A lively group of poets has been meeting monthly in and around the city of Wells, Somerset, for over fifteen years. There is usually a guest poet in the first half, time for drinks and conversation in the interval, and readings from the floor in the second half. These do not need to be pre-booked; just turn up and you will be made welcome.
The charge is currently £2. Meetings start promptly at 8pm and finish about 9.30 to 10. They are friendly and informal. There is a lot of laughter and occasionally a few tears. We listen in a spirit of respect to every poem, whether it comes from a published poet or a complete beginner. Each reader gets a chance to read two (shortish) poems. Some people come just to listen, and some listeners become contributors.
Next month we shall be meeting at Jinny’s house in Glastonbury on Monday January 8th, 7.45 for 8pm start. If you are not on the mailing-list, please contact Ama (amabolton at hotmail dot com) for directions. It has become a tradition that in January we have the pleasure of sharing published poems by other people, rather than our own work.
Guest poets booked so far for 2018 are as follows:
Feb 5 Rachael Clyne.
Rachael’s work work appears in various magazines, also anthologies: The Very Best of 52, Book of Love and Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age. Her prizewinning collection, Singing at the Bone Tree concerns our relationship with the wild. For more click here.
Mar 5 Conor Whelan.
Conor is a winner of the Young Poets Network ‘Winter poems’ challenge.
April 2 (Bank Holiday) Deborah Harvey.
Deborah has three collections of poetry, Communion (2011), Map Reading For Beginners (2014), and Breadcrumbs (2016), all published by Indigo Dreams. My novel, Dart, about life on Dartmoor during the Black Death, was published under their Tamar Books imprint in 2013. All are available from the Indigo Dreams website, Amazon and good independent bookshops.
May 7 (Bank Holiday)
Her poems have been published in a number of print and online journals, including Algebra of Owls, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, Clockwise Cat, The High Window, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Light, Lighten Up Online, Message In A Bottle, Monkey Kettle, Obsessed With Pipework, Prole, Snakeskin, South, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, and The Spectator.
She has performed headline or feature slots at (amongst others): Cafe La Dada, Bath; The Berkeley Square Poetry Revue, Bristol; Can Openers, Bristol; Hammer and Tongue, Bristol; Milk, Bristol; Raising The Bar, Bristol; Satellite of Love, Bristol; Cheddar Poetry Night; Taking the Mic, Exeter; Pucker Poets, Plymouth; Rhymewarp, Plymouth; The Front Room, Portsmouth; Hammer and Tongue, Southampton; Ooh Beehive!, Swindon; Poetry Island, Torquay; Stanza Extravaganza, Torquay; Word Mustard, Weston-super-Mare.
She came second in the Bristol Poetry Festival Slam in 2014 and 2017 and won the Hammer and Tongue Bristol regional final in 2015 and the Superheroes of Slam Bristol heat in 2017.
Guest poets who came to us in 2017:
Feb 6 Linda Saunders
Linda’s first full-length collection, Ways of Returning (Arrowhead Press), was short-listed for the Jerwood Aldeburgh prize: ‘[She] applies words to subtle experiences as a painter might use paint, for their texture, balance and tone, with attention to each brush stroke’ – Philips Gross. A second collection, The Watchers, was also published by Arrowhead: ‘These poems are beautifully structured, evocative and tender, with such a strong feel for the brilliance of each minute inside passing time’ – Helen Dunmore. Her most recent collection is A Touch on the Remote (Worple Press): ‘In these skilful, lyrical, often quiet poems, Saunders shows the world cherished by our watchfulness, life lived in rapt attention’ – Carrie Etter.
Mar 6 Tom Sastry
Tom Sastry was born in 1974. He is a second generation Original. His mother is Originally English and his father Originally Indian. He grew up in Buckinghamshire and has lived in Bristol since 1999. He thinks that not belonging is more interesting than belonging. He enjoys having to deny that he is an anarchist.He was chosen by Carol Ann Duffy as one of the 2016 Laureate’s Choice poets and the resulting pamphlet Complicity was published by Smith/Doorstop in October 2016. “Tom Sastry navigates the mysterious everyday in this honest and often funny collection, making friendships and love affairs new and strange.” – Carol Ann Duffy.
May 1 Claire Coleman
Claire is a poet, gardener, Fool and co-founder of Festival of Fools and Touch and Go Theatre Company. She has worked as a clown, circus performer, teacher and youth worker. Fooling is a present that opens her to unmapped places. Latest news 25th April:
Claire has been short-listed in the National Memory Day Poetry Competition – and it’s a very short list!
June 5 Gram Joel Davies
Gram lives in Somerset and reads with Juncture 25 Poets. His collection Bolt Down This Earth is published by V. Press and can be bought from Gram’s website. It has already been nominated for the Forward Prize.
July 3 Annie Fisher
Annie is a freelance literacy consultant and storyteller. She enjoys writing both light and serious verse and has had poems published in a number of on-line and print magazines. Annie’s pamphlet Infinite in all Perfections was published at the end of 2016 by Happenstance.
No meeting in August.
September 4 Jo Waterworth
Jo is a long-standing and much-loved member of the Fountain Poets. Her latest pamphlet Paper Islands was launched on 17th June at ACE Arts, Somerton. Her poems work on more than one level; they are inventive, often playful and always surprising.
October 2 Tom Sastry
A return visit by Tom, who delighted us in March.
November 6 Rosie Jackson
Rosie’s particular passions are exploring the links between writing and visual arts, and the role of the creative arts in health.
December 4 Jinny Fisher
Jinny is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who began writing poems a few years ago and has been reading with the Fountain Poets for some time. She lives in Somerset and is a member of Juncture 25 and Wells Fountain Poets. Magazine publications include The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, and Prole. Her many-layered poems are often suffused with dark mystery.