Monthly Archives: November 2011

Next Poetry Reading Date

Put this down in your diaries, the next poetry night will take place on Wednesday 11th January from 7.30pm onwards!

Featured poets are: Lucy Ayrton, Mark Burnhope, our very own Lily Morris, and Mark Waldron.

The theme will be Shipwrecked Poetry and, as always, there will be an open mic section after the readings.

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Poetry: Tomorrow!

Don’t miss the chance to hear some excellent poets read tomorrow night, as well as participate in the open mic. The next poetry reading won’t be until January so make the most of this!

Doors open at 7pm, entry is free, but do help the poets’ break even on their travel costs by buying copies of their work if you can!

See you at the Royal Standard!


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Featured Poet #4: Simon Barraclough

Simon Barraclough was born in Huddersfield but has lived in London since 1996 and is the author of ‘Los Alamos Mon Amour’ (Salt 2008), which was shortlisted as Best First Collection for the Forward Prize. In 2010 he published ‘Bonjour Tetris’, a mini-book of commissioned poems, with Penned in the Margins. His second collection, ‘Neptune Blue’, was published this year with Salt. His work has been published in the likes of Poetry ReviewThe GuardianThe FT and Magma.

For more information on Simon’s latest collection, click here, or to see three of his poems animated by artist Carolina Melis, go here.


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Featured Poet #3: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway writes poetry and prose but is happiest behind a microphone. In 2010 he won the international spoken word show Literary Death Match, and has performed at the likes of Grit Lit at Brighton Fringe and Rough Trade Records. He is the author of several novels available on Kindle, and his debut collection of poems and stories is (life:) razorblades included.

He is also the brain behind Eight Cuts Gallery, an Oxford-based literary project that ‘combines publishing, live shows, online exhibitions, and promoting the very best literary things I find’. Find out more about it here.

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Featured Poet #2: Laila Sumpton

Laila wrote a play for her nursery group when she was three, then moved into poetry and has not turned back. She now performs regularly in London and is working on putting together her first pamphlet.

As part of the Keats House Poet’s Forum, she perform monthly at the poet’s home in Hampstead and the collective are collaborating with museums across the capitol as part of the “Stories of the World” Cultural Olympics project. Laila has lead poetry workshops and performed at the Hamswell Festival in Bath, White Night festival in Brighton and opened the Keats House Festival, reading alongside Anne Marie Fyfe and Benjamin Zephaniah.

She recently hosted a poetry and human rights event at the “Humanitea Rooms” and finds a lot of her work reflects on themes of identity and rights. Laila is currently involved in an eclectic range of ongoing projects including running workshops for young people at the Museum of Transport and documenting war anecdotes from Bosnian survivors through her work with Most Mira, an art and reconciliation NGO.

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Featured Poet #1: Jill Wallis

Our fourth featured guest, and the first to be introduced here, is Jill Wallis.

Jill Wallis has turned to poetry at key times in her life. Mainly she has written for fun, especially satirical poems/songs to be performed by her team at end of term parties, when she was a Head of English in a Bedfordshire comprehensive school. The Government was always generous in providing ample material to satirise in the world of education! She is also part of the RRRANTS performance poetry group. However her major work was produced following the death of her much loved husband, Chris, at the age of 48, from a brain tumour. Prevented by his illness from having the conversations with him she longed to have, she found she needed to write these down in the months that followed. The result was a collection called Dialogue for One, which won the inaugural Littoral poetry magazine prize. She continues to write poetry, partly about life on her own but also about the countryside around her Buckinghamshire village home, where she loves to walk. She is a University lecturer in her spare time!

Jill is currently the poetry editor for the annual Rhyme and Reason book of local poetry and prose, published and sold to raise money for the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home. Submissions for the 2013 book, on the theme of ‘The Seasons’, will be welcome soon.

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Local Events in the HP postcode

For poetry lovers in need of a fix before our event, there are two things in the area that you can go to:


1) Launch of Christine Webb’s Catching Your Breath (published by Cinnamon Press), 8th November, Burnham Library at 7pm. Please RSVP by emailing Christine at  christinemwebb AT waitrose DOT com

2) Poetry Live!  An All Saints’ Social event in support of Christian Aid.

Come along to an evening of classic and modern poems, hosted by Leslie Tate and members of Berkhamsted’s Poetry Reading Group.
Enjoy the helpful introductions, the range of poems – sacred and secular – and the sensitive power of great thoughts beautifully expressed.
Hear poems you didn’t know and reacquaint yourself with poems you know and love.
Or simply sit back and enjoy poetry live!
Sat November 19th, 7.30, All Saints’ Church, Shrublands Road, Berkhamsted, HP4 3HY. Entrance £5.00. Profits from the sale of tickets and books by Sue Hampton/Leslie Tate will go to Christian Aid. To request advance tickets or information go to and email a message through ‘contact’ or ring 01442 875 425.
Support local poetry by attending these events!
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