Category Archives: Shortlands Poetry Circle


Meeting of 27th. November The poetry of Michael Longley, Sean O’Brien and Robin Robertson

Ann Barlow supplied information about the first two poets with Ruth Smith following on with an account of Robin Robertson’s poetry. Several members were unable to make it for this meeting but nine poems by Michael Longley were read, seven by Sean O’Brien and four by Robin Robertson.

We found that the smaller numbers allowed time for discussion and one of Michael Longley’s poems, chosen by Patsy Paine, was read twice for further enjoyment.

Meeting of November 13th 2018 Arrivals and Departures

This topic seemed to strike a chord with members and there was an interesting range of poems.

A baby arrived, a pet departed. Among others there was the famous villanelle ‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop’, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ by Philip Larkin. Moniza Alvi’s ‘Arrival 1946’ about a post-war immigrant’s initial experience of England (finding it a strange place) and Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Departure Platform.

The Witsun Wedding

Meeting of 30th. October 2018

This was where we went back in time to the works of Andrew Marvell, Walter Raleigh and Thomas Traherne.

Ann Barlow started the meeting with an account of the life and works of the first two and Mavis Robinson told us about Thomas Traherne whose works were only fully appreciated after being found towards the end of the 19th. century on a street bookstall.

Thomas Traherne

Even then, he was mistaken at first for Henry Vaughan. Altogether, 7 poems by Traherne were read, 13 by Raleigh and 8 by Marvell.

Portfolio Meeting Oct 9th 2018

This meeting is given over to The Writers’ Group who each contribute three poems to an annual publication which is very much valued and enjoyed by members. It is an opportunity for the rest of us to listen to some talented writers Anyone who writes but does not belong to the Writers’ Group is also invited to read one of their poems.

As always there was a good turnout and we were pleased to welcome Maggie and Ron Hoyle who continue to take an interest in the Shortlands Poetry Circle while also enjoying the poetic pleasures of Dorchester. We are always extremely grateful to Ron for auditing our accounts.

Meeting of September 25th 2018

In this session we were reading from the work of three contemporary female poets –

Helen Dunmore ( another loss to poetry as she died in June 2017) Alice Oswald, who won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2002 and Pascale Petit who had four of her seven collections shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

I think it’s fair to say this was fairly new territory for many of our members who had to go to some lengths to obtain their poems. It was therefore specially helpful to hear something about them from research done by Ann Barlow. By far the majority of the poems read were by Helen Dunmore who was also a novelist.