Mara Bergman, a long-time member of the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society, is the winner of the Mslexia 2014 Women’s Pamphlet Competition with “The Tailor’s Three Sons and Other New York Poems”, which will be published by Seren in 2015. Look at the bright skies – she’s still up there floating!
There was a good turnout and a warm and friendly atmosphere for the battle of the poets last Wednesday. We were treated to a wide variety of voices and topics, with all participants on top form. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to participate in one of these friendly bouts. A head-to-head event, with no casualties, and no losers!
Mir Mahfuz Ali
On Tuesday 18th November we welcome Mir Mahfuz Ali to the Camden Centre in Tunbridge Wells. Originally from Bangladesh, he has worked as a male model, chef and actor/dancer as well as a writer. Highlights amongst his readings include the Royal Opera House and Radio 4. Midnight, Dhaka is his first full collection of poetry, and is published by Seren. Mir Mahfuz Ali has written of his poetry, “I want the taste to linger in the readers’ mouths and on their skin.” Come and listen to an unusual voice in more than one sense: Mir Mahfuz Ali was shot in the throat in a public demonstration, and now has a huskier sound, as well as the voice of his unique and often shocking experiences, thoughts and feelings. We are delighted to have such a challenging and passionate reader bringing us his poetry this month.
Bring along one of your own poems as we will have a short open mic slot at the start of the evening. Start 8 pm.
Another big event in November: on Wednesday 19th Kent & Sussex take on Brixton in one of the series of “Stanza Bonanza” readings at the Poetry Café in Betterton Street in London. Each of these two Stanzas will be represented by six poets, our flag-wavers being Mary Gurr, Graham Mummery, Mara Bergman, Caroline Price, Garry Ely & Clive Eastwood. The readings begin at 7.30pm. Do come along. For those who haven’t yet been there, the Poetry Society headquarters is a friendly, cosy venue with café for light refreshments.
At the Camden Centre on Tuesday 21st October our short AGM will be followed by a talk and reading from Ros Barber, author of the highly praised The Marlowe Papers. This will be something different, and at the same time it will be lovely to welcome again a poet we already know from previous Society events. The evening starts at 8.00 pm.
“As Barber’s Marlowe tells us in a chapter entitled “The Pact of Faustus”, “Some knowledge lifts and some intoxicates”. The Marlowe Papers does both and with considerable aplomb.” Telegraph review.
We are delighted to announce the arrival of this year’s Folio, and we will be celebrating its launch on Tuesday too. It contains the winning poems from our Open Poetry Competition, with the adjudication report, so we can all benefit from insights into what makes a prizewinning poem in the eyes and ears of the judge, Pascale Petit. It also contains members’ poems succesfully submitted for this year’s Folio Competition, and another helpful and interesting adjudication report by John Greening. The Folio is an excellent collection of new poetry, well worth the £3 cost, and it is free to those who entered. It would make an ideal Christmas or birthday gift for anyone interested in poetry, so pick up a few copies on Tuesday!
Poetry for Autumn
On Tuesday 16th September we began our autumn programme with a visit from Claire Trévien. Claire brought a refreshing new voice to Tunbridge Wells, with some of the flavour of Brittany, where she was brought up, and some striking imagery which penetrates and stays in the mind. Claire writes in a variety of styles, and takes us into the sea, homes and some surreal places. There was a wide range of mood and subject-matter, and we enjoyed her first guest appearance in the Camden Centre.
The competition is now open to receive entries. Our judge is the renowned poet, Mario Petrucci. Click on competition tab above for details.