We had a great evening with Michael Hulse on 20th August. You can view Michael’s forthcoming collection Half Life on the Arc Publications website.
The next Stoke Stanza meeting is at The Leopard on Tuesday 10th September at 7.30pm. Admission free, all welcome. Come and share your work or listen to some of the most insightful discussions around.
There’s plenty of poetry and spoken-word heading our way.
On Friday 4th October former Cheshire Poet Laureates Joy Winkler and Andrew Rudd are performing at St Mary’s Church, Crewe Road Alsager as part of Joy’s tour with her acclaimed verse-drama Town.
There’s also an open-mic at CoRE – the Centre for Refurbishment Excellence. Come and hear Phil Williams and about a dozen other local poets read at at heritage open day at this exciting new facility in Longport on Saturday 14th September from 11am – 12.30pm. There will be a poetry cafe and free scone.
Call 01782 231523 to book a slot or for further details.
Meanwhile, here are some poems shared at The Leopard on 20th August for you to enjoy.
ANDREW PHILLIPS | Do Not Meekly Think Of Flight
You must not meekly think of flight
Nor run and run until you die –
But seethe and smoulder against others’ spite.
You’re no rabbit caught in a headlight
Though your mind may go awry,
Do not yield when you know you’re right.
To shout and scream, no aim in sight
Creates no cause to edify
When you should burn against others’ spite.
When the world is full of those who indict
You of crimes you’re forbidden to deny,
Hold firm for you are in the right.
You must keep silent, plan before you fight,
Take slow aim with careful eye
Then flame anew against others’ spite.
Don’t speak in anger nor in haste write
But keep your head and never cry
For you know one day you’ll be proved right
After years of boiling against others’ spite.
Multiple prize-winning poet Roger Elkin was also present and read the following poem featuring an intriguing snippet of Staffordshire dialect.
North Ferriby Foreshore, remembering
i.m. Granddad Charles and Peter Reading who never met
Not sand, but reaches of mudflat
veined by rainbowy seawater-seeps
along the Humberside strand. And,
further out, a pewter gleam where
the Trent – water within water –
fattens to estuary’s broad blade, then
wider still, circle-swirls to mouth
at silent horizons, the North Sea,
Europe and beyond.
Seems worlds away from Trent’s
well-head and its insignificant sibilants
trickling through Bailey’s farmyard.
How memories tumble. To hills.
And home: the moorland village
cricked safe in England’s vertebrae
where gritstone walling collects
the fields’ purposes.
And to Granddad – simple man
crowned local bigwig – mouthing down
his home-grown workmates,
Laugh at that. That bastardised Latin
he hadn’t even had chance to learn
let alone forget, any more than he’d
heard of Ferriby. Or estuary.
Though knew belonging,
like the sons of his name.
* North Staffordshire dialect for You are sinew-tight; exhausted.
Peter Reading’s poem, Dog’s Tomb, (Untitled, 2001) contains the lines,
“QVI CAECVS ET SENECTVTE CONFECTVS.
Who blindness and senility prepared”.
You can hear Roger at The Leopard on Tuesday 15th October when he is our guest poet. There will also be an opportunity to share and discuss your own verse.
Roger is former editor of ‘Envoi’ magazine 1991-2006, (issues 101-145) and celebrated author of 10 poetry collections. His prize-winning work has appeared in journals, literary magazines and periodicals, both nationally and internationally.
On Tuesday November 19th at the Stanza we are fortunate to welcome the poet John Ashbrook, author of ‘Death Duties and other poems’ (Phoenix Pamphlet Poets 4) and ‘In the Footsteps of the Opium Eater’ (Peterloo).