Leave a Comment

Updated on 19 MARCH 2018

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Some news: MW Bewick has had a great start to the year with a poem “highly commended” in the Words By The Water competition, as part of the Ways With Words festival in Keswick.

AND Pam Job has won yet another prize, with her poem placed second in the very prestigious Magma Poetry Competition 2017/2018. Keep ‘em coming Pam!

OUR READERS: John Greening and Peter Kennedy

John Greening is making a welcome return to Poetrywivenhoe. Since his 2013 Carcanet collection, ‘To the War Poets’, John has edited an edition of Edmund Blunden for OUP and a classical music anthology for Boydell. His most recent books are a memoir of two years in Upper Egypt, ‘Threading a Dream’, an edition of Geoffrey Grigson’s poetry and a collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, ‘Heath’. He is a selector for the Eric Gregory Awards, has reviewed for the TLS since the 1990s and has won many major prizes. He received a Cholmondeley Award in 2008. His website is … (and John is sole adjudicator for the WARE POETS OPEN POETRY COMPETITION 2018 – see our Competitions Page).

That excellent poet Penelope Shuttle was originally intended to accompany John on this occasion, but unfortunately Penny is unwell.  So our second reader is me, your Powiv blogger of sorts, now writing as Peter Ualrig Kennedy and currently working on a possible future collection.
Poetrywivenhoe: here’s our current CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Thur 22 Mar John Greening and Peter Ualrig Kennedy

Sat 07 April Workshop with Myra Schneider on THE POTENCY OF PLACE – booking now: a few places are still available. Details have been sent by mailshot, and there’ll be another emailing soon. If we do not have your email address you can register (see box at top of this page).

Thur 26 April Rebecca Watts

Thur 24 May Chrys Salt

Thur 28 June: Mosaic with ‘Stone’s Throw’ Ekphrasis presentation …


See our most recent poetry review, this time of Graham Meade‘s new collection The Year of the Crab, on our Reviews page.

Congratulations to Poetrywivenhoe colleagues who have had a ‘poem for europe’ published in The New European: Tim Cunningham twice, Peter Ualrig Kennedy twice, and Alex Toms. What a splendid trio!


Leave a Comment


Our anthology editor Tim Cunningham made his selection of 30 poems from a total of 72 poems submitted anonymously for our new publication on birds. He remarks that it is a nicely varied selection with some great stuff. ‘I really feel this anthology is an absolute delight and hope it will be very successful.’ In his introduction to the anthology he comments on some individual poems.

The anthology incorporates 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.

In producing this anthology 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.

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. ies, so keep on writing!!

Pam Job

January 2016 event

Leave a Comment

Our event on 28 January was another huge success … Luke Wright was at his inventive best, and he was well supported by Martin Newell who gave us a premier reading of his new poem The Green Children (of which more details very soon). There was a real buzz to the evening, and the Open Mic readers were as capable as ever.

PLUS do take a look at this fascinating video on how the wonderful Newell and Dodds book The Green Children was made …


–– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


Eliza Kentridge will be in conversation with neuropsychologist Mark Solms at: Word & Image (Psychoanalytic Poetry Festival 2016) presented by the Poetry Society in association with the Freud Museum on Saturday 12 March at the Freud Museum, London.

What a performance …

Leave a Comment

It was a win-win evening at poetrywivenhoe for Martin Newell and The Hosepipe Band on December 10: impeccable poetry from Martin (Black Shuck in the first half, Song of the Waterlily in the second), magical and original music from the Band, and a receptive and respectful audience.

“What a great evening at poetrywivenhoe,” wrote Alex Toms, “listening to Newell’s haunting pieces Black Shuck and Song of the Waterlily, which were accompanied by the brilliant Hosepipe Band.”

What a shame that a different atmosphere prevailed at Firstsite the following evening – when Song of the Waterlily should have been a delightful companion piece to the compelling James Dodds exhibition Wood to Water. The Band were not well served by being crammed up into the far end of the gallery, beyond the bar. Despite Martin’s best efforts to persuade the drinkers to move down and further away, the punters at the bar ignored the poetry and the music, and continued their loud chatter throughout the whole performance.

Some may say that public performers have to become inured to such behaviour, but if only Firstsite management had thought to give Martin and the Band a better location – the auditorium perhaps, or the entrance foyer – then maybe they would have been received with a bit more respect.

Please don’t imagine that I am just being a fusspot – the performers themselves felt undervalued. Comment from Simon of the Band: “It wasn’t easy on Friday – unlike the delightful night we had with you on Thursday. You’re right – we were in the wrong place. The other thing was nobody [in charge] made the link explicit between the Waterlily poem and the James Dodds exhibition.”

And from Martin: “It was quite hard and I wish that the Poetrywivenhoe gig had been the one we’d gone out on, rather than Firstsite … yes, we were placed next to a bar rather than in the entrance foyer Oh and our playing times were changed…
Nelson [bass] and I, veterans of rock bands, are well-versed in such ignominy if not actually inured to it. It still stings sometimes, however. I was more indignant on behalf of those other members of the Hosepipes from the more genteel folk fraternity. They were genuinely shocked by the bad behaviour of all these grown-ups supposedly  attending a flagship cultural event.  Still, no victims, only volunteers, as we say. It wasn’t an entire disaster. There were people enjoying, or at least attempting to enjoy the event under the racket. I encountered such situations often in my early years and more often in Colchester than in any other town. A bit chastening to experience it again, so far down the line.
I sometimes think that Firstsite will be doomed whatever it does. And yet, there is something about the place, which is good and, like a lot of rough places encourages robust art and characters.”

Well said. But finally, a note of good cheer from Simon and the Hosepipes: “… to give you advance notice – some time in the New Year we may be doing music for Martin’s new poem, The Green Children of Woolpit. All good fun.”

Simon – poetrywivenhoe looks forward to it.


That was a great evening!

Leave a Comment

Yes, the combination of two very different poets at our poetrywivenhoe event on 22 October proved to make the evening really exciting and stimulating.
Antony Johae treated us to a selection of thoughtful poems from his new collection Poems of the East (launching next week in Colchester), while Rik the Most had the whole audience in thrall to his quick-fire, sure-footed (sure-tongued) and heartfelt performance poetry: and what a performance it was. At the finish, the audience was on its feet in a standing ovation, which I think was a first for powiv …
And we had an characteristically high quality Open Mic section – the poetrywivenhoe Hat had been left behind, but “Out of the Hat” compere Archie Duncan made a strong showing as the Man with the Bag.