Live Literature - Tight
Tight Lip is a live literature group run by two Brighton-based
writers, Jay Clifton and Sam Collins, who go under the collective
name of the Hammett Story Agency. “We are both fans
of noir and fans of Dashiell Hammett and we like to bring
a little bit of his hard-boiled style to our stories,”
says Clifton. The pair perform together, Clifton reading a
story to the accompaniment of Collins’ guitar (‘somewhere
between Ry Cooder and Tom Verlaine’). They also invite
three other writers from a growing stable who have become
part of the group after being carefully vetted by the pair.
“This isn’t like a poetry slam or an open mic
night,” continues Clifton. “There is no improvisation.
The main thing is that the writers are serious about their
There are three others along tonight. “Miss Claudia
Pouffot is a Tight Lip regular, who is an erotic storyteller.
Simon Kossoff is a young beat-style poet, like an Alan Ginsberg
updated for our times, who has just published his own collection,
Meatwheel. Mike Russell is something of a surrealist. He wears
a top hat and performs tricks, which doesn’t sound promising,
but believe me it works. He gets away with it because of the
power of his words.” This is the second time Tight Lip
have performed at the HQ Gallery: word on the street is the
first event went down very well. “I love the gallery,”
says Clifton. “It has a sort of Oriental feel to it.
Plus we are pleased to perform in venues which aren’t