Launch Party- Doll House

It’s getting close to the launch date for Doll House.  On Sunday night (Sunday August 5th) there’ll be a launch party with the Pub Poets (£5 on the door) at their usual Bootleg venue on Topping Street, Blackpool. 

The guest poet for this event is the incredible Christopher Bowles. Christopher is a wonderful human being, a gifted poet, and a thoroughly decent bloke.  If you like quality poetry from good people, you’ll love what Christopher has to offer.  If you want a taste of Christopher’s quality poetry, please follow this link:
As usual there’ll be contributions from outstanding local poets, there’ll be the legendary Haiku Death Match, and the convivial atmosphere that everyone always expects and enjoys with a typical Pub Poets night. 
However, because this is the launch night for Doll House, my 51st full length title, there’ll also be more going on.  I’m going to be there selling and signing copies of Doll House, for anyone who wants to purchase their own copy of my current masterpiece.  I shall have bookmarks to give away, I’ll be reading a couple of short passages from Doll House and we’ll also be premiering a short video of the book that gives everyone an idea of its spooky contents. 
It’s always a great night with the Pub Poets. This one is going to be superlative and it would be great to see you there. 

The Book Launch – Raven and Skull

 July 10th saw the official launch of Raven and Skull. It’s my first horror novel and, as I’ve said before, it’s one of those stories I’ve been wanting to write for years.

The whole evening was presented by the Pub Poets, a group of open mic performers entertainers who know how to write and perform poetry. It’s one thing to write a novel. It’s quite another to have its release endorsed by a collective of poets.

Adding to the prestige, the launch was hosted by the incredible performance poet, Trevor Meaney.  Trevor is a respected, talented and accomplished poet with a huge following.  The night would not have been such a success without him at the helm.  For those of you not familiar with Trevor, this is a short piece of him in his usual, incredible form.

On top of that, the insanely talented Colin Davies delivered a very well-received performance piece on the subject of profunctuation.   It’s not safe work, but it was hilarious, perfectly presented and so funny that several members of the audience hurt themselves laughing. This is not for the easily offended but, for everyone else, it’s worth checking out.

There isn’t the space here to thank all the talented poets who turned up for the evening.  I’ve not even begun to say thank you to my supportive family and wonderful friends who made the whole episode so memorable.  And, because I’m sure they’re already aware of my appreciation and gratitude, I’ll finish this post with a link to Raven and Skull, and a short clip of one of the poems I read on the evening. Just like Colin’s poem has the NSFW warning, this one too should be treated with similar caution.

Those Who Are About to Graduate: We Salute You

Today sees the graduation of several students with whom I’ve worked for the past three years. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to study with them all.  I read this poem out at the most recent Pub Poets night in Poulton.  If any of my graduating students are reading this, please be assured that this poem is dedicated specifically to you.

Those Who Are About to Graduate: We Salute You
So, now you’re a graduate – let’s give you three cheers
You’ve completed your studies without stabbing your peers
You have studied three years to earn this degree
And yet still you can’t use an apostrophe.

You have earned this award – we can see at a glance
You deserve it for dealing with Student Finance.
You’re now saddled with debt from exorbitant fees
And still you can’t use those apostrophes.

Your literature dissertation could not have been easier:
Thank Christ for York notes! God bless Wikipedia!
You’ve read Wuthering Heights and John Donne’s ‘The Flea’
Yet still you can’t use an apostrophe.

You now manage your work like the rest of us do
You can write a whole paper on the night when it’s due.
You’ve spent weeks before deadlines on a diet of coffee
But still you can’t use that apostrophe.

With that said, we salute you. Good job. Well done you.
You worked hard. You learnt lots. Let’s give credit where due.
Enjoy your achievement, education’s the key.
And one day, spare a thought for the apostrophe.

Ashley R Lister


This is a poem I shared at the most recent Pub Poets gathering. Whilst I admit, it’s not what most people would call family-friendly, I’m pleased with the way it works without being gratuitously offensive. 
If family members call you coffin dodger
If you can’t see to read without your specs
If loved ones fondly call you an old codger
If you’d rather read a book than have rough sex.
If everything you drink’s decaffeinated
The coffees, cokes and cups of Earl Grey teas
If you’ve spent the last decade constipated
And still can’t pooh without suppositories
If the clothes you’re wearing once came back in fashion
If you own a set of linen handkerchiefs
If you need blue pills to raise a night of passion
And if that passion makes you fearful for your knees.
If policemen look years younger than your son
If your pubic hair’s turned 50 Shades of Grey
If watching Countdown sounds, to you, like fun.
If you once tugged off to thoughts of Doris Day
If you nod agreement with the Daily Mail
If everyone seems in a chuffing hurry
If you get excited for the Argos sale
If you fancy getting off with Mary Berry
If you make new friends whilst standing in a queue
If there’s more hair in your ears than on your head
You’ve reached an age where you simply have to

Be cheerful cos at least you’re not yet dead.
Ashley Lister

Pub Poets #1

Last night was a lot of fun.  
On Sunday January 4th a group of us got together to share poems at The Old Town Hall in Poulton.  Poetry events don’t usually get a good press.  Poetry is perceived to be a bit dull or a bit artsy-fartsy.  But the truth is, when you’re with a group of talented writers and performers who want to entertain, poetry can be something extra special.  Last night proved that point.
I wish there was space here to give a name check to all the wonderful writers who contributed last night.  There were poets who I’ve seen perform before and there were poets who took to the mic for the first time.  It was exciting, it was fast-paced and there was alcohol.
The Pub Poets are going to be making these events a regular thing.  They’ll be at The Old Town Hall on the first Sunday of each month (with the occasional exception when the date conflicts with existing timetables) and the poetry will start at around 5.30. 

If you’re a local writer, or if you’re simply someone who enjoys the thrill of seeing live action poetry being performed, it would be great to see you there.
To find out more, join the Pub Poets on FaceBook or follow them @PubPoets.  And, for anyone who’s interested, these are the opening stanzas to one of the poems I shared at last night’s event.  
Old People Sex
Granny pulled on her surgical stockings
She put her false teeth in the glass
She took the Tena pad out of her panties
And said, “Grandpa, could you please f**k my ass?”
“I got horny last month at the bingo
When I called house on a sixty-nine.
It’s been decades since I’ve taken one hard up the chuff
And you ought to be there this time.”
“I got horny last week at the library
Whilst reading an old People’s Friend.
I saw an advert for polyester trousers
And it made my arse want your nob-end.”