Monthly Archives: December 2014

SPC Meeting 9th Dec 2014

SPC Meeting on 9th. Dec. 2014. See how many poems 14 people can find on the theme of Friendship.

Some members reported difficulties in immediately finding material but the results repaid their hard work as there was a rewarding range of poems to listen to.

Shakespeare was popular and Tennyson featured with a section from his poem ‘In Memoriam’ which was a requiem for his Cambridge friend Arthur Hallam who died suddenly while still a young man. Another member read ‘Break, Break, Break’ which was Tennyson’s elegy to the same person.

The afternoon began with a reading of Jean Sprackland’s poem ‘An Old Friend Comes To Stay,’ where the friend is something of a ghostly presence. There were poems about the dead and the remembered, both male and female friendships as in Walt Whitman’s ‘We Two Boys Clinging Together’ and Liz Lochhead’s ‘The Choosing ‘ and, among others, a poem entitled ‘The Flying Bum’ by William Plomer which was once recorded by Dylan Thomas.

Success for local poet

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, who belongs to the local Stanza Group chaired by Anne Stewart, won the 2014 Hamish Canham Prize for best Poetry Society members’ poem published in Poetry News. Suzanna was invited to read it at the Poetry Society’s AGM at Keats House on 26 November. Her poem was called ‘Conversations With My Father’ and you can find it on The Poetry Society web-site.

Coming Up on Dec. 10th. It Should be Good!

Nevada Street Poets ‘Collection of Collections’

A celebration of newly published collections by 
Lorraine Mariner, Kelley Swain, Sarah Westcott and Dominic McLoughlin.
 STOP PRESS! 7 pm start (NOT 7.30), £5 (£4 concessions) to include interval drinks and mince pies.
Sponsored by PNSEL (Poetry Network South East London)

There’s also going to be a discussion on putting together a poetry pamphlet

Visit Beyond Words – if you want to enjoy an evening of poetry by candle-light

Beyond Words is a monthly poetry event in South London that hosts talent from the world of poetry and spoken word.

As well as booking headline performers for all to enjoy, the event hosts a platform for new, amateur and up and coming talent with readers from the floor.

Meetings are every 1st Tuesday of the month. Doors open at 7.15 for a 7.30 start.

The Gipsy Hill Tavern is just a one minute walk from Gipsy Hill Station which is easily reached from Beckenham Junction.

On Tuesday Dec. 2nd. Joe Shapcott read to a packed gathering at Beyond Words and enthralled the audience with poems about bees and about roses from her versions of Rilke where she allows the flowers whom Rilke addressed to talk back to him. To end the reading she treated us to a poem from her latest collection ‘Mutability.’

A Plea From Poetry London

With so many poetry readings in venues large and small throughout London it would be easy to be out every night. There were two at the beginning of this month that were well worth going to. First ’The Best Of Poetry London’ held on the evening of Dec. 1st. in the modern King’s Place in York Way (not far from King’s Cross Station.)

It was an anthology launch and fundraising event to celebrate 25 years’ publication of the magazine whose beginnings in 1988 were modest as it was primarily a stapled listings newsletter. Since then, under a succession of editorial teams it has grown to become a national and international poetry magazine distinguished by its eclectic tastes and the excellence of its content, publishing both established and emerging writers.

Seven poets gave short readings from their work including poems that had been published in Poetry London. It was sheer pleasure to experience such different voices, Kathryn Maris with her highly listenable dry, funny poems, Liz Berry’s amazing stage presence, Maurice Riordan ’s welcome re-reading of the title poem of his first collection, ‘A Word From The Loki’ and poetry from the rising star Jack Underwood.

But to maintain its excellence ‘Poetry London’ needs funds from subscriptions. It is harder these days to have poetry magazines stocked by bookshops so individual subscribers play an ever more important role in the continuance of the magazine.

Poetry Events Coming Up In December

Poetry Events coming Up in December 2014

Friday 5th December

Camden Poetry Series

The Winner of the Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition 2014 (Judged by Andrew Motion) John Foggins and the Commended Poets

Camden, United Reform Church, 1 Buck St. 1-2 minutes from Camden Town tube

6.30 reading at 7. Entrance £5/4. Wine.

Tuesday 8th December

Ken Champion & Juli Jana’s MORE POETRY

Juli Jana’s Ra-t Readings by John Clarke, Melinda Walker with soundscape by Petriplus Open mic


13 Leyden Street, E.C.2

Five minutes from Liverpool St. Stn.

7.15 pm £1

Wednesday 10th December

South East London Poetry Network and “Made in Greenwich” Gallery present

‘Lorraine Mariner, Kelley Swain, Sarah Westcott,Domenic McLoughlin with Nevada Street Poets with Christmas Gifts’

‘Made in Greenwich’, 324 Creek Road, Greenwich, SE10 9SW

7.00 p.m. Entry £5.00 /£4.00 (including glass of wine and mince pie Info:

Wednesday 10th December

The Roehampton Poetry Centre

Don Paterson and Pascale Petit

Senate Room, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street,WC1E 7HU

6.30pm for 7.00pm, followed by a wine reception

Admission: FREE but should be booked by emailing or calling 020 7862 8675

Saturday 13th December

South East London Poetry Network at “Made in Greenwich” Gallery present

Rob Mills “The Shredding and Giving of Poems”.

Audience members are invited to bring poems to read, shred, and maybe bring back life in a similar way.

‘Made in Greenwich’, 324 Creek Road, Greenwich, SE10 9SW

1-2pm Entry: FREE

Ann Barlow

Ann BarlowFor the last 20 years of my working life I was a librarian at Goldsmiths College, New Cross. On retiring , I decided I wanted to have more to do with poetry. I found details of Shortlands Poetry Circle in the Bromley Arts Council Diary. I still remember the two poems I read at my first meeting in September 1995: Edwin Muir’s “The horses” and “Spellbound” by Emily Bronte.

Some of my favourite poems are: “Rondeau” (Jenny kissed me) by James Leigh Hunt, “The Roman Centurion’s Song” by Rudyard Kipling and “Horatius (kept the bridge” by Lord Macaulay. I have found that poets I thought I did not like, improve on listening to others reading them in an afternoon. Being a member has made me more familiar with contemporary poets, which encourages me to go to hear them reading.

I have in the past served on the Committee as a general member (2 years), President (4 years) and Treasurer (1 year). I currently print out the termly Programmes to distribute to members, and research biographies of the poets that we read every other meeting. With Muriel Letman I have organised some Circle members to give two Poetry Readings at St George’s church, Beckenham.

Shortlands Poetry Circle is one of the most enjoyable parts of my life.

Ann Barlow