Working Verse Collective are poets Benny-jo Zahl, Kieren King and Dave Viney, hosts of Bang Said the Gun: Manchester. The Prequel to the Sequel includes 'Amateur Thematics', their acclaimed poetry theatre piece which premiered at The Lowry theatre in 2012. Their follow-up, 'Writer's Retweet', debuted at the same venue in 2013.

Working Verse Collective: The Prequel to theSequel
The Prequel to the Sequel
[Working Verse Collective]
adult poetry & show script
ISBN 978-0-9570141-5-2 | 112pp | 2012
rrp £7.50 | ebook £4.99

Flapjack Press
Central Books

Working Verse Collective are three lads on a mission and their mission statement is this: Eloquence is fine. But "eloquence is irrelevant when nobody in the room knows what you meant..."
Join Dave, Kieren and Benny-jo as they expertly weave humour, insight and the unexpected throughout their quest to discover if they have "The Right Stuff" - and what that actually is and if they want it anyway.
It may well be one small step for man, but it's One Giant Leap for Ladkind.

Includes a Foreword by Dominic Berry. 


"They're honest and mischievous, insightful and daft, accessible and poetic and well worth seeing." - Jackie Hagan, poet & comedian

"Unique and refreshing." - Joy France, Write Out Loud

"The boys have given Manchester's poetry scene a much needed shot in the arm." - Gerry Potter, poet & playwright

"Working Verse are three men who love football, music, pubs, clubs and poems... To read this book is to take a trip through the lives of lads who are not your typical poetic voices." - Dominic Berry, poet & director

from The Prequel To The Sequel © Benny-jo Zahl, 2012

The foundations of new builds
are just right for exploration
a universe to knee-high eyes
of possibilities and wonderment
of scraped knees and turbulence
barely remembered
you see in these new builds
there's just enough crap left about
for our imaginary machine guns
and cluster bombs
(but not so much that the place
is fenced off and deemed unsafe for kids)
On the steep rope swing
overlooking all this progress
Woody dares me to swing out
further than I dare
over this yawning valley
that could swallow you
quick snap whole
if you even looked at it funny
so I dare him to hit the bike ramp full pelt
I survived my trial
he swam in nettles
In this forest there is a tree for everything
several for climbing
only one for hide and seek
two for goal posts
and one into which I can vanish
when the arguments peak
there's a field for fireworks
and pathways to everywhere
even Monton!
This forest smells as sweet as
that rose I bought me mum
from the top of Newearth Road
that florist near the video shop
no reason just felt like it
on the way back from school
Dad's moving out today
'im an' mum
are going separate ways
seems like ages
since they told me
they were getting
a divorce
That's the day I learnt
to keep a straight face
on my home's staircase
to softly spoken
news of change

Benny-jo performing 'Something's Missing' at Evidently, Salford.

Cover photo by Darren Reynolds, design & illustrations by Brink.

Flapjack Press: exploring the synergy between performance and the page.