Tag Archives: Fire River Poets

Something Fishy

We enjoyed plenty of variety in an evening of open-mic poetry upstairs at the King’s Head in Wells High Street on November 7th. From laugh-out-loud to wipe-away-a-tear! Both Andrew and Beth read rather fishy poems …
And it was good to welcome back David Cloke from East Coker Poetry. Their next meeting will be on Tuesday November 29th, with Annie Fisher and Anthony Watts, both of them excellent performers from Fire River Poets.

Our next meeting will be on Monday December 5th in the same venue. We’ll start at 7pm, but do come early if you’d like to join us for supper at 6.30. The menu is here.
Our featured poet in December will be Isabel White, director of Alarms and Excursions. Isabel founded Alarms & Excursions in 2009, and has been director of the company ever since, involved with every project of the Collective, which is her real passion. Isabel is a prize winning, published poet, and leads on the artistic agenda of the company, spearheading the majority of projects. Performing across the UK, in Paris and Rotterdam, Isabel has worked with a host of performance poets, actors and musicians, including John Hegley, Michael Horowitz, Elvis McGonagall, Daljit Nagra, Benjamin Till… She hosted Wash House Poets in the City of London, and curated the poetry for the hugely successful Up The Line remembrance events between 2009 and 2013. Isabel was a finalist in the 2013 and 2017 BBC Radio 3 Proms competitions, Adlestrop and Guernsey International Competitions, Pendle War Poem competition (3rd place), was twice commended for the Elmbridge Literary Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2016) and Vernal Equinox (2018) Competition. She has served six years on the Governing Council of the Poetry Society and founded and ran its Chichester Stanza for 3 years. Her work is much anthologised and she has three full collections and a pamphlet published to date. Her next collection is due about now.

Other news: Literally Shepton is a celebration of words on 18-19 November. There’s a Found Poetry workshop on the 19th. All events are free but do need to be booked. Check out the website here. And Mark reminded us that there is a poetry meeting in Glastonbury every Monday morning at 10.45 in St John’s Church.

Poetry is a sort of homecoming – Paul Celan.

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A Skiff of Gilded Darkness

What an excellent evening of poetry we had on 1st August! It was lovely to welcome back Jo Waterworth and David Ketelby and to meet Rina May and hear her well observed and crafted short poems. My title is borrowed from Martin Porter’s mysterious poem ‘Pacifica Queen Mab’. The photo is from Shetland, about as far from the Pacific as you can go, but it spoke to me of gilded darkness.

Some dates for your diaries:

Fountain Poets’ next meeting will be on Monday 5th September at 7pm upstairs at the King’s Head in Wells High Street, with the lovely Annie Fisher of Fire River Poets as Guest Poet. Her latest pamphlet is ‘The Deal’ (Happenstance 2020) – “poems of outlandish comedy undercut by profound seriousness.” – Matthew Paul. There will also be open-mic opportunities as usual.

We shall be having two meetings in October. David Niven will chair an open-mic meeting on 3rd October, and on 17th October (after the Wells Litfest Poetry Competition prizegiving and readings 2-5pm in Cedars Hall) we’ll have a Festival Fringe Binge, with two guest readers, Fountain poet Michelle Diaz, the Chaired Bard of Glastonbury, and Fire River Poet Graeme Ryan, whose stunning collection ‘Valley of the Kings’ was published earlier this year by Coverstory Books. Both meetings are at the King’s Head at 7pm. There will be open-mic reading opportunities.

Rosie Jackson has sent news of her forthcoming events at Dillington House:
6 October one-day course on poetry writing. ‘How to Write Poems that Matter’.
27 October lunchtime talk/slide show/poetry reading from her Stanley Spencer book. ’Two Girls and a Beehive’ .
4-6 November residential memoir writing course.
All details are on the Dillington House website.

This year’s Tears in the Fence Festival runs from 2nd – 4th September at the Stourpaine Village Hall. The Festival theme is ‘Bewilderment / Be-wildered / Be wild’. There will be readings, talks, discussion, book signings, music, refreshments, and a Festival bookstall. From our group, Mo, Andy and I will be among many others taking part. Details on the festival website.  

Fountain poet Beth Webb will be storytelling in the Bishop’s Palace, Wells on 18th September. Details should soon be on the Palace website.

Before all these events, I (Ama Bolton) shall be one of the readers at Contextual 10 from Coverstory Books on Wednesday 31st August on Zoom. Details here
and on Thursday 1st September at the next Fire River Poets Zoom meeting, when Graeme Ryan (see above) will be the featured poet. See details here.

Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. – Audre Lord.

The Fire and the Fountain

On 6th January 2022, Wells Fountain Poets and Taunton-based Fire River Poets will come together for a joint reading to celebrate the New Year. The (optional) theme is Light. We hope you will join us on Zoom to hear a wonderful range of Somerset poets and poetry. There will be a small number of open mic slots too; do let FRP know via the Fire River Poets website if you’d like a slot as they’re sure to go quickly.

This is a free zoom event, but I hope you will show your appreciation by making a donation to FRP via the ‘Donate’ button on the ‘Register for an event’ page.

INSTRUCTION 

Like a new-

born heaving

for breath, the

poem has

preference for

air. Do not

hold back from

white space and

stanza break.

Let light shine

through the lines.

Tom Montag 2020  http://www.middlewesterner.com/2020/11/instruction.html

Open-mic in Taunton

John Stuart of Fire River Poets has contacted me about an open-mic event in Taunton this coming Thursday (Aug 3rd) at the Creative Innovation Centre, Paul Street, Taunton TA1 3PF, starting at 8pm. Doors open 7.30. Cost £5.

There are still slots available for poets who would like the opportunity to read a few of their poems. Just reply to John (wj.stuart@sky.com) if you would like to book yourself in.

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

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: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
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………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
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