About Us


poetrywivenhoe was established in 2007. On the fourth Thursday of each month we have readings by established poets, as well as highly accomplished contributions at the popular ‘Out of the Hat’ Open Mic session .

poetrywivenhoe is an open event, you don’t need club membership, just pay at the door (venue: Royal British Legion, The Quay, Wivenhoe).


8.00pm at RBL
PLUS Open Mic as usual.

Brendan Cleary, from Co Antrim, is after 30 years still an abiding presence on the poetry scene in the UK and Ireland. Many poems, many collections. His 2006 work, Weightless, was described by Roddy Lumsden as a “modern blues”. A major retrospective of his work, Goin’ Down Slow: selected poems 1985-2010, was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2010. Brendan currently lives in Brighton where he edits a new incarnation of The Echo Room magazine.

Tess Gardener has been performing poetry ever since completing her degree in 2011. She has been a Hammer and Tongue Cambridge Slam finalist and a Colchester Arts Centre Poetry Slam winner. She’s produced two spoken word albums with her band The Wingless Heron, and ran Colchester based poetry collective Some Kind of Poetry Thing. You can usually find her, camera and notebook in hand, down by the railway tracks or at home with a nice cup of tea.

Aryn Clark is a Colchester-based performance poet with an intense and passionate delivery. A finalist at the Hammer and Tongue poetry slam in Cambridge, and winner of the Some Kind of Poetry Slam Final, Aryn has performed alongside a diverse collection of musicians and poets, including Keith Jarrett, Nathaniel Robin Mann, Dingus Khan and the Dead Poets.

Our mini-publishing project to produce an anthology of poems about birds later this year has got off to a flying start!
See below and our News page


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Our anthology editor, Tim Cunningham, has returned his selection of 30 poems from the total of 72 poems submitted anonymously for our new publication on birds. He remarked in his covering letter that he thinks it is ‘a nicely varied selection’ with ‘some great stuff.’ He goes on to write, ‘I really feel this anthology is an absolute delight and hope it will be very successful.’ He has written a very thoughtful introduction to the anthology in which he comments on some individual poems, and he has placed the poems in his preferred order thematically, which we are more than happy to go along with.

Here is the Contents list, the 30 poems which will form the anthology:

1. An Absence of Birds Rosie Sandler

2. Archaeornithura meemannae Pam Job

3. Benjamin Britten walks out in Spring Pam Job

4. Birds of Britain – circa 1965 Bryan Thomas

5. Birds of La Manga Tom Fenton

6. The birds switch on the morning Eliza Kentridge

7. Chained Judith Wolton

8. A Chain of Amber Suns Anne Boileau

9. A Christmas Cuckoo Cameron Hawke-Smith

10. Clot Derek Adams

11. Crow Karen Dennison

12. Curlew: Migration Pat Bloom

13. Dawn Solo Michael Bartholomew Biggs

14. Duck Removed from Gresley
Tribute Statue at King’s Cross Mike Harwood

15. Elegy written on an Essex Estuary Elly Robinson

16. The Essence of Vultures Phil East

17. Falcon Simon Banks

18. The Garden of Intelligence Alex Toms

19. He kept calm and carried on Stewart Francis

20. The Nightjar and the Swift Candyce Lange

21. the peacocks will leave the houses Peter Ulric Kennedy

22. Pre-Flight Snack Denis Ahern

23. Puffin Wreck Sandy Goldbeck-Wood

24. Red List Antony Johae

25. Shelduck David Canning

26. Starling Roger Elkin

27. Sturnus vulgaris Kate Standley

28. Three Ways of Listening to a Blackbird Anthony Watts

29. Tip your hat and say, ‘Good Morning,
how is your lady wife today?’ Sheena Clover

30. The wren stitches through the dark
griefs of the ivy leaves Carole Webster


It goes without saying that the editor’s decision is absolutely final and we are immensely grateful to Tim for his professional approach to what he confessed had not been an easy task.

We will be organising the design and printing of the anthology, incorporating illustrations by local wildlife artist Richard Allen; Charlotte Bernays and Janie Grote, local Wivenhoe artists, and Sheena Clover and Karen Dennison, artists and poets, both of whom have poems in the anthology.

We are hoping to have the anthology ready for a launch at Poetrywivenhoe in November when Tim will talk about the editing process and will also be reading his own poems. We hope to present the anthology at the inaugural Aldeburgh Poetry Event, also in November.

In producing this anthology, primarily we sought to celebrate the work of local poets, those who regularly attend our monthly Poetrywivenhoe live event and who take part in our very successful ‘Out of the Hat’ open mic sessions.

Mosaic, the local Poetry Society Stanza group, which meets in Colchester monthly and hosts lively poetry critiquing sessions plus themed presentations and workshops, is our Associate in this latest publishing initiative and Mosaic members will be also be found within the pages of this anthology.

Poetrywivenhoe has run four successful poetry workshops over the last few years as part of encouraging poetry writing in the community, and poets who have not had poems chosen this time, for whatever reason, may like to keep a look out for our next workshop scheduled for the autumn which will be facilitated by Mike Harwood. These offer a chance for poets to meet up and hone their skills with an experienced tutor and poet on hand to offer practical advice and encouragement.

Congratulations to all the poets who have generously contributed their work to this venture, and grateful thanks to the artists. Any profits from the anthology will go to Poetrywivenhoe and Mosaic. Poetrywivenhoe has a good track record to date in producing high quality publications – we are sure this latest one will be a worthy contribution to our ‘stable’ and, be assured, there will be more opportunities, so keep on writing!!

Pam Job

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