A sleepiness of weather

We started last Monday’s meeting with half an hour of open-mic. Beth was first. “I’m going to read some short poems about weather,” she said, and immediately a thunderstorm began!
Morag read from the first chapter of her newly-published memoir, which begins with these memorable words: I was born on a fault line.
Andrew’s poem put into words what many of us are feeling about the political situation.
Paul sang his new version of a sea shanty (to the tune of The Leaving of Liverpool) all about the problems of finding a place to park in Bristol!
Isabel performed her poem about the Hindenberg and Steve read his narrative poem about Jan van Klamm from Rotterdam.

Then our guest Annie Fisher entertained us with a selection of poems on subjects ranging from our new PM’s attempts to revive the entente cordiale, to Pablo Picasso and his pet owl. We even sang a two-part round in praise of a song-thrush. This post’s title is taken from her poem Naming this Place.

After the break we had poems from Martin, David, Judy and me (Ama), before Annie’s very enjoyable second set.

Our next meeting on Monday 3rd October will be an open-mic, chaired in my absence by David Niven. Same place (The King’s Head in Wells High Street) same time (7pm).

One day while studying a Yeats poem I decided to write poetry the rest of my life … I recognised that a single short poem has room for history, music, psychology, religious thought, mood, occult speculation, character, and events of ones life. I still feel surprised that such various substances can find shelter and nourishment in a poem. – Robert Bly

Other news:

Thursday 6th October – Phantastic Ekphrastic. Isabel White is putting on a free evening of poetry with illustrations, from her latest collection, Scallywag. It’s at The Clevedon Distillery, 23 Old Street, at 7pm.

Monday 17th October at The King’s Head from 5.30pm (immediately after the prizegiving and readings for Wells Litfest) the Fountain Poets’ Fringe Binge, with open-mic and two featured poets – “our” Michelle Diaz, the current Bard of Glastonbury, and Graeme Ryan from Fire River Poets with his fabulous new publication Valley of the Kings.

And finally, two big competitions …

The National Poetry Competition 2022 is now open for entries from all poets worldwide aged 18+, deadline 31 October 2022 – enter here.

The competition is judged by Greta Stoddart, Jason Allen-Paisant and Michael Symmons Roberts. 

troubadour international poetry prize 2022

judged by joshua bennett & victoria kennefick

  • first prize £2,000
  • second prize £1,000
  • third prize £500
  • plus 20 commendeds
  • plus – winners read with judges at 2022 prize-night celebration on mon 5 dec

submit via email by mon 26 sep 2022


(Check out winners, winning poems & judges’ reports, 2021 & prior, on our previous-winners’-poems page.)


  • Victoria Kennefick lives in County Kerry, studied at University College Cork, then at Emory University, & Georgia College & State University as part of a Fulbright Scholarship, co-hosts the Unlaunched Books Podcast & is a Listowel Writers Week committee-member. Her 2021 collection Eat or We Both Starve (Carcanet) was a ‘best poetry book of the year’ in both Telegraph & Irish Times, in addition to being shortlisted for the 2021 TS Eliot Prize.
  • Joshua Bennett has read at the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama, is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, & author of Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man (Harvard, 2020) & Spoken Word: A Cultural History (forthcoming from Knopf). His poetry collections are The Sobbing School (2016, a National Poetry Series Selection & NAACP Image Award finalist), Owed (2020) & The Study of Human Life (publ. Sep 2022), all from Penguin.

judges read all poems submitted


  • Poems: Poems may be submitted from any country & must be in English, must each be no longer than 45 lines, must show title & poem only, must not show poet’s name, must be the original work of the entrant (no translations) & must not have been previously published; no text alterations accepted after submission; no limit on number of poems or number of subsequent submissions.
  • Submission: Email only, no postal entries: email your poems as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only) to poems@coffeehousepoetry.org; include in email: Poet’s Name & Address, Phone Number, List of Titles, Number of Poems, Total Fees, & PayPal Receipt Number.
  • Fees: £5/€6/$7 per poem (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only); pay online at www.coffeehousepoetry.org/prizes (PayPal account not required).
  • Timeline: Submit by midnight (your local time) on Mon 26 Sep 2022; prize-winners will be contacted in week commencing Mon 21 Nov 2022.
  • Acknowledgement/Results: Submissions acknowledged within 14 days of receipt; results posted on website after our Mon 5 Dec 2022 prize-night event; judges’ decision is final; no correspondence entered into.
  • Email Address: By including email address you agree to receiving emails regarding annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s