There was a thinner turnout than usual owing to blizzarding snow but, given the weather, it was surprising so many people attended. We also had an invited guest from The Dulwich Library Poetry Group. Wendy Williams told us a little about her group which has about twenty members and meets once a month at the library.
Like the SPC it is a reading group with a programme that allows for the work of individual poets and poems on a theme to be shared. The continuance of the group has sometimes been in doubt, not because of any lack of enthusiasm from the membership but because of decisions from above. These however have protested by a loyal membership and the group continues.
We welcomed Wendy’s presence and hope to return the visit.
Frederico Garcia Lorca
Everyone enjoyed searching out poems to read for this session and many members gave some background information about the poets they had chosen. It was felt that there was a distinct flavour to these poems in terms of imagery and flow and some were very moving. Pablo Neruda featured largely. There were poems by Frederico Garcia Lorca, as you might expect and two by Octavia Paz.
Other poems read were by Bernado Atxago, Luz del Alba Nicola, Antonio Machado (3 poems) Juan Jimenez, Antonio Garronda, Juan Jiminez, Jorge Maurique, Julia Piera, Cezar Vallejo, Gabrielle Mistral and anon. The latter was the ballad-like ‘Poem of El Cid.’ A touch of the south on a snowy day.
It is not surprising that TS Eliot featured in our readings, or John Betjeman with his poem on Slough. The member who read this poem also chose Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Liverpool.’
Another member chose Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘London’ by William Blake. Spike Milligan’s poem ‘Catford 1933’ was another offering and two ‘Portobello Sonnets’ by Harry Clifton were read.
The session turned out to be a very varied representation of writing inspired by the urban scene and people were adventurous in their choices.
Two members of the SPC expressed their enjoyment of the Dymock poets evening on February 6th. (See January’s blog) and said that it was a friendly and informative occasion with living relatives of the poets present.
Both recommend The Dymock Poets Society which has meetings and a newsletter.
Thursday 22 March, 7.00pm
This spring we welcome multi-award-winning poet Simon Armitage to the Society in conversation with Martine Croxall.
Simon Armitage was born in Marsden, West Yorkshire and is an award-winning poet and lyricist who also writes extensively for theatre, television and radio. A Geography graduate from Portsmouth University, he worked as a Probation Officer before becoming a full-time writer.
Armitage has won numerous accolades including a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for his lyrics in the television film ‘Feltham Sings’. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford in 2015.
Recently Armitage published his eleventh collection of poetry, ‘The Unaccompanied’. His best-selling memoirs, ‘Walking Home’ and ‘Walking Away’, recount trying his luck as a modern-day troubadour along the Pennine Way and SW Coast Path.
Armitage’s interest in the poetry of place is revealed by commissions to write poems that can be seen or heard in the landscape.
He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010. He is regarded as one of our greatest living poets.
Tickets: £10, RGS-IBG members £7. 020 7591 3100
Click here to book online on the Royal Geographical Society website .
We are very happy to announce the launch of Isabel’s second full collection which was held on Saturday March 3rd. at The Wheatsheaf pub at 25 Rathbone Place, London WT1 1DG.
Sanctuary is Isabel Bermudez’s second collection, coming a year after her much acclaimed Small Disturbances. Emma Lee described it as “a gentle, well-crafted collection that carries its weight very lightly” (London Grip 11). And Dilys Wood wrote “the main drive here is exploring how metaphor – including landscape and birds often used with metaphorical purpose – can help clarify the subtle essence of relationships” (Artemis, 17)
5th March 2018
Hear Wendy Cope read poems from Anecdotal Evidence, her first collection of new poetry since 2011’s acclaimed Family Values, at this special Faber Members event, in association with The Poetry Society.
In this new collection, Wendy Cope celebrates ‘the half-forgotten stories of our lives’ with compassion, wisdom and wit. She continues to be the most generous of authors, sharing her experience of childhood and marriage and writing poignantly about the passing of time. Anecdotal Evidence demonstrates the formal brilliance and empathetic insight which have delighted readers for years, and shows why Wendy Cope is one of our best-loved poets.
When: 7pm, Monday 5 March 2018 Where: The Events Space, Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DA
Tickets: £10 (£8 Faber Members & Poetry Society Member
About Wendy Cope.
Wendy Cope was born in Erith, Kent. After university she worked for fifteen years as a primary-school teacher in London. Her first collection of poems, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986 and her most recent, Family Values, in 2011. In 1987 she received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and in 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Michael Braude Award. Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems was published in 200