If you click on links but the files don’t open, it’s likely that your browser is downloading them instead of opening (i.e. saving the files to your computer). If you know where your ‘downloads’ directory is, you should find the files there. Otherwise, e-mail our Administrator and say which file(s) you need.
The latest Newsletter (Aug23) was sent out by e-mail ‘mail-out’ on 5th September 2023. If you haven’t received it, request it here: e-mail request. Still not coming through? Try ‘opt-in’ to receiving here.
Note, Members only: To submit News / Events items for e-notices or inclusion in ARTEMISpoetry Noticeboard, see Submit News Item. Non-Members may submit poetry-related calls and competitions only. See more information here: Non-Members, calls and comps Newsletter deadlines are 15th of February, May, August and November for expected mail-outs around the ends of those months/beginning of next.
ARTEMISpoetry Issue 30, mailout date: 31st May 2023. If you are a member, subscriber, or contributor, and haven’t received your copy, please do let us know: advise by e-mail. Guidelines for submissions here.
The ‘edge’ (literal and figurative) can act as a draw. This interest may attach to concrete landscapes (such as coasts, mountains, the borders between productive land and wilderness, the outskirts of cities) or to changes in nature such as the loss of habitat or species; or may involve exploration of mental ‘edginess’. In emotional terms the ‘edge’ suggests loss, isolation, destitution, marginalisation by others, or perhaps old age, illness, the end of life. It can also mean unusual, eye-opening, ‘spiritual’ experiences. These can be hard to express, inducing some writers to consider ‘edgier’ techniques (a different use of language, or layout on the page), which may or may not succeed.
The festival is online again this time, with three tuors exploring the theme in a variety of ways – Helen Ivory, Jacqueline Saphra and Sarah Westcott. The Thursday afternoon Open Mic* event will begin with readings from winners in the annual poetry competition: (1st prizes) Kathy Miles & Jenny Hamlett and (2nd & 3rd prizes) Justina Hart & Pat Marum. The Friday afternoon one will begin with Guest Poet readings by Patricia Brody, Jenna Plewes, Belinda Singleton and Anne Stewart, who are all Second Light members with new collections.
* Open Mic poets: women only, with priority to workshop participants, poets placed in the annual competition and Members of Second Light. Men are welcome to attend.
See the workshop information, workshop leader profiles, and other details here (pdf file)
and, to book a place, please use the Booking Form (pdf file). Places book fast so don’t hesitate… but do please remember that Members of Second Light have priority for places.
Our judge Myra Schneider has made her selection and all winners and commended poets have been contacted. ARTEMISpoetry Issue 31 includes the poems.
Our judge, MYRA SCHNEIDER has published 16 collections, the latest Siege and Symphony. A new collection, Believing in the Planet, is due out from Poetry Space in 2024. She has tutored for The Poetry School and Second Light and has published several guides to poetry writing.
Once winning poems (or extracts) are published in ARTEMISpoetry, they will be available to read here.
As always, the poems were judged anonomously. Adjudicator’s comment: “It was heart-warming to discover the very high standard of the entries and the seriousness of the subjects which women poets are tackling at this difficult time. Of course, this made it very hard to compile a long short list of about a hundred entries, reduce it twice and then pick winners, commended poems and poems for the final shortlist. Congratulations to the winners and everyone who entered the competition. ”
1st Prize, Long Poem Category: The Museum of Past Culture, Kathy Miles
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: When this is Over, Jenny Hamlett
2nd Prize, To the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, Justina Hart
3rd Prize, My Mother was a Chinese Vase, Pat Marum
An archaeologist from the future excavates the present, Yvonne Baker
Mothering Sunday Lockdown 2020, Denise Bennett
Mr Crowther, Jeanette Burton
Retrospect, Katherine Gallagher
Becoming Limpet, Justina Hart
Afterlife, Ruth Sharman
Noah’s Wife, Anne Symons
The Best Days of Your Life, Cathy Grindrod
Visualisation, Jenny Hamlett
Soap, Justina Hart
Vanishing, Jenny King
In Coventry, 1940-1962, Gill Learner
Shepherd, Kathy Miles
Oniscus asellus, Judith Taylor
The Carers, Isobel Thrilling
A sense of belonging (to places, families, and people who, in one sense or another, ‘speak the same language’) can be weakened or destroyed or restored. Large events (migrations, wars, natural disasters) and private suffering can make us feel ‘we don’t belong’. Whether writing about direct experience or empathising with others, the question of identity crops up – what it constitutes and how much importance we attach to it at, say, different times of our lives.
The festival took place online, with three tuors exploring the theme – Jean Atkin, Hannah Lowe and Jacqueline Saphra. Our Open Mic* events included readings from new collections by Guest Poets, Kate Foley, Caroline Maldonado, Alwyn Marriage and Maggie Sawkins.
Our judge Moniza Alvi has made her selection and all winners and commended poets have been contacted. ARTEMISpoetry Issue 29 includes the poems. MONIZA ALVI was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. Her collections of poetry include The Country at My Shoulder (1993), Europa (2008) and At the Time of Partition (2013), all three shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her most recent collection is the booklength sequence Fairoz (Bloodaxe, 2022).
As always, the poems were judged anonomously. Adjudicator’s comment: “It was a pleasure to encounter so much ambitious, far-reaching longer work and to find these qualities in the shorter poems too. Exploration was deep and enquiring on a range of themes, including that of nature and the environment. With so many imaginative, unexpected and vital poems, there were tough decisions to make. Altogether, it was a feast of poetry.”
1st Prize, Long Poem Category: The February Museum: recent acquisitions, Jane Routh
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: My body tells me that she’s filing for divorce, Kathryn Bevis
2nd Prize, My Cancer as a Ring-Tailed Lemur, Kathryn Bevis
3rd Prize, Viruses, Jane Routh
Read the winning Poems as they appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 29 (pdf)
Flamingo, Kathryn Bevis
In Loshes Meadow, Anne Boileau
Once I was Flowers, Denni Turp
Psychosis, Jenny Hamlett
Climate breakdown, Stevie Krayer
Glass Blower, Pippa Little
Ancestry, Nancy Mattson
Hidden, Isobel Thrilling
Once I was Flowers, Denni Turp
Scar, Susan Utting
Mare Germanicum, Nicola Warwick
What I told the Wren, Tina Cole
Heart, Jill Eulalie Dawson
Chil Khar, Yvonne Green
The Plague Whisperers, Aileen La Tourette
Physick, Kathy Miles
Groundhogs and a globe, Anne Osbourn
The Glory, Myra Schneider
Because This Is A Venice Poem, Rachel Spence
My Mother’s Button Box, Judith Wozniak
Good Friday, Greece, 2009, Margaret Wilmot
We had to restrict our numbers again this year (hopefully next year will see a return to normality) to circa 15 participants.
Our Tutor this year was Mimi Khalvati, who has published nine collections with Carcanet, the latest Afterwardness, a book composed of Petrarchan sonnets, published Autumn, 2019. Her 2007 collection, The Meanest Flower, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot prize. Her many services to poetry include founding The Poetry School, extensive teaching/mentoring and judging many competitions and she has been a friend to Second Light for many years.
Our theme was Communication. A poem is a communication to others or, sometimes, it seems, to ourselves. The means and conventions have changed since the digital revolution. Lock-down has meant that communication (and non-communication) is forefront in our minds. We might now look afresh at how our poems communicate; perhaps can be finessed to communicate better. Who does a poem address? How does the type of addressee affect language and tone? Is this a ‘posh foolscap’ or ‘scrap of paper’ poem? How was it delivered to us? Do some poems seem to address the poet (in heard voices – human, animal, objects)? How do we achieve clarity and successfully signal the fragmentary messages coming to us?
The programme included group sessions for workshopping our own poems, readings from all participants, one-to-one help with PC/technical problems (Anne Stewart) and – always a great success – our traditional Fun Night, where we enjoy the lighter side of being a poet!
The Autumn Festival workshops and readings took place online again this year, with four workshops (one postponed to 7th January 2022, fully booked) on the theme of ‘Narrating the Inner Self’. Tutors for this festival: Jean Atkin, Hannah Lowe, Pascale Petit and Sarah Westcott. Guest Poets gave a reading on the Friday afternoon: Carole Coates, Wendy French and Lynne Wycherley. The Grand Finale (also postponed until 7th January) is the Competition adjudication event, with readings from judge: Hannah Lowe, and Winning poets Janet Hatherley, Daphne Milne, Niki Strange and Cathy Whittaker, and Commended poets and a handful of Open Mic slots (fully booked).
“I lost a world the other day / Has anyone found?’ Emily Dickinson
We have received very enthusiastic feedback following the festival. Our thanks to all involved.
After bad times, how do we recover? What are the aims, processes, stages, necessary nudges in the process of finding ourselves as humans and writers? Models of recovery are found in archaeology, medicine, psychology, societal renewal after wars/conflicts, Nature’s renewal after natural and man-made disaster. For writers ‘recovery’ is key: retrieving the truth of the past; dredging form and meaning from inchoate material; shedding weaker, imitative, superfluous material, finding essences.
Jean Atkin, Esther Morgan, Jacqueline Saphra and Sarah Westcott each led a half-day workshop exploring the theme. There were also two readings hosted by Wendy French – Five Guest Poets: Shanta Acharya, Anne Boileau, Lynne Hjelmgaard, Alison Mace and Caroline Maldonado, with Open Mic readings by workshop participants and Second Light Members.
For those who were unable to attend online, we offer several remote workshops suitable for working on at home. The latest of these, themed ‘Endings’ and adapted from workshops led by Anne Stewart and Sarah Westcott at the Autumn Festival 2020, are available from 1st March 2021 at £12 for one or £20 for both. See Endings, duo.
The Autumn Festival workshops took place online with workshops by Helen Ivory, Hannah Lowe, Anne Stewart and Sarah Westcott.
Members of Second Light may still take up the ‘slashed price’ offer of the remote workshop series: Her Wings of glass and/or Fanfare (please e-mail Administrator e-mail request. These workshops, and Myra Schneider’s one day workshop, Perceptions of Time remain available to non-Members at the usual prices. See Remote Workshops,
We regret that it was not possible to hold this event. 30 people working in close proximity – neither we nor Holland House would be able to put the necessary precautions in place. We sincerely hope that conditions in 2021 will permit us to resume this annual event.
Location! Location! Location!. So the Estate Agents’ mantra goes – and poets make profound explorations of the ‘sense of place’… The course, exploring this theme, commenced with tea on arrival mid-afternoon on Monday and ended with a substantial lunch on Friday. In between, several workshops and presentations (Tutors/Presenters: Alison Brackenbury, Mimi Khalvati, Caroline Price, Myra Schneider, Dilys Wood, plus group workshopping sessions, readings from all participants, the Holland House poetry competition, one-to-one help with PC technical problems (Anne Stewart) and & – neither last nor least – our now traditional Fun Night…
It doesn’t stop there – course participant, Daphne Milne has taken on the editorial role for our annual mini-anthology of work arising from, or read or workshopped during, the week. This will be made available to Second Light Members when published, circa September this year.
In the meantime, Lynda O’Neill has sent a short article, Five Wonderful Days in Worcestershire, on why she returns again and again:
“I’ve been attending Second Light residential workshops for several years. I wouldn’t miss them for anything.
The Holland House staff make us very comfortable and the food is excellent. The house is near Evesham and the gardens are magnificent. They were at their best this year, possibly because we visited two weeks earlier than usual. I heard a lot of contented sighing about the flowers and trees leading down to the River Avon.
This year Mimi Khalvati, Caroline Price and Myra Schneider led workshops on ‘Location, Location, Location’. The sharing of work after exercises produces work of great possibility. Alison Brackenbury, one of the mystery guests, gave us very useful information on poetry magazines and submissions to them. Members contributed their experiences.
I always enjoy the daily five minute readings by poets. We hear work that is moving, funny, challenging, surreal. The evening where we read humorous poems reduces us to hysterical laughter and snortings, with much clutching of stomachs.
Another feature is the competition Dilys runs which she judges late at night. We hear the winners on Friday morning after a group exercise which is collaborative and often a source of great amusement.
An important aspect of the course is the support we get from one another. We have developed real friendships over the years through our conversations and poems. In the first two days I was touched to get four hugs from old friends. Each year we have new poets, and it’s good to see them return, as they often do.
It’s our practice to sit with different people at meals, but there are times when the presence of some of us (no names, no pack drill) results in there being a ‘noisy table’. This year at breakfast Kaye Lee mistook scrambled egg for porridge and returned from the buffet with a topping of several chunks of melon on hers. She soon realized her error and I’m glad to say that when we stopped guffawing, she laughed longest.
And as for the beauty of the hollyhocks, words fail me. For once.”
… thank you, Lynda! And all at Holland House, for looking after us so well while we work! work! work! And, er, play…
Four workshops explored the theme and our responses to it. These were led by Kate Foley, Helen Ivory, Myra Schneider and Sarah Westcott, with titles: Yes it Does…, Incantation and Spells, The Potency of Poetry and Empathy and Awareness . Our now-traditional ‘Open Mic’ Friday session (for women poets) was led by Guest Poets Jean Atkin, Helen Ivory, Joan Michelson and Rachel Spence. Kate Foley, the judge of our 2019 poetry competition, gave a reading and comment on the adjudication of the competition on Saturday afternoon, along with Guest Poet winning poet Harriet Proudfoot and commended poets Angela Kirby, Jan Bay-Petersen, Jenny Hamlett, Pam Job, Mary Robinson and Jenny Vuglar
Published in 2015, in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 20 (May 2018), we made an offer of free copies to book reading groups, in exchange for feedback from their discussions. We are delighted that the Kintyre Writers’ Circle took up our offer and have given us comment on the poems. Their letter (as follows) features in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 23.
To: Editors, ARTEMISpoetry
Kintyre Writers’ Circle were pleased to have the opportunity to read the recent publication, Fanfare. As you can imagine, different members of the group enjoyed different poems. We welcomed the diversity of topics and approaches of the writers.
Some of the subject matter was disturbing in content and the writers dealt with this unflinchingly, while at the same time displaying empathy and some of their own pain. One of our group thought that Blackbird by Pascale Petit and Eli’s Book by Louise Green fitted this category.
Another of our members particularly enjoyed Meteor by Deryn Rees-Jones particularly the change of pace in the middle of the stanza.
We all enjoyed the irony of Antarctica to Temazepam by Maggie Sawkins, a particularly apt comment on today’s preoccupation with the need to have a specific amount of sleep at night.
Many thanks for this chance to read so many good poets.
Kintyre Writers’ Circle.
198pp, 167 poets, 241 poems… Fanfare is now out. Normal price is £12.95 plus p&p, but our introductory offer is for £10 including UK p&p (£9 to Second Light members; £12 to ROW).
Download the Order Form (pdf, Fanfare & Her Wings of Glass offers)
or buy at the Second Light online shop: Second Light Members Non-Members: to UK to outside UK.
When is a change a revolution? Fanfare, the promised sister anthology to Her Wings of Glass (2014, see below), continues the celebration of one of the most seismic on-going developments ever to affect literature…
Poets in Fanfare: list 1 – those poets who are, or were, also members of Second Light; list 2 – those poets who are not members.
Alison Brackenbury * Alyss Dye * Angela Kirby * Ann Alexander * Ann Phillips * Ann Scorgie * Ann Segrave * Anna Avebury * Anne Boileau * Anne Ryland * Anne Stewart * Belinda Singleton * Bernie Kenny * Carole Coates * Caroline Carver * Caroline Maldonado * Carolyn O’Connell * Clare Crossman * Cynthia Fuller * Daphne Gloag * Daphne Schiller * Diana Moen Pritchard * Dilys Wood * Dorothy Ann Coventon * Dorothy Yamamoto * Eleanor Livingstone * Elisabeth Rowe * Elizabeth Burns * Fiona Owen * Gill Horitz * Gill Learner * Gill McEvoy * Gill Nicholson * Glynda Winterson * Harriet Proudfoot * Helen Hill * Hilary Davies * Hilary Jupp * Hylda Sims * Jane Kirwan * Jane McLaughlin * Jane Routh * Janet Fisher * Janet Lees * Janet Sutherland * Jean Harrison * Jean Watkins * Jemma Borg * Jenna Plewes * Jennifer A McGowan * Jenny Hamlett * Jenny Morris * Jill Eulalie Dawson * Jill Sharp * Jill Townsend * Jo Peters * Joan Michelson * Joan Sheridan Smith * Joy Howard * Judith Cair * Judith Wolton * Julie Sampson * Justina Hart * Kate Foley * Katherine Gallagher * Kathleen M Quinlan * Kathy Miles * Kay Syrad * Kaye Lee * Laurna Robertson * Linda Rose Parkes * Lorna Dexter * Lotte Kramer * Louise Green * Lucy Hamilton * Lynne Hjelmgaard * Lynne Wycherley * M R Peacocke * Maggie Norton * Maggie Sawkins * Margaret Beston * Margaret Eddershaw * Margaret Wilmot * Martha Street * Melinda Lovell * Mimi Khalvati * Moniza Alvi * Moya Pacey * Myra Schneider * Nancy Mattson * Pam Job * Pam Zinnemann‑Hope * Pat Marum * Pat Watson * Patricia Crittenden Bloom * Patricia Helen Wooldridge * Patricia Leighton * Pauline Keith * Penelope Shuttle * R V Bailey * Rebecca Hubbard * Rosie Miles * Rosy Wilson * Sarah Westcott * Shirley Wright * Sue MacIntyre * Sue Rose * Susan Jane Sims * U A Fanthorpe * Val Doyle * Victoria Pugh * Vivienne Tregenza * Wendy French * Wendy Klein * Yvonne Baker
Alison Hill * Angela Leighton * Anna Adams * Anne Caldwell * Anne Cluysenaar * Audrey Ardern‑Jones * Aviva Dautch * Barbara Cumbers * Beverly Hughes * Caroline Natzler * Carolyn Jess‑Cooke * Charlotte Gann * Denise Bennett * Deryn Rees‑Jones * Di Slaney * Fiona Ritchie Walker * Genista Lewes * Gillian Allnutt * Helen Jagger * Helen Moore * Helen Overell * Hilary Menos * Hilda Sheehan * Isabel Bermudez * Jackie Hinden * Jacqueline Gabbitas * Jane Duran * Jean Hall * Jo Roach * Joan Downar * Joanna Boulter * Kerry Darbishire * Kim Moore * Lara Frankena * Mandy Pannett * Marilyn Ricci * Mary MacRae * Michaela Ridgway * Pascale Petit * Rebecca Goss * Rennie Parker * Rose Cook * Rosie Jackson * S J Litherland * Seni Seneviratne * Sharon Morris * Sheila Hillier * Sue Aldred * Susanne Ehrhardt * Tracey Martin * U A Fanthorpe * Victoria Gatehouse * Victoria Kennefick *
211pp, 134 poets, 237 poems… Her Wings of Glass (title from Sylvia Plath’s poem Stings) is now out. Normal price is £12.95 plus p&p, but we are continuing to offer it for £10 including UK p&p (£9 to Second Light members, £12 to non-members ROW).
Download the order form (pdf, Her Wings of Glass and Fanfare offers)
or buy at the online shop: Second Light Members Non-Members: to UK to outside UK.
This anthology complements, but is not a repeat of, our previous anthology (with Arrowhead Books), Images of Women.
The focus is on women’s writing which deals with ‘big issues’, for example the future of the planet, good and evil aspects of our relationship with the natural world and with each other, different aspects of our imaginative understanding of ‘who we are’.
This is the first of two anthologies. Poems submitted were considered both for Her Wings of Glass and for Fanfare (out November 2015, see above).
A majority of poems chosen for Her Wings of Glass are by Second Light members past and present (see list 1) and an additional wide range of poets are included (list 2). Some factors outside the editors’ control – such as exceptionally high permission fees demanded for the use of published poems by some publishers and some women poets not wanting to be published in an all-woman anthology – prevented the anthology being fully representative of the talent of UK women poets. However, we were delighted by the numbers of superb poems submitted. The co-operation of Second Light’s membership has helped us greatly to offer a wide cross-section of exciting work which we think is a true reflection of ambition and achievement.
A C Clarke * Adele Ward * Alice Kavounas * Alison Brackenbury * Alyson Hallett * Angela Kirby * Angela Stoner * Ann Alexander * Anna Crowe * Anna Kisby * Anne Cluysenaar * Anne Ryland * Anne Stewart * Carol Beadle * Caroline Carver * Cheryl Moskowitz * Danielle Hope * Daphne Gloag * Denise Bennett * Denise McSheehy * Dilys Wood * Elizabeth Burns * Elizabeth Rapp * Gill Learner * Gill McEvoy * Helen Ivory * Hilary Davies * Hylda Sims * Isobel Thrilling * Jacqueline Gabbitas * Jane Mclaughlin * Jean Atkin * Jean Earle * Joan Poulson * Judith Cair * Judith Kazantzis * Judy Gahagan * June English * June Hall * Justina Hart * Kate Foley * Katherine Gallagher * Kay Cotton * Kay Syrad * Kim Moore * Lesley Quayle * Lotte Kramer * Lucy Hamilton * Lyn Moir * Lynne Wycherley * M R Peacocke * Maggie Butt * Maggie Sawkins * Maria Jastrzębska * Marion Tracy * Mary MacRae * Merryn Williams * Mimi Khalvati * Moniza Alvi * Myra Schneider * Nadine Brummer * Nancy Mattson * Penelope Shuttle * Pippa Little * R V Bailey * Rebecca Gethin * Rose Flint * Ruth Smith * S J Litherland * Sarah Westcott * Seni Seneviratne * Sharon Morris * Susanne Ehrhardt * Thelma Laycock * U A Fanthorpe * V Gatehouse * Victoria Pugh * Wendy French * Zeeba Ansari
Angela Leighton * Anna Adams * Anna Robinson * Anne Stevenson * Aviva Dautch * Caitriona O’Reilly * Carole Satyamurti * Caroline Price * Carrie Etter * Catherine Smith * Christine Evans * Clare Pollard * Deryn Rees‑Jones * Dinah Livingstone * Dorothy Nimmo * Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin * Elaine Feinstein * Esther Morgan * Fiona Sampson * Fleur Adcock * Frances Horovitz * Gillian Allnutt * Gillian Clarke * Gwyneth Lewis * Hannah Lowe * Helen Moore * Imtiaz Dharker * Jackie Kay * Jackie Wills * Jane Duran * Jane Griffiths * Jen Hadfield * Julia Darling * Kate Bingham * Katrina Porteous * Linda Black * Lorna Thorpe * Marie Naughton * Marita Over * Martha Kapos * Maura Dooley * Menna Elfyn * Pascale Petit * Pauline Stainer * Phoebe Hesketh * Polly Clark * Rebecca Goss * Róisín Tierney * Ruth Fainlight * Selima Hill * Sinéad Morrissey * Siobhan Logan * Susan Wicks * Vuyelwa Carlin
Second Light is pleased to continue management of this fund, whose purpose is to assist members on low income, and their travelling companions if required, to attend Second Light events by way of providing a modest sum towards travelling costs. The fund was started with a generous donation from the family of Mary MacRae, a fine poet and, until her death in 2009, an enthusiastic and supportive member of Second Light. For more details or to apply, see Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund.
… a great time was had by all, sell out readings and workshops. Romanian participant, Elena Nistor, had her camera to hand…
Maggie shows Joan how the coat fits …
"and in this one here, look…"
Something funny this way comes?
Discussing the finer points…
Cornwall meets Normandie; Penelope and Kay talk shop
Katherine takes the throne… Elena (on her right) directs the shot
Members: newsletters not getting through? It will help if you add secondlightlive.co.uk (news at) and poetrypf.co.uk (editor at) to your Safe Senders and/or Trusted and/or Never Block list(s). Meantime, ‘opting in’ to receiving the Newsletter should also help. This opt-in form is specifically for Members of Second Light. The one for non-Members – “Join Mailing List” – is here.
When you complete this form it may respond with something like ‘You are already signed up’ or that the (mailability) status is already ‘Opt-In’. In either case, there’s no need to do any more – it will have tweaked the necessary flag in the mailout service program that should increase the likelihood of the next one getting through.