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New season in a new venue

Wells Fountain Poets will be meeting next on Monday September 8th in the first-floor meeting room at the King’s Head in Wells High Street (BA5 2SG) 7.45pm for 8.00. The nearest car-park is the one off Union Street, accessed from Chamberlain Street. Walk into Union Street and turn right, then left into the High Street. The King’s Head will be the second building on your left.

For those who find a theme helpful, the theme will be “Friends and other Strangers”. Entrance about £1.50, depending on numbers.

I think the creative process flows like a river, and my job is to jump in and become part of the flow. Not to struggle to keep my head above water, but to submit to the current and be in the process, pay attention but be detached enough to hear when the painting says, “enough.” I think writers, musicians, golfers, chess players, salmon fishers, race car drivers and more find a similar groove when they do what they do well. Be attentive and adjust constantly but don’t grasp too tightly. Stay in the flow. – Tara Bryan

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Latest news: two Fountain poets, Rachael Clyne and Claire Coleman, have poems in the Poetry Space Summer Showcase. Well done, both!

Editor Susan Jane Sims writes:

Dear Doe by Rachael Clyne I love for its beautiful natural imagery. Inside her bedroom, the poet looks out on a deer mothering her fawn and finds a connection, both enjoying the calm of the evening as the sun goes down.

I have featured two poems from Claire Coleman. One that explores the heartbreak of a parent going into a nursing home (Packing for the Nursing Home) and the other that tackles the aftermath of the parent’s death (Saturday’s Clearance). At the heart of each are the subject’s belongings and the deep reverence the poet has for these things and for their owner. The second poem highlights the stark differences in how two siblings handle a death.

Published today: Thirteen Women

Rachael Clyne writes:

Four of us from the Fountain are contributors to this prose anthology, now available on Kindle from Amazon.
13 women cover

Thirteen women from Glastonbury come together to tell you how we’ve lived. Our histories are all different – a millionaire lifestyle, a New Age Traveller, struggling single mum, feminist peace protester in 70s New York, resting actress, teacher, an alcoholic, an advertising executive. We were each given a year to describe and compare it to where we are now. Inevitably those years just happened to be pivotal ones in our lives.

To see it on Amazon, click here.

A Week of Good Poetry in Bath

During the week beginning Monday 10th June Bath Cafe Poets will be hosting and taking part in a series of workshops, discussions and readings in Bath Central Library.

This exciting programme of events has been organised by Sue Boyle, a passionate promoter and enabler on the Bath poetry scene.

Full details of the whole week’s events can be seen here on the wonderful Poetry Space website, which is well worth looking at.

In addition to Sue and other well-known names (Patricia Oxley, R.V.Bailey, Alwyn Marriage, Wendy French, Anthony Fairweather, William Oxley) many of the Fountain poets will be taking part in these events. There will of course be readings from the new anthology The Listening Walk, which is now available from Amazon.co.uk and worldwide from Amazon.com.

Blue book cover

And finally, don’t forget that the Fountain Poets will next be meeting on the evening of June 3rd, at the Fountain Inn, 7.45 for 8pm. We hope to see you there!

May and June meetings 2013

May’s meeting was enlivened by a rare and welcome appearance from Charles  Johnson, who generously brought a couple of large boxes of poetry anthologies, collections and writing guides, lugged them up the steep stairs and invited the company to take home any that took their fancy. I suggested that a “bring and take” bookstall should become a feature of our meetings. I should like a chance to read some of the books that were adopted by other people! It would be nice, too, to relieve the congestion on my own bookshelves.

Charles is the editor of Obsessed with Pipework and invites submissions to this adventurous publication. Have a look at the magazine on the Poetry Library’s archive. Have a look at Charles’s page under “The Poets’ Pages” (just above the cherry-plum blossom on this page). And do send me something with which to start a page for you.

Although some of the familiar faces were missing, it was a pleasure to welcome four newcomers to the Fountain group: Claire, Chris, Izzy and Carolyn. For a bank holiday, an attendance of 23 was very good. Poems ranged from brief and witty to long and Chaucerian and from topical to historical, and included one poem for two voices and two or three so moving that they ended in a brief, stunned silence.

Our next meeting will be on 3rd June, same time, same place. All welcome, whether readers or listeners. The theme, for those who like to have one, will be the writing process … to mark Jane’s last appearance as chairperson and guiding spirit, encouraging muse and all-round Good Egg.

In future, volunteer members will occupy the Chair for one month at a time – thanks to Rachael and Jo for offering to do this. It will be the chairperson’s privilege to suggest a theme for his or her month, or to set no theme.

Latest news. Charles Johnson writes: I just heard from my friend Meredith (one half of the editorial team at Flarestack Poets, the successor ‘firm’ to my old Flarestack Publishing’s pamphlet programme) that they are trying this year for the first time a submission “window”, from now until the end of June, for pamphlet collection manuscripts. I wondered if this might be of interest to some of the Fountain group. Details can be found at http://www.flarestackpoets.co.uk/page22.htm.

See also the Faber New Poets Scheme here.

This post was written by Ama.

Introducing The Wells Fountain Poets

Jane Williams, who has chaired our sessions for ten years, will be retiring from this position in June. Jane’s attitude of unconditional positive regard has ensured that our meetings have been conducted in a spirit of trust, open-ness and respect. “When you listen to a poem, you are accessing part of someone’s soul,” Jane said at our January 2013 meeting. Over the  years I have watched hesitant poets unfurl and blossom in this benign atmosphere. Whatever form our meetings take after the summer break, I hope we shall never lose the very special spirit that has grown up among us. Believe me, not all poetry groups are like this!

We usually meet on the first Monday of each month. The first Monday in April will be Easter Monday and we agreed not to hold a meeting that day, as so many people are likely to be away or busy.

Our next meeting will therefore be on Monday 6 May (which will also be a Bank Holiday!), upstairs at The Fountain Inn at the bottom of St Thomas Street in Wells, BA5 2UU, 7.45pm for an 8pm start, and finishing by 10pm. Read your own work or just come and listen. The meeting after that will be on 3rd June, after which there will be a two-month summer break.

For those who like to have a theme, how about “Mayday”? Those who don’t, please ignore this suggestion.

Entrance £3. Parking in car park opposite.

This post was written by Ama Bolton who, with Jane, was a co-founder of the Wells Fountain Poets.