Fire & Dust – the Return of DrayZera:
a review by Aarushi Shetty


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Picture credit: The Big Comfy Bookshop

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After being shut for a few weeks for expansion, The Big Comfy Bookshop reopened at the perfect time to host the Fire & Dust open-mic in July.  The newly renovated shop was bigger, comfier and better with loads of room and a large performance space. Michael, the shop owner, was present at the site to help everyone with their drinks and refreshments, and welcomed all with a warm smile. A large group of literature lovers joined us to share and enjoy each other’s poetry.


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HCE’s Raef Boylan compered the open-mic and started the evening by reading Nizar Qabbani’s ‘Lesson in Drawing.’ It was a very moving piece and was a perfect tool to set the mood for the poets. Sarah had her F&D debut and she read an excerpt of a Shane Koyczan poem. Thus, Fire & Dust introduced a new segment for the evening in which they read poems from around the world. HCE encourages everyone to share some work from a poet from their country (you can tweet them if you have suggestions).
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The next in line to perform was Joe Bennett, who read some fun poems and then ended with a personal one, which he dedicated to his long-lost friend who recently passed away. The imagery in his poems were very realistic and relatable. His last poem moved the audience.

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Tom Lawlor continued the sad theme by reading two short poems. I personally enjoyed the fast-paced style of his performance.


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The evening then took a turn to the theme of politics, due to several poets sharing their opinion on Brexit and the recent General Elections. These poems were generally satirical and bold; their creators questioned the current Government with powerful words. The audience participated in the poems by occasionally nodding and applauding the bits they completely agreed with.


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Right before the interval, Raef Boylan performed an inspiring piece that left the audience awestruck. His poem being the only one performed and not read was a good mix for the evening; it put the stakes high for the performers in the second half for the evening.




Aarushi pic9_DrayZeraDrayZera was the headline poet for the evening. He brought along with him some entertaining pieces, which he performed with the help of props. His performance was very energetic and required a lot of audience interaction. He enacts his poems as he performs them and loves to utilise the stage space, something he does very well. DrayZera headlined the open-mic as a part of his book tour ‘Broken Circuitboard.’


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The evening then continued with some debut poems and other interesting works. Whilst the sad theme carried on, some love poems were shared and quite a few hilarious pieces came through.  All in all, the audience enjoyed this event.


Fire & Dust happens every first Thursday of each month. All poets and poetry lovers are welcome. The next Fire & Dust will be on 3rd August 2017
at The Big Comfy Bookshop in Fargo Village, Coventry CV1 5ED
Doors open 7.30PM

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