Peter Scupham at 80 – An essay by Jane Griffiths and Two New Poems By Peter
Luke Wright – Three Essex Poems
Luke Samuel Yates on Luke Samuel Yates
Ruth Padel looks east, from Aldeburgh beach to Damascus
Helena Nelson – two anti-poetry Poems
George Szirtes in the Banlieue
Poems from Jane Draycott, Emily Hasler, Tariq Latif, Hannah Lowe,
Lorraine Mariner, Graham Mort, Rebecca Perry, Tom Warner and many Others
Dean Parkin’s rumours pages
BUY A COPY HERE
Date – Saturday May 25th 2013
Three poets are invited: One well-known poet plus two protégés. The invited poet invites two lesser known &/or unpublished poets (whose work the guest poet feels is unfairly little known or under-rated).
All Day Events
Poetry Bookstall and coffee
Poetry magazines and other publications from the invited poet/publisher
plus a second-hand poetry bookstall.
An invitation to adorn the Poetry Tree with your favourite poems.
Choose one of the greats or write your own.
Individual events throughout the day
Poetry Is Nice To Eat – Fun With Words – Family Workshop 11.00am (Free)
A workshop for individuals or the whole family with Phil Barrett (MR B). Poems will be used to adorn the poetry tree.
Poetry Lunch 1.00pm
Buffet lunch and light refreshments on sale, or bring your own picnic.
Closely Shared – A Poet’s Choice/Masterclass 2.00pm (£5.00 or £10.00 including the evening reading)
A Close Reading where the invited poets share work that has influenced and excited them, including a close reading of (a) chosen poem(s).
Strictly Spoken 3.30pm (Free)
An Open Event providing an opportunity to perform ‘The Touch’ by Tom Duddy’s (chosen by Michael Laskey) and get feedback on your performance from a panel of judges, including one or more of the invited poets. The winning recitation will receive a prize of £20.00. Sign up at lunchtime for one of the 10–15 reading slots. Copies of the poem will be available.
Poetry, Cake and a Cuppa – ‘Open Mic Event’ 5.00pm (Free)
Whilst consuming cake and a cuppa, people are invited to bring and read a poem by an existing writer, or one of their own, on the theme of ‘Celebration’ chosen by Michael Laskey.
Poetry and Pimm’s – Poetry on a summer’s evening 6.30pm
A great opportunity to mingle and enjoy refreshments before and during the reading by our invited poets.
‘Reading’ 7.00pm – 9.00pm (£7.00)
Michael Laskey reads a selection of his own work, supported by readings from Dean Parkin and Robert Etty. The reading will be in two halves with Pimm’s and finger-nibbles available before the event and during the interval.
Michael Laskey has published four collections, most recently The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems. Two of these were Poetry Book Society recommendations and The Tightrope Wedding was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. A founder of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, he directed it through its first decade. He co-founded and co-edited fifty issues of the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll between 1991 and 2012. He has also published a range of poetry pamphlets under both the Smiths Knoll and his Garlic Press imprint.
Dean Parkin was born in 1969 and left school at the age of sixteen to work at a printer’s and then in a bookshop. He has worked for The Poetry Trust since 1999 and is currently the Creative Director. His third pamphlet, ‘The Sunshine of Fortune’, was published in 2013 and was written as a part of a residency in the Stour Valley and is a response to the artists and writers of the area. He’s probably the only poet to appear on BBC1 reading a poem on the loo.
Rob Etty was born in Lincolnshire, where he still lives and takes part in poetry groups and events. He worked for many years as a teacher of English in a secondary school. His poems have been widely published in magazines (eg Smiths Knoll, The Rialto, Frogmore Papers, Poetry Review, The North, Other Poetry, Bow-Wow Shop). The most recent of his eight pamphlets and collections are Half a Field’s Distance: New and Selected Poems (Shoestring Press) and The Horncastle Executioner (Nunny Books). He has read from his work at several venues, including the Aldeburgh Festival.
Salthouse Church and British Columbia Hall (next to Salthouse Church)
For further information contact: Helen Birtwell at firstname.lastname@example.org;
or Rose Moreton at email@example.com.
Comments by previously invited poets:
It was such a special day. A real highlight of the year. All of my visits to Cley have been so memorable. I don’t know how you do it.
The Cley Little Festival of Poetry may well be unique — so relaxed, warm and welcoming and at the same time so intense and focussed. Cley is obviously a place where poetry matters — but not in a separate or rarefied way — it matters as part of life, in and among and relevant to the everyday. It is very well organised, the activities varied and engaging, and thought through. And the hospitality is rather wonderful, and the atmosphere that comes from great hospitality. This is a little festival where poetry means something to people, where poetry and people matter.
Co-director The Poetry Business
The Cley Little Festival is probably the nation’s senior poetry event. Everybody has read at it: Professor Germaine Greer; Sir Andrew Motion, when he was Poet Laureate; Peter Scupham; Peter Sansom; and many more.
This event was a joy to be a part off. If the Arts Council wants to see poetry alive and well this is the kind of event to support.
Please thank everyone for a great festival. I enjoyed it!
BRITAIN’S PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL POETRY PRIZE FOR YOUNG WRITERS AGED 11 to 17 YEARS OPENS FOR ENTRIES
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is for young writers worldwide. Last year’s competition attracted 7,351 young poets from 60 countries, spanning the globe from New Zealand to Nigeria and from right across the UK, making it one of the largest literary competitions in the world.
Luke Samuel Yates was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2001 & 2002. His pamphlet The pair of scissors that could cut anything was published by The Rialto in 2013.
Since it began 16 years ago, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices. Many past winners have gone on to become published and prize-winning poets, including: Caroline Bird, Sarah Howe and Caleb Klaces. The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’, is now commonly found in professional biographies as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, their names appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over.
Through winning an award, young poets receive a programme of writing support – the top 15 poets are published in an anthology which will go out to more than 20,000 contacts worldwide in March 2014.
There are two prizes available for the 15 overall winners of the award. The 14-17 year olds get the chance to attend a week-long residential course at one of the prestigious Arvon Centres where they will be tutored by this year’s judges Hannah Lowe and David Morley.
The younger age range winners (11-14 year olds) will receive a visit to their school from a professional poet, followed by distance mentoring. The 85 Commended Winners also receive book prizes and a year’s Youth Membership of the Poetry Society.
All 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award benefit from ongoing support and encouragement, via publication, performance, promotion and internship opportunities throughout the UK.
The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’, is now commonly found in professional biographies as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, their names appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over.
Hannah Lowe said: “I am absolutely delighted to be judging the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award this year. I am certain we will discover some really exciting new voices.”
The competition is open to all young poets, whether they have been writing for a long time or just started – all they need is a passionate engagement with words. The Foyle Young Poet of the year award is free to enter and poems can be of any length and on any subject. The deadline for entries is 31 July 2013. Find out more at: www.foyleyoungpoets.org
There’s no poetry in money, and no money in poetry, yet I still enter the odd competition. In doing so, I’m not seriously seeking to disprove this fundamental law of the known universe, but merely hoping to draw a small spotlight toward a poem that may have something to say to a wider audience. While I believe that the personal is always deeply political, given the British poetry world’s general suspicion of ‘issues’ based work, I’m pleased by the fact that my two most successful competition poems have both addressed issues of public concern – ‘Shaking the Bottle’, a poem about a Palestinian suicide bomber, was a runner-up the 2010 Cardiff International Poetry Prize, while my Additional Prize winning poem in the 2012 RSPB and The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition, ‘On Advising a Young Man from Galway to do a Second MA in Biodiversity’ concerns ecocide. It’s heartening to report that some judges like to read poems that critically engage with our collective reality.
On the principle that poetry is a way of life, not a living, I spent my £50 Cardiff prize on a train ticket to Wales for the ceremony; and how grateful I am that the laws of poetic physics dictated that my RSPB prize would not be crude lucre, but an unforgettable experience: a bird walk in Norfolk with top ornithologist and nature writer Mark Cocker, poet and RSPB officer Matt Howard, and The Rialto’s own Michael Mackmin. My father was Norfolk born-and-bred, and I visit my aunt, a keen local historian, in the county twice a year. I’ve begun a long epic poem about Boudica in Norfolk dialect, a work interrupted by an unexpected diversion into science fiction novel writing, for which I am currently researching owls and pigeons and, more generally, climate change. So it was a sheer delight to spend a bright day on the Broads tramping down muddy lanes and over marram grass dunes, sharing high enthusiasms with three fellow eco-literary souls.
Sadly my aunt had hurt her leg and couldn’t join us on the walk, but Mary kindly drove me to Norwich where I took pleasure in introducing her to Michael Mackmin, who many moons ago published some of my first (rather racy) poems in The Rialto. Matt, a former young insurance salesman turned ardent conservationist, and the visionary behind the competition, hunted down some binoculars for me in the RSPB offices. Mark, natty in a knitted skullcap, directed us to Reedham, our first stop of the day. Conversation in the car revolved around Mark’s latest project, the monumental international study Birds and People, and the recent campaign strategy lamentably adopted by many environmentalist groups, of quantifying the financial value of birds, animals, plants and landscapes. In contrast we considered the vital role creative writing – and the much maligned CW degree courses – could play in opening people to a deeper appreciation of nature-in-itself, or what some eco-critics call the ‘more-than-human world’.
Well-wellied up, we walked along the reed beds of the Yare, skylarks soaring out of sight as reed bunting and bearded reedlings flitted between the sunlit stems. In the distant skies lissom skeins of geese confounded our counting abilities, while on the other side of the dyke, marsh harriers hunted for voles and – most wonderfully of all for this city slicker – a barn owl cruised a wetlands meadow, its body a golden bullet in the morning light. The barn owl plays a starring role in my second novel, Astra, and that shining image of its trim-winged form will, I know, find a roost somewhere in the final draft. I had glimpsed another barn owl the day before, in a field outside my aunt’s village, and happily Mark confirmed Mary’s view that the county’s nesting box schemes have increased the population of this much loved bird.
Our next stop was Horsey, where we parked on the side of the road by a field covered with plovers and seagulls. The word ‘kleptoparasitical’ practically prancing off Mark’s tongue, he explained that the gulls were whipping worms right out of the plovers’ beaks. The presence of the gulls also deterred raptors, however, and as the plovers paid their obeisance, a short-eared owl balefully circled, as yet unfed. Here my owl research took a quantum step forward as Michael set up his tripod and telescope, and I had a fantastic gawk at this large, ghoulish owl, its deep-set eyes and intensely patterned black-and-white feathers giving it the look of a crosshatched Edward Gorey villain. An image, perhaps, for novel number three . .
Here at Horsey as well, we saw a kestrel and a heron, and like a visitation of ergotism, twitching fever began to infiltrate our little group. ‘You visited the Scillies in the fifties?’ Mark asked Michael in awe. ‘But you would have known Hilda Quick?’ ‘Oh yes, I remember Hilda,’ Michael confirmed as Mark rhapsodized: ‘Hilda Quick found Britain’s first Blue-cheeked Bee-eater―’ It was all too marvellously arcane for a chat by a wintery ditch, and Matt and I burst into giggles. Mark stopped, with a sheepish grin, but later I googled Hilda Quick and discovered a great birder of yore and a fine engraver, a legend of the Cornish arts and nature scene.
Lunch was a cosy pub meal at The Nelson Head. Here Matt and I discovered a shared appreciation of the esoteric Ted Hughes scholar Ann Skea, Michael intoned the immortal phrase ‘poets never forgive’, and I was touched by my companions’ keen interest in my winning poem. For what poets crave, of course, is not financial reward, but readers. I told them the story of its inspiration: my summer pilgrimage to Clare Island, County Mayo, home of the 16th century chieftain Granuaille, AKA pirate queen Grace O’Malley. I had walked around the island like a banfili, begging bowls of soup in exchange for copies of Grace of the Gamblers, my ballad pamphlet based on her life and legend. I was followed by small birds I’d thought were robins or sparrows, hopping from post to post or riffling away across the grazing pastures, but a woman on the ferry back to the mainland informed me that no, these were male and female linnets. The discovery sparked the first draft of ‘On Advising …’ which I wrote in a great rush on the train to Kildare. Privately thanking Grace for having delivered another free lunch, I presented copies of my ballad pamphlet to my three Norfolk hosts. Mark told us that the linnet population is in fact declining in the UK; discussing what role the arts could or should play in eco-activism, we exchanged information about two organisations dedicated to bringing our place in nature back to the forefront of our consciousness: The Dark Mountain Project and New Networks for Nature.
We were a twenty minutes’ stroll from the coast, and Mark took us next on a walk along the dunes to visit a colony of grey seals. This was another tremendous sight: two hundred-odd massive seals lolling on the sands, their distinctive coats ranging from shimmering silver to speckly black archipelagos, the markings unique as human faces. Behind them, sleek heads protruded from the clouded sea, whiskery couples nuzzling and canoodling in the waves. Powerfully at home in their element, their ungainly bulk buoyant in the water, on land the seals were as comical as tubby, misplaced Club Med sun-bathers, glamorous matrons doing random yoga exercises on a cold bleak shore. Watching the animals stretching, yawning, or clumsily whalloping up the beach, I bubbled up with happiness, doubling over with laughter as one particularly curious individual began as if to wave at me, then, tossing its head, dismissively scratched its chest with a black-fingernailed flipper. Any clowning was of course entirely unintentional; the seals in fact regarded us with what appeared to be an indulgent yet wary awareness. Keeping a respectful distance, we scanned the herd, noting just one pup. Two RSPCA officers guarding a pair wounded in a fishing net, told us that last year’s young had grown rapidly: ‘their mothers’ milk as thick as lard’.
It humbled me to think that I’ve lived in the British Isles for over twenty years and yet this was my first close encounter with our largest sea mammal. ‘Quantify that,’ I whispered to Matt. As Mark commented, we used to be wholly dependent on seal oil for fuel and manufacturing, but though our economy has little need of blubber now, what we would lose if this threatened species disappeared is immeasurable. For on closer inspection, the seals’ enviable fat contentment was an illusion: one in ten showed marks of nylon mesh strangulation, and when Mark returned the following week, he learned that the little pup was probably dying. As the Mastercard ad should say: Cost of seal conservation: a tightly enforced law and a few hundred thousand pounds a year. Sense of your own species’ wider insignificance and true responsibilities: priceless.
Our last stop was Stub Farm, between Horsey and Hickling, where Mark led us to a platform lined with telescope- toting twitchers, all of us hoping to see cranes. But though we counted fifteen marsh harriers flapping one by one toward their nightly roost; a goldcrest; four twilit herons; and two magpies – first, as Mark remarked, ‘a poet’s magpie – one for woe’, then, to redeem us, ‘two for joy’ – the white stalkers remained elusive. Mark was disappointed for me, but I didn’t mind. For on this crisp, beautiful day I had felt a sense of belonging, not only to Norfolk, but to a long, passionate, gloriously eccentric tradition of people who value the natural world for its own sake: and in that vast and multifarious world there will always be a bird you hope to see next time. That is, if we can protect birds’ habitats, their food supply, and their irreducible Otherness – the absolute autonomy of wild creatures that paradoxically illuminates the most solitary and communal aspects of human nature too.
Mark Cocker, me, and Michael Mackmin, photo by Matt Howard.
With thanks to Mark Cocker for the seal photos!
Originally published on Naomi’s blog here http://naomifoyle.com/wp/encountering-the-incalculable-a-walk-in-the-norfolk-broads/
The pair of scissors that could cut anything
“I’m always listening out for a new poet who can take the deceptively effortless, witty yet ultimately serious chops of the New York School, make it work for this generation and bring the whole thing in to land just outside a British city, losing nothing in transit. And God it’s been worth the wait. This is a poetry of exquisite timing, with some of the most satisfying last lines I’ve ever read. Yates can take an everyday domestic detail and make it sparkle with the mystery of a Raedecker painting.” – Luke Kennard
Below are PDFs of the results of the 2012 Questionnaire and A selection of comments submitted.
Thanks for taking the time to do this for us, it’s a great help in judging where we are going wrong and where we are going right.The Rialto report 2012 final The Rialto 2012 selected comments
A Quick Photo update of the special prizewinner in the RSPB Rialto poetry competition. Pictured, left to Right, Mark Cocker, Naomi Foyle and Mike Mackmin all looking quite chirpy out in the cold but beautiful Norfolk countryside.
The Rialto/RSPB Competition Winning Poems
81 Austerities – Sam Riviere on his Forward Prize winning First Collection
Soul & Heart – Gillian Allnutt and Penelope Shuttle
Michael Symmons Roberts – Three Poems
Lotte Kramer’s Summer
Poems by Polly Atkin, Christina Dunhill, Vona Groarke, Harry Guest,
Marcia Menter, John Mole, Janet Rogerson, John Siddique, Adrian Slatcher, Catherine Smith, Marcus Smith, M Stasiak, Susan Wicks, Wynn Wheldon, Luke Yates and many others
Dean Parkin’s Rumours pages.
Cover Image: Tiara of Pancras Boulevard by Clare Johnson.
You can order is here.
The judges, Sir Andrew Motion and Mark Cocker, decided on the following winners for the Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry Competition. They are;
‘East Sabino Sunrise Circle’ by Pat Winslow (First Prize)
‘Winter Apple’ by Gina Wilson (Second Prize)
‘Sea Change’ by Gregory Leadbetter (Third Prize)
‘On advising a young man from Galway to do a second MA in Biodiversity’ by Naomi Foyle (Additional Prize)
The additional prize is a walk with Mark Cocker around some of his favourite Norfolk places.
The judges also Highly Commended poems by Brian Docherty, Alison Dunn, Oz Hardwick and Kris Anderson.
The results of the competition will be published on Monday, October 1st. The winners have already been notified.
On the final day of judging Sir Andrew Motion and Mark Cocker made their selections from 100 poems by the poets listed below. Some entrants had more than one poem in the list.
Josephine Abbott, Joseph Allan, Kris E. Anderson, Zeeba Ansari, John R B Atkinson, Colin Begg, Catherine Benson, Clare Best, Pat Borthwick, Phil Bowen, Nicola Bray, Carole Bromley, Judy Brown, Graham Burchell, Keith Chandler, Roz Quillan Chandler, Angela Cleland, Julie Collar, Chris Considine, Jennifer Copley, Miranda Cox, Clare Crossman, Barbara Cumbers, John Daniel, Chris Davis, Julia Deakin, Isobel Dixon, Brian F Docherty, Hugh Dunkerley, Alison Dunn, Gillian Eaton, Jonathan Edwards, Rose Flint, Alison Foster, Naomi Foyle, Valerie Fry, Andrew Geary, Andrew Giles, Sally Goldsmith, Matthew Goodfellow, Matthew Griffiths, Oz Hardwick, John Haynes, Laura Helyer, Christopher James, Anna Johnson, Will Kemp, Tim Kershaw, Mimi Khalvati, Angela Kirby, Caleb Klaces, Peter Lach-Newinsky, Anna-May Laugher, Gregory Leadbetter, Ms G Learner, Eireann Lorsung, Allison McVety, Caroline Maldonado, Andre Mangeot, Kate Miller, Helen Moore, Emma Must, Alison Nolan, Sylvia Oldroyd, M R Peacocke, Jane Pearn, Ilse Pedler, Carol Pegg, David Perkins, Rachel Porcheret, Jacqui Rochford, Fahima Sahabdeen, Joel Scarfe, David Smart, Copland Smith, Dollie Smith, Joolz Sparkes, Joseph Spece, Alicia Stubbersfield, Lynne Sutton, Ronald Tamplin, Rosamund Taylor, Frances Corkey Thompson, Penelope Thoms, Cynthia Tumlin, Nicola Warwick, Sarah Watkinson, LA Watt, Margaret Wilmot, Gina Wilson, Pat Winslow, Sue Wood, Susan Wood, Madeline Wurzburger.