Tag Archives: Clare Diprose

Long time no sea

After a summer break we met again on 5 September at the Sherston Inn. We began with a reading by Clare Diprose from her pamphlet “Thinking of You”. It was lovely to hear the poems together and to get a sense of this Bridport Prize runner-up’s style – assured, economical, observant, with an instinct for the right word and a way of catching you off-guard with a haunting phrase.

thinking-of-you

We heard poems from Ewa, Ewan, Wendy, Jo, Caroline, Morag, Rachael, Jinny, David and Ama. Paul sent in a poem which was read by Ama. This post’s title is taken from Ewa’s poem about a visit to Burnham-on-Sea.

Rachael’s “Tradition” has been published in the latest issue of The Rialto, and she has been short-listed in this year’s Poetry Space competition.

Ama has a poem “Hartlake” in the new issue of Obsessed with Pipework.

Morag has a poem forthcoming in Tears in the Fence.

Jo will be reading at Tea and Chi in Glastonbury on 23 September.

Wendy will be one of the poets at Twenty Poets Perform in Bristol Central Library on 1 October as part of the Bristol Poetry Festival 2016. This is a really enjoyable event for all concerned, and entrance is free. Full festival details should be on the Poetry Can website pretty soon.

Finally, Rachael, Sara, Morag, Jinny, Jo and Ama will be giving a third performance of this year’s collaboration Second Skin at the Tears in the Fence festival fundraiser weekend at Stourpaine in Dorset this coming Saturday, 17th September –  details here. Andrew will also be reading at this event.

Latest news, hot off the press: Jo, Jinny and Rachael have all had poems accepted for the Broadsheet, which publishes once a year for SW poets. The launch is part of Exeter Poetry Festival in October.

The next meeting will be on Monday 3 October in Just Ales Micropub in Market Street (behind the bus station), 7.45 for 8pm. Real ale and local cider on tap, as well as coffee! There will be a Featured Poet and a charge of £2 which will be saved up until we have enough to pay a Guest Poet.

Other news: Poetry readings at Wells Litfest include Lemn Sisssay on 18 October. If you don’t know about him, do listen to his Desert Island Discs on the radio 4 i-player. He’s phenomenal! See the website for details.

Toppings bookshop in Bath have a programme of readings, including Carrie Etter and Claire Crowther on 1 October, Katherine Towers on 3 October, Rosie Jackson on 7 November, Alice Oswald in the nearby St Swithin’s Church on 15 November and Ruth Sharman on 16 November.

Yeovil Litfest 20-23 October.

It isn’t necessary to know where a poem is going in order to begin to write.  Writing can let you find out what you think.
– Roy Marshall

If you know exactly what you are going to say about a subject before you begin your poem, it is probably better to say that thing in prose.
– Sue Boyle

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The clock is ticking

Fog and illness made for a smaller-than-usual group of poets last evening at the Sherston Inn, with Jo in the chair, sharing poems on and off the theme of “Clocks”. Nevertheless we welcomed two new listeners who we hope will come again. There were some memorable contributions. Neil was inspired by a cold to write two clever pastiches – (“O nose thou art thick …”), Ewan left his comfort-zone and explored the wilder shores of haiku, Jo read two wonderfully witty poems on the clock topic, Mark performed a villanelle from which this post’s title is taken, and a topical poem about the extra hour in bed. Clare too contributed a short and sweet poem on the changing of the clocks, read in her absence by Ama.

Paul never knowingly writes on-topic; from him we had one poem in praise of his poetic collaborator (a muse that mews) and one about the Severn Bridge, both in his distinctive style. We have learned to expect to be disturbed by Jinny’s work. She did not disappoint. Wendy read two poignant and well-crafted poems – one of them a prize-winning sonnet – on the theme of time. Pamela delighted us with a handful of tiny poems. From Richard we had two fine sonnets, from Rachael a pair of short, skilfully-written poems, and from Ama “Time Travel”, her Bridport 3rd-prize-winning poem from 2008, and a very recent pastoral invitation to abandon the use of clocks.

Our next meeting will be on Monday December 7th, when Ewa will be in the chair. The theme she has chosen is “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness” – a proverb that can also be taken literally during the short winter days.

Other news:
Congratulations to Rosie Jackson, who won the Hilly Cansdale prize in the Wells competition.
There is a new poetry open-mic venue in Glastonbury, “Tea and Chi” in Benedict Street at 7pm on the last Thursday of the month.
On November 10th in Bath there will be a free slide-show-illustrated sequence of readings from poems written in 1915 – details below.

Flyer Nov 10

The power of words

 

3D Electric power lines over sunrise

3D Electric power lines over sunrise Photo via

We had a good turn-out last night – twenty four of us round the table at The Sherston Inn. Jinny was in the chair and her topic was Power. Jinny herself read “King-sling baby” and “Forms of Travel” – on reflection I think both touched on the power of gravity. Responses to the topic varied from the power of water (Clare’s “Hydrology”) through the power of visual art (Claire’s “Portrait of an Angel”, Rosalie’s “Pencil Power” and “The Black Poppies”) power within the family (Joan’s “Power”, read in her absence by Morag, Pamela’s “Parent Power”, Ewa’s “Three scenes from a Marriage” – which appears in the Fountain Poets’ most recent anthology – and Sara’s “Winks”), the power of love in its manifold forms (Caroline’s “Power”, Sara’s “Scent”, Karin’s spine-tingling “Doppelganger” and “Red Fox”, Ewa’s “And when you kiss me”), to political power (Andy’s “Polemic Power”, Mark’s “Arbeit macht frei”, Caroline’s “Irish Anger” and Ama’s “Post-election Blues”, which earned an immediate heckle.) Mark’s other poem “When real power enthrals” dealt with power in the workplace – specifically a cough-mixture factory.

Rachael contributed a witty listing of the Twelve Steps of recovery for poets, read in her absence by Ama.

Jo read a family-album of a poem, “Waterworths”, and a compact untitled interweaving of past and present that has been accepted for on-line publication – see note below.

Annette’s two short pithy poems were written for last month’s topic – All About Eyes.

We welcomed a new member, Henrietta Lang, who read two engaging poems, “A Special Day Out” and “Dinner-party Man”. I look forward to hearing more of her work.

Some of us had been to a workshop with Roselle Angwin last week, and it was good to hear Claire’s, Andy’s and Morag’s poems which started there and had been thoroughly worked-on in the last few days! Morag’s poem “Three out of four IVF treatments fail” deserves a special mention for its understated but powerful treatment of three or four topics closely interwoven in a short piece of writing.  Morag’s second poem “July in the Waste Land” began life in response to a suggestion at a workshop with Sue Boyle in Bath last month. Again, it dealt deftly with serious subject matter.

Ewan’s first poem, “Let the Bells Ring” was a memorial to raped and murdered First Nation Canadian women. His second, “I go before you” was a biblical exegesis in verse. Many of us learnt things we didn’t know before!

Both of Paul’s poems were set in the Midlands: “Eternity in Sutton Coldfield” and “The First Caravan of the Season”.

Two elegiac pieces were Clare’s “Afterwards” and Ama’s “Gift”. Neil read his own chilling poem “Quietness” and a sinister mother-in-law poem from “A Crown of Sonnets” by Matthew Curry. Chris’s “Old Mother” was an allegorical incantation crying out to be set to music. Any composers out there? Chris has already collaborated with a printmaker and I suggest this could be his next project.

This month’s Fountain stars:

Richard Field, for the fourth year running, has been elected Fool of Glastonbury.

Jo Waterworth has a new poem in the on-line magazine Hedgerow.

Ama Bolton has two poems in the current issue of Obsessed with Pipework … and more in the pipeline!

Rachael Clyne and Jinny Fisher have poems in The Interpreter’s House. They will be reading  at the launch event at the Albion Bookshop in Oxford, on July 16th.
Poets might want to note that the submission window for Issue 60 is… June!

Jinny will be reading at the Fire River Poets Evening for their Poetry Competition Winners: this will be on Thursday June 4th at the United Reformed Church Hall in Paul Street, Taunton, 8-10pm. Refreshments will be available. Tickets are £5 at the door.

The prize-winning and commended poems (including Jinny’s) can be seen here http://fireriverpoets.org.uk/?page_id=693. The judge  was  Lawrence Sail, who also hopes to attend. Jean Atkin, 1st prize winner will be there. Here she is:http://www.overstepsbooks.com/poets/jean-atkin/

Other news:
Jo will be reading at an afternoon with Poetry Space next Saturday, June 6th, in Bristol.
The line-up also includes Myra Schneider and other well-known writers: details here.

Some of the Fountain Poets will be reading at a free day of poetry put on by Tears in the Fence at the  White Horse, Stourpaine, on Saturday July 4th. The Bluegate Poets from Swindon will also be there.

Six Fountain poets will be performing “Waterwoven”, our collage for six voices and rain-stick, at Priddy Folk Fesival on the evening of Friday 10th July.

Next meeting:

Monday July 6th at The Sherston Inn (dining room), starting promptly at 8pm. Andy will be in the chair, and has chosen the topic Belligerent. See you then!

When you write poetry you can’t help but tell the truth.

– Elizabeth Bishop

A Day of Good Poetry

… at the Bath Litfest on 7th March.

7 March poster

Six of the Fountain Poets have collaborated in distilling 4629 words of our own poetry down to a half-hour performance script. We shall be spending many hours during the next four weeks rehearsing. True to our name and nature, we will present a flow of words on a watery theme, from the first hint of rain to the vastness of the Atlantic. There will be drought and flood, a birth amid the Glastonbury mud, wild-swimming, danger, a very damp dreamscape, tadpoles, seals, a couple of mermaids and a great many birds.

We’ll take the stage soon after mid-day, and our set will be followed at 12.40 by a short Q&A/discussion with the audience between the Wells and Swindon groups about how they  compiled their sets.

Subversifs from Bath will start the day at 10.30 with their set “Elemental”. Bluegates will follow with “Swindon: the Genius of the Place”. John Richardson will introduce his new pamphlet at 11.40. Another Bath group, Knucklebones, will be on at 2.10 with “Who am I?” This group includes Fountain poet Rosalie Challis. At 2.50 Hannah Teasdale, Jeremy Young and Rosie Jackson will read from their new pamphlets. The Bristol poets will be on at 4.05 with a set entitled “Before”, and at 4.45 there will be a second pamphlet set from Ruth Marden, Rachael Clyne and Sue Boyle. Throughout the day there will be musical contributions from Jon Chambers and Tony Monks. And of course there will be a book-stall!

The evening session will start at 7pm with light refreshments, followed by more music, more poets, including Fountain poet Claire Coleman, and the announcement of the short-list for the Bath Cafe Poetry Competition.

Please come and support us! Bring a packed lunch and stay all day!

What’s cooking?

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The next meeting of the Fountain Poets will be on Monday 3rd March, with Clare in the chair, The optional theme, for those who like to have one, is “What’s cooking?” For some ideas, you might like to have a look at the latest Happenstance post – My Soup has Lumps.

The 7th April meeting will be chaired by Norman and the theme will be announced in March.

February fill-dyke

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In spite of unprecedented rainfall in the last few weeks, twenty-two poets made it to the Fountain last Monday. We heard a flood of weather-related poems – and a shower of Valentines, too! Richard was especially prolific, having written apt and amusing Valentine tributes to many members of the group.

It was good to see Mark again, thanks to the improved bus time-table, and Andrew too, whose migration pattern so seldom enables him to be with us. He read his wonderful poem about Lorca. Anyone who has a copy of our 2008 anthology can find it on page 28. I still have a few copies of the 2013 anthology – clearance sale price £3 – contact me if you’d like one.

Wendy Nicholson (see her page in Poets’ Pages, above) brought along a few copies of her pamphlet Along Woodland Ways, a touching poem about the endangered native Red Squirrel, with Wendy’s own delightful colour illustrations on every page. It is ridiculously good value and will be sold to swell the funds of Northern Red Squirrels.

Wendy's book001

Rachael Clyne read a poem from her forthcoming pamphlet, Singing at the Bone Tree, which will be published in June. Congratulations to Rachael, who was one of two winners of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Competition.

Other members deserving congratulations include Jo Waterworth, who has a poem in the Poetry Space Winter Showcase anthology, Jane Williams who has a poem in the Plough Prize long list, and Clare Diprose and Ama Bolton, who have poems in the Plough Prize short list. Ama had a poem (heard at the Fountain in November) highly commended in the Charles Causley competition, and will be at Keats House in Hampstead on February 25th to receive a runner-up prize in the Magma Editors Prize Competition.

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

– Juan Ramon Jimenez, poet, Nobel prizewinner