Featured Poets, October 2018                     home page
 

Simone Mansell Broome       Maureen G Coppack       Margaret Eddershaw       Evie Ford       Jenny Hamlett       Danielle Hope       Gill Learner       Jenny Morris       Elizabeth Rapp       Maggie Sawkins       Joan Sheridan Smith       Sue Wallace-Shaddad       Hilary Hares       Jay Whittaker       Sue Wood      

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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Maureen G Coppack

Maureen lives in North Wales. Poems published in Iota, Poetry Nottingham, Other Poetry, Second Light, Helicon, and various other magazines. Success in local competitions. Chapbooks: Shared Ground and Turtle Stone. She is currently working on a new collection, Alternatives.

Wading Through Green

It would have been a July afternoon
with everyone piling out into the sun.
And I remember the dog rose blooming
in a flush of pink, as we waded through green meadows,
hunting for lucky leaves among the purple clover.
 
Then someone made a daisy chain, and suddenly
we were all crowned in gold and white,
and there were butterflies,
(orange tip, common blue, cabbage white)
dancing around our heads.
 
And I recall those colours midsummer bright,
but any sounds have slipped away.
Memory runs a silent film, which is strange
and sad, because I’m sure, so very sure,
that all our hearts were singing.

Maureen G Coppack

Publications: Chapbooks, Shared Ground and Turtle Stone

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Margaret Eddershaw

Margaret took early retirement to live in Greece. She has had over 100 poems published individually and one collection, Spectators’ View (Peer Poetry International, 2002). In 2008: Cinnamon Press, Leaf Books, iota, Purple Patch and commendation in Barnet poetry competition.

Golden Rule

In a forgotten drawer
my father’s wooden rule,
brass-hinged to unfold
sideways and lengthways
for measuring boat timbers.

I hear the slap and click
of its closing,
before I can say ‘lifeboat’,
see it vanish
into that long pocket
on the thigh of blue overalls.

Indicator of his precision
love of numbers
a life measured
in feet and inches
business takings
cricket scores
football pools
bingo calls.

His emotions kept in check,
marked off by pencil,
held in columns,
buttoned up in cardigans,
till an outburst
a sea-squall soon past.

Now he’s gone to talk
spans and cubits
and dead-reckoning with Noah.

Margaret Eddershaw

Poem published: Iota, 2007

Publications: Collection, Spectators’ View, Peer Poetry International, 2002

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Evie Ford

Scottish poet Evie Ford has lived mostly in Italy for forty years (seven in Paris, one in New York). Her time is now divided between Rome and a large garden in Umbria. She taught English language in universities in Rome and a grande école in Paris.

Harvesting the Lavender

This year’s very dry July
hands among wasps and white butterflies
you seize a handful of stalks,
clip close to the bush, come up with
huge armfuls of strong scent and softness.
Three of us working as usual,
the pergola table stacked high,
talk of men and their failings,
or where to get olive oil cheap,
and long stretches maybe
of only clipping and birdsong.
The abandoned stalks will serve for fire lighting
and the flowers fill baskets or jars
for distilling or tincture or oil.
 

Evie Ford

Address: Rome

 
Tel: 00 39 329 2113072
 
e-mail Evie Ford

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Jenny Hamlett

Jenny Hamlett has an MA in creative writing, has facilitated writing workshops and was Poet in Residence for Cassies, a garden on the Isle of Wight. She organised Penzance Poetry Society Stanza and is the current Treasurer of Moor Poets in Devon.

The Grey Mare’s Waterfall

     Kinlochleven
 
Discovered late evening
                the fall
is the colour of a woman’s hair
 
as she strides
                her last few years.
 
This sheer beauty
                offers no pulling back
 
from the uninhibited
                plunge
down vertical rock
 
a snatching of time,
                hurling it
into the pool.
 
If seconds were iron bars
                she could jam
in the cog wheels of a mill
 
she could not keep them,
                against this grey fall.
 
Better to turn away
                climb
one slow, hard step
 
after another towards
                the winter pass
at Lairigmor.
 

Jenny Hamlett

in collection Playing Alice, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2017;
previously in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 7, 2011
and Words in Air app, 2013

Publications:
Playing Alice, 2017, Indigo Dreams Publishing, ISBN 978-1-9108343-2-9
Talisman, 2009, Indigo Dreams Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9561991-9-5
The Sandtiger, 1994, Longman, ISBN 0-582-12169-8

Jenny Hamlett at poetry p f
 
e-mail Jenny Hamlett

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Danielle Hope

Danielle Hope founded and edited Zenos, a magazine of British and International Poetry, and is editorial advisor for the Literary Magazine, Acumen.

In the kitchen

I’ve heard voices for some time so I enter.
My father pauses mid-sentence, stares
at the black table leg. His eyes wary,
mouth open as if caught on camera
scrumping apples. The radio splutters softly.
 
How two years have shrunk him.
His spade hands now scooped out
as he struggles unsteadily to sit.
He has only the remnants of pride to force
his wooden breaths, shore his shoulders back.
 
‘Talking to mum?’ I ask. ‘It’s private
between her and me’. Outside a car passes.
He reaches to rub thick cream
onto where his right ankle still won’t heal.
The steady drip of the kitchen tap like a clock.
 

Danielle Hope

Poem published in collection, Giraffe under a Grey Sky, Rockingham Press

Publications:
Fairground of Madness, Rockingham Press, ISBN 978-1-873468-01-2, £5.95
City Fox, Rockingham Press, ISBN 978-1-873468-55-5, £6.95
The Stone Ship, Rockingham Press, ISBN 1873468 911, £7.95
Giraffe Under a Grey Sky, Rockingham Press, ISBN 978-1-904851-34-9, £7.99

Danielle Hope website
 
contact Danielle
 

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Gill Learner

Gill Learner’s poems have been published widely and she has been lucky in several competitions including the English Association’s Fellows’ Poetry Prize 2012 and the Buxton Prizes 2011 & 2012. She lives in Reading and enjoys reading to an audience.

Lost

If I press the plus to maximum, will you turn?
How is it in there – silent as the kernel
of a granite tor or murmurous like a river under ice?
Can you hear the blood thudding
in your arteries or the crepitus of tendons
as you move your head?
 
I miss our mute exchanges, your lips
pressed tight on laughter, my flutter
of a lid. We can’t dispute the way used to:
humour doesn’t travel on a shout.
 
You lean towards the chatter, see the bubbles rise.
How is it in there – like fingers in ears
to blot out playground taunts; neighbours
through the wall?
 
The hearing aid lies under handkerchiefs:
you can’t distinguish voices from the rest
and if your eyes are turned away
you cannot guess.
 
You used to say to Grandad
Are you listening to me, Pops,
or is your mind elsewhere?

Now you are listening all the time
but cannot hear.

Gill Learner

Poem published: The North, 49, Autumn 2012

Publications:
collection, The Agister’s Experiment, Two Rivers Press, 2011;
Anthologies, Cracking On (2009) and A Twist of Malice (2008), Grey Hen Press;
My Mother Threw Knives, Second Light Publications, 2006

web-pages on poetry p f
 
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Jenny Morris

Jenny Morris writes poems and fiction. She has taught in the UK and abroad. Her writing has won awards, been published in numerous magazines and anthologies and read on radio. She has read at literary festivals and in prison.

Accident of Birth

The family tree can hold you fast
with ties of guilt or love or pride.
Opprobrium may haunt its past
but bonds of blood are sanctified.
Though you may choose your friends with care,
in kith and kin you have no choice.
Regarding them it may be rare
you find a reason to rejoice.
Yes, you can run away from home,
divorce your parents if you like,
escape from relatives and roam –
until you find you are alike.
Those inbred traits will bind you fast.
When you were made the die was cast.

Jenny Morris

Poem published in collection The Sin Eater, The National Poetry Foundation, 1993

Publications: Lunatic Moon, Gatehouse Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-95547-700-3

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Elizabeth Rapp

Elizabeth Rapp lives in Somerset. She runs residential and day poetry workshops at various South West venues. She is a graduate teacher, Lay Minister, and has worked with the homeless and in a children’s

Ice Garden

I begged him for a garden,
hollyhocks and delphiniums.
He gave me grottoes of ice.
No birds sing here: only the sound
of moonlight dreaming snow at midnight.
 
I have become bone carved from ice.
I spin on a needle’s point,
watched by an angel huddled
in snow with icebound wings;
his stricken face as I twirl and twirl.
 
Those dark and subtle hands
have locked me in this kingdom,
this palace of death-white ice.
Floors are as slippery as his lies.
I wander through cubes of refracted light
 
where indigo and jade dance on my silver dress,
turn into birds of paradise.
But today a small brown bird
perched on my wrist, then
gave me a pomegranate seed
from his beak.

Elizabeth Rapp

Poem: Winner of the A.A. Sanders poetry prize, 2000
 
Publications:
Dancing on Bones, full collection, Rockingham Press, 2000.
Living Proof, The Amate Press, Oxford.
Hare and Sixpence, The Rigmal Press, Devon
A CD of Elizabeth’s poems is available, 7, direct from Elizabeth.

The Lodge
Dillington
Ilminster
Somerset
TA19 9EH
 
tel: 01460 259898
 
e-mail

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Maggie Sawkins

Maggie Sawkins lives in Southsea, Hampshire where she organises Tongues&Grooves Poetry and Music Club. Winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for Zones of Avoidance. Maggie works with people in recovery from addiction.

Zones of Avoidance

     (a short extract)
 
I’m reading ‘The Confessions of an English Opium Eater’ –
I want to understand what drove my daughter out in the snow
 
with no coat or socks, in search of a fix.
I want to understand what divinity led her
 
to set up camp in the derelict ‘pigeon house’
after running out of sofas to surf.
 
     *
 
I was a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds girl myself.
I liked the way it made inanimate objects move,
 
until that day in Balham when my guy sang Rock n Roll Suicide
from a third floor window, and an Alsatian leapt
 
from the wood grain of the station door, and policemen
were penguins in disguise.
 
     *
 
Tough Love. The mantra of the support group for those
beaten by their loved one’s addiction.
 
When I was busted at nineteen and the bedsit landlord
tipped my belongings onto the street, the last person
 
I would’ve turned to was my mother.
You’ve made your bed. Lie on it. Lie on it. Lie on it.
 

Maggie Sawkins

Poem published in Zones of Avoidance, 2013

Publications:
Zones of Avoidance (multimedia live literature performance, directed by Mark C Hewitt), 2013;
The Zig Zag Woman, 2007, Two Ravens Press;
Charcot’s Pet, 2003, Flarestack

Zones of Avoidance website
 
e-mail Maggie Sawkins

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Joan Sheridan Smith

Joan Sheridan Smith’s work has been widely published in the small (and not so small, ed) presses including Acumen, Envoi, Iota, Poetry Monthly) and she has a pamphlet collection available (Gallery, Poetry Monthly Press, 2006).

Tenderness

You have a gentle touch with living things.
I can’t pick up a mouse, a frog, a bird,
afraid of harming them. You scoop them up,
cradle them in your hands and lift them clear
of the cat’s predatory paw.
You also love the cat.
 
In this I am reminded of my father.
He'd trap a window wasp
with an upended glass,
and sliding underneath a piece of card,
release it to the hazards of the air.

Joan Sheridan Smith

Publications:
Gallery, Poetry Monthly Press;
Schubertiad, collaborative CD (poems interspersed with piano pieces), 7.50 (orders via Joan);
A Garland for David, Poetry Monthly Press, £5 from www.poetrymonthly.com
 

38 Holcombe Crescent
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP2 9QZ
 
tel: 01473 601965
 
Joan on poetry p f
 
e-mail

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Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Sue Wallace-Shaddad captures moments in time, observing life and nature, writing across a wide range of topics. She has had poems published in a number of anthologies including The Dawntreader and on line (Ink, Sweat and Tears, Poetry Space).

Crystal Ball

You are a bit fey, mother,
carry a crystal
hanging on a thread,
consult it
on matters of importance.
I am too superstitious
to try my luck,
watch the charm
swing from side to side
or circle round
carrying hopes, fears
sacred wishes.
 
My daughter has a crystal ball,
loved magic as a child.
We bought a gypsy table
dark stained oak,
cross legged,
slightly tilted.
I can imagine her, head bowed,
staring
into that translucent orb
to summon a vision,
pierce another world.
 
These women in my life
share a sense of mystery,
tap into realms I do not know,
reach beyond
the drab curtain of certainty,
embrace the edge.

Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Poem published in The Dawntreader Iss 39, 2017

Publications:
A working life, 2014, self-published

Sue Wallace-Shaddad website
 
e-mail Sue Wallace-Shaddad

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Hilary Hares

Hilary Hares lives in Farnham, Surrey. Her poems have found homes online and in print and she has an MA in Poetry from MMU. Whilst waiting for the muse, she’s slave to a demanding bird table and lives in hope of meeting the perfect dog.

On sculptural figures looking out to sea

All Gormley’s kin each is his own man.
The local children call one Jeff.
 
They drown every day.
Like gods they have no smiles.
 
Sometimes Titian or Hockney
will paint them a dawn and,
 
when the tide recedes, jellyfish land
at their feet like green glass plates.
 
I watch as seagulls perch on their shoulders,
mirror their gaze, ask: Why stare so hard?
 
But they’re not letting on, their eyes fixed
as though they can’t bear to look down.
 
I persist: According to Frost nothing
we’re searching for is out far or in deep?

 
Their silence is deeper than the sea. I make
a final bid for conversation, tell them this:
 
I can see what’s happening behind you.
There’s no turning back.

 

Hilary Hares

Winner: Write by the Sea 2018 Literary Festival Competition, 2018

Publications:
A Butterfly Lands on the Moon, sold in support of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care

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Jay Whittaker

Jay Whittaker’s poems were shortlisted for a Scottish New Writers 2016 Award and the 2016 Bridport Poetry Prize, and have been published in Envoi, Orbis, Brittle Star & The Frogmore Papers. Her full length collection, Wristwatch, comes out in 2017..

Pearl

What sends you over the brink –
a final shove or ceaseless prodding?
Are you hounded to it, coaxed,
alarmed or caught off guard?
 
The end’s the same.
flailing arms, sky, chasm -
you fall, a shell of significance
at your heart a pearl.
 

Jay Whittaker

Publications:
Pearl, 2005, Selkirk Lapwing Press, ISBN 0-9-531212-6-7
“Regeneration” in Both sides of Hadrian‘s Wall, 2006, Selkirk Lapwing Press, ISBN 0-9-554056-3-7

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Sue Wood

Sue Wood, a retired teacher/lecturer now has a second career as creative writing tutor for community groups. Many publications and awards: Cinnamon Poetry Award plus publication; Poetry Business Pamphlet winner; Peterloo; Oxford Poetry Festival etc.

Imagine yourself to be water

     A tribute to Capability Brown
 
First consider your aspect.
If water from some far off source
finds a contour to bring it
to your land then it must
approach with candour
be present in your landscape
as inevitably as the first touch
a lover dares.
 
Imagine yourself to be water
seeking the line of least resistance
the measured fall
the plunge over granite into earth.
Resolve that here
you place your rill.
 
 
Consider how reflections will magnify
your dwelling place
giving you portals as into heaven.
Your fountain must rise as mightily
as the land heave gives
or a hidden source provides.
 
Above all, let your land be true to nature.
Plant no exotic trees but in groups of nine
mimicking a sacred English grove:
beech, ash and the mighty elm.
Remove all that needs clipping or fussing
into beauty, all that is base and ragged
such as villages and the low-browed church
clogging the valley like a toad’s head.
 
Consider how these possibilities
will shape this landscape with my hand
when you are dust in the mausoleum
I shall place thus charmingly
half-glimpsed as in an Attic scene.
 
Above all imagine yourself to be water
awaiting your reflection.
 
 
Croome Park, Worcestershire
 
 
 

Sue Wood

The title poem from award winning poetry collection Imagine yourself to be water

Publications:
Imagine yourself to be water, 2009, Cinnamon Press, ISBN 978-1-9056149-4-3 (out of print)
Woman Scouring A Pot, 2002, Smith/Doorstop (competition winner), ISBN 1-902382-47-1

e-mail Sue Wood

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