students' publicationsUp to London in the week to launch the term-season with a reading featuring as many members of the two workshop groups as could make it. Our local pub – the one we use as a local, because let’s face it, the Betsey Trotwood is both several yards closer to the Free Word Centre, and also legendary – is the City Pride, which aside from anything else is home to amazing and affordable pizzas. And it has a nice upstairs room that we’ve used for several events over the years, including the launch of my pamphlet, Broken Cities, in 2017.
This one went brilliantly. The picture above features some of the publications workshop members read from: Peter Daniels’ new collection, My Tin Watermelon, from Salt; Sue Johns’ pamphlet Rented, largely workshopped with us; Caroline Davies’ not-even-quite-out Elements of Water (from Green Bottle Press, run by ex-group member Jennifer Griggs), also workshopped with us; Kate Noakes’ brilliantly titled The Filthy Quiet; Tristram Fane Saunders’ New Poets’ Prize pamphlet, Woodsong; and the current issue of Magma magazine, which has poems in by three group members. It’s not bad going! Penny Hughes read the poems that led me to invite her to join us in the first place, Steve Kendall read a good selection, and it was the seriously talented Sarah Miell’s first reading ever.

In short, it was a great night. ‘This is the best poetry reading I’ve been to in years‘, one audience member told me.

Term starts in ten days, on the 18th, and there are spaces free in both sessions, 3-5pm and 7-9pm. 

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