News and Events

Autumn Festival

Poetry Competition 2019 – now closed

Holland House Residential feedback!

Autumn Festival 2018

Poetry Competition 2018 – Results

Poetry Competition 2017 (& earlier) Results

Fanfare Remote Workshops

Fanfare anthology

Her Wings of Glass anthology

ARTEMIS poetry

Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Memorial Fund


Do you tutor or lead workgroups? We supply Workshops

AUTUMN FESTIVAL … now booking

Holland House Residential – 2019, see Lynda O’Neill on why she “wouldn’t miss them for anything”

Opening files on our site…

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.

Second Light Network, News and Events, Competition…

The August Newsletter e-mail ‘mail-out’ was sent out on 1st September. If you didn’t receive 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.
ARTEMISpoetry Issue 22, mailout date was 30th May 2019. 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.

News and Events

Dates for your diary, …

   Friday/Saturday 22nd/23rd November, Autumn Festival, Poetry Makes Nothing Happen (booking now open)
   Sunday 15th September, deadline for non-poetry submissions to ARTEMISpoetry Iss 23
   Thursday 31st October, Submissions accepted for ARTEMISpoetry Iss 23 will have been notified
   Feb, Sat 29th … Deadline for poems for ARTEMISpoetry Issue 24  
    (15th Mar for News, Readers’ Letters, artwork)  
    May, Fri & Sat 22nd & 23rd … Spring Festival  
    (Jul/Aug … Poetry Competition, date to be advised)  
    Aug, Mon 31st … Deadline for poems for ARTEMISpoetry Issue 25  
    (15th Sep for News, Readers’ Letters, artwork)  
    Nov, Fri & Sat 20th & 21st … Autumn Festival  

Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2019 – now closed

JUDGE KATE FOLEY. Kate Foley’s background includes work as a nurse, midwife, teacher and archaeological conservator. She has published ten poetry collections, most recently Electric Psalms, New and Collected Poems (Shoestring 2016) and A Gift of Rivers (Arachne, 2018). She is the in-coming President of Suffolk Poetry Society.
The results will be posted on the website by 30th September. Once winning poems (or extracts) are published in ARTEMISpoetry, they will be available to read here

back to top

FRI 22nd & SAT 23rd NOVEMBER 2019: Autumn Festival Poetry makes nothing happen

straight to information flyer
straight to booking form
Four workshops exploring the theme, ‘Poetry makes nothing happen’ and our responses to it will be led by Kate Foley, Helen Ivory, Myra Schneider and Sarah Westcott (see information flyer for workshop descriptions and notes about our tutors). Our traditional ‘Open Mic’ session on Friday will feature four Guest Poets this year: Jean Atkin, Helen Ivory, Joan Michelson and Rachel Spence. On Saturday, we have the Competition Adjudication event, with readings by Judge Kate Foley and from Winning and Commended poets.
     Fri, 10:30am to 1pm Workshop, ‘Empathy and Awareness’, led by Sarah Westcott
     Fri, 1:45 to 4:15pm Workshop, ‘Incantation and Spells’, led by Helen Ivory
     Fri, 4:45 to 6pm, Guest Poets and Open Mic for women poets.
     Sat, 10:30am to 1pm Workshop, ‘Yes it Does…’,led by Kate Foley
     Sat, 1:45 to 4:15pm Workshop, ‘The Potency of Poetry’, led by Myra Schneider
     Sat, 4:45 to 5:45pm, Competition Adjudication event.
Workshop events are for women only. Readings are by women poets. Men are most welcome in the audience.
All events will take place in the Gradidge Room at The Art Workers Guild: 6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT (near Russell Square). map showing Venue

back to top

Mon 15th to Fri 19th July 2019, Holland House Residential, Worcestershire – and see Lynda O’Neill on reasons to keep coming…

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…

back to top

FRI 16th & SAT 17th NOVEMBER 2018: Autumn Festival – I don’t want this poem to end…

Theme of festival: The potential scope of an initial inspiration may seem endless but we may sense that a poem reaches out for a shape and a kind of finality, even if, paradoxically, the effect is ‘open’, ‘questioning’. There are many ways of shaping material from formal poetic forms to different kinds of ‘managed’ looseness and indirection. So much depends on source, how we aim to relate to readers, and many other factors.
Four workshops explored the theme and our responses to it. These were led by Hannah Lowe, Esther Morgan, Myra Schneider and Sarah Westcott . The Competition Adjudication event took place on Friday, with readings from competition winners and from our 2018 judge, Esther Morgan. On Saturday, 4:45 to 6pm, our now-traditional ‘Open Mic’ (for women poets) was led by Guest Poets, Daphne Gloag and Myra Schneider.

back to top

Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2018 – RESULTS

Our judge for the 2018 competition is Esther Morgan. Our thanks to Esther and to all who submitted poems. Congratulations to our winners: Nicolette Golding (1st, Long Poem), Linda Saunders (1st, Short Poem), Pippa Little (2nd) and M R Peacocke (3rd); and to all those Commended and Shortlisted (full list below).
The adjudication event on Friday 16th November took place as part of the Autumn Festival, with readings by the judge and those winning poets able to attend. The Judge’s comment is published, along with the Winning and Commended poems , in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 21 (November 2018).
Full Results:

1st Prize, Long Poem Category: Where is Jill?, Nicolette Golding
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: Tresure, Linda Saunders
2nd Prize, White Afternoon, Pippa Little
3rd Prize, Coming Across, M R Peacocke
Read the Poems as they appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 21 (pdf)
There’s more to it, Dorothy Ann Coventon
My step-daughter’s new boyfriend keeps a rat in his pocket, Wendy French
Saltwater, Janet Lees
The Wearing of the Gold, Pat Marum
Signing herself out, Carol Rowntree Jones
Lucernarium, Anne Ryland
The Singing Women of Duddo, Anne Ryland
Top-down history, Judith Taylor
Fallout, Carol Beadle
Flying Faster Than Sound, Daphne Gloag
Life Class, Nicolette Golding
Mappa Mundi, Pippa Little
Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Unidentified Bird, Jennie Osborne
On Iona, Marg Roberts
Siege and Symphony, Myra Schneider
Night Things, Nicola Warwick
Who Would Be the Ink, Jay Whittaker
There are signs of leaving, Margaret Wilmot <

back to top


“As a trumpet-call of celebration, Fanfare is exactly the right title for this anthology. Adventurous … witty and moving, intelligent … these poems … will shock and delight you.”, Dr R V Bailey
The sky is full of cadences writes Sue Rose in her poem in this beautiful anthology, a fitting metaphor for the sheer range of topics and tones in these poems … ”, Hannah Lowe

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 poetry p f 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 *

back to top


“I’m completely wowed … the most important anthology for decades”, John Killick
“tremendously inspiring”, Moniza Alvi        “an amazing anthology”, Pauline Stainer
“It’s a magnificent anthology (and I’m not just saying this because my mother’s face
peers at me from the cover!)”, Adam Horovitz
“I’m impressed”, Anne Stevenson

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 poetry p f 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

back to top

Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Memorial Fund

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.

back to top

A few photos from our Autumn Festival, 2008, where…

… a great time was had by all, sell out readings and workshops. Romanian participant, Elena Nistor, had her camera to hand…

Joan Waddleton, Maggie Norton

Maggie shows Joan how the coat fits …

Anne Ballard (speaker), Daphne Schiller, Anna Avebury

"and in this one here, look…"

Anne Stewart, Administrator

Something funny this way comes?

Pat Earnshaw and Hilary Llewellyn‑Williams

Discussing the finer points…

Penelope Shuttle, Kay Cotton

Cornwall meets Normandie; Penelope and Kay talk shop

Elena Nistor, Katherine Gallagher, Anne Stewart

Katherine takes the throne… Elena (on her right) directs the shot

back to top


Members: newsletters not getting through? It will help if you add (news at) and (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.

* required






Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse