About : The Leopard’s Lair

The Leopard is a cracking old pub in the historic heart of Burslem, the ‘Mother Town’ of The Potteries. It’s where Josiah Wedgwood and James Brindley agreed on the opening of the Trent/Mersey canal and also claims to be one of the most haunted pubs in Britain.

For one Tuesday a month things don’t go bump in the night, but the rafters resound with the sound of verse and ardent discussion.

The Leopard’s the venue for regular poetry workshops and readings organised by John Williams (F J Williams) a local poet and retired English lecturer.

All are welcome and we’d love to see you at one of our monthly sessions.

Poems read and critiqued each month will be published on this site. Works remain the copyright of the authors and their permission must be sought if you are going to reproduce them in any way.

For more details of The Leopard, the Poetry Society and the poetry scene in North Staffordshire/South Cheshire contact:

John Williams Tel: 01270 873761 Email: johnwilliamstanza@btinternet.com

For submissions or contributions contact:

Phil Williams (no relation!) Tel: 01270 882060 Email: phil@coracle-comm.co.uk

The Leopard

More pub details
History of the pub

The Poetry Society 


17 Responses to About : The Leopard’s Lair

  1. June Palmer says:

    I have tried to e mail John Williams about the group but I keep getting a failure notice. – I think I would like to give the stanza a try! I am a member of the Poetry Society and will come along to the next meeting (unless it clashes with my holidays in February) if that is OK. I am already involved with a writing group but to be frank, my style of poetry is a bit alien to some of them. Having looked at your website the Leopard Poetry I really like the stuff on there, and enjoy performance poetry. I am at the Leopard tomorrow for a poets and pints session run by Richard Faulkener, but don’t predict much of an audience.

    I will watch the website for the next meeting date and other events.

    Many Thanks

    June Palmer

    • theleopard66 says:

      Thanks June. I wonder if it’s showing an old email address? I’ll look into that. Meanwhile, John’s email address is johnwilliamsstanza@btinternet.com

      Alternatively, you can try mine, p.williams@waitrose.com

      The Stanza format is different to that of the Poems & Pints run by Richard Faulkener but there’s room for both and The Leopard pub is a cracking venue for each.

      It’d be great to see you at the Stanza one Tuesday evening. I keep the notice about meetings up-to-date and you can also check out the ‘Forthcoming Events’ link for details of what’s on in and around The Potteries.

      • mfuller810 says:

        MUSIC and VERSE 3 at STOKE

        With regard to what is on in the Potteries, I will be giving my presentation ‘Music and Verse 3’, although it is down as being ‘Music and Verse 2’, for Stoke on Trent Recorded Music Society on the 1st of February, 2017. The evening starts at 7:30 pm but it is advised to arrive at about 7:00 pm – 7:20 pm and visitors will probably be charged about £2 or £3 for the evening. The music that accompanies the poetry is predominantly orchestral. If people can arrive for the evening it will be greatly appreciated! I have given 4 presentations for my local recorded music society, South Cheshire Recorded Music Society entitled ‘Music and Verse’ 1 – 4. I have given my 1st presentation ‘Music and Verse’ for the Stafford Recorded Music Society, I have given an edited version ( due to time limitations ) of my 4th presentation ‘Music and Verse 4’ for the Methodist Church in Nantwich, and I have given my presentation ‘Music and Verse 4’ for the Stoke on Trent Recorded Music Society. All my presentations have been a GREAT success! After my presentation ‘Music and Verse 4’ for the South Cheshire Recorded Music Society, a friend of mine there said “Hand on my heart that was the best presentation I have ever heard in all my 50 years of being a member here!” With Best Wishes to you all! Cheers – Mike.

    • mfuller810 says:

      I am feeling egotistical, I sometimes do!

      Please take the following pretentious show of ego with a bucket of salt!

      It is merely Fun between Friends!

      Poets who I know Poetry by from memory, Not Extracts, –

      Shakespeare ( 1564 – 1616 )
      Shadwell ( c.1642 – 1692 )
      Cibber ( 1671 – 1757 )
      Rowe ( 1674 – 1718 )
      Warton ( The Younger ) ( 1728 – 1790 )
      Goethe ( Translated ) ( 1749 – 1832 )
      Blake ( 1757 – 1827 )
      Wordsworth ( 1770 – 1850 )
      Byron ( 1788 – 1824 )
      Whyte-Melville ( 1821 – 1878 )
      McGonagall ( c.1825 – 1902 )
      Gordon ( 1833 – 1870 )
      Thomson ( 1834 – 1882 )
      Austin ( 1835 – 1913 )
      Gilbert ( 1836 – 1911 )
      AE Housman ( 1859 – 1936 )
      WB Yeats ( 1865 – 1939 )
      Kipling ( 1865 – 1936 )
      Beatrix Potter ( 1866 – 1943 )
      Pepler ( 1878 – 1951 )
      Farjeon ( 1881 – 1965 )
      Drinkwater ( 1882 – 1937 )
      Gould ( 1885 – 1936 )
      Muir ( 1887 – 1959 )
      Smith ( 1902 – 1971 )
      Betjeman ( 1906 – 1984 )
      Auden ( 1907 – 1973 )
      Bronowski ( 1908 – 1974 )
      RS Thomas ( 1913 – 2000 )
      Nicholson ( 1914 – 1987 )
      Dylan Thomas ( 1914 – 1953 )
      Alun Lewis ( 1915 – 1944 )
      Mary Drake ( 1916 – 1993 )
      Milligan ( 1918 – 2002 )
      Douglas ( 1920 – 1944 )
      Larkin ( 1922 – 1985 )
      Paxton ( b.1938 )
      Lennon ( 1940 – 1980 )
      Lennon ( 1940 – 1980 ) / McCartney ( b.1942 )
      Bob Dylan ( b.1941 )
      Paul Simon ( b.1941 )
      Garfunkel ( b.1941 )
      Morrison ( 1943 – 1971 )
      Barrett ( 1946 – 2006 )
      Webb ( b.1946 )
      Bowie ( b.1947 )
      Cat Stevens ( b.1948 )
      Agard ( b.1949 )
      Roger Taylor ( b.1949 ) and the Rock Group ‘Queen’
      John Lindley ( b.1952 )
      Douglas Adams as Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings ( 1952 – 2001 )
      MacCarthy ( b.1953 )
      Victoria Wood ( b.1953 )
      McMillan ( b.1956 )
      Zephaniah ( b.1958 )
      Hislop ( b.1960 )
      Salzmann ( b.1960 )
      Orzabal ( b.1961 )

      Additional – Ruby Alexander
      Joyce B. Clegg
      Judith Thwaite
      Catherine Seymour

      • mfuller810 says:

        I forgot Tony Buzan ( b.1942 ) and maybe others.

      • mfuller810 says:

        I forgot the Liverpool poet Henry Graham ( b.1930 )

        Little Bit Of Fun

        My son Augustus in the street one day,
        Was feeling quite exceptionally merry.
        A stranger said to him “Excuse me sir but could you show me pray
        The quickest way to be at Brompton Cemetery?”
        “The quickest way?” “You bet I can.” said Gus
        And pushed the poor fellow under a bus!
        Whatever people say about my son
        He does enjoy his little bit of fun!

        Henry Graham ( b.1930 )

      • mfuller810 says:

        It sometimes takes me about 3 days to learn a new poem from memory and even then I have to go over them hundreds of times to keep them learned. However when I do know a poem from memory, because reciting a poem is a more natural flowing process than to read it or write it, when people do know poems from memory it is easier and more natural to recite it than to read it or write it. I am basically dyslexic and when I write poetry down that I have recited lots and lots of times I often make mistakes writing it as I am more used to reciting it from memory! It may just be what I am used t though? I do believe that it is easier and more natural and better to perform poetry from memory once you’ve learned it from memory than to recite it though! It’s just that it takes me ages to learn poems from memory! I actually failed in trying to learn a translation of a Hildegard von Bingen ( 1098 – 1179 ) poem that she had set to music. Perhaps I didn’t really want to learn it and wasn’t that interested in the poem though.

        Cheers – Mike

        Happy 2016 To You All!

      • mfuller810 says:

        When I Am Gone

        When I am gone, I pray you shed
        No tears upon my grassy bed
        Where that which you have loved is laid
        Under the wind-warped yew-tree’s shade.
        And let no sombre pomp prepare
        My unreturning journey there,
        Nor wailing words nor dirges deep
        Disturb the quiet of my sleep;
        But tender maidens, dressed in white,
        Who have not yet forgotten quite
        The love I sought, the love I gave,
        Be the sole mourners round my grave.
        And neither then, nor after, raise
        The bust of pride, the slab of praise,
        To him who, having sinned and striven,
        Now only asks to be forgiven,
        That he is gone.

        When I am gone, you must not deem
        That I am severed, as I seem,
        From all that enchains you here,
        Throughout the long revolving year,
        When, as to Winter’s barren shore
        The tides of spring return once more,
        And, wakened by their flashing showers,
        The woodland foams afresh with flowers,
        You sally forth and ramble wide,
        I shall walk silent at your side,
        Shall watch your mirth, shall catch your smile.
        Shall wander with you all the while,
        And, as in many a bygone Spring,
        Hear cuckoo call and ousel sing.
        And, when you homeward wend, along
        A land all blithe with bleat and song,
        Where lambs that skip and larks that soar
        Make this old world seem young once more,
        And with the wildwood flowers that fill
        Your April laps deck shelf and sill
        I shall be there to guide your hand,
        And you will surely understand
        I am gone.

        When Summer leans on Autumn’s arm,
        And warm round grange and red-roofed farm
        Is piled the wain and thatched the stack,
        And swallows troop and fieldfares pack;
        When round rough trunk and knotted root
        Lies thickly the freshly fallen fruit,
        And ‘mong the orchard aisles you muse
        On what we gain, on what you lose,
        No vernal cares no more annoy,
        And wisdom takes the place of joy,
        I shall be there, as in past years,
        To share your steps, to dry your tears,
        To note how Autumn days have brought
        Feelings mature and mellow thought,
        The fruitful grief for others’ smart,
        The ripeness of a human heart.
        And, when the winds wax rude and loud,
        And Winter weaves the stark year’s shroud,
        As round the flickering household blaze
        You sit and talk of vanished days,
        Of parent, friend, no longer high,
        And loves that in the churchyard lie,
        And lips grow weak, and lids grow wet,
        Then, then, I shall be with you yet,
        Though I seem gone.

        Alfred Austin ( 1835 – 1913 )

  2. June Palmer says:

    Hi Paul
    Thank you for your reply, I will certainly keep an eye open for the next meeting. I hope to meet a group of poets who are a bit more “serious” about their writing and want to develop their skills. A never-ending process for a writer! The e mail adddress on your site was different – beggining <john10williams5119
    I don't wish to sever my links with my current group, I act as their secretary and there are people there who really want to write and open their mind to new things. However I am stifled sometimes and as I am a member of the Poetry Society it seems crazy to not to come alomg to the stanza group! My friend Tracy Henham was at the last stanza group so we will have a chat tonight.

    • theleopard66 says:

      Thanks June – it was my fault, I hadn’t updated John’s email address on the ‘About:’ page. I’ve done that now. You’d be very welcome at The Leopard for the Poetry Society Stanza sessions and I’m sure it’d complement what you’re already involved with. We’re not in competition with any other group. The more poetry groups there are around the better!

  3. June Palmer says:

    I can’t seem to find a date for the August stanza – or maybe I have missed it been very busy with festivals!

  4. theleopard66 says:

    Sorry June, I’ve not added the date yet. The next Stanza is on Tuesday 19th August at 7.30pm. I hope you can make it.

    • juneviannepalmer says:

      Oh dear – yes I would have been there but a slight domestic problem was evident when we arrived home from a festival – it has taken all day to clear up and I am still not finished! Hope to see you next month. Have a good night. June 


      • mfuller810 says:

        New Poem By Mike


        With the peace of God he walked this world.
        His mind was filled with the sweet colours of his soul.
        Never was he alone though he existed by himself,
        As he had romantic illusions for company, and a moon
        That sailed with his deep fantasies on cloudless nights.
        And although this world bewildered and disillusioned him,
        He was in bliss when he was able to dream.

        Mike Fuller 3 January, 2016

      • mfuller810 says:


        The most mercurial magic revolved within him,
        And although a prisoner of his mind,
        He found solace through his deep wanderings
        And value that only he could find.

        Everything had its own meaning
        And abstractions and associations ruled his ways;
        Egotism was his escape from loneliness,
        And he isolated individual bits of praise.

        Such is the world it didn’t understand
        The inner madness to which he was tied;
        The newspaper just said ‘Schizophrenic’,
        His title in life, and after he died.

        Mike Fuller January, 2004

  5. soloneili says:

    I would love to attend on Tuesday 22/09/2015 if that’s ok. Your stanza looks wonderful and the poetry excellent. I would like to develop my own too so if there is room for one more I’ll be really pleased to have found you.
    Regards. Neil

  6. mfuller810 says:

    The Brave

    The brave do never shun the light;
    Just are their thoughts and open are their tempers;
    Freely without disguise, they love or hate;
    Still are they found in the fair face of day,
    And heav’n and men are judges of their actions.

    Nicholas Rowe ( 20 / 6 / 1674 – 6 / 12 / 1718 )

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