Poetry in Performance
Live poetry in performance every month at a local venue!
poetrywivenhoe events take place at the Royal British Legion, The Quay, Wivenhoe, on the 4th THURSDAY in each month
Time: Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start
Admission: £5.00 on the door (students £3)
The Wivenhoe Bookshop press, ‘Wivenbooks’ publishes a rather fine selection of poetry - check out our titles here.
Adrian May’s ‘Comedy of Masculinity’ was premiered at an evening of song and poetry at the Wivenhoe Bookshop last summer.
Wivenbooks, the Wivenhoe Bookshop’s publishing imprint have published the book, complete with CD. ’Comedy of Masculinity’ takes a wry look at men and masculinity in songs and poems, from ‘all men are bastards’ to ‘sometimes it’s hard to be a bloke’ to the plea to ‘tenderise not genderise’ and beyond. Join us as we launch the book with an performance of it’s rousing song and poetry .
Adrian May is a third generation Essex bohemian singer, poet, and musician, with a background as a songwriter, lyricist and performer on the English folk music circuit, and he has made several albums, both solo and with bands.
Songs of his have been recorded by such artists as June Tabor and Adele Anderson of Fascinating Aida. In addition he has published poems, fiction and many articles on music and Creative Writing, which he currently teaches at the University of Essex.
As usual the doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.
27th March Book Launch Evening
Join us for the launch of a new anthology of work by mainly Essex and Suffolk poets ‘So Too Have the Doves Gone: Reflections on the Theme of Conflict’.
It’s edited by Stephen Boyce, Pam Job & Judith Wolton, and published by Wivenhoe’s Jardine Press. The images in the book are by students of the Fine Art Department at Colchester Institute.
The editors describe the book thus:
The inspiration for this Anthology of poems arose from our connection to the Wilfred Owen Memorial in Ors, Northern France, designed by British artist Simon Patterson. It is built around the original Maison Forestiere where the poet Wilfred Owen spent his last night.
Our hope and intention is twofold: that this Anthology will make a contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of The Great War, 1914-18, and will fulfil the original inspiration behind the creation of the Wilfred Owen Memorial, and that it should celebrate poetry.
27th February Emily Berry
Emily’s debut poetry collection Dear Boy (Faber & Faber, 2013) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
She is co-writer of The Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury, 2013), a compendium of breakfasts, and a co-editor of the poetry anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives.
Emily lives in London.
23rd January Luke Wright
It’s been quite a year for Luke Wright. He’s opened for punk legend John Cooper Clarke at the Palladium (and stacks of other venues), had his first collection published (“a riot” 5 stars, The Huffington Post), and stormed Edinburgh with his rambunctious new show Essex Lion.
Join this Radio 4 favourite as he performs the best poems from his last three shows. Expect bawdy bar room ballads about Westminster rogues and small town tragedies, laced together with warm, witty anecdotal stand-up.
“His lexical acrobatics are astounding, often motor-mouthed and breathtakingly honest — go for the wordsmithery, stay for the painful poignancy.” The List
“This is a great show and his poetry itself remains as vital and redolent of our times as ever.” Exeunt
“Like Stewart Lee’s more upbeat, affable younger brother.” Metro
“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation.” Johann Hari, The Independent
“Cool poems!” Patti Smith
“The best young performance poet around.” The Observer
28th November Rebecca Goss
Rebecca Goss grew up in Suffolk. With an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University, she taught creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Rebecca recently returned to Suffolk after living in Liverpool for twenty years.
Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines including Ambit, Stand, Magma, Mslexia, and Smiths Knoll and have been broadcast on Radio 4. Her first full length collection The Anatomy of Structures was published by Flambard Press in 2010. Her second collection, Her Birth(Carcanet/Northern House), was shortlisted for The 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection and has just WON the poetry category of The 2013 East Anglian Book Awards.
“Goss’s poetry is wonderfully tactile stuff driven by forensically close observation. She revels in risk: her eroticism makes delighted yet uneasy voyeurs of us all; her dark wit celebrates the collision and ignition of intellect and emotion.” (Elizabeth Speller)
“Rebecca Goss’s hotel rooms, kitchens, hospital wards and car parks are the locations for sudden severances, improbably sensuous seductions and the whole shifting human circus of fear, hope and longing.” (Anne-Marie Fyfe)
“The language is precise and evocative, the images sharp as a photograph.” (Val McDermid)
24th October Cameron Hawke Smith
YIN YANG – Cameron Hawke Smith will present light, rambunctious and more serious poetry around the dual theme of the female and the male principles.
His work comes in traditional and experimental forms and the programme will include original poems face-to-face with versions of Sappho, Homer, Sorley MacLean and Rilke – many of which have been published in Modern Poetry in Translation.
Cameron’s reviews, poems and articles have appeared in PN Review, Acumen, Fourteen and various anthologies. His Olympic poem was a ‘Saturday poem’ in The Guardian in 2012. He is an active member of Suffolk Poetry Society and editor of Twelve Rivers.
Sunday 13th October 2.00 – 4.00pm
William Loveless Hall
Alex Toms, Anna Mae, Bryan Thomas, Denis Ahern, Julia Brady, Margie North, Mike Harwood, Peter Kennedy and Roger Caldwell, and joined by Philip Terry.
Entry: Donation of choice to the Mayor’s charities. £5 suggested. No need to book.
25th July Penelope Shuttle and Pam Job
Her collection SANDGRAIN AND HOURGLASS, Bloodaxe Books (October 2010), was a Recommendation of The Poetry Book Society, and a poetry book of the year in The Financial Times.
Her most recent publication is UNSENT: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1980 – 2013, Bloodaxe Books, October 2012.
Her 2006 collection, REDGROVE’S WIFE, (Bloodaxe Books) was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Single Collection, and for the T S Eliot Award.
In 2007 Penelope Shuttle was awarded a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry.
(The Cholmondeley Award is an annual award for poetry given by the Society of Authors. The Awards, from a fund endowed by the late Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 1966, honour distinguished poets, and since 1991 the award has been made to four poets each year.
She will be joined by Wivenhoe poet Pam Job.
27th June David Charleston
A teacher and poet for 35 years, David has published three collections of poetry:Nothing Better to Do (Jardine Press 1999), Small Parcel of Bones (Happy Dragons’ Press 2009) and Next-to-Nothing (Shed Press 2011). A new selection is forthcoming entitled Allotment published by Jardine Press.
‘…a master of the passing glance.’ says Ronald Blythe
As well as being a first-rate poet, Dave runs a small independent bookshop in Stoke by Nayland, the Open Road Bookshop. Mark Mason of the Spectator describes it here:
“Something truly incredible has happened in a village near me. A new bookshop has opened. I know – staggering, isn’t it? But I promise you, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Even been inside. It’s called the Open Road Bookshop, in Stoke by Nayland, close to the Suffolk/Essex border. Pretty little place (both the shop and the village). Sells secondhand books. That’s it – just books. No café, no multimedia community info-hub, no sideline in pottery or bric-a-brac. Admittedly the owner, Dave Charleston, has done things rather well. Plenty of books, covering just about every subject you could think of, and they’re beautifully displayed (cricket ball as a bookend for the cricket books, a pipe doing the same for those on smoking …) But essentially that’s the deal: you go in, see a book you like – a proper, physical book, with pages and everything – give Dave some money and he lets you take it away.”
24th May Chrys Salt and Anita Debska
Chrys Salt writes books, plays, features and documentaries. She is widely published and has been broadcast on Radio 3 and 4. She has performed at major festivals and venues country-wide, in Europe and the USA.
Collections includeInside Out, Daffodils at Christmas, Greedy for Mulberries, and Old Times, Grassand most recently Home Front/Front Line. She was recipient of a National Media Award (for Here We Go: women’s memories of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike. One of the poems in her collection Grass has been chosen as one of the Best Twenty Scottish Poems 2012 (alongside poets such as Liz Lochead and Kathleen Jamie).
Anita Debska has had a life-long love affair with all things Polish. She has been increasingly and most enjoyably involved in the teaching of English in Poland, especially in the use of drama techniques, and in the translation of Polish poetry.
Anita’s most recent book, Migrant Birds: selected poems by Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) had its launch at the Wivenhoe Bookshop in January.
25th April Chris Waters
Chris, who is a well-respected poet in the West Country (he lives in Devon) was a finalist in the Wivenhoe Poetry Competition 2011 with his effective and affecting poem My father’s tools, and we have been looking forward to the time when he might be able to be our guest here.
He has had a teaching career in Performing Arts and Creative Writing (plus late diversions into storytelling and furniture-making), and his poetry has been published in Poetry Scotland and inAcumen. He has produced a book & CD for the Moor Poets. His own collection Arisaig was published 2010 by Mudlark Press, which he runs with his designer sister-in-law (four other titles now published).
Chris has been twice winner of theBridport Prize (have a look at our Competitions page for the current one); and what we really like about his CV is that he was at one time the drummer with the legendary blues band Jellybread …
28th March Kate Foley and Roger Caldwell
In a working life which ranged from an early career as a midwife to conserving archaeological material, Kate acquired the perspectives she brings to her poetry.
Her last day job was head of English Heritage’s scientific and technical research laboratories.
She’s always written poetry but it wasn’t until she gave up full-time work that she began to publish more widely. Living between Suffolk and Amsterdam she works with the magazine Versal, performs, leads workshops and her fifth full collection, One Window North, was published by Shoestring Press in 2012.
Roger lives in Wivenhoe. He worked for the British Council at the time that the Iranian Revolution was brewing, and has also lived and taught in Canada and Germany.
He has written on philosophy for journals such as Philosophy Now, on science and world politics for Planet, on music for London Magazine as well as a critic and reviewer of poetry for the TLS, P.N. Review and Poetry Review. His poetry has appeared in journals in the UK, USA, Canada, and New Zealand. His latest collection, Waiting for World 93, is published by Shoestring Press.(UK).”
– and of course there will be our usual open mic ‘Out of the Hat’ slot.
28th Feb Glyn Maxwell and Suzanne Conway
Glyn‘s books of poetry include The Nerve, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 2003, One Thousand Nights and Counting: Selected Poems, and Hide Now, which was shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and Forward Prize.
His new volume, Pluto, is published by Picador in April. His critical guidebook On Poetry sold out its first print run in a week.
His new play, Sweet Ways the World Ends, includes the playlet Bedtime Story, originally written for the University of Essex, where Glyn lectures in poetry and fiction.
Suzanne has published poems in most of the leading magazines, including: Poetry Review, The North, The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Ambit, Magma, The London Magazineand Seam.
She is also in anthologies The Captain’s Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy and Newspaper Taxis: Poetry After the Beatles (Seren). She teaches English and is working on a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.
24th January Luke Wright
On TUESDAY 24 January at 8.00pm at the Royal British Legion (downstairs) our guest reader will be the ever popular LUKE WRIGHT, returning to poetrywivenhoe after a year’s absence to wow us with his special brand of humour and hard-hitting poetry. Unmissable.
Luke Wright is a poet and broadcaster. He pens witty verse for the Sony Award winning Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4. He has written two verse documentaries for Channel 4. The Observer called him ‘The best young performance poet around.’
Praise for Luke Wright
“One of our best young poets” The Observer
“Visceral, poignant and riotously funny” The Scotsman
“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation” Johann Hari
“Cool poems” Patti Smith
25th October Stephen Boyce and Alex Toms
On 25 October poetrywivenhoe will feature Stephen Boyce together with our ownAlex Toms.
8.00pm at The Royal British Legion, The Quay, Wivenhoe —
Doors open 7.30 for 8.00pm.
Martyn will be presiding at the Interval Bar as per usual.
£5 entry (students £3).
24th July Out of the Hat!
Bring your poems to our Open Mic Extravaganza on Tuesday 24 July, 7.30 for 8.00pm! Interval bar.
This event is going to be totally Out of the Hat… all poems will be open mic both before and after the interval! Bring as many poems as you like, and poems that are not too long. Round about 40-50 lines maximum. Names in the hat as usual.
26th June Jane Routh and Mike Barlow
Jane Routh has taught and exhibited photography but her recent creative work is in writing – non-fiction as well as poetry. She won the 2009 Academi InternationalCompetition.
Her first collection Circumnavigation won the Poetry Business Competition and was shortlisted for a Forward Prize in 2002. Teach Yourself Mapmaking was a Poetry Book Society recommendation in 2006. Her latest book is The Gift of Boats.
Her range is impressive…vivid language recreates the physical sensation of what is being described, from the gritty and muscular to the tender and deeply thoughtful..Smith/Doorstop have a star on their list.
Mike Barlow lives near Lancaster where, after a career as a probation officer, he now works and exhibits as a visual artist as well as writing. His poems are full of visual detail and draw on both rural and urban life, combining the fictional and autobiographical, often addressing the current of thoughts and emotions that underlie daily events—the undertow as it were—the sense of unease, edginess, transience. He is the recipient of numerous poetry awards.
22nd May Kit Wright and Mike Harwood
Kit Wright (b. 1944) is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers’ Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and (jointly) the Heinemann Award. After a scholarship to Oxford, he worked as a lecturer in Canada, then returned to England and a position in the Poetry Society. He is currently a full-time writer.
“His work never hesitates to come delightfully close to nonsense, while making its satirical message clear.” Independent on Sunday
Kit Wright relishes words’ sounds and meanings, playing with language as only one who knows his craft can. He exploits its ambiguity and its exactness, satisfying poetry lovers of all ages.” TES
Kit will be joined by Mike Harwood, who has entertained us on a number of previous occasions with his humorous, humane and politically aware poetry.
There’ll be the usual “Out of the Hat” feature, and doors open 7.30 for 8.00pm. £5 entry (students £3).
24th April Mosaic Reading
On Tuesday 24 April, upstairs at the Nottage Institute, at 8.00 p.m. poetrywivenhoe is hosting the first public poetry reading given by members of MOSAIC, the new Poetry Society Stanza group.
The group was set up in Colchester in 2011 and takes its name – with kind permission of the Castle Museum – from the famous Berryfield Roman mosaic, now displayed in firstsite. The aims of the group are to promote poetry in the wider community as well as to support local writers with bi-monthly meetings which include workshops to trial poems.
For more information on MOSAIC, contact Pam Job on email@example.com
NB There will not be an ‘Out of the Hat’ slot on this occasion, but we will be running a dedicated ‘open mic’ evening on July 24.
27th March Christine Webb and Judith Wolton
Her poem Seven Weeks won the 2007 annual Poetry London competition, and Salt was runner-up in the annual Mslexia competition. They are both in her new collection Catching Your Breath, published in 2011 by Cinnamon Press. She has also contributed to the anthologies A Twist of Malice and Cracking On (edited by Joy Howard, Grey Hen Press).
Christine has performed her work widely, and describes herself as an intermittent gardener, disorganized cook and occasional traveller. She has no cat. She is very much looking forward to coming back to Wivenhoe at the end of the month.
Judith Wolton has had great success with her work. She’s been published in the French Literary Review magazine, took second place in the 2008 Wivenhoe Poetry Prize, and was commended in the 2011 competition. She was also commended in the Suffolk Poetry Society Crabbe competition last year.
Judith is a committee member for that society, and a member of the new stanza “Mosaic” in Colchester – and is very active in the local poetry scene.
28th Feb 2012 Caroline Gilfillan and Rosie Sandler
Caroline Gilfillan has written poetry all her life, and has been published in many magazines and anthologies.
She was a winner of the North West Poetry competition in 2000. Her poem The Painter was nominated for the Forward Prize for the best individual poem in 2006 and her work appeared in The Forward Book of Poetry 2007. She won the Cafewriters prize for the best poem by a Norfolk writer in 2008.
Yes, her most recent poetry collection, published by Hawthorn Press, won the East Anglian poetry book award for 2010. For three years she was chair of the committee of Poetry-next-the-Sea, the poetry festival of Wells-next-the-Sea (see link).
Caroline teaches creative writing at the University of East Anglia and Open University, and acts as a mentor to developing writers of both fiction and poetry.
Rosie Sandler‘s poem At the Bus Stop was chosen by Jo Bell for the 2011 anthology Bugged.
Also last year, together with her mother and sister, Rosie brought out a collection The Full Heritage Experience, of which Jackie Kay says: “fascinatingly maps the journey of a family … These three related writers offer the reader a fresh way of seeing”. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published in a number of print and online anthologies.
New Wivenbooks Poetry Title!
At the Wivenhoe Bookshop
from 6.30pm Friday 22nd July
Wivenbooks latest publication is an important collection of new poetry to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1611 translation of the King James Bible.
The list of distinguished contributors include: Fleur Adcock, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Roger Caldwell, David Charleston, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Keith Currie, Ian Duhig, Antony Dunn, Mike Harwood, Tobias Hill, Angela Livingstone, Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, Katrina Naomi, Mario Petrucci, Clare Pollard, Katrina Porteous, Anne Ryland, Penelope Shuttle, Pauline Stainer, Philip Terry, Robert Vas Dias, Christine Webb, and James Knox Whittet.
The collection has been edited by Joan Norlev Taylor and Pam Job of poetrywivenhoe, and Adrian May.
Wivenbooks, 2011 – ISBN 978-0-9557313-8-9 – £7.99
To order your copy Tel. 01206 824050; or order by email
How It All Began
poetrywivenhoe was set up in early 2007 by a dynamic collective of Wivenhoe-based poets and writers, and with the enthusiastic support and financial backing of the Wivenhoe Bookshop. The group host monthly live events, featuring an invited professional poet, and an open mike session.
Chris Tanner, the programme organiser, and one of the founder members said at the time:
“A new organisation is launched this month committed to bringing quality poetry events to Wivenhoe. “poetrywivenhoe” will be staging events every month, starting with well known BBC contributor Matt Harvey.(Pictured right) Promised for later in the year are Forward Prize winner Kathleen Jamie, and Myra Schneider of the Poetry School. The country’s most published poet, Martin Newell takes to the stage in April.
“There are signs of a bit of a poetry renaissance going on at the moment.The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival had nearly 4,000 visitors this year. Some of us in Wivenhoe thought that if Aldeburgh can do it, then we should have a go too.”
One of the aims of the organisation is to support budding local writers with a space to try out their work. Most of the monthly events will have an “open mic” space for new talent. Chris said, “We’ve been really impressed by the response from published poets to our initiative. There are a lot of established writers who are keen to come and perform in Wivenhoe”
Jude Simpson, pictured left, gigs regularly at poetrywivenhoe, and has been described as:
“A polite suburban hip-hopper? Pam Ayres on acid? A cross between Eminem and Joyce Grenfell? Whatever you think- comic poet, slam winner, lyricist, rhymer, entertainer, commentator, writer and all-round lover of words. Check out her “Love Poem” here.
Wivenhoe Bookshop – Feed Your Head