Tag Archives: Chrissy Banks

Sometimes all you need to do is ask

Great evening, as always … a good vibe.

Our guest poet in November was Chrissy Banks, who grew up on the Isle of Man and now lives in Exeter. The poems she read from her latest collection, The Uninvited (Indigo Dreams) were a warm invitation to read more. The poems span a lifetime, from a Manx childhood (her first poem described a crystal-clear memory, still raw, of watching President Kennedy’s assassination on TV while her mother cooked) to dancing with a fractious baby grandson, with excursions to consider the fascinating sex-life of inanimate objects and to take a wistful look at a “Missing” poster. The poem that stays with me is How do you know it’s an emergency?  which moves in eleven short urgent  stanzas from the personal to the national to the global and back with a sense of rising panic. My title is taken from a little gem of a holiday poem in which expectations are first dashed and then gloriously fulfilled.

“Skilled and articulate, raw but never straining for effect, empathetic but never sentimental …” – Sue Boyle

ChrissyBanks

During the open-mic sessions we heard poems on subjects ranging from air-raids in Aleppo to a grandchild’s first steps, and from the absurdity of safety instructions to the surreal life of a corkscrew. It was a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Our next meeting will be at The Venue on Monday 2nd December, starting promptly at 8pm. The heating is minimal, so please dress warmly! Hot food and drinks are available.

Our guest will be Louise Warren.

Louise Warren

Born in Dorset, now living in London, Louise Warren is a poet and playwright. She won the 2011 Cinnamon First Collection Prize; her debut poetry book A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo was published in May 2012. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Agenda, Envoi, Fuselit, The Interpreters House, Obsessed with Pipework, Poetry Wales, The Rialto, Seam and Stand. She has also appeared in a number of anthologies including Postcards from Leather Lane (edited by Aoife Mannix and Eva Lewin) and Genius Floored- A Shadow on the Wall (edited by Ruth O’Callaghan).

In 2011 she was shortlisted for both the Bridport and Wenlock Poetry Prize, and in 2008 she had a poem in The Ver Poetry Prize Anthology.

Her plays include productions at The Little Angel Theatre, Lyric Studio, and touring venues including Theatres, Art Venues, Museums and schools. She is currently working on fusing her poetry with visual imagery and performance.

Her latest collection is “John Dust”.

… this mythic figure … this spectre, John Dust, part man, part ghost, part atmosphere, darts between poems … – Charlotte Gann

John Dust by John DuffinIllustration from John Dust, by John Duffin

Remember, a poem is a time machine you are constructing, a vehicle that will allow someone to travel in their own mind, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to get all its engine parts properly working. – Charles Simic

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Time’s mouth is hungry

Dawn Gorman

Our guest poet on October 7th was Dawn Gorman, winner of the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize 2019, with a wonderful reading, mostly  from her third pamphlet Instead, Let us Say. The poems were concerned with time and memory and forgetting. With being in the moment, observing, and making deep connections. To read and reread this collection is richly rewarding.

Instead Let us Say

Poems in the open-mic included Andrew Henon’s Care Plan, published in Tears in the Fence, and Ama’s The Bad-news Bird, published in the Winchester Prize anthology. We heard some very striking poems from newcomer Lindsey, from Jinny, Michelle, Rachael, Claire, Morag, Wendy and Steve. There were poems from the performance in B-wing that some of us took part in on National Poetry Day, Oct 3rd. You might recognise some faces here!

Poets in B-Wing small

Grief (personal, social, political and environmental) seemed to emerge as a dominant theme, but humour and empathy were present too.

Coming up on the first weekend of November, the Festival of Death and Dying, with, among many other events, a writing workshop in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells on the Saturday morning, and spoken word and song with Rachael, Jinny and others in the Shepton Art Bank on Saturday evening.

Coming up on 20th November, Beth Webb reads The Death of Arthur:

Death of Arthur

News of members’ and friends’ successes – probably not complete!

Congratulations to Wendy Nicholson, who won first prize for the children’s book competition and Deborah Harvey who was short-listed for the poetry prize at Wells Litfest. A huge cheer for David Ketelby who was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. In the Winchester Poetry Prize, Tom Sastry was highly commended and Ama Bolton was commended. Ama also had an “honourable mention” in the Poem for Europe competition.

I have been asked to mention the Snowdrop Festival CompetitionCelebrate snowdrops and the world of The Snowdrop King! 2020 Judge: Jane Draycott, http://www.janedraycott.org.uk Theme: Snowdrops, the James Allen story and Monochrome & Green. Line Limit: 30 lines. Three age categories: 11 & Under, 12 to 17, 18 & Over. Prizes for each category. Entry fees: free to under 18s, £4 per entry 18 & over.
Closes 31st December 2019, 11pm.

And of course don’t forget the National Poetry Competition, deadline 31 October. Poetry Society members get a second entry free.

Our next meeting will be on November 4th at The Venue, 42 South Street, Wells BA5 1SL, at the usual time of 7.45 for 8pm. Our guest poet is Chrissy Banks from Exeter, introducing her new collection  The Uninvited, from Indigo Dreams.

ChrissyBanks

Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.
Eavan Boland

 

Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition

Chrissy Banks of Fire River Poets has kindly sent the following information.

PRIZES: 1st Prize £200, 2nd Prize £100, 3rd Prize £75 & a chance to take
part in a special Reading in Taunton

CLOSING DATE: 20 February, 2015 Online or Postal entries.

ENTRANCE FEE: £4 for one poem, £8 for two, £10 for three, £3 each for any additional poem.
For online entries, please go to www.fireriverpoets.org.uk
Poems in any style, on any subject, must be the entrant’s original, unaided work, in English and not a translation. 40 lines max per poem, typed on one side of A4 paper.
Any number of entries may be submitted provided each is typed on a separate sheet and accompanied by the correct entry fee. The entrant’s name must not appear on the poem.
Unpublished entries only, including online publication. No previous competition winning poems or poems currently submitted to other competitions or for publication.
Poems must be accompanied by correct payment & a sheet of paper with titles of poems, entrant’s name, address, telephone number, and email address, if available. Please ensure sufficient postage is made for receipt of entries.
Members of Fire River Poets and their immediate families are not eligible.
It is regretted that entries cannot be returned.
The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence can be entered into.
Submission of a poem implies the entrant’s acceptance of the rules.

Payment
Cheques and International Money Orders made payable to FIRE RIVER POETS. We can only accept pound sterling (GBP). PayPal payments may be made when entering online.

Acknowledgement and results
If required, send SAE marked ‘A’ for acknowledgement of receipt of postal entries. Prizewinners will be notified by the beginning of May. A list of prizewinners and winning poems will appear on the Fire River Poets website http://www.fireriverpoets.org.uk as soon as possible after their announcement and for the ensuing year. Copyright remains with the writer.

Postal entries to Fire River Poets Poetry Competition, 127 Monks Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 7BQ, using the entry form below.

FIRE RIVER POETS OPEN POETRY COMPETITION
ENTRY FORM

NAME: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

ADDRESS: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
EMAIL: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
TEL.NO. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
TITLE(S) OF POEM(S): …………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I have paid £……… via PayPal

OR I have enclosed a cheque for £…………………………………………

Please send to: Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition, 127 Monks Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 7BQ

Please note: correct postage must be paid for receipt of entry.

http://www.fireriverpoets.org.uk

Latest news

Our next meeting will be on Monday 14th October and will be chaired by Rachael Clyne.

Bristol Poetry Festival starts very soon! see Poetry Can for details. On Friday 4th October 12 midday to 1.30pm, Fountain poet Sara Butler will be the guest reader at “Bristol Can Openers”, Foyles Bookshop, 6 Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol, BS1 3BU. Entrance is free.

Congratulations are due to Chrissy Banks of Fire River Poets for winning second prize in the Yeovil poetry competition, judged by Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Books.

Chrissy Banks

Neil commented…

Only after choosing ‘The Waves’ as my second prize winner did I discover from the codes on the sheets that another poem, a highly accomplished and moving sestina called ‘Don’t Look Now’, which I would have wanted as a joint third prize winner, was by the same poet (the competition rules only allow for one prize per poet). This added to my admiration of this poet’s technical skills and ability to marry feeling with form in a way which intensifies and draws out the experiences being evoked. ‘The Waves’ is an urban poem in which people’s precariously lurching lives in the city are written about as though swept and buffeted by sea and storm. The metaphor of the waves as the rhythm of life permeates the whole poem in such a way that the reader isn’t always aware that the sea carries all before it.