Poets & Players Garden Party

Sunday 20 June

Poetry Garden Party 2-6pm

Poets & Players are hosting a fantastic day of poetry, music, delicious food, strawberries, wine, home-made lemonade, a poetry book stall and auction of poetry skills.  They cordially invite you to come along and enjoy yourselves at their fund-raising event  of the year.

Poets who will read during the afternoon are:  Carol Ann Duffy, Clare Shaw, Jon Glover, Graham Mort, Carola Luther, Evan Jones, Chris Woods, Janine Pinion and Julia Deakin. 

where: in the garden of 163 Palatine Road, M20 2GH

cost:  £2.50 entrance

the weather: perfect



National Poetry Day 2009

This year’s National Poetry Day theme is ‘Heroes & Heroines’ and I will be reading my poem ‘Return of the Hero’ at the Wirral event at Williamson Art Gallery 7.30pm – 9pm Thursday 8th October along with fourteen other poets.

The event takes place in Gallery 2, where there is a collection of fifteen Victorian paintings.  Each poet has chosen a painting and written a poem inspired by it.  Everyone welcome.  Refreshments available.  Event organised by John Gorman.

Masterclass Fri 24th April

I feel very honoured to be the first guest speaker at a series of Community Masterclasses hosted by North End Writers, Liverpool, on Friday 24th April at Newsham Park Lodge, Gardners Drive, Liverpool L6 7UR (just off Sheil Road).

The event is in the conference room – 6.30pm for tea & coffee, talk is 7pm – 8.30pm with time for Q & A and discussion.

I’ll be talking about my life in poetry, art and personal development – from early beginnings to how I made a living, and how I changed my approach so that it all became easier and inspiring after a tough start following old myths.  I’ll tell you about my 15-min rule and why Ted has travelled with me for nearly 50 years. Hope you can make it.

Many thanks to Pauline Rowe for organising this event.  For further details on North End Writers and their future programme of Community Masterclasses, visit the website at http://www.northendwriters.co.uk

The Departed

The Departed

Those white-tipped marquees
which cap the new glass building

are women wedded in summer, veiled
like sun on long-ago sails

or the ghost-ships we watched that morning
sea and sky melded, dulled

to powder by mist on the still reach.
How we waited.

And I like to think of the river beyond
the wall, or the ghost-river

beneath us, how it carries the mountain
through the capital’s foundations.

So imagine these yellow cameras
hoist on frozen gantries above the cobbles

are only heads in a café after work:
uncertain, embarrassed,

not really looking;
and the cars lined up in metallic shades

are, after all, just waiting
as we did

while the shadowed mullions of the station
pray for the departed.

– (published in Orbis Winter 2008/9)

National Poetry Day 2008

Two Merseyside events for National Poetry Day Thursday 9th October in which I’ll be reading:

Liverpool Central Library hosts a full day of poetry organised by North End Writers – my reading slot is 4.00 pm (for 10 minutes).  The day runs 10am – 5.30pm and includes Brian Wake, Levi Tafari, Matt Simpson and Gladys Mary Coles alongside a selection of Merseyside-based poets.

Then, in the evening, I’ll be at Bebington Central Library from 7.30pm – 9pm, reading alongside other poets based in Wirral.

Both events are free.

Make a Poem Card with me

CHESTER OYEZ! is Chester Literature Festival’s Spoken Word Performance Weekend taking place on 18/19 October 2008. Cheshire poet Gill McEvoy has been appointed Artistic Director and has invited me to run a workshop on Saturday 18th October 2008 3.00pm – 3.40pm in the Storytelling Tent, Cathedral Green. This is the first Chester Oyez! and Gill asked me if I’d include art in the workshop, so come along and join me in making your own poem card from scrapbook materials and poems – poems provided, or bring your own, or pen a few lines on the day! Look out also for ‘Pop-up Poets’, including Adam Khan and Ben Crystal, in Waterstones and Costa. Full programme will be available soon on the website.

Reading in Cheshire under the Barley Moon

I’ll be one of six poets giving ten-minute readings at Vale Royal Writers Group and Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets Society joint poetry evening, organised by Cheshire poet Tonia Bevins, at The Blue Cap, Sandiway (near Northwich) on Tuesday 19th August along with Adam Khan, Gill McEvoy, David Bateman, Clare Kirwan and John Lindley. We will also be joined by poet/comperes Sarah Maclennan and Karen Wheatley. We’ll have the sole use of the pub’s patio and garden and – in case of bad weather – an adjoining room.

There will also be an open mic – three sets between 7.30 and 10.45pm (5 mins max – book on the night), and a table available for published poets to bring along their collections and pamphlets to sell. VRWG will be plugging their anthology, The Cheshire Collection, in aid of GOES (Tom Ireland’s Gambia charity) and DGPS will be selling copies of their anthology, The Book.

For My Slippers

‘Poems While You Wait’

‘Poems While You Wait’ – a project to get a 100 high-quality poetry posters up in Leeds hospital waiting rooms organised by Char March, writer-in-residence in Leeds Teaching Hospitals 2007/08.  Click on the link to see the posters, then click on any poster for an enlarged view.  Mine’s about half-way down and is one of my ‘lighter’ poems.  There’s a bit more about that on the poster.

Costa Poetry Cafe

Reading at Liverpool Costa Poetry Cafe

Next Monday – 14th April (7.30pm start) Costa in Bold St hosts another evening of poetry.  I will be reading at this open mic event, so come along and bring a poem to read.  The Cafe events have been a valuable addition to Liverpool’s poetry scene for ‘08 and worth supporting. Click on the link for further details of events.