Saturday, 25 November 2017

December (Winter) 2017

1. Year's End - Paul Deaton. Leona

2. The Host of the Air - WB Yeats. Rob

3. The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner - Randall Jarrell. Donald

4. The Darkling Thrush - Thomas Hardy. Will

5. The Peace of Wild Things -Wendell Berry. Juliette

Thanks also to Sian, Nigel and Hannah 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

June 2017 / American Poetry & Lyrics

1. Introduction - Tracing poetical and lyrical influences over 5 historical periods. Donald Johnson

2. Three Things to Remember - Mary Oliver. Julie

3. TBC & TBC. Donald

4. Buffalo Bill’s – e.e. cummings. Jasmine

5. Do Not Speak of the Dead – Cecilia Llompart. Amy

6. Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel. Nigel

7. Poem (TBC) – Michael Doughty. Michael

8. God Blame America – Ted Joans. Rob

9. Boy At The Window – Richard Wilbur. Lorraine

10. The Diamonds on Liz’s Bosom – Alice Walker. Linda

11. Vita Nova – Louise Gluck. Leona

12. To This Day… for the bullied and the beautiful (from Ted Talk) – Shane Koyczan. Juliette

13. A Dream Within A Dream – Edgar Alan Poe. Enora

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

January 2017 / New Year

1. God Says Yes To Me: Kaylin Haught. Juliette

2. Petra: Rhian Edwards. Tamsin

3. Rag and Bone: Norman MacCaig, Patrick

4. Mid-Term Break: Seamus Heaney. Richard

5. The Bus: Dannie Abse. Heather

6. Mr Bleany: Philip Larkin. Angela

7. Suzanne: Leonard Cohen. Bel 

8. Parents Evening: Rhian Edwards. Erin

9. They'll Say 'She Must Be from Another Country'. Imtiaz 

10. The Man of Double Deed: Anonymous (Source: The Fall). Nicky

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

July 2016

1. What does your father do? - Roger McGough (from A Little Aloud). Juliette

2. The Eloquence in the Screaming - Patrick Jones. Ben

3. The Second Coming - WB Yeats. Donald

4. An Avowal - Kathleen Jamie (from The Overhaul). Julia 

5. Overheard in County Sligo - Gillian Clarke. Linda

6. Frost - WH Davies Lorraine

7. Also - Denny Yuson (Vereesh). Nigel

8. A friendship is a fragile thing - Jean Little (from Poems For Oxfam). Carys

9. We Who Are Your Closest Friends - Phlilip Lopate (from Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott). Nicky

10. The Journey - Mary Oliver. Kath

11. On First Looking into Chapman's Homer - John Keats. Erin

12. Ode on a Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes - Thomas Gray. Chris

13. Bivouac on a Mountainside - Walt Whitman. Will

Friday, 18 March 2016

March 2016 / St Patrick's Night Celebrations

1. The Peninsula - Seamus Heaney (Selected Poems). Juliette

2. The Outlaw - Seamus Heaney (an early poem). Donald

3. The Song of Wandering Aengus - WB Yeats. Bel

4. Innocence - Patrick Kavanagh. Julie

5. The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me - Eavan Bolan. Richard

6. The Baler - Seamus Heaney (Human Chain). Leona

7. When You Are Old - WB Yeats. Mab

8. My Beloved Compares Herself to a Pint of Stout - Paul Durcan. Johnny

9. Donal Og - Gaelic Folk Song. Richard (Caitlin Maude and Karen Cassey)

RTE A Poem For IrelandShortlist

Friday, 3 April 2015

March 2015

1. Nicholas Nye - Walter De La Mare. Lorraine

2. Sic Transit Gloria - Brand New. Ben

3. The Room Nobody Lives In - John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful). Lloyd

4. From East Coker - T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets). Juliette

5. Being Homeless - Simon Ewing (Big Issue Poet). Linda

6. Loveliest of Trees. A.E. Housman. Lorraine

7. A Salty Dog - Gary Brooker (Procal Harum). Lloyd

8. The Buddha's Wife - Ruth Silcock. Linda

9. Poetrees - Johnny Giles (Photo). Juliette

10. As I wandered Lonely As  A Cloud - Wordsworth. Donald

11. Lake Isle of Innisfree - WB Yeats. Donald

December 2014 / First World War Centenary

Theme: First World War Centenary

1. *Peace - Julie Pritchard. Written for Red Poets publication / Taking Flight: conscientious objector exhibition in Merthyr Tydfil. Julie

2. Lights Out - Edward Thomas. Kath

3. Fratelli (Brothers) - Giuseppe Ungaretti. Juliette

3. The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner - Randall Jarrell, 1945. Donald

4. **The Silent One - Ivor Gurney. Julie

5. To Germany - Charles Hamilton. Kath

6. I know The Truth - Marina Tsvetaeva. Michael

7. Train - Helen Mackay. Juliette

8. The Fury of Ariel Bombardment - Richard Everhart. Donald


The Poppy is not the reason why they died
they gave their life, for peace.
They who cannot be brought back, or released
too bring peace.
That is up to us, for they died for us
so that we could have a future.
NO, we threw it away with every
hand grenade that was thrown, and every bomb
we dropped and every gun that has been fired.
We were meant to be inspired
too  reflect and remember.
Planting a tree, building a monument
In memory.
This is not the reason why they died, it is just another lie
While they who are supposed to know why DECIDE.
Who entice, manipulate and take from deprived council estates,
too far away lands where we wear the watch and they have the time.   
Where you are sent to fight in their back yard
the dry arid terrain with the mountainous view.
For all the green is gone, they only colour is the flower
The one you wear on your lapel jacket, dress or blouse.
That is turned into a drug to give the weak power
to take the rights away from women and children.
Let’s not talk back to the past to the war that should have ended it all
When we stand in silence remember today

Julie Pritchard 



Unlike all the 1WW poets Gurney was not an Officer he was a Private, he wanted to join up.

Poet and composer of music Ivor Bertie Gurney who came from Gloucester and was the first Englishman to be dually gifted in these two arts none since Thomas Campion in the reign of Elizabeth 1st and his output was prodigious
He got his blighty a nick name for war wound on 17th September 1917 he was gassed.
Later due to the loss of his Comrades, love and hope deserted him and he had nervous breakdown through his mental illness he  discovered the link between excise and how it lifted his moods.
Today they call it happy endorphins. He recovered but depression and mental illness dogged him. With help from Vaughan Williams and Walter De Mare he spent the last 15 years of his life in an asylum which was far kinder than the one his brother put him in, in Gloucester.  He died aged 47 in 1937.


Who died on the wires and hung there one or two
Who for his hours of life had chatted through
Infinite lovely chatter of Bucks accent.
Yet faced unbroken wires, stepped over and went
A noble fool, faithful to his stripes and ended
But I weak, hungry and willing only for the chance
Of line – to fight in the line, lay down under unbroken
Wires and saw the flashes and kept unshaken
Till the politest voice – finicking accent said
“ Do you think you might crawl through, there, there is a hole”
Darkness shot at I smiled as politely replied
“I am afraid not sir” There was no hole no way to be seen.
Nothing  but chance of death, after tearing of my clothes.
Kept flat and watched the darkness, hearing bullets  whizzing
And thought of music and swore deep hearts deep oaths
( Polite to God) and retreated and came on again
Again retreated and a second time I faced the screen.

Ivor Gurney

Monday, 29 September 2014

September 2014 / National Poetry Day Celebrations

Theme: 'Remember'

1. Interviewing the Last Two Speakers - Sheenagh Pugh. Michael

2. Jewels In My Hand - Sasha Moorsom (Jan 25th 1931 - June 22nd 1993). Bel

3. Mae'r Pasiant Trosodd - W J Grufydd (Welsh & English translation). Chris

4. Gabriel (first 30+ stanzas) - Edward Hirsch. Juliette

5. Forgetfulness - Billy Colins. Steve

6. Remember To Forget* - Albashir Adam Alhassan. Linda

7. My Grandmother - Elizabeth Jennings. Lorraine

8. Galbraith Street - Ron Sexsmith (lyrics). Lloyd

9. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel (lyrics). Bex

10. Jakes Turtle - Chase Twichell. Leona

11. Memory of My Father - Patrick Kavanagh. Julie

*The Alhassan text is a plagiarism of a Christian devotional poem (likely to be of Southern Baptist origin) that has been knocking around as an Internet meme at least since the early 00’s - Chris


National Poetry Day
Thursday October 2nd 2014

Link Resources:

Twitter: @PoetryDayUK

June 2014 / Dylan Thomas Centenary

Theme: Dylan Thomas Centenary Celebrations

1. Make me a Mask - Dylan Thomas. Claire

2. Being But Men - Dylan Thomas. Lorraine

3. Love In An Asylum - Dylan Thomas. Bex

4. Note on the Art of Poetry - Dylan Thomas. Linda

5. I Have Longed To Move Away - Dylan Thomas. Dave

6. Reminiscences Of Childhood (1/1) - Dylan Thomas. Julie

7. Clown in the Moon - Dylan Thomas. Bridget

8. In My Craft Or Sullen Art - Dylan Thomas. Alex

9. In the Beginning - Dylan Thomas. Leona

10. And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Dylan Thomas. Juliette


2014 celebrates our charismatic Welsh poet, playwright and writer Dylan Thomas's Centenary Year. Dylan 'made words sound like music. People would be reduced to tears as they heard his writing performed' (source CBBC Newsround).

Helpful Links:

Friday, 21 March 2014

March 2014 / World Poetry Day

Theme: Celebrating World Poetry Day

1. Three Coins In A Fountain - TBC (Italian). Lorraine

2. Penelope I'm Addicted To You - Phoebe Giannisi (Greek). Kath

3. Poor Speaker - Sonnet L'Abbe* (French Canadian). Juliette

4. Neighbours - Benjamin Zephaniah (British Jamaican). Linda (interesting to watch this and interview with BZ)

5. Cabel Ship - Harry Martinsong (Swedish). Michael

6. The Snowman - Wallace Stevens (American). Donald

7. My Life In Stillness - Philip K Dick (American). Bex

8. TBC (Italian). Lorraine 

9. A Friendly Death - Harry Martinson (Swedish). Michael

10. A Dish of Peaches - Wallace Stevens (American). Donald

11. Love - Sonnet L'Abbe* (French Canadian). Juliette

* Here is the 'Canada, When is your Birthday?' poem / 150 years project i mentioned that Sonnet L'Abbe was doing.


Links on World Poetry Day

Links on World Poetry

Links on Form

Saturday, 21 December 2013

December 2013 (no theme)

1. The Christmas Market - Mike Harding. Lorraine

2. A Nativity - Simon Armitage. Kath

5. Late - Christopher Reid. Sheila

6. As I Walked Out One Evening - WH Auden. Bridget

7. Winter - Gerald Manley Hopkins. Julie

9. Still I Rise - Maya Angelou. Linda

10. 2 poems (TBC) from Now & Then - Adnan al-Sayegh / Jenny Lewis. Leona

Saturday, 21 September 2013

September 2013 / RS Thomas

THEME: RS Thomas Centenary Year Celebrations

1. Poetry For Supper - RS Thomas. Michael

2. The Children's Song - RS Thomas. Lorraine

3. The View from the Window - RS Thomas. Kath

4. He and She - RS Thomas. Juliette

5. The Empty Church - RS Thomas. Michael

6. Welsh Landscape - RS Thomas. Kath

7. The Cure - RS Thomas. Juliette

8. Threshold - RS Thomas. Michael

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

June 2013 / Midsummer

Theme: Midsummer

1. For The Spirit - William Letford. Leona

2. A True Account of Talking to the Sun - Frank O'Hara. Steve

3. Summer - Cesare Pavese. Ian

4. The Summer I Was Sixteen - Geraldine Connolly. Lorraine

5. Hare Pie - Chris Torrance. Julie

6. Water - Leslie Norris. Chris

7. Strawberries - Edwin Morgan. Sandra

8. The Catch - Simon Armitage. Juliette

9. Poppies in July - Sylvia Plath. Amanda

10. Epithalamion - Dannie Abse. Amy

11. Everyone Sang - Siegfried Sassoon. Hannah

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

March 2013 / World Poetry Day

THEME: New, Emerging & Current Poets

1. Analysis - John Welch. Phil (Going to read Jack Pascoe but left book at home)

2. Back To Bed - Rhian Edwards (from Clueless Dogs). Kath

3. On Returning a Child to her Mother at the Natural History Museum - Kathryn Maris (in Tokens for the Foundlings: edited by Tony Curtis). Leona

4. The Glorious Fellowship of Migraineurs - Polly Atkin. Amy

5. Man & Dog - Eve Pearce. Amanda

6. Missing It - Daniel Brown. Stephen

7. The Cheeseroom - Judy Brown. David

8. In The End - Clare Potter (from Spilling History). Ruth

9. The Town In This Dream - Raymond Antrobus. Juliette

10. The Shoe - Diana Brodie. Lorraine

December 2012 / Midwinter

Thursday, 20 December 2012

November 2012

1. The Shirt - Carol Ann Duffy. Juliette

2. On Noting Down Inscriptions On War Graves Near Arras - Michael Arnold Williams. Leona

3. The Opportune Moment- Sheenagh Pugh. Juliette

4. My November Guest- - Robert Frost. Kath

October 2012

1. Newsbites - Kona Machphee. Michael

2. The Ice Cat - Wilfred Wilson Gibson. Lorraine

3. The Deaf Mutes at the Ball Game - Josephine Jackson. Leona

4. Fen Train - Kona Macphee. Michael

5. Meg Merleese - Keats. Lorraine

6. Beech Trees - Michael Ardd Williams. Leona

7. Small Pox - Kona Macphee. Michael

8. The Life That I Have - Leo Marks. Lorraine

9. Peter's Lines - Michael Arnold Williams. Leona

September 2012

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Olympic & Paralympic Links

New York Times

                Poetry's relationship with the Olympics - New York Times:

Poetry Parnassus 

held by The South Bank Centre. This has already happened but there is a good interactive map*** of international poems:

                Poetry holds its own Olympics - Poetry Parnassus:

                ***Poetry Parnassus Interactive Map: verse form each Olympic Nation - Guardian:

The Written Word 

by The Scottish Poetry Library which is currently happening. Again there is a good interactive map*** with international poems:

                About The Scottish Poetry Library Olympic Project - Creative Scotland:

                Olympics Take Poetic Turn With Scots Help:

                Which Piece would you pick for the Poetry Olympics - Scottish Poetry Library - Guardian:

                ***The Written World - Scottish Poetry Library:

                ***The Written World INteractive Map:

Winning Worlds at the Olympic Park

There is also poetry by well known poets around the Olympic Park (it comes under the Winning Words project i think). Here is some more info about it all:

"Winning Words | Winning Words is a public art project to create new encounters with poetry during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. We want to enable everyone to experience poetry in exciting ways and to create a legacy of inspiring words for the nation to enjoy."

The Winning Words Website:

A Few Extra's

A bloggers account of of the Poetry Parnassus, Poetry Connections with the Olympics...

Also an audio account you can listen to of the rain of poems at the South Bank recently:

                Videos of poetry read over sports days:

                Written copies of the poems read on the video's above:

Olympic / Paralympic Links

General Olympic / Paralympic site:

                Guardian - Preparation for the Paralympics begin:

                Guardian - What are the Paralympics:

                London 2012 - Paralympics Schedule / Info:
                Channel 4 - Paralympic Coverage: