Tag Archives: shortlands poetry circle

Meeting of 28th. Nov. Topic – The Visual Arts

If there was a problem with this it was being ‘spoilt for choice.’ All the better, so far as the meeting was concerned, because people avoided the obvious and this made for a very interesting and varied bill of fare. Not all of the poems of course were about paintings or sculptures There were at least two about photography and two poems by our own Isabel Bermudez (aka Turvey) were read, reproduced on a calendar illustrated by her artist husband.

Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Standing Female Nude

Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Standing Female Nude

One member teamed Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Standing Female Nude’ with ‘The Women of Rubens’ by Wislawa Szymborska. Another member reminded us that R. S. Thomas, who is normally associated with religious poetry, had written a poem about Cezanne’s painting of card players. There was a poem about dancing by none other than Ninette de Valois and one of the starting poems was ‘Bohemia’ by Dorothy Parker who cocked a snook at all things artistic.

These were poems we were all eager to share. Art books were brought and displayed and it was a case of seventeen different minds being brought to bear on how poets have responded to the visual arts

Meeting on April 26th 2016

The Summer Term began with a talk given by Patsy Paine on some of the literary figures associated with the area of Hilly Fields in South London.

Hilly Fields, London

There was David Jones, the 1st.World War poet, Ernest Dowson, who died young and is buried in Ladywell Cemetary, Henry Williamson of ‘Tarka The Otter’ fame, to mention a few. Walter de la Mare lived in nearby Anerley, Browning at New Cross and Edith Nesbit lived in Lewisham. Patsy wondered how many ‘finds’ there would be if a line was drawn around any area in London.

The rest of the meeting gave an opportunity for members to read poems of their own choice. Shakespeare’s 400th. anniversary did not go un-noted but the choices were, as usual ,varied. Among them were poems by Baudelaire, a contemporary Romanian poet, Ogden Nash, Christopher Reid, Walt Whitman and Leonard Clark.

The Writers ‘ Portfolio Meeting Oct. 20th 2015

This is an annual event where the Writers’ Group gives a reading of poems written by its members. The group is a thriving and very necessary part of Shortlands Poetry Circle and we have some extremely talented writers in our midst, several of them published.

On this occasion each member reads three poems and these can be enjoyed afterwards in a printed portfolio which contains their work. Copies are available for £3 each. Anyone else who writes but does not belong to the Writers’ Group has the opportunity to read one of their poems. The event is so pleasurable because it gives an insight into individuals, their feelings, their concerns, and of course, their skill.

Meeting on Sept. 22nd. European Poetry

A special welcome to Sally Grace who joined us today as a visitor. Those who attended today’s meeting came with a variety of poems, all different and all from the continent of Europe, read in translation. Two of our members chose to read poems by Phillipe Jacotett and among the other offerings there were poems by Baudelaire, Cavafy, Hermann Hesse, Victor Hugo, Pope Jean Paul, the contemporary Romanian poet Lucian Vasilescu and Sissal Kampmann from the Faroe Islands. It was an enjoyable mix and an inducement for us to read more European poetry.


October Poetry Events in London

Tuesday 6th October

Beyond Words
Greg Byrne, Gillian Henchley, Belinda Singleton & Ruth O’Callaghan
Plus open mic

The Gipsy Hill Tavern, 79 Gipsy Hill, SE19 1QY
Doors open 7.15 for 7.30 start. Entry £4 / £3concs. www.beyondwordspoetrylondon.co.uk

Sunday 11th October

The London Poetry Walk – from Shakespeare to Wordsworth

Actor Lance Pierson leads a guided walk between Waterloo and Westminster Bridges to visit the many sites of poetic interest along the river bank. At each stop Lance will talk about the landmark and read the poem connected with it. The poets featured include Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Donne and Burns. But the walk also features stops involving Gilbert and Sullivan, the National Theatre, the Festival Hall and the London Eye.

2.30pm (2 hours)
Walks start at Embankment Tube Station. 020 7731 6544, www.lancepierson.org


Friday 18 September

Dodo Modern Poets Open October
Chloe Orrock & Patric Cunnane plus Open Mic The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, WC2H 9BX

8pm £8 & 7 concessions

Info: 01303 243868; patric.poet@zen.co.uk     https://dodomodernpoets. wordpress.com


Saturday 31 October

Poetry in the Crypt

Fiona Moore, Roísín Tierney and Vishvantara

Poets from the floor welcome
St Mary’s Church, Upper Street, London N1 2TX, midway between Angel and Highbury/Islington tube stations.
7 pm Admission £4 Free cakes & coffee!



Barnet Open Poetry Competition

Closing date 16th November,

To be judged this year by Mario Petrucci (general) and Katherine Gallagher (juniors)
1st £500, 2nd £250 and 3rd £100

35 lines on any subject

Entry fees are £5 for adults (£4 if resident in the Borough of Barnet) , Full details are on line on http://www.barnetarts.org.uk/bbac/poetry/index_2015.htm

£5,000 Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2015

Sponsored by Cegin Productions
Judged by jean sprackland & john mcauliffe with both judges reading all poems

prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500 plus 20 prizes of £25 each plus a spring 2016 coffee-house-poetry season-ticket,plus a prize-winners’ coffee-house poetry reading with jean sprackland & john mcauliffe on mon 30th nov 2015

…for all prize-winning poets Details http://www.coffeehousepoetry.org/prizes


Enfield Poets Poetry Competition

Judge: Anne-Marie Fyfe

Deadline for Entries: 1st December 2015

Prizes: 1st £500; 2nd £200; 3rd £100, + invitation to read alongside our judge at the Dugdale Theatre in February 2016

Further information and entry form will be online closer to the deadline here: www.enfieldpoets.com/competition

SPC at The Ripley Garden Party

SPC at Riply Arts CenterThe weather was fine when Anne and Diane arrived to set out our table in the garden of Ripley Arts Centre. Others came to help as they always do.

We had books for sale and packs of poetry p f cards but saw our role mainly as engaging with people and talking about what we do,

We were of course very willing to read them a poem. They had only to draw a title from a glass bowl. Another option was to write a haiku to hang on our ‘tree’

SPC ripley Art Centerand some people did after enjoying the examples. Or, they could add to a line written on one side of a bookmark. We even had a calligrapher at hand to celebrate their creativity. When the rain came he continued his work under a plastic sheet.

One of the pleasures of the afternoon was the conversations we had with pleasant and interesting people. We hope that the afternoon brought

greater awareness of the Shortlands Poetry Circle.


SPC at Ripley Arts Center

Up Coming Poetry Events

Events and Competitions 

Another Stanza Bonanza for the North West Kent Stanza Group. Isabel Bermudez and Ruth Smith will be reading at The Poetry Café on July 22nd. at 7pm. together with a Stanza Group from Harrow.

Coming up at The South Bank: Poetry International Thursday 23rd. July – Sunday 26th. July. See the programme on www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

Poetry Cafe Covent Garden

Poetry Cafe Covent Garden


Wells Festival of Literature Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 31-Jul-15
Judge for Poetry category: Peter Oswald. Prizes for Poetry category: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100. In addition there is the Hilly Cansdale poetry prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA post codes.
Entry Fee: £5
Contact: Telephone 01749 673244. For full details see: http://www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk/competitions.php
PENfro Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Jul-15
Prizes: First prize: £250, Second prize: £100. Third: £75. Judge: Katherine Stansfield, who will read all entries. The PENfro Poetry Competition is run annually by the PENfro Book Festival. Max 40 lines. Subject: open. Enter on-line or download an entry form and enter by post.
Entry Fee: £4 a poem
Contact: All info and contact details on the website: http://penfrobookfestival.org.uk/competitions/poetry  
Sussex Poets Competition | Closing Date: 10-Aug-15
Judge: Clare Best (will read all poems). Any subject, no more than 40 lines, Prizes: 3 prizes of £500, £250 and £150.
Entry Fee: £1 entry fee plus £4 per poem
Contact: All details and entry forms at www.bh-arts.org.uk
Elbow Room Inaugural Competition | Closing Date: 16-Aug-15
With categories in Poetry, Prose and Visual Arts we are inviting submissions from writers and artists from across the arts. The Judging Panel includes Rosie Sherwood, Zelda Chappel and Lauren Fried. Prizes for each category: First prize in each category: £200, Second and third prizes in each category: £50 each. All winners will be published in a special competition anthology edition of Elbow Room. All winners will be featured in a London based exhibition and live event. Winners will be notified by Wednesday the 30th of September via email and will be publicised on the website soon after. The event will be held towards the end of October and will be publicised after the winners are announced.
Entry Fee: £10 for up to three poems.
Contact: All the details and guidelines for entering can be found on our website www.elbow-room.org/competition 
Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 23-Aug-15
Sole Judge: Alison Brackenbury (will read all entries). Poems up to length: 70 lines. Prizes: £600, £300, £50 x 5 commended. The Gloucestershire Prize- £200 (residents only).
Entry Fee: £4; £10/3 (postal entries); £4.35; £8.70/2; £11/3 (Paypal).
Contact: Online entry at http://buzzwordspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_3.html or send SAE to Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition, Butlers, Western Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3RN for details.
Torbay Open Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 28-Aug-15
Judge: John Greening. Poem Length: In English, typed and up to 50 lines. Prizes: 1st prize: £700 plus a weekend’s accommodation and Festival Pass for the Torbay Festival of Poetry 22nd – 26th October 2015, 2nd Prize £400 plus a Festival Pass to the Torbay Festival of Poetry, 3rd Prize: £200 plus a ticket for two to the Festival Supper, Saturday 24th October 2015. Poetry books/ subscription to Acumen Literary Journal for short-listed poets. Winners announced at the prize-winners’ event: Saturday 24th Oct. at the Torbay Festival of Poetry (Prize-winners informed in advance).
Entry Fee: £5.00 per poem or 5 poems for £20.00
Contact: Entries can be by post to The Administrator, 6 The Mount, Brixham, Devon TQ5 8QY UK. Or online: see www.torbay poetryfestival.co.uk
The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Aug-15
Prizes: £1000 for winners in each category; £200 for second place in both categories. Categories: English as a Second Language (ESL) Category & Open Category. Judges: Bernard O’Donoghue and Hannah Lowe.
Entry Fee: £5 to submit a poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries. You may enter up to ten poems, providing they are unpublished.
Contact: Enter via website: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/international-poetry-competition/. Please read our full terms and conditions on the website to ensure that your entry meets the competition’s criteria.
SaveAs Writers International Poetry and Short Story Competition, ‘Writing the City’ | Closing Date: 31-Aug-15
The writer and the urban landscape have been inseparable partners across time, culture and genres. We invite poems and short stories with a strong sense of city as setting, real or imagined. Prizes: £100/ £50/ £25, with a trophy for best Canterbury-themed writing. Publication in an anthology for winning entries. Judges: Poetry: Gillian Laker. Short stories: Maria C. McCarthy. Awards evening 31st October 2015 as part of Canterbury Festival Umbrella events.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem, or £8 for 3; £4 per short story.
Contact: Online entries as Word doc attachment to saveas@hotmail.co.uk with either ‘short story’ or ‘poetry’ in the subject line of the e-mail, and the title/s of your work, your name and contact details in the body of the email. Hard copies to: Luigi Marchini, SaveAs Writers, 35 Spillett Close, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8QP. Cheques made out to ‘SaveAs Writers’. For full terms and conditions: www.saveaswriters.co.uk 
The Flambard Poetry Prize 2015 | Closing Date: 01-Sep-15
Prizes: First prize: £1000, Second prize: £250. The Judges: Cynthia Fuller and Jacob Polley. The Flambard Prize is awarded annually to the best group of five poems submitted by a poet who has not yet published a single-authored pamphlet or collection. Each poem should be no longer than 40 lines.
Entry Fee: £5 per group of five poems.
Contact: For more details see: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncla/competitions/flambard
Entries can be made via the Newcastle University WebStore or by posting hard copies to: Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, Percy Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU. Payment should be made online or by enclosing a cheque made payable to ‘University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’ with your entries. If you have any further questions, please email NCLA at ncenla@ncl.ac.uk.

Shortlands Poetry Circle May Sessions: 12th and 26th.

Readers were set two challenging topics in May: first to find poems of satire, irony and invective, then of hope and despair. Dorothy Parker featured prominently in the first session though she could easily have been quoted again in the second, such was her wry, often bleak outlook on life. Pope, Swift, Belloc and Ogden Nash all provided rapier wit and sly comments while “Bloody Orkney” by Captain Hamish Blair robustly read by Jane Knight was a gale force rant.

Hope triumphed over despair in the second session, though many of the poems read included both emotions. Among the many moving poems read were “Where’s the baby?” by Rory Gail, a poem from “The Birthday Letters” by Ted Hughes, “The Door” by Miroslav Holub and “Watching for Dolphins” by David Constantine.

A date for your diary: Saturday 29th August when S.P.C. will have a stall at the Ripley Garden Party.

Still time to buy tickets for the Summer Meeting with guest poets Kate Foley and Katherine Gallagher. 23rd June 2.30 at Ripley Arts Centre.

An Afternoon at Jennie Milnes’

On April 21st. nine of us gathered at Jennie’s house to read our chosen poems. Poems from all periods and types were read from Cavafy through Hardy to the very amusing Peter Phillips. The good thing is that there are always some surprises and every poem read is received with interest.

Over tea there was a discussion of future readings by members in the community as we consider that to be part of our function. Many thanks to Jennie for accommodating and refreshing us. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Summer Programme 2015


Meetings are usually held at Ripley Arts Centre, 24 Sundridge Avenue, Bromley on Tuesdays
at 2.30 pm. If unable to attend please notify the Membership Secetary.

President Tel. no: 020 8650 8946                         Membership Secretary Tel. no: 020 8464 9810

For further information and confirmation of venue please contact the Membership Secretary.


Date                             Subject                                                                  Host/Hostess
Apr  28                OPEN CHOICE + short talk by a member                      Christine Pope

May  12          SATIRE & INVEECTIVE  (eg. Pope, Swift, Ogden Nash,         Anne Stewart
Dorothy Parker)

May  19         COMMITTEE MEETING                                                               Anne Stooke

May  26               HOPE AND DESPAIR                                                                Keith Massey

Jun  9             MICHAEL DONAGHY & MATTHEW SWEENEY                           Ann Barlow

Jun  23        SUMMER MEETING                                                                      Everyone helps

Jul  14             HANDS AND FEET                                                                        Sezgin Kemal

If you cannot find a poem for the topic/poet listed, please read another poem but not one written by you. N.B. We each read one long and one short poem (of about sonnet length).


WRITERS’ GROUP (dates to be agreed by Writers)

May            OPEN CHOICE
JUN             SECRET

Diary dates for the Autumn Term 2015

Readers       Sept. 8 & 22, Oct. 13 & 27, Nov. 10 & 24, Dec. 8
Commitee Members         Sept 15
Writers        Dates to be agreed by Writers.