Sunday, 23 June 2013

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - Wide Skies and Words at Wooders

Last Friday I spent a glorious midsummer evening in the company of some very talented poets, as we celebrated the launch of the Words for Wide Skies anthology.

The book - a collection of nature poetry edited by Elaine Ewart - was published in association with the Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands centre, aided and abetted by artist and event coordinator Karen Harvey. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology will go towards wetland conservation at the WWT Welney site.

And I’m pleased to report that the event itself was fantastic! It was the second annual Pimms and Poetry evening organised at the Wetlands visitors' centre, and the weather was perfect for the occasion.

I'm always eager to watch Elaine perform, and I was delighted to hear her finished museum artefact poem, which was based on a writing exercise I gave her at my poetry workshop a few weeks ago. Elaine's fellow Creative Writing MA students, Melinda Appleby and Jeremy Solnick, both gave fantastic performances too, with Jeremy's mushroom poem and Melinda's piece about a hedge witch being particular favourites of mine.

There were short performances from anthology contributors Cardinal Cox, Miriam Brown, Peter Irving, and Mike Alderson, as well as a demonstration of moths by the Welney staff, and beautiful views of the sunset across the Fens. 

I know I've been banging on about this for ages, but it really is a wonderful anthology, with poems from fifteen incredible poets, and cover art by the supremely talented Dafila Scott. And all this for just five pounds? What an absolute bargain!

But don’t just take my word for it! Here’s a lovely review to encourage you to buy yourself a copy. 

This week, I’m doing something a little bit different: giving my first even poetry lecture!

I'll be travelling north to Wisbech to speak to a local society group about all things poetic. I'm going to be chatting about the definitions of poetry, why it's important, and whether poetry is necessary in the modern world. (Hint: it is.) I'm also going to perform a few of my own poems, chat to the ladies about their favourite poets, and hopefully make a few friends too!

I've been working on my talk for the past few weeks now, and I've been rehearsing with the cat all weekend. She's not a particularly enthusiastic audience member, but she doesn't heckle, which means she's a vast improvement on any human audience.

Then, on Wednesday evening I’m off to Woodbridge in Suffolk to perform at the Words in Wooders open mic night. The events are run monthly, and organised by Suffolk storyteller Justine deMierrre.  Justine was kind enough to invite me along this month as one of their featured poets, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all that Woodbridge has to offer!

Woods in Wooders encourages poets, musicians, storytellers and comedians to take to the stage, and all performers are rewarded with a free half-pint or shot, so there's really no excuse for shyness! If you're in Suffolk on Wednesday, please do stop by The Angel and say hello. The open mic starts at 8pm, and it would be great to see you all there! 


  1. Thank you, Leanne, for your account of the launch ... I was on Skye and had to miss it!

  2. Hello Caroline. Your poem is one of my favourite in the collection! It was a lovely evening. All credit to Elaine for organising the whole event. Hopefully, she'll make it an annual event and we'll see you at Pimms and Poetry in 2014! Watch this space!