Q & A with Gavin Roberts, writer and performer of our North East poem called
‘Let's drink together again’
Gavin Roberts, from Rotherham in South Yorkshire says he “has been hiding for years under a flat cap”.
He is often found armed with a notebook and pint in the dark corners of local pubs.
Gavin is passionate about words and the ways in which we use them to free both ourselves and others.
Highlights of his poetry career includes on the same bill as poets Lemn Sissay and Buddy Wakefield and writing a poem for Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield.
What do you love about pubs?
I have worked in, lived in, and frequented them all my adult life. There is nothing I like more than to go to a new pub on my own and making a friend. I have found solace in them wherever I have been. If I’m in a pickle or lost somewhere, there is nothing finer than finding the nearest good honest boozer to take stock of the situation. I enjoy being a barfly and making friends. I love a pub quiz, playing pool and just generally being on the inside of a warm boozer, but I am equally happy if it gets busy in my local and I end up on the other side of the bar pulling pints.
I want my poem to be a rally call for all of us for whom the pub is our beating heart, we miss them. I want my poem to look forward to a brighter future and a time when we can gather together again.
Why is it important for you to be involved in this project?
To write a poem in honour of the great British pub, the culture and folk who patronise them is, quite simply, an honour and privilege. I’m immensely proud to think a poem of mine will be shared with pubs across the country. It’s been nice, through the project, to meet fellow poets from around the country and being a part of this project celebrating pubs is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.
Pubs being open and being able to hug friends and family again would be the best gift anyone could wish for I think. I look forward to buying a pint for the first key worker I meet in a pub when this is all over.
What impact do you hope your poem has?
I want my poem to be a rally call for all of us for whom the pub is our beating heart, we miss them. I wanted my poem to look forward to a brighter future and a time when we can gather together again.
Favourite tipple at the local?
Any real ale that I haven’t tried yet. Particular shout out to Chantry Brewery’s Mighty Millers.
Favourite pub dish?
Can’t beat a good pork pie!
What makes pubs so special in your region?
I love all the pubs in Rotherham and its surrounding areas, they all feel like home. We have a great brewery (Chantry) that has opened pubs in town that would otherwise be shut. We’re friendly folk up here, you’ll always find someone to put the world to rights with. My favourite pubs are the New York Tavern and Cutlers Arms in Rotherham, because they are ran by Chantry brewery who decided to put they’re money where they’re mouth is, support the town they’re from and ran boozers in our town and support live music and poetry.