Featured Poets, February 2021                     home page
 

Anna Avebury       Christine Vial       Dorrie Johnson       Hilaire        Jennie Osborne       Justina Hart       Lynne Wycherley       Maureen Weldon       Pam Zinnemann-Hope       Simone Mansell Broome       Victoria Gatehouse      

You may also wish to listen to poem recordings that have been added to our (small but growing!) digital archive. We have poems there by:
 
Nadine Brummer, Daphne Gloag, Jennie Osborne, Mimi Khalvati, Lottie Kramer, Gill McEvoy (read by Anne Stewart), Maggie Norton, Elizabeth Soule, Jill Townsend, Marion Tracy, Fiona Ritchie Walker and Lynne Wycherley.
 
Select and listen here               Poets of the Month (other dates)  

Anna Avebury

Anna Avebury began writing poetry regularly when she stopped teaching in the 1990’s. She joined a local group, Ver Poets, and continues to be a member having now stepped down from the committee. Main interests: the natural world, relationships, time.

Red Kites Over Home Farm

They ride the autumn air, forked tails fluttering
in warm up-draughts, wings out-stretched.
 
Together, they hover then stoop, a heart-beat apart,
each mirroring the other as the carousel turns
 
and they circle the field below, the practised rise
and fall, a daily rite, like hands at the piano,
 
in perfect time. They know the score, too well,
waiting for the cue, the breeze that spells decay,
 
then, the targeted descent to lunch below.
 

Anna Avebury

Poem commended in competition and published in Ver Poets 10 Liners Anthology 2017.

Publications:
Dress Rehearsal, self-published, £2.50 (proceeds to Open Door – local charity)
Ver Poets anniversary anthologies; Locked Down, Poetry Space, Oct 2020

e-mail

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Christine Vial

East-end baby-boomer, now living in Enfield (North London) where she teaches literature and creative writing. Widely published & a popular live performer. Debut pamphlet: ‘Dancing in Blue Flip-flops’ pub autumn 2018. More info at poeticvoiceslive

“A Flask of Wine, A Book of Verse and Thou… ”

     The Last Word Cafe at the British Library
 
In a corner, a young French woman is teaching French
to a young Iranian. He, in his turn, is teaching her Persian.
English is the language they share for this transaction.
“And why do you want to learn French?” she asks him.
“Because I love French cinema and art. One day I hope
to live in Paris”. They are waiting for a performance
of the Ruba‘iyat of Omar Khayayyam in Persian and in English.
 
And so are we – in another corner – where I’m speaking
Brick Lane Cockney to my American husband: two nations
divided by a common language. Both his names are Dutch.
My father’s surname is Huguenot, from the exiled weavers
of Spitalfields, and my mother’s maiden name is Lenihan.
 
In the global village, commonality usually means Coca-Cola
and diversity means danger. But here – held in this edge of glass –
our shared and different languages weave a map of poetry
flung out bright and hopeful against the winter sky.

Christine Vial

Poem first published in Barnet Poetry Competition Anthology, 2011;
in pamphlet collection Dancing in Blue Flip-Flops, 2018;
audio online at poeticvoiceslive (see below)

Publications:
Dancing in Blue Flip-Flops, 2018, RQpoetry pamphlets, ISBN 978-1-9010171-9-2, £5
(proceeds to Freedom from Torture’s “Write to Life” group);
a selection of Christine’s poems appears in each of the following anthologies:
Doing Christmas Differently, 2006, Wild Goose publications; Home, 2007, CETH; Taste, 2008, CETH; The Book of Love and Loss, 2014, Belgrave Press

Christine Vial at poeticvoiceslive
 
e-mail Christine Vial

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Dorrie Johnson

Retired health professional who likes walking and writing poetry; currently working on a longer series of poems.

Unnamed

I can’t say who it was
they closed my eyes
spared me the pennies to keep them closed
smuggled me out at night in a cardboard box
to a field for the living dead
where my carbon
is taken up by dandelions
left me a knife
as grave goods
and folk pass by sometimes
but don’t see
that where the turf is slightly raised
that’s where I am.
 

Dorrie Johnson

e-mail Dorrie Johnson

Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet

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Hilaire

Hilaire is co-author with Joolz Sparkes of London Undercurrents. She was poet-in-residence at Thrive Battersea in 2017 and Highly Commended in the 2019 Live Canon International Poetry Prize. She writes and gardens in Battersea.

The Sheffield Man

Was it only our family he visited
at dead of night? Slipping bone-handled knives,
dimpled thimbles, an heirloom coffee spoon,
into his felt-lined pockets. His thefts small,
intermittent, occasionally reversed.
Look what’s turned up under the sink!
Triumphant, Dad held aloft a pewter
napkin ring, long lost. This was not
the stuff of nightmares.
 
Grown up, abroad, I found the Sheffield Man
unknown amongst my peers – a family quirk,
a joke I only got in retrospect.
 
But now he’s back and he’s greedy,
working daylight hours behind my mother’s back.
The peg tin, can opener, keys. Her reading glasses.
All magicked away out of sight.
He’s even filched the whatchamacallit
and the reason she first needed it.
 
I stab pins into a Sheffield Man doll
even though I know there’s no reversing
this final vanishing act.
 

Hilaire

Highly commended in the Red Shed Open Poetry Competition 2018 and published in The Quality of the Moment competition pamphlet, Currock Press

Publications:
indoors looking out, lower case press, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5272-6319-2 £5
London Undercurrents,, Holland Park Press, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-907320-82-8 £10
Triptych Poets: Issue OneBlemish Books, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-9807556-1-9
Hearts on Ice, Serpent’s Tail, 2000 ISBN: 1-852426-63-2

Hilaire’s website
 
e-mail

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Jennie Osborne

Jennie Osborne lives on the edge of Dartmoor, active in poetry around South Devon. One of organisers of Teignmouth Poetry Festival. Performer and workshop leader. Won 2015 Kent and Sussex Poetry Prize.

Salmon

It’s too early
for salmon leaping
or too late.
 
I’m in the right place
thinking perhaps
no time is wrong
 
That I feel at home here
or anywhere
that isn’t home
 
and as I stand in that knowledge
the salmon come, leaping.
 

Jennie Osborne

Poem published: The Rialto, Autumn 2013.

Publications:
Colouring Outside the Lines, 2015, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068565-8-8
collection, How to be Naked, 2010, Oversteps Books, ISBN 978-1-9068561-3-7. £8;
CD, Something about a Woman, £5 + 50p p&p, direct from Jennie

Overall winner of the SecondLightLive Poetry Competition, Round 2, Nov 08 to Sep 09. Listen to Jennie reading There’s Something about a Woman Swallowing Flames

e-mail Jennie Osborne
 
web-pages on poetry p f.

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Justina Hart

Justina Hart was short-listed in the 2010 Second Light competition and has been published in the Daily Poem column of the Independent. Having worked in national newspapers and online, Justina is currently writing a poetry collection and a novel.

A Wire to Grief

When you flash upon me,
yanking the voice from my throat,
I’m usually peeling potatoes
or combing my just-woken hair
 
or, worse, in bed with my not-quite-lover
who’s helped pull me clear.
And you freeze me: peeler,
hairbrush, almost-lover in hand,
 
like that giant iguana I once saw
suddenly play dead, one foot high
in the air as if it was having a laugh,
not petrified, like me.
 
You rip all sound from the room
so it slips, cliffs rise, drop away.
There’s that pause when nothing happens
before everything does; and I’m falling
 
like David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death
when his bombed Spitfire plunges, and he pleads
to be spared – he loves the radio control chick
on the line he’s never even met.
 
Through the smoke and flames
I see, for a second, a reprieve for me, too –
if I had another life, I’d never walk out again,
leaving me and you just hanging.
 

Justina Hart

Publications:
Angels: millennial messengers, 2000, Seraphim Press, ISBN 0953577902
The Rhythm of Stones, 1995, Carnival Press, ISBN 1899378014

Address: Lichfield and London
 
e-mail

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Lynne Wycherley

Lynne Wycherley finds herself drawn to light-haunted landscapes – a legacy, perhaps, of childhood by the Fens. Her lyrical and sometimes metaphysical poems have featured widely. (Her recent prizes include the Second Light poetry competition and the E.A. Fellows’ Prize).

Leaving Burray

Beyond the Barrier, fear’s grey wall,
it appears from nowhere –
 
a strip of blue, transcendent blue,
as if a thousand kingfishers
fell from heaven.
 
Glance again and it’s gone,
mist’s sleight of hand,
its voltage trace still printed on your soul.
 

 
* Barrier – Churchill Barrier (Scapa Flow)

Lynne Wycherley

in collection Poppy in a Storm-Struck Field

Publications:
Poppy in a Storm-struck Field, 2009, Shoestring Press, ISBN 978-1-907356-00-1. £9.
North Flight, 2006, Shoestring Press.
At the Edge of Light, 2003, Shoestring Press.
Fens Poems (‘A Sea of Dark Fields’), 2000, Hilton House pamphlets.
Cracks in the Ice, 1999, Acumen Occasional Pamphlet Series.

e-mail Lynne

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Maureen Weldon

Maureen Weldon’s awards include: Highly Commended, SWWJ, Elizabeth Longford Trophy Poetry Competition, 2006. Her work is published in: Crannog, Poetry Scotland, Snakeskin, Ink Sweat & Tears, Coffee House. Autumn 2014, first pamphlet collection to be published by Poetry Space Ltd.

Midnight Robin

While the sky shimmers like shot silk.
I count the chimneypots,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
 
On my kitchen table, sheets and sheets
of screwed up poems.
Tomorrow I’ll flatten them
for shopping lists.
 
While perfumed smells of hyacinths
bring memories of my mother;
‘they make lovely Christmas presents’
she would say, as she potted and tended.
 
The evening moves along.
The moon a half golden bracelet.
The sky cluttered with stars.
 
All is still. No cars. No trains.
And in this stillness,
the midnight robin sings.
 

Maureen Weldon

Poem published in Crannog 18, 2008, ISSN 1649-4865;
and in Bolts of Silk, 2013

Publications:
Breakfast at Kilumney, 2010, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 978-1-9063573-1-3. £5;
Earth Tides, 2002, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 1-90303-12-9. £4;
To Change These Hours, 2004, Kite Modern Poetry Series, ISBN 0-907759-39-4. £5.95;
Of Crossed Wires, 1996, Wire Poetry Booklet Series, ISBN 1-900462-60-5. £4;
Leap, 1993, Envoi Poets Publications, ISBN 1-874161-01-1. £5

Address:
14 Green Park
Connagh’ Quay,
Deeside
Flintshire
CH5 4QJ
 
Tel: 01244 822366
 
e-mail Maureen Weldon

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Pam Zinnemann-Hope

On Cigarette Papers, Pam Zinnemann-Hope’s debut collection, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. It was adapted by her for the Afternoon Play on radio 4 in which she also acted. She runs poetry seminars near Dorchester.

Marriage to Lazar – 1905

On the day my bankrupt father married me off
the luck sat more in my husband’s cup
than mine, believe me. Lazar broke the glass
for us in Krakow; a broken glass
is meant to bring you luck. But I’d already
turned my back on my dreams, cut up
my ball-gown stitched with seed pearls,
the dumb song-birds on my own embrodiery;
I spoke sternly to my tiny stubborn heart;
I stood straight with Lazar under the canopy;
I dropped my eyes to his uncultured vowels.
What could I do while the gold band slid
onto my finger? Make a secret vow:
never forgive my father, or fall in love.

Pam Zinnemann-Hope

in collection On Cigarette Papers, Ward Wood, 2012

Publications:
On Cigarette Papers, Ward Wood, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9568969-8-8
Who’s In The Next Room, HappenStance, 2010, ISBN 978-1-9059395-1-0
4 Ned books, Walker Books, 1986/7/8, ISBN 978-0-744 5062-6-6 (& 3 following)
NW15, Anthology of New Writing, Granta, 2007

e-mail

Pam Zinnemann-Hope at Ward Wood

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Simone Mansell Broome

Simone began writing poems in late 2004. She’s since been recorded, broadcast, published, & won several prizes. Simone also represented Wales in Radio 4’s performance poetry competition, 2009. She co-runs Ceridwen the Ceridwen Centre

Five Changes

If I tried to give you up, it would be like
buying a train ticket from Aberystwyth
to Hastings, on a Sunday or a Bank Holiday —
a reduced service, works on the line…
essential maintenance;
and I’d expected five changes, steeled myself for
Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Reading, Gatwick
and Brighton,
had psyched myself to tick them off, one by one,
but found cancellations,
my progress halted, my plans thwarted,
my route re-arranged on a chalked easel
with quirky spellings…inaudible apologies…
and instead of three-down-two-to-go,
time for a coffee, a quick last sidinged pass
at crossword or sudoku,
I’d find I was just travelling — locomoting slowly —
in a large reticulated arc
back
to you.

Simone Mansell Broome

Poem published: 1st Prize winner, Carillon magazine competition 2007, and published in Carillon issue 17, Mar/Apr 2007, ISSN 1474-7340.

Publications:
Cardiff Bay Lunch, Lapwing Publications (Belfast), 2010 – ISBN 978-1-907276-44-6 £8;
Not exactly getting anywhere but… – Ceridwen Press, April 2008, ISBN 978-1849231077 £3.50;
Juice of the Lemon, youwriteon.com, December 2008, ISBN 978-1849231077, £4.99

Simone Mansell Broome, Penybanc Farm, Drefach Felindre, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, Wales, SA44 5XE
 
Simone Mansell Broome website
 
e-mail Simone Mansell Broome

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Victoria Gatehouse

Victoria Gatehouse lives in West Yorkshire and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including Mslexia, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry News, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Furies and Her Wings of Glass. Victoria won the Ilkley Festival Poetry competition in 2011 and was a runner up in the Mslexia Single poem competition in both 2014 and 2015.

Widow

     Following the death of her husband, artist Suzie MacMurray
     created a dress made entirely of pins.

 
You’ll find me glittering in doorways
waiting, like a bride, to snag everyone’s eye.
 
As a bride, I stood through countless fittings
knew the hopeful calculations of the measuring tape –
 
now I’ve taken shears to dreams, watched beads
of blood swell and break on the fingertips
 
of those who re-stitched the seams. Watch me
thread my way across the room. In my wake,
 
a shivering train, the clicking grief
of one hundred thousand adamantine pins.
 
From a distance they’re glossy with light,
lie like a pelt. Touchable. Come closer –
 
held in the smooth weight of each head,
a fleck of memory, the tight edge of a tear.
 

Victoria Gatehouse

Poem published in Mslexia, 2014; in anthology Her Wings of Glass, Second Light Publications, 2014

e-mail Victoria Gatehouse

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