maestro Antonio Lauro. He perfects his studies in Madrid with Regino Sáinz. He teaches guitar classes in several centers in Caracas. He returned to the Canary Islands and founded the Domingo Corujo Music School in Tenerife, which remains active for more than two decades. He teaches music classes at the University of La Laguna and is a classical guitarist around the world with the Cervantes Institute: Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco,…After a tour of residencies in different places (Cuba and Castilla-La Mancha) returns to his native Lanzarote where he continues working tirelessly on his grand guitar and on new compositions. The Cola guitar won the European Invention of the Year Award in 1995 at the European Invention Show in Brussels. He has published a treatise on traditional Canarian music with a great investigation of traditional music with scores and music records. Various poetry books have seen the light in different book formats such as “Flores del Estercolero” from Idea editions or the “Poemaphorismos” collection. He published a book about Víctor Fernández Gopar, the salt poet from the island of Lanzarote. His novel “Behind the Big House” was published by the publication service of the Arrecife de Lanzarote City Council. Reading as a child the greguerías (humor plus metaphor) of Ramón Gómez de La Serna motivated him to try to express as much as possible with the minimum number of words in his poems that he himself judges as micro musical pieces.

Quick Perera was born in Lanzarote. Teacher, poet and writer. She has never published solo; Some of her stories and poems have been collected in more than twenty anthologies with other authors. She has participated in Poetry Festivals in Lanzarote, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Vitoria and Fuerteventura. She has also participated in some Poetic Spiral on the island of Lanzarote. She collaborated with one of her poems in Mujeres88 for social purposes. She participated in + DE CIEN ESCRITOS A PADRÓN with a narrative text and another poetic one titled Las Molineras about the painting by Antonio Padrón that bears the same name. She published a poem in the anthology Abrazos a Benahoare in which authors from all the islands participated for solidarity purposes with the victims of the island of La Palma. The children’s story Los Diabletes was published in an educational booklet about the figure of Los Diabletes de Teguise. She was part of the Jury of the II La Balsa de Piedra novel competition and has also been part of short story, poetry and letter competitions. She has written several children’s stories and poems, which she has not published. As well as stories and poems. She always goes when asked to read some of her stories in some schools and institutes on the island of Lanzarote.

A poet from Lagrán, province of Álava (1960). Rosi Puellas (right) is gifted with limitless perception, a devourer of books and always ready to write what she experiences, feels or imagines. According to her words, her love story with words began with stories and from there to poetry there is only one step. In 2016 she won first prize in the V ACCU Spain Story Contest, with her work: “(Involuntary) center of the universe.” She has collaborated and published poems in various anthologies such as “Poetas en Mayo” from 2017 to the present, where also this year 2023 she has coordinated the poetry activity taken to the senior residences in Vitoria and Araba. Ella She published a book of stories and poems in 2022 under the title: “Teselas” (Nimbo editions). In this year 2023, she has organized an artistic poetic meeting in Lagrán (Álava) along with other artists and poets.

Jose Laconcecion (left) is a teacher and poet born in Lapuebla de Labarca (Álava) in 1955. In the Fundación Vital poetry competitions he achieved third place and a second prize with his literary work in Basque. Member of the team of the International Poetry Festival “Poetas en mayo” in Vitoria Gasteiz. Collaborator, participant and presenter of various literary events by Alava authors. He collaborated with Amparo Montero in an in-person and online literature course at the Vitoria-Gasteiz House of Culture. He gave colloquium talks in various venues such as the Hogar Navarro, Casa Aragón, Casa de Cultura, Centro Cívico Aldave, Residences for the elderly…He has published the following works: “Blow by blow, kiss by kiss” (2018), “Various verses“ (2020) Tarqus publishing house and “Diverse verses“ (2022) with Tarqus publishing house. Currently he is in the preparation of the third collection of poems in the trilogy: “Last diverse verses or the third time is lucky.” Since 2017 he has been a participant in the collective poetry collections of Poetas en Mayo and Centro Cívico Aldabe.

Gnacio Romero (right) is a native of the island of Lanzarote, being born in 1978. He is a Bbiologist, popularizer and writer, In his literary aspect, he has published books on environmental topics and poetry collections: “Lanzarote, hiking guide” (2014, Ed. Remotas). Hiking guide Tías trail network (2016, Tías City Council). “Island of Lobos, nature and history” (2017, Ed. Remotas). “Corners of Lanzarote. Geography and poetry” (2020, Ed. Remotas). Tinajo Hiking Network Guide (2022, Tinajo City Council). “Browsing between the lines” (2022, Remote Ed.). He has collaborated with other authors on other book publications: Ecolabels in “Theory and Practice of Environmental Education” (2004, Interuniversity Ed.). The fruit trees of La Geria in “Lanzarote and wine” (2013, Ed. Remotas). He has participated in various poetic anthologies: Espiral 7. Proyecto spiral poética (202, Ed. Puentepalo). Hugs to Benahoare. Poetry anthology to La Palma (2021, Abra Canarias Cultural). Wind, volcanoes and verses (2022, Lanzarote Island Poetry Festival). 100 poets in May (2023, Tarqus editorial). Canary Islands in verse. Voices for the eight islands (2023, Abra Canarias Cultural). He has prefaced two research publications on toponymy: “Diccionario de toponyms de Lanzarote” by Agustín Pallarés (2014, Ed. Remotas) and “La toponimia de San Bartolomé” by Esaú Pérez (2019, Ed. Le Canarien).

Another important figure in this festival that has bridged an ocean to adjoin its two venues is known as The Collector (or Scavenger) but his real name is Pedro Benasco (left) , who has extensive experience and specific training in topics related to wine. He belongs to the tasting committee of the DO Vinos de Lanzarote. He has a WSET Levels 2 and 3 qualification. He is a trainer of the DO Montilla Moriles.

As a published poet and a a genuine art lover  I applaud the work undertaken by the people mentioned in this piece,. Toiether and individually, they define the optimistic, can-do nature of Lanzarote and its people. We value the arts so highly here, not only because of the fabulous legacy left to us by the incredible Cesar Manrique but also because of a generation of artists, like those mentioned above, who continue to explore, diversify and perpetuate that legacy.

So, in our first two editions of A Place For Poetry we have identified locations in London, and The Basque Region and here on Lanzarote. But,…..hold the front page

A(nother) Place For Poetry

identified by THE POET IN THE RAIN

Readers in my former home town, Rochdale, in Greater Manchester in the UK, will know that there is an abundance of creative writing groups, poetry writing and reading groups and live poetry slams and recitals taking place regularly across the five boroughs of Rochdale MBC,

Now I have been told about a massive poetry enclave in the Sussex region further South in the country, with writing competitions and even an exciting Poetry On The Brighton Buses project.

A reading will take place in St. George´s Church in Kempton on Sunday 26th November from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm of poems written and recited by winners in this year´s´very successful  event.


Estadoundidsenes cons Pasado, Lanzaroteno

written by Jose Juan Romero Cruz

review by Norman Warwick

People were queuing in the streets of Teguise on the evening of 16th November to attend the official launch of a new book, entitled   Estadoundidsenes cons Pasado, Lanzaroteno, written  by Jose Juan Romero Cruz

As you will have read in our editorial we had been notified of the event and invited to attend by a familiar name to these pages- Larry Yaskiel, honoroary ediuor of the Lancelot quarterly magazine that shares the culture and history of Lanzarote with tourists from all over the world and with those. like me and Dee, who eventually settle on the island

Larry is shown left, with the author, at the launch..

In the days in Ye Olde England when newspapers were delivered through your letter boxes rather than into your e mail downloads, our local paper was The Manchester Evening News and had the advertising strap line of being ´a friend dropping in´, conjuring connotations of neighbourliness. I´ve come to think of Lancelot in the same way, if rather more as a friend on the supermarket shelves waiting to be picked up ! The magazine carries  a tone that echoes Larry himself as scholarly and knowledgeable but who shares that knowledge with wit and empathy, and who even as he tells us all he can, his voice is laced with his own desire to keep on learning even more about Lanzarote and its people.

The Spanish government and its people have taken Larry and his wife and guiding light, Liz, so much to their hearts that they queue in the streets to attend events that he recommends or is involved in. So grateful to him are Great Britain that he was recently awarded an MBE, and it was at his investiture celebration here on Lanzarote that we first met Juan, the author. We learned from him in light conversation that he was writing a book to which Larry was being a great help. We learned from Larry himself that he was just as proud to be of help as he had been when writing his own books.

Tonight, we had a few minutes exploring this tiny library of the kind that the UK has mercilessly swept aside. It was stacked floor to ceiling with portentous looking tomes, and its history was tangible. There was something Dickensian about it, I think, and we loved it, and will be back soon to explore it more thoroughly.

For now, though, it was time to take the last two seats in a room that was full to overflowing into the corridors outside.

The author and his special guests, (left) including Larry all sat at the top table, and passed the desk-top microphone down the line as they each spoke about the book, reflecting on the history with the island´s links, through migratory paths of exploration, to San Antonio, Texas and other places around the world.

Shown from left to tight are

Teguise Counselor For Historical Heritage Mar Boronat, Steve Chiscano, Counselor Neirada Gonzales, Freddie Bustillo


Larry Yaskiel with the author Jose Juan Romero

I haven´t yet read the book because it is in Spanish, so I might have to wait for it to appear as an audio book in English translation. However I spoke with Juan immediately after he had finished signing the book that had just been given free to everyone in attendance,…that means a lot of copies ! I know that Juan is a lover of and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of British rock music and our photograph (right) shows him reassuring me that asked him whether his research of these migratory patterns revealed whether the music followed the same paths. he assured me there are interesting to music ion his books

Of course, that is covered in what looks to be a book that will enhance school and university and public libraries and household bookshelves, too,  and will prove an important reference source for decades to come.

To put this in context for UK readers, this is a book about which that I am pretty certain would earn the approval of our arts and local historian contributor Michael Higgins .

Michael and all our readers will be able to read more about this in our Sidetracks and Detours feature A Big Book For Your Bookshelves on Wednesday 29th of November, an article that we shall publish in both English and Spanish.


A Reader´s Perspective : All Points Forward

Covers And Tributes

reviewed by PETER PEARSON

Generally I am not keen on cover and tribute albums.They always seem to me to be a curates egg.

Steve Earle has released 3 such albums´, I reckon:

Guy -An album of Guy Clark covers

Townes-An album of Townes Van Zandt covers

        Jerry Jeff-An album of Townes Van Zandt covers

I’ve listened to them all but enjoyed none enough to buy them.

On the other hand I have enjoyed some of the individual covers of these artists songs that Steve has covered on some of his other albums and the ´three artists covered are amongst my favourites.

Norman will know that Buffy Ford Stewart (left) , John Stewart’s wife, has covered some of John’s songs on her album Same Old Heart. I have the album but seldom play it, as I much prefer to listen to John’s originals. But there is an exception. John never did release his song The Wings of St Michael on an official cd. It was on his tape Teresa and the Lost Songs but was excluded from the cd version. Interestingly however John often gave Buffy the song to sing live in concert and I prefer her version to John’s.

Here are some of the cover albums that I do enjoy.

Depot Light-The Songs of Eric Taylor-Peter Cooper

I am a big fan of the USA americana artist Eric Taylor. When Eric Taylor announced on his website that Peter Cooper (right) had issued this cover album, not being aware of Peter Cooper at that time and his involvement with Eric Brace and Thomm Jutz, I decided to sample the album before purchase. Eric has a very distinctive vocal and guitar style and is something of an acquired taste (not to me, but I know to many others) I was blown away by the album Peter Cooper’s vocal and arrangements of the songs are the perfect complement to Eric’s versions and for those who are not fans of Eric are a perfect way to enjoy the songs in a different presentational style.

Wounded Heart Of America- The Songs of Tom Russell-various artists.

Tom Russell is an americana singer songwriter who has built up a strong UK following through touring over, on a regular basis, since the mid eighties. Many of his contemporaries have recorded his songs. This album is a collection of his songs performed by the likes of Johnny Cash, Joe Ely, Dave Alvin, Iris Dement et al. As a bonus, Tom performs three of his own songs on the album.

Play One More-The Songs of Ian and Sylvia Tyson (left) by -Tom Russell

Four Strong Winds by Ian Tyson is a much covered song. The Neil Young version is much loved by Neil Young fans. Unfortunately this song is not on this Tom Russell album but it is nevertheless an excellent introduction to the songs of this Canadian duo.

One To The Heart One To The Head

Gretchen Peters and Tom Russell

Continuing the Tom Russell theme this is not a tribute album but an album of mainly cover songs. There is a standout version of Townes Van Zandt’s  Snowin on Raton and songs of the west by a variety of lesser known artists. Officially a Gretchen Peters album it includes her version of the wonderful Tom Russell song Guadalupe and a nice version of Diana Jones’s If I Had a Gun.

Away from the tribute and cover albums here are some my favourite songs covered by some of my favourite artists.

Nanci Griffith-Across the Great Divide ( Kate Wolf)

It was this song by Kate Wolf (left) on Griffith’s album Other Voices Other Rooms -a collection of cover songs- that brought Kate Wolf to my attention. I prefer the Nanci version to Kate’s version mainly because of the wonderful guitar playing of Pete Kennedy (of the Kennedys mentioned below)

Joan Baez-Ring Those Bells (Bob Dylan)

This is on Joan’s live double album of the same name. This song is a perfect vehicle for Joan Baez’s wonderful soprano voice as opposed to the somewhat nasal qualities of Bob Dylan’s.

Karen Matheson-Aragon Mill (Si Kahn)

This beautiful and descriptive song is on Karen Matheson’s album, Still Time, but I first heard her sing it on the Transatlantic Sessions 6

TV programme, as a duet with Mary Chapin Carpenter. Take a look at the Youtube clip if you have not seen it. When I first heard it on the Sessions I thought why I had I never heard this before and who is Si Kahn. Apparently some folkies know it as Belfast Mill.

photo si kahn The lyrics resonated a great deal with me as I had recently moved from a job with Tootal Group (the textiles company) where I had for 11 years witnessed the decline and almost total extinction of UK textile manufacturing. The song written by Si Kahn and featured on his album Aragon Mill,Si Kahn and The Looping Brothers Bluegrass Sessions, is based on the real life Aragon Mill in Georgia. It tells the tale of the closure of the Mill and impact on the small town. There is a line in the lyrics, its so quiet I can’t sleep,  which comes from a loom worker whose front porch overlooked the now silent weaving shed. The refrain in the song is weave and spin weave and spin. It is a grim reminder of my time at  Bolton’s Osman Textiles when I was part of the closure team, having spent many a happy hour on secondment there with the sound of the weaving shed ever present. It was one of the town’s major employers, as was Aragon Mill.

Eagles-O’l 55 (Tom Waits)

Tom Waits (left) is very much an acquired taste. A gifted songwriter whose songs have been widely covered but his voice has a bar room drawl to it. The Eagles give it a four part harmony treatment. To me, much more pleasant to the ear is The Eagles cover of  Seven Bridges Road (Steve Young)

Steve Young (right) is an acolyte of Guy Clark and his circle and the song features on his eponymous album. Again the Eagles four part harmonies give the song a wholly different feel. I especially enjoy the acapella version that they usually perform live as a concert opener.

Emmylou Emmylou Harris-Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)

This song has been covered by a multitude of artists such that it is by far his most famous tune. Of all the version I prefer Emmylou’s and consider it superior to Townes’s original. First featured on her 1977 Luxury Liner album, Emmylou (left) performs at a faster pace with more instrumentation and with her ethereal vocals. It is a staple of her live sets.

phot pete and Maura The Kennedys-Jasmine (John Stewart)

Sorry, have to end this piece with another John Stewart reference. The Kennedys, Pete and Maura, are a married duo-guitar and vocals act, originally together and meeting in Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra. This is one of John Stewarts’s last recorded songs on his last album The Day The River Sang. Whilst John’s voice was starting to wane by this time his songwriting skills were still top notch and this is a wonderful album released on Appleseed, rather than his own label.

It is covered on The Kennedys album, Songs of the Open Road. To me it is still second best to the original but there is a more lively feel to it which may appeal

Island Insights

Guitar Recital by Diego Barber


Deigo Barber, born on July 13, 1978 in Lanzarote, is one of the greatest exponents of the guitar at international level. 

He is as much loved by the jazz and classical music media as he is by fans of the genres.

“.known for the grandeur and majesty of his guitar style. The impressive dynamics and exquisiteness of Diego Barber’s expression are deeply rooted in an extraordinary technique.” 

All About Jazz

“Barber’s style is beautiful, his fingers fly lightly over the fretboard.” 

Down Beat Magazine. 

“Diego Barber is a harbinger of things to come, and the beginning of a brilliant career for someone who has all the potential to make a difference in modern music.” 

Michael G. Nastos, Billboard. 

Barber and Taborn deliver a grand epic in four parts. This is music with a cerebral punch through the complexity of the patterns of its interaction, while also forging a lifeline that goes directly to the heart through the beauty of the music presented. One of the best things I’ve heard all year. Pick of the week.” JazzTime

As we wandered across from the car park to the theatre we paused for a couple of minutes to watch what looked to be a pretty ferocious boules match taking place on the floodlit court.

On entering the theatre we showed our tickets on our mobile screen, for scanning by the young lady at the door and in we went to a room laid out with a hundred plastic chairs lined in rows in front of a small and only slightly elevated stage. There was no programme, not even a stencilled playlist, and the chairs were not numbered but we found two together near the back.

We had only been in our seats a minute or two before we were given a brief introduction to Deigo Barber, who in turn came to the stage, and after prolonged and rapturous applause, made an introduction of his own. He was obviously very proud that sitting, just behind us, in the audience was the timple player extraordinaire, Tony Corujo.

It was then straight into the music, but because there was no programme, and because we couldn´t understand whatever Deigo might have said in Spanish by way of introduction, and because my knowledge of classical music only sometimes allows me to recognise the tune and rarely affords me the luxury of being able to identify it or its composer, expect the following classical  review to be unlike any other you have ever read.

The concert was segued into four separate parts that I can only identify for you from the scenes I envisaged in my imagination as I listened.

The first part I shall call Sidetracks, a title that resonates with me and permeates my love of music. This section told, through the strings of a guitar, of a young guitar troubadour wandering from town to town in search of a gig. The towns thrilled him, all hustle and bustle and a bit of conversation, but the journeys in between he seemed to love even more. Wandering through fields, by river banks, through mountains and valleys and down to the sea, these were journeys of pastoral delight and were full of harmonics, impeccably but joyously played.

The second act I called Dances, because the music her reminded me of some of what we hear in the church courts and town hall squares here on the island. There were echoes of folk-lore and the gentle stroll of the first section became a hop. skip and a jump of delight.

Deigo had now played two sets, each of twenty minutes or  more each, and had not only been note-perfect but had given his guitar a voice with which to speak to us and the mucho applauso from the audience told him we were listening intently.

This trio of, music, man and guitar mutually enhanced each other…,.great compositions, great playing  and  great instrument makes a great sound

The third set, which I have entitled Detours, seemed to have Deigo exploring where he and his guitar and this music might go, and what it might do when it got there. I called this section Detours because he often seemed to stray off his linear narrative of music to explore  something that had caught his eye, or his ear, I suppose. Nevertheless he always found his way back to the main road to lead us on to his fourth set.

This was the closing section of the performance and the one I found the most delightful, and which I shall call Echoes.

I certainly don´t want to offend Deigo, or any fans who hold a precious love for classical music, but in this section I suddenly let go of the fact that what I was hearing was, I think, classical music and instead simply listened to that guitar offer me sound-bites that sounded familiar to the music I most love. To me, this was Segovia, John Williams, little bits of Mark Knopfler and Willie Nelson, and most importantly to me, Betsy From Pike a guitar track written and performed by John Stewart in the seventies. I don´t remember the thought hitting me at the time but I would later remark to my wife that I had hugely enjoyed the entire concert but his fourth set had put me in mind of the original string band music era, which saw musicians like Martin, Bogan And Armstrong give us renditions of Lady Be Good, The Barnyard Dance and The Ice-cream Freezer Blues.

I recommend, whether you are a country or classical music fan, a rocker or a rootsy. to find a copy of You´d Better Get It While You Can, Steve Goodman´s tribute to that string band, and then get hold of an album by the trio and have a listen to some of the music that classical music begat.

A very genuine standing ovation from everyone in the audience brought back to the stage the man who had given me four sets, Sidsetracks, Dance, Detours and Echoes in a seventy five minute performance that was now extended by another five, and I´m proud to say I recognised the piece as one of my favourites by Bach, and I know that for certain because I recognised his name in Diego´s introduction.

The language barrier wasn´t a real problem, though, because throughout the night the guitar had done all the talking, and very eloquently too !

We return to our daily arts-news gathering tomorrow, Monday 20th November and we will be asking of the arts, Does Truth Matter? We will also ask of EFE ´what´s in a name´ as they become Sound Roots. We will also meet a new star, Zach Bryan who is already on our playlists,  We will report on a fight between suits and monkees as it came to a head, before we return home to keep building that infernal bigger bookshelf, to accommodate this week, The Monkees; A Hollywood Tale. So, we hope to see you round the corner along those happy trails.pass it logo

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