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Rebecca Goss writes:
“Dear All,
the UK’s Poet Laureates are coming to East Anglia in June and I’m delighted to be the guest reader when they visit Aldeburgh. Do come along or spread the word. I’d be really grateful. Thank you.
Info at
Tickets include wine …
With best wishes,

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A splendid evening coming this Thursday with Chrys and Candyce …

well – it is going to be a splendid evening! Our guest reader Chrys Salt is widely published, and her work has appeared in anthologies all over the world. She has been translated into French and Arabic and is currently being translated into Hebrew. Her poem ‘The Burning’ from ‘Weaver of Grass’ was selected as one of The 20 Best Scottish Poems 2012. Chrys was awarded a Writers Bursary by Creative Scotland to finish her latest collection ‘Dancing on a Rock’, and was MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to The Arts (2015 I think).
Our second guest Candyce Lange is a local poet of charm and substance, whose polished and mesmeric poetry has given her a loyal following at Poetrywivenhoe.
So do come along to hear both Chrys and Candyce at Poetrywivenhoe on:
Thursday 24 May, 7.30 for 8.00pm
at The Royal British Legion, Wivenhoe Quay.
Pay at the door: £5.00 (students £3.00)

(Your own poems for the Open Mic slot will be welcome – but please be aware of the house rules for Out of the Hat readers).
Thank you and best wishes
::Peter Kennedy

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Poetrywivenhoe: here’s our current CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Thur 24 May Chrys Salt and Candyce Lange at RBL Wivenhoe: 7.30 for 8.00pm

Thur 28 June: Mosaic with ‘Stone’s Throw’ Ekphrasis presentation: at RBL Wivenhoe 7.30 for 8.00pm

Thur 26 July Desert Island Poems

Thur 27 Sept Michael Bartholomew-Biggs (Essex Poetry Festival)

Sat 13 Oct Poetry Workshop (Derek Adams: Cinematic Techniques) ….

Thur 25 Oct TBA

Thur 29 Nov Susan Richardson

Thur 13 Dec Helen Burke

Thur 24 Jan 2019 Luke Wright


Congratulations to Pam Job who has been placed second in the prestigious Magma Poetry Competition 2017/2018. Well done Pam!

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!


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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

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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 …


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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 …

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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!

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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.