Category Archives: Poetry Events

Meeting of March 24th 2020

Topic: Mothers and Children.

In spite of the coronavirus pandemic we still met but on Skype, from our own homes, where we read the poems we had chosen. This is probably the way we will meet for a long time, (who knows how long?) but it is a blessing that modern technology makes it possible.

It was not hard to find poems on the subject of mothers and children. Maybe we should bring in fathers at some point, not just to redress the balance but because there are many poems that focus on the child/father relationship.

The Prophet

 

Before reading an extract from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran, Foster Murphy commented ‘There is a great poem On Children … I recommend I for its insights into parent-child relationships.’

 

One of the poems read was from Anne Stewart’s collection ‘The Last Parent.’

Bell House Dulwich March 3rd 2020

Bell House Dulwich March 3rd.

Bell House Dulwich

An evening of Poetry and Music

This event was attended by several of our members and proved to be very enjoyable. Music was provided by the excellent band who set poems to music and have worked with both Roger McGough and Carol Ann Duffy.

There were readings from four excellent poets which included our own Anne Stewart reading from her most recent collection ‘The Last Parent.’ The other three poets were:

Chris Beckett. Lynne Hjelmaard and Jane Kirwan who we have invited to read at our Summer Celebration.

Six poets also read from the floor including Gillie Robic who is well known to some of us.

Meeting of Jan. 28th 2020. Eleanor Farjeon and Walter de la Mare

Seventeen people attended this meeting and Ruth Smith provided the two poets’ biographies before we got down to the business (and pleasure) of reading a selection of their poems.

It is always hard to judge which poet members will turn to most but in this instance 16 of Eleanor Farjeon’s poems were read and 18 of Walter de la Mare’s. A comment was made that Eleanor Farjeon’s poems read better than expected and Anne Stooke was praised for her rendition of ‘Mrs. Malone’.

Eleanor Farjeon

Eleanor Farjeon

Our note-taker wrote down a quotation from Walter de la Mare about his poems, saying that if any of them had the good fortune to give a fraction of the pleasure in the reading that they gave in writing it will be the author’s reward

Autumn Programme 2019

Autumn Programme 2019

As usual meeting are held at Ripley Arts Centre, 24 Sunbridge Avenue, Bromley, BR1 2PX on Tuesdays at 2.30pm. Visitors are welcome – £2 entry – 50p refreshments.

Writers Group (dates to be agreed by writers)

Sept – Open Choice
Oct – Escape
Nov – A Lull in Birdsong
Dec – Silver lining

Diary dates for the spring term 2020

14th & 28th Jan – 11th & 25th Feb – 10th& 24th Mar

 

August 24th. Ripley Fun Day

As on some other years, we booked a stall for what used to be called the Ripley Garden Party. Fortunately we were in the shade of trees as it was a hot day. On these and many other occasions we owe a lot to Anne Stewart for her careful and meticulous planning and the production of materials. Other members of the circle did a magnificent job welcoming people to the stall and helping children write or add to poems.

There was a Lucky Dip where guests could draw a piece of paper with the title of a poem and the book where it could be found. ‘Can I read you a poem?’ was a familiar invitation.

There were activities for both children and adults – adding lines to one already provided or rising to the challenge of writing a haiku or a cento (with rules and examples given of course)

There was a poetry quiz with a winning entry from Chris and Sarah Brown who we are still trying to track down to inform them of their success as they were not present for the announcement at 4.30pm. The prize is waiting!

With some willing volunteers, the afternoon was extremely successful and enabled friendly contact with both adults and children who often returned for more chat and poetry.

Here is some of the poetry written on the day, or in Anne Stewart’s case a little before:-

Haiku from Anne Stooke
Small child at fountain
His hat bigger than his head
cannot see the water.

Haiku from Ruth Smith
The pen scrolls across
from left to right, left to right
stops for a stray thought

These, written from prompts, are unsigned.

Hail to thee blithe spirit
on either side the river
The thoughts that arise in me.
The birds! The birds!

I was unblocking the drain
when a monster popped out
covered with weed

I met a traveller from an antique land
Selling Silks and Spices and Carpets grand!

Barbed wire was one thing
I think I’d rather use some string…

Five line centos from Anne Stewart

From the lines of haiku

Glass balls and glowing lights
in the flaming stream.
The morning paper.
All the city bells.
Splash! Silence again.

What a gorgeous one –
an aging willow.
Dead tree in living room.
Forest winds howl in rage,
the woods are ablaze.

Seasons changing.
Tiny buds yawn and wake up.
A frog jumps into the pond,
its image unsteady –
I step over it.

From the list of book and poem titles.

My heart is singing like a bird.
Half a mile beyond the village,
where the golden apples grow,
I met a traveller from an antique land
– my Uncle Paul of Pimlico!

It’s a start, said my mum.
My eyes half-closed.
Small, smaller.
Shades of meaning.
Outlook variable.

 

 

 

July 2019 Meetings

Meeting of July 9th.

This was the last meeting at Ripley Arts Centre before the Summer break and the chosen poets were Maggie Butt, Wendy Cope and UA Fanthorpe, the last two being special favourites and often read. Members of the circle were less familiar with the work of Maggie Butt and were glad to be introduced to a very interesting poet.

July 28th. at The Torriano Meeting House, Kentish Town

We were honoured to be able to do a repeat performance of ‘From Bromley to Bombay’ at this small but very well-known poetry venue in North London. This involved four local writers and members of the SPC who have had recent publication of their work. Jean Ellis unfortunately could not be with us owing to illness but excerpts from ‘Goodbye Burma’ were read by Isabel Bermudez and Ruth Smith.

FROM BROMLEY TO BURMA

Saturday 22nd. June at Pett’s Wood Methodist Church.

This was an event where four members of Shortlands Poetry Circle who had recently published books gave readings . They were accompanied by three guest poets from the Circle — Christine Pope, Janet Ryan, and Nola Turner. There was an open mic opportunity as well.

Isabel Bermudez read from her latest poetry collection Sanctuary (Rockhampton Press).

Jean Ellis read from her book Goodbye Burma’– a fictionalized account of a family’s flight from Burma during World War II.

Ruth Smith, who was unfortunately ill, had poems read by Anne Stewart from her chapbook, The Art of Unpicking published by Lapwing Press.

Anne Stewart read from her fourth collection The Last Parent published by Second Light which includes a long sequence bearing the same title.

Summer Celebration June 25th 2019

This was our most important meeting of the year with two invited guests whose readings were followed by buffet tea. Our readers this year were Mimi Khalvati and Myra Schneider who know each other well and. have often read together. We were fortunate to have our invitation accepted by such well-known and popular poets.

Hearing Mimi and Myra’s poetry gave much pleasure and both expressed their thanks saying how much they had enjoyed the hospitality and the attentiveness of their audience. Mimi wrote afterwards that we were ‘blessed’ to have such a committed poetry group.

Thanks to Nola Turner who was in charge of refreshments and to all who made their contribution to the event, especially Anne Stewart who introduced the poets and was responsible for the publicity.