Tohm Bakelas is a big name on the transatlantic underground poetry scene. A native of New Jersey, he currently works there as a psychiatric social worker and declares that he will die there. When not spending quality time with his young kids or giving his professional best to some of those in his community open to an empathic and positive input, he raises hell and shares his open soul with lovers of outlaw poetry.

This month Bakelas embarks on a short tour of the UK South-East and Hastings will be privileged to host an early evening visit from him as
special guest reader. This will be at the March edition of Sheer Poetry, our monthly local open mic session at Bookbusters independent bookshop in Queens Road, on Thursday 19th. It runs from 6pm-8pm although we often continue longer on these special guest nights as they are always such fun.

Tohm’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He is the author of several chapbooks: Orphan Crows (Analog Submission Press, July 2018), Destroy My Wound (Budget Press, August 2018), In Living Rooms (Iron Lung Press, November 2018), Decaying Sun Under Noontime Rain (Analog Submission Press, February 2019), Vacation Poems (Medusa Publishing Press, June 2019), No Place To Be (Holy&intoxicated Publications, December 2019), Cheap Booze and Shitty Poems (Analog Submission Press, January 2020 split with Martin Appleby), and Even the Spiders are Despondent (death of workers whilst building skyscrapers, March 2020). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and he intends to conquer the small press and exclusively publish within.

Tohm will be joined by Hastings performance poet and independent underground publisher Martin Appleby, who founded and edits local litzine Paper & ink. Signed chapbooks will be available too. As usual, all are welcome to come and read or simply soak up the vibes. It’s £2 on the door with some complimentary wine thrown in.

Bakelas and Appleby also have a reading on Wednesday 18th March at Piecaramba, 41 Meeting House Lane, Brighton BN1 1HB from 8pm-10.30pm. Then another reading in London on 21st March (venue TBC) which is a Death of Workers Whilst Building Skyscrapers Press launch event.

For more information about Tohm Bakelas visit  or following him on Instagram: @flexyourhead or contact him via  email [email protected] 

Instagram: @paperandinkzine

Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions, US poet Tohm Bakelas is now unable to headline Sheer Poetry on March 19th. We hope the event will go ahead in an alternative form. Search Bookbusters for up to date information – Pete Donohue, HIP Lit Ed.

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