Meeting of 7th. May − Paradox
Prior to the meeting this appeared to be a daunting task but the twelve members who attended were equal to it. A poem by Veronica Tamending was actually called ‘The Paradox.’ There were two poems by John Donne, one of which was also called ‘The Paradox’ and the comment was made that sonnets, by their nature, end or sometimes even begin with paradox.
During the course of the afternoon, W. B. Yeats rubbed shoulders with Grace Nichols and Raymond Carver with Wilfred Owen. Alexander Pope came into his own, as did TS Eliot.
Meeting of 24th. May – Commonwealth Poets from UK and Abroad
For this meeting we were joined by Wendy Williams and another member of the Dulwich Library Poetry Group with whom we exchange visits. There was of course quite a spread of offerings with Australia being represented by Les Murray and Clive James, Canada by Margaret Atwood and New Zealand by Katherine Mansfield together with poems by Vikram Seth, Fred D’Aguir, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Roger Robinson and Jean Binta Breeze among others from different parts of the Commonwealth.
We started the Summer Term on April 23rd. with an Open Choice Session. It had not escaped members that this was St. George’s Day and was also the supposed birthday of William Shakespeare. In several cases a member’s choice of poem reflected this.
But first a fascinating account from Anne Stewart of the Hindu Epic Mahabharata and its modern retelling by Carole Satyamurti who adapted iambic pentameter to re-narrate this remarkable poem in all its complexity, displaying a real feeling for it.
AGM 12th. March 2019.
This was attended by fifteen members with three apologies for absence. Despite having to say goodbye to members who have moved or are in the process of moving, the SPC still has a steady and loyal core of members. We hope for the return of Lesley McLetchie when her medical difficulties have been resolved.
Our Treasurer, Jane Knight, announced another sound and uncomplicated year for our finances and our Membership Secretary, Christine Pope, gave out a questionnaire for members’ response with ideas for attracting new members. We have recently gained one new full member and two associates but it would be nice to have more.
Isabel Turvey was thanked for undertaking the duties of Secretary both of the writers’ and readers’ groups. It is only increased work hours that have made it difficult for Isabel to continue in these roles.
Following the main meeting, members read one short poem each.
Meeting of March 26th.
The topic of this meeting was The Seven Deadly Sins. Lust was the sin that figured most in the poems that were chosen, followed by Wrath, Avarice, Envy, Gluttony and Sloth which was celebrated (if that’s the word) in only one poem.
Meeting of 12th. Feb. Meetings and Encounters
This was a fertile subject although surprisingly no-one read any poems by Wordsworth. Browning’s ‘Meeting At Night ‘ was read and Thomas Hardy’s ‘At The Drapers’ while there were two poems by Wendell Berry. George Macbeth had what might have been his first airing at one of our meetings.
Our guest, Christina Webster, read ‘Meeting You At An Underground Station’ by Gillian Allnutt. and Elizabeth Bishop was represented by ‘Manners For A child in 1918.’ It is always good to have a mixture of old and new.
Meeting of 26th. Feb.
This meeting was preceded by a talk from Angela Brodie who, together with Caroline Vero, provides a venue for both local and established poets to read and be enjoyed. At present Angela and Caroline are taking a break as the The Gipsy Tavern needs the space for preparing and serving food.
It is hoped that ‘Beyond Words’ will continue in another venue as it has been so stimulating and friendly with some of the best modern poets coming to read from their work. Four members of the SPC have attended ‘Beyond Words’ events regularly and will be very pleased to see its return.
Angela is a poet in her own right and also talked about the writing of ‘Salt Music,’ a sequence of poems she has written about the Hull trawling community, reading some excerpts so we could get a flavour of her work. ‘Salt Music’ has been read here and in Hull itself and has also been put to music by Steve Halliwell from ‘Little Machine,’
During the rest of the meeting members read poems by H W Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman with Longfellow dominating the afternoon. There was one poem by Edgar Allen Poe, two by Walt Whitman and Anne Stewart treated us to a poem by Peter Veale which was an answer to ‘The Raven’ by Poe.
The Last Parent
Second full UK collection The Last Parent, Second Light Publications, 2019.
This book includes a wide selection of Anne Stewart’s poems new since The Janus Hour(Oversteps 2010) together with a highly original sequence of some 30 poems under the eponymous title The Last Parent, which focuses on the bereaved daughter’s role as Executor, juxtaposing the responses of both, where the struggle is, on the one hand, with grieving and memories and, on the other, with practical tasks and demanding paperwork.
Combining such disparate subject-matters explores, in an informative, helpful, documentary style, territory where contemporary poetry rarely treads.
Pre-order offer: buy in advance of publication discounted to £7 (from £9.95). Order Form or from the poetry p f online shop.
Meeting of Jan 8th. Open Choice
Ten people attended this meeting as illness seems to have taken its toll in addition to which two members have moved or are in the process of moving house to other counties.
As usual the choice of poems ranged widely from Shakespeare to Anon and included ‘Diagnosis’ by Sharon Olds, ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and ‘Christmas Birthday’ by Dorothy Wordsworth.
Meeting of Jan 22nd. Kathlee Jamie, Gillian Clarke, Sinnead Morrissey.
In this meeting we had a snapshot of work by three contemporary female poets – Kathleen Jamie, Gillian Clarke and Sinead Morrissey. Thirteen poems by Kathleen Jamie were read, ten by Gillian Clarke and three by Sinead Morrissey.
We were pleased to see our occasional visitor – Michael Bobb.
Full Moon: A Night of Poetry and Science
On Thursday 6th December 2018, 7pm, The Shaw Theatre, London. £12. To celebrate 20 years of Poetry Live and 10 years of Science Live, we are holding a unique event, bringing together the most celebrated names in poetry and science, featuring Carol Ann Duffy, Robert Winston, Simon Armitage, Jim Al-Khalili, John Agard, Alice Roberts, Imtiaz Dharker, Steve Jones and many more. Proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Nola Turner and Ruth Smith attended this very enjoyable event at the Shaw Theatre, enjoying the poetry and being fascinated by the science.