All about Two Rivers Press and the challenges it faces

Two Rivers Press is  featured in ‘meet the member‘ on the IPG (Independent Publishers Guild) website.  Have a read and learn what challenges Reading’s own publisher faces!

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018: Christmas shopping event at Waterstones

RDG Xmas18 Black LogoEnjoy the relaxed atmosphere with festive drinks, nibbles, book signings, games demos, live music, gift wrapping and a special Christmas discount.

SIGNINGS with
Masterchef winner 2017 Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, Khazana
Local authors & historians Peter Durrant and John Painter, Reading Abbey and the Abbey Quarter

DRINKS
Courtesy of BrewDog in Castle Street, with copies of their book, BrewDog: Craft Beer for the People

LIVE MUSIC
With Reading Chamber Choir Tamesis

LIVE GAMES DEMONSTRATIONS

GIFT WRAPPING
Raising money for local homelessness charity Launchpad

CHRISTMAS OFFER
Double stamps on all purchases made in store between 6-9pm with a Waterstones Plus Card

 For details please ask a bookseller or visit waterstones.com

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29 November – 1 December 2018 : Whiteknights Studio Trail comes to Reading Library

WSTLogoThe Whiteknights Studio Trail has run for 18 years.   Most of the member artists live, or used to live in the Whiteknights area of Reading.  WST occasionally goes to town – so that all residents of Reading (Berkshire, UK) can come and see their work.

Thursday 29 November
Friday 30 November
Saturday 1 December

There will be a suitably Christmassy themed exhibition in the Holy Brook Gallery on the second floor of Reading Central Library. It is free for all to visit during Library opening hours(10am-5pm).

Maybe 2018 will be the year you get all your Christmas cards and perhaps a present or two, sorted out in time!

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Gill Learner wins poetry prize “100 Words for 100 Years”

2018 learner

 

Congratulations to Gill Learner, winner of Hampshire County Council’s ‘100 words for 100 years’ competition.

The competition was inspired by the Imperial War Museum’s Centena project, which commissioned 100 writers to write 100 words about the First World War.  Entries could be a poem, letter or short story of exactly 100 words in length.

 

Time Out

No-one knows which hospital but family history
had it on the Isle of Wight. A shaded-glass back door,
rotting wooden steps, five of them, all nip-waisted crispness.
One’s my aunt, Adelaide Marie, always known as ‘Bob’.
Scarcely seventeen, inside the starched half-halo
of her cap, she grins.

Home and belovéd piano
left behind in Chandler’s Ford, she joined the VADs.
Ever the tomboy, she must have struggled to keep
that floor-length apron clean, those stiff cuffs white.
I imagine her singing softly as she scrubbed bedpans
in the sluice, mopped between beds, smiled comfort.
But she never spoke of it.

The 100 Words for 100 Years booklet which features all the winners’ and runners’ up entries.  A limited number of printed copies will be available at Hampshire libraries. The highly commended entries will be featured on our library website.

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Announcing the Botanical Art Series

Announcing our new series featuring distinguished botanical artists, their work and their
inspiration. Intentionally both beautiful and useful, these handy-sized paperbacks
are designed to be taken anywhere, referred to, collected and gazed at.
Each book brings out the personality of its individual artist, showcases their
work and shares why they love what they do, explains their choice of subjects,
the distinct techniques they have developed, and their failures as well as
their successes.

Botanical_Artistry_CoverBotanical Artistry by Julia Trickey

Inside My Sketchbook by Dianne Sutherland

The Whole Story by Christina Hart-Davies

A Botanical Artist’s Miscellanea by Susan Christopher-Coulson

The series is edited by Julia Trickey, an internationally-acclaimed botanical artist
and tutor. She has been awarded four RHS gold medals and exhibited all over
the world.

Published by Two Rivers Press, publishers of A Coming of Age by Ros Franklin,
A Wild Plant Year by Christina Hart-Davies, and Plant Portraits by Julia Trickey.

Orders
www.tworiverspress.com • orders@tworiverspress.com • 0118 987 1452

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Botanical Artistry: Plants, projects and processes by Julia Trickey (author, artist)


Saturday, 10 November, 2018: Jane Potter talks about Wilfred Owen at All Saints Church, Dunsden

In collaboration with the Dunsden Owen Association, Two Rivers Press invites you to join in A Wilfred Owen Day

Where: All Saints Church, Dunsden, Berkshire

When: Sat 10 November, 2.30-5pm (At 3.30pm there will be a talk on Owen’s work and its influences from Jane Potter).

Cost: All welcome: Free entry

Pennies_On_My_Eyes_Cover_260918There will also be poetry readings, music and afternoon tea as well as opportunities to meet some of the artists. Pennies on My Eyes, a new collection of Wilfred Owen poems will be available to buy and there is also a self- guided walk around the village (with trail leaflet or smartphone app) that could be undertaken in the morning, and a chance to see the graves of Owen’s parents and sister in the churchyard.

Dr. Jane Potter

Dr. Jane Potter

Dr Jane Potter is Reader in Arts at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing at Oxford Brookes University.  Her publications include Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print: Women’s Literary Responses to the Great War, 1914-1918 (Oxford University Press, 2005), Wilfred Owen: An Illustrated Life (Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014), and, with Carol Acton,  Working in a World of Hurt:  Trauma and Resilience in the Narratives of Medical Personnel in War Zones (Manchester University Press, 2015). With Jon Stallworthy, she edited  Three Poets of the First World War: Ivor Gurney, Isaac Rosenberg, and Wilfred Owen (Penguin, 2011), and is currently editing a new edition of Wilfred Owen’s selected letters for Oxford University Press.

 

 

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Thursday, 15 November 2018: Wilfred Owen Centenary Talk and Reading at MERL

When:  6-8 pm Thursday 15 November 2018
Where: MERL The Museum of English Rural Life
What:  A Talk by Dr Jane Potter (Oxford Brookes)

Followed by readings from
PENNIES ON MY EYES
Poems by Wilfred Owen

Pennies_On_My_Eyes_Cover_260918The latest addition to the Two Rivers Press classic poems series, Pennies on my Eyes is a centennial collection of Wilfred Owen’s poetry illustrated by Reading-based artists. The town made its contribution to Owen’s becoming a poet through the encouragement he received from Professor Edith Morley at the University of Reading while based in the nearby village of Dunsden. Each inspired by a work in this memorial volume, the artists offer their unique responses for this celebratory gathering of Owen’s most famous war poems, published on 4 November 2018, the 100th anniversary of the poet’s death on the Western Front at the Sambre-Oise Canal just one week before the Armistice.

ADMISSION FREE

Further information: p.robinson@reading.ac.uk

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Penumbra by Kate Behrens (poet)


Two Rivers Press author, Duncan Mackay, elected to the Council of the National Trust

red-one-finalwhispersBiz Bark

Congratulations to Duncan Mackay;  his years of active participation in the conservation of our natural heritage is at the core of his successful run for Council of the National Trust.

You may be familiar with one of the many books Duncan has written but if you want to know a little more about him, here is his election statement.

 I am a believer in the vision that Octavia Hill, Canon Rawnsley and Robert Hunter created and I have the energy to want to make it live in the landscapes of today, especially in the urban and urban fringe ‘Green Belt’ roots of the Trust’s founders.

My father taught me to read maps, examine vernacular buildings and identify birds, plants and animals. Every autumn we would pick bilberries at Brimham Rocks to make pies and climb Roseberry Topping to lose the calories gained. I now recognise this was a precious gift of learning that few children experience. The opportunity to allow children to explore nature on their doorstep seems to be an essential stage of growing up that needs greater encouragement. As a teenager, I was lucky to have classmates like Alan Hinkes, who later climbed every 8,000 metre peak in the world, to explore Yorkshire with.
I studied geology and geography at Newcastle University.

I am curious about everything. I see beauty in small things and the potentiality for any place to be better and filled with nature. I am the author of six non-fiction books and particularly proud of my latest, Whispers of Better Things, a detailed study of Octavia Hill’s remarkable family and how they helped co-create the idea for the National Trust. I won the Henry Ford European Conservation Award for Heritage in 1996 and an Unlimited Millennium Award to explore the longest straight line in Britain on a folding bicycle in 2001. I am on the Canal and River Trust’s Environmental Advisory Panel and planning to help it create ‘Low Speed 2’, England’s first inter-city route for canoeing, cycling and walking between Birmingham and London on the route of the Grand Union Canal. I am a past Commodore of Henley Sailing Club.

As Deputy Secretary of the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society I acquired knowledge of the Trust’s founders and carried their spirit into twentieth century conservation. During 1987-90 with the Countryside Commission, I dedicated the Thames Path, reorganised the Ridgeway and funded land acquisitions for Hughenden.

At Berkshire County Council I managed forestry, archaeology, listed buildings, landscape, PROW, environmental awards and ecology teams and helped transfer the Ankerwycke Estate.

In the Babtie Group I was seconded as Director of the Countryside Agency’s South East region. I worked with the Trust’s managers and lobbied Ministers with Fiona Reynolds to create Scotney Castle’s land bridge. Since 2007 I have had a number of policy roles with Natural England and now lead on Urban and peri-urban environments working to action the government’s 25 year plan for the environment and its opportunities for Green Belt enhancements as ‘breathing spaces’.

I have been a member of the National Trust for several decades (except where potential perceived conflict of interest existed) and I have volunteered at Attingham Park.

The Trust’s founders have inspired me throughout my conservation career. I love the open space freedom that Trust land offers and I want to create the opportunity to give something back as a voluntary non-executive.

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Saturday, 27 October 2018: “Magic, Medicine and Miracles” at the Friends of Reading Abbey AGM

THE FRIENDS OF READING ABBEY

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

  Saturday 27 October 2018 at 2.30pm. Doors open at 2pm.
St James’s RC Church, Forbury Road, RG1 3HW.

The AGM will be followed by an illustrated talk on
MAGIC, MEDICINE AND MIRACLES IN THE MEDIEVAL ABBEY
by Professor Anne Lawrence-Mathers FRHS, FSA, SFHEA
Professor of Medieval History, University of Reading

Life in a great medieval abbey, such as Reading, involved frequent encounters with the supernatural. The miracles performed by the Hand of St James mention not only stones with healing powers, but also a terrifying encounter with a walking corpse. Works on medicine frequently refer to plants with the power to repel terrifying creatures and even demons, while bestiaries explain how birds and animals can be used to predict coming events. This lecture will explore the special relationship between monks and the supernatural, using examples from Reading and other English abbeys.

Anne Lawrence-Mathers is the Head of the History Department at the University of Reading, and has published on subjects including: monastic manuscripts from northern England; the figure of Merlin in medieval chronicles; and the role of magic in medieval society. Most recently she has been researching on medieval weather forecasters.

ALL WELCOME – ENTRY IS FREE

St James’s Church is a short walk from Reading Station and most central bus
stops. Car park at Queens Road.

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Monday, 22 October 2018: BIG Draw Sewing Demonstration: Bayeux

bayeaux stitching

Join our sewing volunteers to find out more about embroidery, and learn how to embroider images from the Bayeux Tapestry. Watch our volunteers or buy a kit to have a go yourself! Find out more here.

 

For whom: Ages 5+, Families

When: drop in between 10.30am and 12pm

Cost: Free to observe, buy a small kit to try out (£2 per kit)

Where: Reading Museum & Town Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH

Click here for more about Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry and the Bayeux Gallery.

Bayeux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry here.

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Sunday, 18 November 2018: Come to Great Expectations! Launching Jean Watkins’ Precarious Lives, 12pm – 2pm

precarious lives Sandpaper SeahorsesChosen_Hill_Cover_final handlingNominy_DominyPenumbra final

Join us for the launch of Jean Watkins new collection Precarious Lives.

Poets John Froy, Sue Leigh and Kate Behrens will read from their new collections Sandpaper & Seahorses, Chosen Hill and Penumbra respectively.   And to fill out the afternoon of poetry, Peter Robinson, the Two Rivers Press poetry editor,  will read from the two other 2018 collections:  Handling by Jack Thacker and Nominy-Dominy Lesley Saunders.

Click on the covers to see more about each respective collection and to purchase your copies.

When: 12pm – 2pm, Sunday, 18 November 2018

Where: Library of Great Expectations, 33 London St, Reading RG1 4PS

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Saturday, 10 November, 2018: Launch of Wilfred Owen collection at All Saints Church, Dunsden

Pennies_On_My_Eyes_Cover_260918Please join us for a Wilfred Owen Day at All Saints Church, Dunsden, on Sat 10 November, 2.30-5pm in collaboration with the Dunsden Owen Association.

At 3.30pm there will be a talk on Owen’s work and its influences from Jane Potter, poetry readings, music and afternoon tea as well as opportunities to meet some of the artists. The book will be available to buy and there is also a self- guided walk around the village (with trail leaflet or smartphone app) that could be undertaken in the morning, and a chance to see the graves of Owen’s parents and sister in the churchyard.

All welcome: Free entry

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5th OCTOBER 2018. 7.30 PM


Poets Robin Thomas, John Froy, Elizabeth Crowdy, Kate Pursglove, Kate Behrens, Ian Florance reading poetry in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

HOT GOSSIP COFFEE HOUSE, 7 FRIDAY STREET,

HENLEY-ONTHAMES

Tickets £3.00 on the door. Ring Ian Florance on

07966 509390 for more information.

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Monday, 1 October 2018: Add to the new Reading “tapestry”

tapestryBayeux

There’s another chance to contribute to the new Reading ‘tapestry’ on Monday 1st October at Jelly – part of Older People’s Day Oct 1st : Unit 53, Broad Street Mall, Reading RG1 7QE.

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28 September – 7 October, 2018: art exhibit “Treesome” with Christina Hart-Davies

Treesomegreenwood trees
This is your  chance to see some of the original paintings from Christina Hart-Davies’, The Greenwood Tree, in an exhibition called ‘Treesome: 3 artists celebrating trees‘ at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens from:
28th September – 7 October, open daily from 10am – 5pm.
Entry to the exhibition is free.

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Saturday, 15 September, 2018 at 10:30am and 2:00pm: Guided walk “From Town to Boundary”

Shady_CoverAs part of this 2nd festival celebrating Reading’s river heritage, we are working with Reading Tree Wardens and Geoff Sawers (the artist for our award winning Shady Side of Town) on two guided walks, ‘From Town to Boundary‘, taking place at 10.30am and 2pm on Saturday 15th September, starting at Caversham pedestrian bridge.

Explore Reading’s history, famous people, industries, trees and nature with local historians and Two Rivers Press poets.

From Town to BoundaryThe events are free but we are keeping numbers to 40 max and the afternoon event is nearly booked up. To book your place (best to aim for the morning one), please email Anna at rtwn2011@gmail.com. She will send you confirmation of your place which you will need to produce on arrival at the start.

 

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Friday, 14 September 2018, 7:30pm: From Abbey to Tapestry – book launch at Waterstones

Waterstones, Broad Street is hosting a double bill celebrating Reading’s heritage in the form of the Bayeux Tapestry replica and the Abbey. With talks from John Painter (author of ‘Reading Abbey and the Abbey Quarter) and Ben Bishop (Reading Museum guide), and opportunities to ask questions and buy books, you are sure to leave knowing more about your town than when you arrived!

Join us for at Waterstones, 89 Broad St, Reading RG1 2AP, UK for the launch of two books about Reading’s cultural heritage.

Time: 7.30pm Friday 14th Sept. The event is free but booking is required. Call: 0118 9581270 or email reading@waterstones.com.

Bayeux       reading abbey

 

ooOoo

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Sat & Sun 8-9 and 15-16 HERITAGE OPEN DAYS: Extraordinary Women

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11In collaboration  with RG Spaces (where you can find information about parking and accessibility) we’ve  an exhibition about Edith Morley, England’s first female professor, in the old Senior Common Room of the University, ‘Acacias’.

Visit the listed building; have a go at some lawn games; learn about this extraordinary woman: suffragist, pioneering academic and supporter of refugees; and stroll through the cloisters to the café.

Opening times are 12-6pm Sat & Sun 8&9, 15&16 Sept.

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Saturday, 8 September 2018, 12pm & 2pm: Tours of Broad Street Chapel

Broad_Street_Chapel_Cover

Reading Waterstones occupies the old ‘Broad Street Chapel’, a building with a fascinating history. Join Geoff Sawers to take a short half hour tour of the building. The event is free but booking is necessary as places are limited to 10 per tour. Tickets can be obtained in the bookshop or via phone or email

Call: 0118 9581270 or email reading@waterstones.com.

Tours are at 12pm and 2pm on Saturday 8th September.

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Precarious Lives by Jean Watkins (poet)


Pennies on My Eyes Poems by Wilfred Owen by Wilfred Owen (poet)


Saturday, 21 July 2018 – 11:00am to 4:00pm: Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry: Drop in Embroidery Event & Book Launch

BayeuxBe part of a new Reading artwork! In partnership with Reading Museum and Jelly and, in celebration of a newly-published book on Reading’s famous Bayeux Tapestry, Kate Powell will be creating a new embroidered panel. The 6 foot panel, will be printed with images celebrating Reading’s heritage and we need YOU to help our sewing volunteers colour it in with stitches! The panel will grow and grow over the year. Get a copy of the new Bayeux Tapestry book  from the Museum shop. Join the usual afternoon Bayeux Tapestry Tour.
Who: All ages
When: 11am – 4pm
Cost/booking: Free, drop in
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28 – 29 July, 2018: Becci Louise at Reading Fringe 2018

Launch Poster - Octopus Medicine B LOUISESee Becci perform ‘Kraken: A Story Backwards’, drawn from the book, at the Reading Fringe.

Price: £8 / £6
Age suitability: 10+
Tagline: Here, there be monsters…
Run time: 25 mins

Dates and venue information, and tickets,  here.

Reading Fringe 2018 24th July to 29th July.

 

Folllow Becci Louise on Twitter @BecciFearnley

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Tuesday 26 June, 2018: Contemporary Lyric Symposium — 9am – 5pm, at MERL

The University of Reading’s Department of English Literature, the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, and the International Poetry Studies Institute, University of Canberra, invite you to:

Contemporary Lyric

Absent Presences, the Secret & the Unsayable

A participatory symposium for practitioners and interested parties

When: Tuesday 26 June 2018, 9:30 am-5 pm (registration from 9.00-30) including a poetry reading

Venue: The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire

The event is free but places are limited. To confirm attendance, please e-mail: p.robinson@reading.ac.uk 

Programme:

9–9.30am: Registration and coffee

9.30–11: Present absences & absent presences (chair: Steven Matthews; panelists Conor Carville, Paul Hetherington, Lesley Saunders)

In his ‘Preface to Lyrical Ballads’ Wordsworth suggested that poets were particularly susceptible to the presence of things absent, which might then entail their capacity for creative detachment and absence from present circumstances too. In this session we will explore such paradoxes at the heart of lyric poetry’s powers and predicaments.

11–12.30: Keeping a secret by saying you’ve got one (chair: Niall Munro; panelists Paul Munden, Jack Thacker, Jen Webb)

Speculating about Shakespeare’s tactics in trying to make Hamlet work on stage, William Empson suggested that the thing was for the main character to keep a secret by saying he’s got one. Is this not exactly what modern and contemporary lyric poets have done to invite a sustained and returning attention to their work?

12.30-1: Lunch

1–2.30: Ambiguous, ambivalent, and open utterance  (chair: Conor Carville; panelists: Susie Campbell, Kate Coles, Sarah Hesketh)

Though the last century of Anglophone poetry in all its varieties has, for the most part, not had to survive under the kinds of oppressive regime that would require a political verse written in code, it has nevertheless tended to be oblique in utterance and cryptically significant. In this session we will look at the how and why of such seemingly ubiquitous strategies, and at reasons for counter-trends to write ‘in clear’.

2.30–4: Showing the Unsayable (chair: Steven Matthews; panelists: Cassandra Atherton, Isabel Galleymore, Natalie Pollard)

‘Show don’t tell’, as they say in creative writing classes, but does that mean we should show what we would otherwise be able to tell, but think it’s a better poetic strategy not to do so, or are we to show, or try to show, what we can’t otherwise put into words? Such a question goes to the heart of issues concerning poetry’s contribution to a language and its cultures.

4-5: Refreshment and Poetry Reading

Claire Dyer hosts with readings from visiting poets

The contributors include:

Cassandra Atherton (writer, academic and critic, IPSI)
Conor Carville (poet and academic, University of Reading)
Susie Campbell
Kate Coles
Claire Dyer (poet and novelist, convenor of the Poets’ Café, Reading)
Isabel Galleymore (poet and academic, University of Birmingham)
Sarah Hesketh
Paul Hetherington (poet, editor and Head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra)
Steven Matthews (poet and academic, University of Reading)
Paul Munden (Director of NAWE, the National Association of Writers in Education and poet, IPSI
Niall Munro (Director, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre)
Natalie Pollard (literary critic and academic, University of Exeter)
Lesley Saunders (poet and classicist)
Jack Thacker (poet and research student, University of Bristol)
Jen Webb (poet, Distinguished Professor and Director, Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra and IPSI)

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Monday 2 July – Sunday 8 July, 2018: Open For Art, Reading – A Festival of Art

2018 OFALooking for something to do in July?

Open For Art, Reading – A Festival of Art, Monday 2 July – Sunday 8 July.

We, Two Rivers Press,  are involved in the Artline Market on Broad Street on Sunday 8th July, and in the embroidery workshop at Nisby’s on Fri 6th July.

You can download a map of the events and venues here: Open for Art 2018 Map

 

This fifth year of Open for Art is particularly special. Jelly is 25 years old, and as in previous years, curates this event. Join us on walks and talks. Participate in events and workshops. Be sure to book ahead where necessary. We really look forward to welcoming you. The Open for Art Festival is curated by Jelly  

Find out more here.

 

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Friday, 6 July 2018: Emrboidery workshop in celebration of Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Nibsy’s

BayeuxIn celebration of a new book on Reading’s famous Bayeux TapestryKate Powell will be creating an embroidered panel, starting at Open for Art.

Join in and add to this contemporary reworking.  FREE but pre-booking essential  here.

The panel will grow over the year, culminating in December. This is a partnership of JellyTwo Rivers Press and Reading Museum.

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Sunday 8 July, 2018: ArtLine Street Market, 10 Broad Street East, Reading UK, 11am – 4pm

Visual arts street market showcasing the work of 50 artists local to the Reading area. All of the works will be for sale, and you can buy direct from the artists. Presented by Reading Business Improvement District in partnership with Open for Art.

For more information on artists taking part, visit http://jelly.org.uk/2018/06/artline-2018/

 

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018: Celebrate the launch of Jack Thacker’s collection ‘Handling’

handling

Join us to celebrate the launch of a new collection by poet and farmer’s son, Jack Thacker. This exciting volume has been produced in partnership MERL, the Museum of English Rural Life. The words within are inspired directly by Jack’s personal experiences and by collections that he encountered during the course of his time as poet-in-residence here at The MERL.

The evening will feature readings by Jack and by other local poets. There will also be a chance to delve behind the scenes to encounter a pop-up display of objects that formed inspiration behind some of this poetry.

When: Weds 25th July, 5.30-7.30pm

Where:  Museum of English Rural Life in Reading

Cost:   Free but booking is essential. Please email Barbara at  tworiverspress@gmail.com or phone her on 0118 987 1452.

Program:

Welcome – Kate Arnold Forster, Director of MERL
Readings from ‘Handling’ by Jack Thacker

Short interlude

An introduction to Two Rivers Press Poetry – Peter Robinson, TRP Poetry Editor
Readings from Kate Behrens, Claire Dyer, Adrian Blamires and Ian House

Refreshments will be served and the objects that inspired the poets will be on display with opportunities to talk to the Curator about them.

And of course, Jack’s book will be available for sale and signing, as will Kate’s, Claire’s and Ian’s.

 

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Saturday, 16 June 2018: SOLDIER: An afternoon of art and poetry with Adrian Blamires and Robert Fitzmaurice at Stanley Spencer’s unique war memorial, Sandham Memorial Chapel

Spencer finalThe Two Rivers poet Adrian Blamires will be reading at the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere (near Newbury) this Saturday. He joins the painter Robert Fitzmaurice to consider the themes of Fitzmaurice’s exhibition SOLDIER, currently on display at the venue. The reading will take place in the chapel itself which houses Stanley Spencer’s extraordinary cycle of paintings based on his experiences as a First World War medical orderly.

As well as reading some of his own poems, Adrian will read from the Two Rivers Press anthologies Stanley Spencer Poems and The Arts of Peace.

 

Arts of peace revised cover 20 MarchDATE & TIME: Saturday 16th June, 3pm to 5pm

LOCATION: The Chapel, Sandham Memorial Chapel, Harts Lane, Burghclere, Hampshire, RG20 9JT

ENTRY: Free entry for arrival between 3.00 – 3.30pm

The event starts at 3pm. Guests will have the opportunity to view Robert Fitzmaurice’s exhibition and the Stanley Spencer paintings before the reading and talk starts at 3.30pm. Afterwards there will be a chance to talk informally with the artists, to return to the exhibition and to explore other displays at this inspiring National Trust venue.

Further information at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sandham-memorial-chapel

To purchase these collections, click on the covers or the above title links above.

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Saturday, 9 June 2018: Oxford Translation Day – Discover Jane Draycott’s Michaux

Storms under the Skin front cover final
Explore poetry in translation. Make a trip into beautiful Oxford in early June and join in all the free events of Oxford Translation Day.

Two Rivers Press poet, Jane Draycott will be reading from Storms Under the Skin in a *Modern Poetry in Translation *event at Oxford Translation Day on June 9th, 3:30 pm.

Tickets are free, but registration is required.  Register here.

 

Oxford Translation Day 2018Oxford Translation Day 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018 – 16:15 to Saturday, June 9, 2018 – 20:00
St Anne’s College and Other Venues

On June 8th and 9th, St Anne’s College will be running Oxford Translation Day, a celebration of literary translation consisting of workshops and talks throughout both days at St Anne’s and around the city, culminating in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

Oxford Translation Day is a joint venture of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (the research centre housed in St Anne’s and the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities), in partnership with Modern Poetry in Translation.

All events are free and open to anyone, but registration is required. For a full list of events and to register for them follow the links on the Oxford Translation Day here.

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9 – 10 June 2018: Whiteknights Studio Trail 2018! John Froy reads from “Sandpaper & Seahorses”

Sandpaper Seahorses

As part of the Whiteknights Studio Trail, Two Rivers Press poet, John Froy,  is doing a reading from his most recent collection Sandpaper & Seahorses.

When: Sunday, 10 June at 2.30pm

Where: Two Rivers Press, 24 New Road RG1 5JD (venue 15 on the map)

Cost: Free.  All are welcome!

 

WSTLogo

36 individual artists, a Fine Art degree show and 22 venues  make up this year’s Whiteknights Studio Trail. Now in its 18 year this is where to see some wonderful glass, hand-made furniture, jewellery, photography, ceramics, printing, painting and drawing and so much more.

As usual, all venues will be open between 11am and 6pm on two consecutive days, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June. 

Download a map-brochure of the event here.

 

 

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Review: Becci Louise’s “Octopus Medicine” reviewed by Aoife Lyall

Launch Poster - Octopus Medicine B LOUISEOctopus Medicine is not a traditional poetry collection; it is three verse-stories about the octopus, interpolated by illustrations, facts, figures and instructions to the reader. It is doing something new. And it is doing it remarkably well.” 

So begins Aoife Lyall’s review of Becci Louise’s innovative “collection”.  Read the whole review here.

Buy your copy of Octopus Medicine here.

See Becci perform  ‘Kraken: A Story Backwards’, drawn  from the book, at the Reading Fringe. Get your tickets here.  (Reading Fringe 2018 24th to 29th July).

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2 June 2018: Duncan Mackay celebrates Octavia Hill

Duncan Mackay, author of Whisper of Better Things: Green Belts to National Trust – How the Hill family changed our world,  will address those attending a special  event commemorating Octavia Hill and her charitable good deeds on 2 June 2018.  “The event is hosted by Bankside Open Spaces Trust, together with the Army Cadet Force and Octavia Hill Society,” says Duncan. “It will be a full day, with a special service at at Southwark Cathedral, followed by another small ceremony at the Red Cross Gardens.  There will be an Army Cadet Flag Parade, planting an Octavia Hill rose and serving some light refreshments of tea and cake.  It is an honor to be asked to participate.”

Whispers_Cover_final

 

Get a copy of Duncan’s book about the Hill family, here.

bankside open spaces trustoctavia hill banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 26 July 2018: Come see “Lolita Paints Her Toenails” (part of Reading Fringe Festival)

reading fringe flyer.jpg (final)Highwire Act presents “Lolita Paints Her Toenails Three Women on Gender; Its Complexity, Perplexity and its Poetry”

Thursday, 26  July 2018  at 7:30 – 8:30pm

Comedy Cave – Broad Street Mall

Tickets £8; Concessions £7 (purchase tickets here)

Claire Dyer, Lesley Saunders and Susan Uttig in conversation on themes and issues that preoccupy them.  And preoccupied they are!

 

reading fringe logo 2018

 

 

 

Reading Fringe Festival
24-28 July 2018
www.readingfringefestival.co.uk

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Monday 21 May, 2018: Poetry reading with Sue Leigh and Paul Deaton

Chosen_Hill_Cover_final

If you missed Sue’s reading on 3 May, 2018, this is your chance to catch her and Paul Deaton!   Join us for a poetry reading on Monday 21 May, 2018 at 6pm at:

Pembroke College
(The Mary Hyde Eccles Room)
St Aldates
Oxford OX1 1DW
For directions see map here.

Get your copy of Chosen Hill here.

Explore other poetry offerings from Two Rivers Press here.

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The Greenwood Trees: History, Folklore and Virtues of Britain’s Trees by Christina Hart-Davies (author, artist)


Handling by Jack Thacker (poet)


Thursday 3 May, 2018: Poetry Reading – Sue Leigh reads from “Chosen Hill”

Chosen_Hill_Cover_finalYou are invited to a poetry reading!  Sue Leigh will be reading from her new collection Chosen Hill.   Join us, Thursday 3 May, 2018 from 6.30pm-8pm at

Jaffe and Neale
1 Middle Row
Chipping Norton
Oxfordshire OX7 5NH
See a map here.

Get your copy of Chosen Hill here.

Explore other poetry offerings from Two Rivers Press here.

 

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Reading Abbey by John Painter (author) Peter Durrant (author)


Sandpaper & Seahorses by John Froy (poet)


A photograph, a book, a poem, a trip: Lesley Saunders in Heemskerk, Holland

Fox_Talbot

It all started with Martin Andrews, when he invited me  [Lesley Saunders] a few years ago to contribute a poem to his fascinating book Fox Talbot & the Reading Establishment (Two Rivers Press, 2014). I chose to write about a photograph taken in 1844 by Henry Fox Talbot that appears in the book – it’s a portrait of a man in a pose of sleep:

In those very early days of photography when subjects had to stay still for so long, a conveniently sleeping subject was perfect for a sharp print.’

The man in question was Nicolaas Henneman who – as Martin’s book recounts – was initially Fox Talbot’s valet and later became his photographic assistant; subsequently, with Fox Talbot’s help, Henneman set up his own photographic establishment in Reading.

As it happens I was already interested in early photographic experiments – we live in Herschel Street in Slough, named for the Herschel family, including John Herschel who first developed the process of cyanotype or blue-print. I love the delicacy and tonal subtlety of those early prints or ‘photograms’ done on salted paper to make what Fox Talbot called ‘photogenic drawings’. I find their inherent instability and transience very moving. And there’s a stillness in them, too – stilled lives, as it were… The image of ‘Nicolaas Henneman Asleep’ embodies all these qualities.

Then, last year, I was contacted by Piet Gooijer, who – with his colleagues in Heemskerk – was putting together an exhibition to commemorate the life and work of Henneman, who was born and raised in the town. They invited me to come and read my poem at the opening of the exhibition on Saturday 21 April! It seemed such a delightful thing to do, so Malcolm and I made the trip by Eurostar to Amsterdam. and then on to Heemskerk, where we were most warmly greeted by everyone.

One of the exhibition panels

One of the exhibition panels

A newspaper cutting (in Dutch), (24 April 2018) - ‘kippenvel’ means ‘goose-bumps’ (in a good way)!

A newspaper cutting (in Dutch), (24 April 2018) – ‘kippenvel’ means ‘goose-bumps’ (in a good way)!

Henneman did not have any direct descendants, but the extended family was a large one, and many of his present relatives attended – including his great-great-nephew, Jan Jacob Henneman, now in his tenth decade. The exhibition, and accompanying catalogue, have been meticulously researched and beautifully presented in the grand foyer of the town hall – including, in one of the glass cabinets, a copy of Martin’s book. There were lively speeches to a sizeable audience, and afterwards plentiful wine and a general sense of something very worthwhile having been accomplished.

a photo of Piet Gooijers and Lesley Saunders on the ‘Nicolaas Henneman Path’ in Heemskerk

a photo of Piet Gooijers and Lesley Saunders on the ‘Nicolaas Henneman Path’ in Heemskerk

Piet and his three colleagues, who have formed the Genootschap ‘t Hofland to celebrate local history and culture, have recently succeeded in having a small lane in the town named for Nicolaas Henneman – it’s the path Henneman used to walk between his home and school and the church. When we strolled along it, the spring blossom was still bright.

Lesley Saunders, 24 April 2018

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Becci Louise poem shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize 2018

We were thrilled to learn that Becci Louise, whose Octopus Medicine was published by Two Rivers Press last year, made the shortlist for the page poetry category of the 2018 Out-Spoken Poetry Prize with her poem “Her Father’s Roses”. There were over 500 entries, so this is a fantastic achievement!
Octopus_Medicine_CoverBecci Louise writes:

My shortlisted poem, ‘Her Father’s Roses’, is about my grandmother who, when still a young woman and unmarried, was followed home after a dance one night, by a drunk man who, when he failed to catch up with her, tore up the roses in the front garden in his frustration. Although my Nan laughs about this incident now, and finds it particularly funny that her father blamed next door’s cat and threw a bucket of water over the poor creature, I wanted to write about an incident that women of every generation, including my own, can relate to, and which is only just becoming something that is spoken about and shared with the men in our lives, who often have little idea of what it means to walk through the world as woman and to face these kind of threats in everyday life. My poem, along with all the other exceptional pieces, can be found here.

Buy your copy of Octopus Medicine here.

Explore other poetry offerings from Two Rivers Press here.

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Reading’s Bayeux Tapestry by Reading Museum


Review: Jane Draycott’s translation of Michaux’s “Storms under the Skin” reviewed for Culturethèque

 Storms Under the Skin by Henri Michaux and translated by Jane Draycott is book of the week on Culturethèque’s blog!  They write:

Not sure yet? Read this beautiful extract translated by wonderful Jane Draycott: it was difficult to choose…

Storms under the Skin front cover final

“Dragon”

[…]
It was because things were going so badly.
September ’38, a Tuesday. All things compelled me
To take this strangest of forms for the sake of my life.
In this way I took up the fight for myself
while Europe still hesitated: I set forth as a dragon
against the forces of evil, against the panoply
of endless paralysis in the face of events, against
the ocean-voice of mediocrity who sudden, vast
significance has once more dizzyingly been unmasked.

 

Buy a copy of the book her.

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Reading Cultural Awards 2018: Two Rivers Press nominated in “Partnership of the Year” category

lilies for oscar wilde flyerWe are delighted that a project we were involved in, Lilies for Oscar Wilde, has been nominated in the ‘partnership of the year’ category for one of the Reading Cultural Awards 2018. The more nominations we collect, the more chance we have of being shortlisted and there is a short form to fill out here (http://readingplaceofculture.org/awards/) if you feel inclined. As well as the intrinsic value in over 70 different artists from all over Reading working together on a single project, a sale of the lilies raised £1,189 for local homeless charity, LaunchPad.

Get a copy of Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol or some other Two Rivers Press book about Reading here.

 

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“Michaux’s so obviously in the air!!” says Jane Draycott

Interest in the Belgian-born poet, Henri Michaux, seems to be at a high this spring.  There are several new translations of Michaux’s works available.

Storms under the Skin front cover finalPoet and artist Henri Michaux (1899-1984) was one of the most original and influential figures of twentieth century French poetry, hailed by Allen Ginsberg as ‘master’ and ‘genius’ and by Borges as ‘without equal in the literature of our time’. In his vividly strange narratives Michaux creates a dream-like, mercurial world of wry invention unlike any other, idiosyncratic, resistant and philosophical. Often dramatic and incantatory in his poetics, he was also an extremely private person, shunning publicity, writing as he put it for all those ‘suffering from their imaginations.’

In Storms under the Skin Jane Draycott translates poems and prose-poems from Michaux’s volumes 1927-54, including extracts from his best-loved creations Plume and the haunting realm of Les Emanglons, alongside poems written on the eve of war in Europe and during the Occupation.

If you are interested in a more academic work and the complete translation of Michaux’s Plume you might try A Certain Plume by Henri Michaux and translated by Richard Sieburth, due out in May, 2018.

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Hear poets Lesley Saunders and Philip Gross!

Two Rivers Press poet, Lesley Saunders in involved in an interesting project with Philip Gross in which they co-wrote the poems by responding to each other’s writing, a bit like a game of tennis, or badminton, or chess!

Lesley and Philip were on  BBC Radio 3’s “The Verb” on 23 February 2018.    If you missed programme,  you can be listened to via to the podcast (with extra poems!) here.   The segment with these poets starts at 31 minutes in.

Lesley Saunders and Philip Gross (photo copied from BBC The Verb site)

The poets Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders started an email exchange that eventually became the poetic dialogue ‘A Part of the Main’. They tell Ian how note-taking, particularly over email, informed the collaborative writing process and helped them to the finished product, a poem where often they aren’t sure who wrote what line. A Part Of The Main’ will be published later this year.

 

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A Coming of Age: Celebrating 18 Years of Botanical Painting by The Eden Project Florilegium Society by Ros Franklin (author)


Chosen Hill by Sue Leigh (poet)


Nominy-Dominy by Lesley Saunders (poet)


Saturday, January 20, 2018: Poetry Workshop: Encountering Oscar Wilde

Join acclaimed poets and teachers Adrian Blamires and Lesley Saunders to explore the lasting influence of Oscar Wilde, playwright, story-teller and victim of prejudice. Be inspired by contemporary artists’ responses to aspects of his life and work, take part in some semi-structured exercises to develop your own thoughts and ideas, and read some of Wilde’s poetry, stories and essays before composing one of your own. Bring something to write on and with. (for Adults 16+).

Where: Reading Museum

When:  10.30am – 3.30pm, Saturday, January 20 2018

Fee: £25

For further information and to book email elaine.blake@reading.gov.uk

Wilde FB image

For more information the The Critic as Artist events, visit here.

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Thursday, 18 January 2018: Launch of Draycott’s “Storms Under the Skin” and Matthews’ “On Magnetism”

Storms_Magnetism_Flyer

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Monday, 4 December 2017: Join us for the launch of DuncanMackay’s “Whispers of Better Things”

Whispers_flyer

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28 November 2017: Steven Matthews’ “On Magnetism” launches at Blackwell’s Oxford. 7:15pm:

Join us for a special evening with Steven Matthews and Fiona Sampson, where they will be discussing their latest publications, and exploring poetry, place in history and the natural world.

When:    Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Where:  Blackwell’s Bookshop Oxford, 48-51 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BQ

On magnetism

Steven Matthews will be reading from his collection ‘On Magnetism‘, featuring poems about loss and remembrance, about the relation of the Renaissance and the Classical worlds to our own, about locales within lives. These are poems about sounding the world, and about measuring our responses to it through its various musics. Steven will also be discussing his prose book reflecting upon Wordsworth, ‘Ceaseless Music’.

Fiona Sampson will be reading from ‘The Catch’, a collection that transforms the sensory world into an astonishingly new and vivid poetry. Here, dream and myth, creatures real and imagined, and the sights and sounds of ‘distance and of home’ all coalesce in a sustained meditation on time and belonging. Fiona will also be exploring her prose work ‘Limestone Country’, a love letter to landscape and geology.

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Review: “Jane Draycott’s beautiful translations…bring Michaux to life”: Storms Under the Skin

Storms under the Skin front cover final

From PBS Bulletin Autumn 2017:

Jane Draycott’s beautiful translations of “Pearl” are well known to us. Here, in “Storms Under the Skin,” she exercises a  precision of touch that brings Michaux to life as a substantial presence that hovers brilliantly before us, offering its version of the way things work. Michaux is too important a poet to be kept waiting outside. This generous selection brings him into the house of major European poets – George Szirtes

To purchase a copy of “Storms Under the Skin”  click here.

cover_compactThe Poetry Book Society Autumn Bulletin for 2017 features writing from Autumn Choice poet Pascale Petit regarding Mama Amazonica, as well as pieces from Recommended poets Tara Bergin, Douglas Dunn, Frank Ormsby and Michael Symmons Roberts. These are accompanied by comments from the selectors and numerous extracts from their works. The selectors also provide pieces on the Recommended Translation Storms Under the Skin by Henri Michaux, the Special Commendation Selected Poems by Thom Gunn, and the Pamphlet Choice Mr Universe by Rich Goodson. Seventeen short reviews of poetry books for summerreading complete the publication, along with a catalogue of works available for purchase by members at a discounted price.

To buy your copy click here.

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Review: Becci Louise’s Octopus Medicine

There is a  gorgeous review of Octopus Medicine by Aoife Lyall in The Interpreter’s House, issue 66.  She writesØ:

Octopus medicine is not a traditional poetry collection; it is three verse-stories about the octopus, interpolated by illustrations, facts, figures and instructions to the reader. It is doing something new. And it is doing it remarkably well….

…These verse-stories may be read alone but they also need to be read aloud, animated, orchestrated, painted, performed, and recorded. They are enthralling, dynamic and utterly captivating.”

Interpreters House issue 66Octopus_Medicine_Cover

Get yourself a copy of both the review and Becci Louise’s Octopus Medicine: the story  of an octopus who dreams of stars, a self-important fisherman who gets what’s coming to him, and a misunderstood monster.   Octopus Medicine is  an invitation to adventure for misfits, outsiders, the lonely. These three verse stories call us down into an octopus world where days are dark, everything’s out to eat you, and nothing’s what it seems. Written for young and old alike, this is a collection for reading at bedtime, acting out on playgrounds, for sharing with grandparents. In its mysterious way, the octopus has much to teach us all.

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October 30, 2017: Duncan Mackay in debate on the 800th anniversary of the Charta de Foresta at Durham Cathedral

Whispers_Cover_finalTwo Rivers Press author, Duncan Mackay, says “Tonight I am at Durham Cathedral with Professor Christian Liddy of Durham University to present a paper called New Commons for new times: whispers of better things. This will be followed by a public debate chaired by BBC North East’s political editor. I am weaving much of the history in Whispers into the speech and offering a plug for the book. The debate is focussed on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charta de Foresta the companion to Magna Carta.

If you are in the area drop in to Durham Cathedral.

 

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26 October 2017: 3-6pm, Launch of Becci Louise’s Octopus Medicine at The Castle Tap

Launch Poster - Octopus Medicine B LOUISE

Come join us!  We are launching, Octopus Medicine, the story of an Octopus who dreams of stars, a self-important fisherman who gets what’s coming to him, and a misunderstood monster!

Where:  The Castle Tap, 120 Castle St, Reading RG1 7RJ

When: Thursday, 26 October 2017; 3-6pm

Drop in any time during the launch.   There will be refreshments, origami, readings and a chance to chat to Becci Louise.

Children 9+ and over are very, very welcome

Buy your copy of Octopus Medicine.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of our events.

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Louisa Campbell on “What Lies Within” by Claire Dyer

“Oh, I have such a treat for you! This stunning poem is from Claire Dyer’s deliciously multidimensional collection, Interference Effects…”. So begins Louisa Campbell’s post Signpost Sixteen, “What Lies Within,” Claire Dyer (Oct 19, 2017).

Louisa then goes on to say the loveliest things….

Interference_Effects_Cover

“A bit of insider info. for you, too: Claire Dyer’s the sort of person who shares her chips with you, makes sure you have a seat in a crowded room and introduces you to everybody. She also has wonderful hair with happy curls. Call me a weirdo, but I think generosity of nature and sparkle of smile beneath happy hair are the sort of things that leak into a person’s writing. Do buy the collection!

I had the pleasure of meeting Claire at the South Downs Poetry Festival, where she facilitated a workshop on first and last lines. I’ve just dug out my notes from her workshop and I’ve written:

“First – shocked    lulled    find something of yourself

Last – surprise, but also make you want to read it again”

Let’s have a look at the poem and see if Claire’s followed her own advice (!). Here it is, reproduced with her kind permission:

 

What Lies Within

Like when you’re outside and the lights are on
inside churches and whatever faith there is
is fidgeting under the transept window
and you’re back with Nan, slipping fifty pence
into the collection box, fanning
the gilt-edged pages of your hymn book;

or when café chairs are stacked
and striped by sunlight behind the railings
of Pizza Express before it opens
and moorhens are splitting the blue water
of a river nearby and a waiter lights up
his first cigarette of the day;

or when there’s a row of shaving mirrors
at the barber’s, each tilted to an angle
a few degrees different from its neighbour
so there’s always another view of the sky,
another view of a woman smiling at something
the someone she’s walking with said;

or when, stepping from a taxi, you see
the fizz-torn dazzle of a streetlamp
in the buttery yellow of a pavement after rain
and girls’ heels chatter as umbrellas
are folded away and a maraschino cherry
gets dropped into a cocktail glass;

or when you dip your hand into a pond
at Kew and the koi flick and
tremble and whittle your fingers
with their cheese-grater teeth and you stare
and stare into the back of their eyes
looking for what lies within.

 (See? I said it was a treat, didn’t I?)

The first line is clever, starting with “Like when” as if you’re in the middle of a conversation with the poet – it draws you in.  The last line is stunning, suggesting the dimension of the soul and – yes – it makes you want to go back and read the poem again. When you do, you see the soul is in the city, as well as in the carp, and how cool is that?”

Do read the whole post here!

 

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Lilies for Oscar Wilde

FullSizeRender Lilies2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some photos taken at the launch of the Lilies for Oscar Wilde display.

Many thanks to Haslams for hosting the launch, to Malmaison for wonderful food and Cllr Sarah Hacker. And of course, a rousing applause to all the artists who made flowers and to Marc Allridge from Cherubs for the amazing staging.

Lilies3

 

 

You can follow on FB and twitter: LiliesforOscarWilde

Here is a link to the LiliesforOscarWilde blog. http://liliesforoscarwilde.blogspot.co.uk/

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16 October 2017: “Lilies for Oscar Wilde” on his birthday! Come and see!

Flower by Huma Jehan @humajehan

Flower by Huma Jehan
@humajehan

Reading Museum in collaboration with Jelly, Reading Guild of Artists (RGA), Two Rivers Press, Whiteknight’s Trail, and many independent artists and ‘makers’ celebrate the wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde by commemorating his birthday on Monday 16 October.

Local Reading artists and ‘makers’ joined forces to create some stunning lilies – using a range of materials, from ceramics to fabric, paper and plastic, found objects and recycled ones, to create a unique ‘bouquet’, designed and staged by award winning florist Marc Allridge.

The flowers will be debuting at Haslams, Friar Street, Reading on Monday 16 October.

For a peek at some of the lilies click here.

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Review: Edith Morley Before and After. Reminiscences of a Working Life

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11

This is a memoir by the first female professor in the UK, Edith Morley, Professor of English Language at the University of Reading. It’s an essential read for anyone exploring the history of women’s higher education in Britain, and for those keen on reliving the struggles of women to make headway in a profession that really wasn’t sure they ought to be there….

Rescued from the archives by Barbara Morris, this memoir was rejected by the first publisher Morley sent it to, in 1944 — probably because of the wartime restrictions on paper, ostensibly because Allen and Unwin told her that ‘those who don’t remember these things will have read of them often enough in novels of the period’. How fascinating to find that in the 1940s fiction was considered to be an adequate repository for women’s history. The memoir found its way to the university archive with the rest of Morley’s papers. Although she had clearly gone over the manuscript once or twice, annotating and clarifying here and there, she doesn’t seem to have made any other attempts to publish it. She died in 1964. The main building for the Humanities subjects at the university  is now named after her.

So begins Kate MacDonald’s review of Edith Morley Before and After: Reminiscences of a Working Life.  Read the complete review here.   Buy your copy of the book here.

 

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13-21 October 2017: Christina Hart-Davies “Changing Seasons” exhibit of The Society of Botanical Artists

CHartDavies-BlackBryonyBerriesFour paintings by Two Rivers Press author / illustrator Christina Hart-Davies (including two illustrations from A Wild Plant Year) will be included in a major exhibition of botanical art in London.

Changing Seasons, the annual open exhibition of the prestigious Society of Botanical Artists, runs at Central Hall Westminster 13 – 21 October 2017.

If you are in the area and enjoy superb botanical artwork in a variety of styles and media, it is well worth a visit!

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S O U T H 56 October 2017: A profile of Jean Watkins by Gill Learner

Jean Watkins

Two Rivers Press poet, Jean Watkins,  is profiled in South 56 October 2017. 16 of her poems, a mini-collection,  appear: Before, Severing, Rackham, Ribston Pippin, Wasps, Honeysuckle Sides, The Dragon Lands, Marvel, Making Space for Water*, Our Dream, Ghostly, Boatbuilder, Turning, Visiting Londinium, Scrimshaw, Meeting Her Eyes, Brute.

To get your copy of South 56, contact http://www.southpoetry.org/ or purchase Jean’s collection Scrimshaw, here.

 

Scrimshaw_Cover

SOUTH
is an independent poetry magazine, published twice yearly, which is run by a small team who give their time for the pleasure that gives them. It does not have or seek financial
support from any organisation or institution other than by the sale of subscriptions. It is grateful for the support of those who generously take out Foundation Membership or pay ordinary subscriptions. Further income is derived from the sale of individual copies of the magazine, especially at its half yearly readings.

       Subscriptions

Foundation members
One year (two issues) £20.00
Two years (four issues) £36.00
Ordinary subscribers
One year (two issues) £12.00
Two years (four issues) £22.00
Single copies
Current issue, by hand £6.00
Current issue, by post £7.0o

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Riverside walks with Geoff Sawers – success!

© Anna Iwaschkin

© Anna Iwaschkin

Geoff Sawers’ riverside walks at the weekend, Sept 17-18, 2017, were hugely well attended. Very well done indeed! A little bird suggested the numbers were about 20 walkers on Saturday and about 50 on Sunday.

Two Rivers press is delighted to have been involved with this activity and with the inaugural Reading on Thames festival.

 

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Book launch: Picture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading’s Cinemas: Weds 27th Sept, 7.45 – 9.30pm

cinema cover

Picture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading’s Cinemas will launch with a short film and refreshments at the

Where:   Minghella Studios, University of Reading, Whiteknights, RG6 6BT.

When: Weds 27th Sept, 7.45  – 9.30pm

The event is free but please email tworiverspress@gmail.com to book as spaces are limited.

 

Celebrate the launch of David Cliffe’s new book with a short talk by the author and an opportunity to watch archive footage  taken in and around Reading in the early part of the 20th century. Excerpts include an advertising film about Huntley and Palmers biscuits, a film about a Second World War youth camp at Sonning Common, footage of a royal visit to Reading in the 1950s, a documentary about children’s health services about the same time, and pictures of Reading trams and trolleybuses and the widening of Station Hill in the 1930s. Also, possibly, an excerpt from The Thirty-nine steps which is said to have been filmed in Reading’s ‘Palace’ theatre.

Twenty different cinemas have graced Reading’s streets over the years, many long forgotten and some of the earliest very short-lived. In his book, David Cliffe tells the story of the era of the single-screen cinema in Reading, from the traveling shows at the turn of the 20th century, its heyday with the Vaudeville Electric Theatre in the 20s, through to today’s multiscreen entertainment ‘villages’. 

David’s knowledge of the social history of Reading is extensive and there will be a chance to chat to the author afterwards, purchase books and have them signed.

David  will also be signing his book and available to talk about it alongside a small exhibition of photographs at the Heritage Open Day events at Waterstones, Broad Street, Reading on Saturday 9th September at 12-1pm.

Picture Palace to Penny Plunge is published by Two Rivers Press in collaboration with the History of Reading Society.

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Review: Susan Utting’s “Half the Human Race” “There is so much here to enjoy.”

How does poet Susan Utting feel about the most recent review of her collection, Half the Human Race? “Thrilled,” says Susan.  Ruth Sharman’s marvellous and comprehensive review for The High Window can be read at Reviews for Autumn 2017.

half-the-human-race-front-cover“There is a quiet feminism at work here, celebrating that female characteristic of ‘managing small things’, the ability to make do, to ‘thrive on other people’s leftovers’, to be so much more than the product of men’s imaginings, ‘sweethearts, dolls… posable, blow-up generous… nice arse, a lovely pair’, as ‘Half the Human Race’ concludes, with an abruptness that emphasises how much more there is to be said: ‘…Say we’re all / of this and none of it and more, and this / is nothing like the end of it. Say’”

“Susan Utting’s new collection includes some forty new poems plus a selection from her three earlier books. There is so much here to enjoy…a collection whose generosity – eighty poems in total – is matched by the breadth and richness of the poet’s vision and by the sheer exuberance of her language.”

 

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Saturday, 16 September, 2-3 pm: Becci Louise at Thames Festival

Becci Louise will be reading on Thames Festival as part of the #RiverCity conversations: Sat 16 Sept for a talk on ‘Murky Depths’ at 12.30 and a workshop 2-3pm.  For more information click here

Becci Louise, is a poet, performer and educator, and will captivate audiences both young and old with her verse-stories of an octopus who dreams of stars (and gets caught by a fisherman!) and you may even get to meet her tiny parrot, Maya. Let the magic of the watery worlds she conjures draw out the latent poet in you.

Octopus_Medicine_CoverOctopus Medicine is poetry for the un-poetical. Deliberately subverting the typical view of poetry, it sweeps its way into strange and dreamlike narratives, calling upon the Octopus as a creature that represents loneliness, isolation, difference and the power of dreaming. These three narrative verses, all anchored around the central figure of the octopus, weave worlds designed to be shared by the young and old alike. This is poetry to heal the rift in society that means so many of our young and our old suffer from depression, from anxiety and from other mental health issues. Just like the ancient medicine animals of the old tribes, this is a book of prayers, incantations, totems and talismans.

 

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Family workshop with author Becci Louise at Waterstones, Saturday, 9 September, 2 – 3 pm

becci-imageBecci Louise, poet, performer and educator, will captivate audiences both young and old with her verse-stories of an octopus who dreams of stars (and gets caught by a fisherman!) and you may even get to meet her tiny parrot, Maya. Let the magic of the watery worlds she conjures draw out the latent poet in you.

Meet the author at the first of two free family friendly workshops:

Where: Waterstones, Children’s section

When: Saturday,  9th September, 2 – 3pm,  as part of Heritage Open Days,

Octopus_Medicine_Cover

Becci Louise new book, Octopus Medicine is poetry for the un-poetical. Deliberately subverting the typical view of poetry, it sweeps its way into strange and dreamlike narratives, calling upon the Octopus as a creature that represents loneliness, isolation, difference and the power of dreaming. These three narrative verses, all anchored around the central figure of the octopus, weave worlds designed to be shared by the young and old alike. This is poetry to heal the rift in society that means so many of our young and our old suffer from depression, from anxiety and from other mental health issues. Just like the ancient medicine animals of the old tribes, this is a book of prayers, incantations, totems and talismans.

If you miss the Waterstones workshop on September 9th, Becci Louise will be reading on Thames Festival as part of the #RiverCity conversations: Sat 16 Sept for a talk on ‘Murky Depths’ at 12.30 and a workshop 2-3pm.  For more information click here

 

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Pre-launch signing: Saturday, Sept 9, 12 – 1pm: David Cliffe at Waterstones with “Picture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading’s Cinemas”

Twenty different cinemas have graced Reading’s streets over the years, many long forgotten and some of the earliest very short-lived. In his book, David Cliffe tells the story of the era of the single-screen cinema in Reading, from the traveling shows at the turn of the 20th century, its heyday with the Vaudeville Electric Theatre in the 20s, through to today’s multiscreen entertainment ‘villages’.

David Cliffe will be signing his book, Picture Palace to Penny Plunge:  Reading Cinemas and be available to talk about it alongside a small exhibition of photographs

Where:  Heritage Open Day eventscinema cover at Waterstones, Broad Street, Reading.

When: Saturday 9th September at 12-1pm.

Picture Palace to Penny Plunge is published by Two Rivers Press in collaboration with the History of Reading Society.

 

If you don’t make it to Waterstones on Saturday, Picture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading’s Cinema will be launched officially with a short film and refreshments at

Where: Minghella Studios, University of Reading, Whiteknights, RG6 6BT

When: Weds 27th Sept at 7.45-9.30pm. 

The event is free but please email tworiverspress@gmail.com to book as spaces are limited.

Celebrate the launch of David Cliffe’s new book with a short talk by the author and an opportunity to watch archive footage  taken in and around Reading in the early part of the 20th century. Excerpts include an advertising film about Huntley and Palmers biscuits, a film about a Second World War youth camp at Sonning Common, footage of a royal visit to Reading in the 1950s, a documentary about children’s health services about the same time, and pictures of Reading trams and trolleybuses and the widening of Station Hill in the 1930s. Also, possibly, an excerpt from The Thirty-nine steps which is said to have been filmed in Reading’s ‘Palace’ theatre.

David’s knowledge of the social history of Reading is extensive and there will be a chance to chat to the author afterwards, purchase books and have them signed.

 

 

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16 & 17 September 2017: River walks with Adrian Lawson & Geoff Sawers

Meet on the river terrace of Crowne Plaza Hotel by Caversham Bridge. Saturday 16 September 11AM and Sunday 17 September 2PM. Free. Just turn up.

Join one of two guided walks along a majestic stretch of the Thames to learn more about Reading’s waterways flora and fauna, history and heritage. Geoff Sawers is an artist and poet inspired by his love of nature. Adrian Lawson has spent the last 30 years walking and cycling around Reading’s open spaces observing the wildlife that lives here, and he wrote about this for more than 20 years in the local paper.

Join them to discover more about the wonders of Reading’s natural landscape in a two hour circular walking tour of the Thames in central Reading.

Shady_Cover

reading_quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t make the walks, buy the books and discover Reading at your leisure!

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9 -17 September 2017: River Writing at the Reading-on-Thames Festival

River Writing 1River Writing 2

Follow the Thames from its meeting with the Kennet at Horseshoe Bridge up to Kings Meadow and reflect on the vivid imagery in Ian House’s poem ‘Masterstroke’ reproduced in individual phrases along the riverside in Sally Castle’s evocative hand-lettering. Fit the phrases into the context of the whole poem using the postcard guide to help and see the river in a whole new light.

The walk starts at Horseshoe Bridge where the Thames meets the Kennet, just east of Tesco.  You walk at your own pace, whenever you like between Saturday 9 September – Sunday 17 September.  It is completely FREE.

Download the River Writing postcard or pick up a copy from Reading Museum (closed Sun/Mon).

For more information about the River Festival visit the Reading-on-Thames Festival site.

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On Magnetism by Steven Matthews (poet)


August 2017: Geoff Sawers exhibits tree paintings at CUP, Reading

Shady_Cover

 

Artist Geoff Sawers is exhibiting his tree paintings from The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees at CUP (the independent coffee shop next to St Mary’s Butts) during August. The perfect accompaniment to a good cuppa!

If you can’t get to town for a coffee, buy a copy of The Shady Side of Town.

The paintings are the illustrations

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Botanical illustrations from “A Wild Plant Year” by Christina Hart-Davies on tea towels!

plantlife teatowelsPlantlife, the wild plant conservation charity have reproduced two illustrations from A Wild Plant Year by Christina Hart-Davies as tea towels! Check them out in Plantlife’s online shop.

To buy a copy of A Wild Plant Year: The History, Folklore and Uses of Britain’s Flora click here.

 

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_final

A Wild Plant Year, is  a lavishly illustrated, small-format, picture-led book covering 150-200 common wild flowers and plants, with text giving  botanical information, history and folklore, medicinal or culinary uses.

The book is arranged in a through-the-year format, waymarked by festivals such as Easter, Mothering Sunday, Summer Solstice, Bonfire Night, etc. It follows a rough calendar, illustrating flowers and plants associated with each season and festival. The book has been designed spread by spread and the text is already drafted. The paintings are almost all completed, most of them made directly from life.

It is a sort of commonplace book, an ideal gift; something to dip into when relaxing, rather than a field guide.book on the cultural, social, folkloric and medicinal history of British wild plants.  The perfect gift for any nature-lovers, nostalgia-buffs, folklorists and botanical-art-lovers as well as gardeners – though, in fact,  hardly any garden plants are included; it’s all wild plants!

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Whispers of Better Things: Green Belts to National Trust – How the Hill family changed our world by Duncan Mackay (author)


Open for Art is back! Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July, 2017

This weekend, Fri 30th June to Sunday 2nd July, Reading is Open for Art!

Shady_CoverOur very own Geoff Sawers is exhibiting the paintings and drawings from The Shady Side of Town at 142 Castle Hill. (Opening event will be on Friday 30th, 12-1pm).

shady side spread

 

 

 

 

 

This fourth year of Open for Art celebrates design, the arts and creativity, from marking the 100 years since the birth of iconic British Designer, Lucienne Day to exhibiting the work of Reading’s emerging designers, artists, performers and makers of all ages. Come and join us whilst we lead you on walks, hear artists talks and poems, explore Reading’s hidden waterways, take part
in Open Air art classes, create floral headdresses inspired by Frida Kahlo, follow the heritage paths and revel in performances.  For more information on the events of the weekend, click here.

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Picture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading Cinemas by David Cliffe (author)


Deafness and poetry: Susan Utting interviewed for The Limping Chicken

half-the-human-race-front-coverTwo Rivers Press poet, Susan Utting, is interviewed by Juliet England, about deafness and poetry.   Read the interview here.   Two of Susan’s poems “Report to the Department of Audiology” and “Lip-reading the Poets”, appear with the interview.  Both also appear in Susan’s most recent collection,  Half the Human Race:  New and Selected Poems

 

 

 

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Review: The Shady Side of Town gets glorious review

What a pleasure to read Matthew Farrell’s rather glorious review of The Shady Side of the Town.     He writes:

Shady_Cover

The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees by Adrian Lawson and Geoff Sawers is a quirky and inclusive guide to some of our finest and most interesting local specimens and is packed with fond facts and bold art…

Each tree in the book has been carefully chosen for its variety, diversity and uniqueness. It’s expressed in Adrian Lawson’s knowledgeable, loving prose accompanied by original, stark, imaginative painting from accomplished artist Geoff Sawers. They are a class double act…

This lovely compact volume is meant to make you get out there. So when in vacant or in pensive mood you can stuff it in your hoodie pocket and go and see for yourselves. There are well over thirty trees to visit: including such exotic sounding specimens as wild service, black poplar, cedar of Lebanon, Bhutan pine plus our lovely sweet chestnuts, oaks and other natives…

…the very reasonable £8.99 under-a-tennerness. Two pints worth of glorious local and profound knowledge throwing light into our cerebral and spiritual darkness is well worth it in my view.

If you love trees and live in the Reading area you really should get your own copy!

Read the review it its entirety at the wonderful The Whitley Pump.

 

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Rosie Jackson’s winning poem

The Heaven that Runs Through Everything 

Here’s to the small everyday miracles –
Mrs Baggett with her knitting and pearls,

the lovely daughters of Jerusalem
in their gardens of lilies, laburnum,

gospels and gossip at the regatta,
Sarah Tubb and her heavenly visitor,

courting and baptism along the Thames,
a dustman leaping into his wife’s arms.

Here’s to tulip, rock rose, gypsophila
flowering together, to vases of prayer,

Saint Francis in slippers and dressing gown
up on the roof with hens to catch the sun,

chores doing themselves down in the kitchen
at a wedding where water’s turned to wine,

everything married to everything else –
yearning to show itself as happiness,

as Love. Neighbours who rejoice with tin cans
and cabbage leaves, the ripe summer commons,

skies which open over bulrush, goose-run,
the fresh light making everything new-born,

shot through with flame, each shrub a burning bush
by the tow path. All detail the flourish

of nature to show itself exactly –
not ‘bird’ but swan, cockerel, grebe, quail, turkey.

Blessings on Ricket’s Farm, Rowborough, Pound Field,
the very word ‘Eden’ changed, now this world

is all we need to know of paradise.
Consider the gardens at Cookham Rise

where Adam’s walking backwards to a tree
laden with unpicked apples – the first day

and the last become one, as if heaven was
wanting to reveal its eternal Yes –

earthly desire become beatitude,
everything known to be equally god.

Suffering a page to be folded over,
tenderness up sleeves in the tents of war,

balm poured from seraphs in the guise of men.
Nothing that is not transfiguration –

the dying girl next door raised up, restored
to life, then the quickening of a horde

of spirits, hungry for what death waylaid –
the lost embrace, words not said, love not made.

Here’s to grief unlearnt, grateful breath redrawn,
the rapture of rolling away the stone.

And let’s not forget the man most at home
in sunlight, newly arrived in Cookham,

who walks with disciples up Cockmarsh Hill,
everyone in the crowd a plump angel.

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival  Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “The Heaven that Runs Through Everything” is the winner of The Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.  

Congratulations, Rosie

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Ross Cogan’s winning poem

Zacharias and Elizabeth

An English offering. There in the top
reach of the home meadow, near where it shades
into the scrub as sleep folds into sleep,
he burns the scraps of lamb as one might burn
raked leaves – drawn down and sheepish while he feeds
the pale flesh to the flame. And his wife runs

to him, the rumour of new life in her
like talk of a new war passing from lip
to lip. “In these days he has shown his favour,
and taken away my disgrace” he thinks
picturing heaven’s crisp ledgers. Men chop
wood, mend the hedges, build up the banks

set for the blessing of the October rain
that drops like a libation on the land.
Wind parts his wife’s white hair and sends a skein
of thin smoke skirling skywards, and the small
girl sees all this, sees it and understands
that signs and wonders happen over the wall.

 

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “Zacharias and Elizabeth” is the winner of The Stationers’ Company Award of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.

 

Congratulations, Ross!

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Richard Robbin’s winning poem

Christ Carrying the Cross

a painting by Stanley Spencer, 1920

And we saw someone passing below,
we who jammed the sash of each high window
like twins sprouted from a common waist.
And it was the quiet work below

we noticed first, something no one called
suffering, though it seemed what we’d been called
to bear. We watched ladders, crooked hands, heard
talk proceed as always, saw through old

remarkable eyes. Why, then, be startled
to find ourselves wingèd, some changed world
in the making along ivy and brick?
Someone pulled that slow cross to a hill.

 

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “Christ Carrying the Cross” is the winner of The Maidenhead Advertiser Award of The 2017 Cookham Festival  Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.  

Congratulations, Richard!

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The Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: winners

Spencer finalJudges announce winner and runners up of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition:

The Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize, cash prize of £2,500:
Rosie Jackson – “The Heaven That Runs Through Everything”

The Stationers’ Company Award,  cash prize of £500:
Ross Cogan – “Zacharias and Elizabeth”

The Maidenhead Advertiser Award, cash prize of £500:
Richard Robbins – “Christ Carrying the Cross”

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

To celebrate the awards for the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition,  3 large pop-up display stands, each displaying one of the three prize winning poems are now on display in Holy Trinity Church, Cookham and provide an interesting perspective from which to read the poems. Everyone is more than welcome to drop in and read them.

Stanley Spencer Poems. An Anthology” contains not only the three prize winners, but 75 other poems which highlight the amazing quality of the over 200 poems submitted to the judges. Order your copy here.

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Claire Dyer’s next novel: The Last Day

Two Rivers Press poets are a talented bunch.  They are not just poets!  Some are novelists, as well!

claire-dyer-home-page-bw31Claire Dyer’s new novel, The Last Day, has just been signed up by The Dome Press.

According to The Bookseller:

The blurb for The Last Day reads: “Since the end of her marriage, Vita has regained her happiness and remained civilised friends with her husband, Boyd. So much so that it seems natural – almost – for him to move back into their marital home as he goes through financial difficulties, even though he brings with him Honey, his beautiful and much younger new love. Vita is fine about it, she really is. But Honey isn’t just blonde hair and long, graceful limbs – she loves Boyd with a passion and is hiding secrets of her own.

Rebecca Lloyd, publisher at The Dome Press, said: “The Last Day has the tenderness of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel mixed with the edginess and unexpectedness of The Girl on a Train. It is touching and unnerving, with richly drawn characters and many-layered relationships that take you by surprise right till the end. I was hooked immediately. Claire is a huge talent.”

Dyer’s previous novels, The Moment and The Perfect Affair and her short story, “Falling for Gatsby” were published by Quercus. Her poetry collections, Interference Effects and Eleven Rooms, are published by Two Rivers Press.

Doherty said: “I am absolutely delighted that The Last Day will be published by The Dome Press in 2018. The novel, focusing on the meaning of love in all its different ramifications and written with acute sensitivity, should attract a large audience.”

The Last Day will be published by The Dome Press in 2018.  Put it on your to read list!

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Reading Cultural Awards 2017: Two Rivers Press nominated

We’ve been nominated for one of the Reading Cultural Awards!

TRP has been nominated in the ‘Made in Reading’ category and ‘Walking Words’ – well done Sally and Adam – has been nominated in that and the Arts & Business partnership category

The Award winners will be announced on 29 June at the Reading Cultural Awards ceremony.

The list of nominations by category as well as more information on the Awards can be found at http://readingplaceofculture.org/awards/

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The Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition 2017: final shortlist

2017 Cookham Festival logoThe following poems have been chosen by the judges to form the final shortlist from which the three prize winning poems will be selected.

 

Poem:                                                                            Poet:

Zacharias and Elizabeth                                             Ross Cogan

Strawberry Moon                                                        Brian Docherty

The Heaven That Runs Through Everything            Rosie Jackson

Bedridden                                                                     Paul Jeffcutt

The Resurrection, Cookham                                     Tony Lucas

The Swans Speak to Stanley Spencer                     Dorothy McCarthy

Christ Carrying the Cross                                          Richard Robbins

Capture/Captured                                                      Pnina Shinebourne

First                                                                               Pnina Shinebourne

Disciples                                                                       Jean Watkins

Hilda, Unity and Dolls                                             Jean Watkins

The poems are listed in the alphabetical order of the poets and not in any ranking order.

The winners of the three prizes will be announced at a special Awards Ceremony at the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, on Friday 19 May.

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Octopus Medicine by Becci Louise (poet/artist)


Storms Under the Skin: Selected Poems, 1927-1954 by Henri Michaux (poet) Jane Draycott (translator)


Wednesday, 10 May 2017: Susan Utting at Loose Muse

You are invited to:

LOOSE MUSE – London’s Premiere Women’s Writers Night

Wednesday, May 10th (and every second Wednesday of the month)

Upstairs @ The Sun Pub, 21 Drury Lane (on the corner of Betterton Street), London WC2B 5RH 

8.00 p.m. – doors open from 7.30 p.m.

£6.00/£5.00 concessions

Featuring:

Susan Utting

Susan Utting

Susan Utting has had poetry published in The Times, TLS, The Independent, Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review and Poems on the Underground. Her fourth poetry collection Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems was published by Two Rivers Press in March. “Susan’s poetryexplores the social & biological struggles of being a woman, returning again and again to the thrills of being alive.” (Carrie Etter). She makes a welcome return to Loose Muse.

Jane Ulysses Grell is a poet and storyteller from the Caribbean island of Dominica, now living and working in London. A former teacher, Jane now works in a broad range of arts and community venues enthralling children and adults of all ages with her brand of poetry and storytelling in the African-Caribbean oral tradition. She has worked with BBC School Radio, published a Junior History and two books of poetry for children, and has recently published books of poems Praise Songs and White River Blues.

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Lesley Saunders wins Candlestick Press/Cloud Appreciation Society competition

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders’ poem ‘Hazy, Massed, Dappled’ has been selected as the overall winner of the Candlestick Press/Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS) competition. It was picked by judge Katharine Towers,  Candlestick Press Assistant Editor and CAS Poet in Residence, from over 600 poems submitted from all over the world.

The poem will be published in Candlestick’s forthcoming pamphlet Ten Poems about Clouds which is due for publication in July 2017 and will be featured on the Candlestick and CAS websites.

CASInitals-300                    Congratulations, Lesley!

 

 

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Monday, 8 May 2017: Duncan Mackay on the radio!

Tune in!

TRP author, Duncan Mackay will be a guest for 45 minutes between 3 – 3.45 p.m. on the Bill Buckley Show on BBC Radio Berkshire,  Monday, 8 May 2017!

Duncan will entertain with stories he has collected for his most recent book, Reading: The Place of the People of the Red One and share tales of Reading and Berkshire he has collected during the writing of his other books, Bizarre Berkshire and Eat Wild.

red-one-final

 

Buy your copy now!

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20-21 May 2017: Open studios – Caversham Artists and Friends

Saturday 20th May 2017,  3pm at 14 Kidmore Road, Caversham

Garden Reading by Caversham Poets,  including Jean Watkins, Susan Utting, Robin Thomas, Victoria Pugh.  Open Mic.

Sunday 21st May 2017,  3 pm at 63 St Peter’s Avenue, Caversham – in the garden.

Poetry Open Mic – hosted by Robin Thomas

All are welcome to come and to read their own or anyone else’s poem(s),
in any language (we’ve had Dutch, Chinese and Japanese in the past) or just to listen.

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Monday, 1 May 2017: Reading Mayday Tree festival

Shady_Cover

On May 1st, which is bank holiday Monday this year, we are launching a little (170x125mm) book by Adrian Lawson and Geoff Sawers on the trees of Reading: The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees. 

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Reading Tree Wardens and Nature Nurture, we will launch it at a special family-oriented tree festival in Caversham Court Gardens. There will be children’s activities run by Nature Nurture, tours of the gardens run by FCCG, bird song tours run by Adrian, wood turning and other crafts people and, of course, a gazebo full of our books. Please come join us.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017: Susan Utting in Chichester

Susan Utting is a Guest Poet at Chichester Poetry, 7.30 pm, New Park Community Arts Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7XY.  Please join us there!

New Park Community Arts Centre

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Friday, 12 May 2017: Poetry reading at Cookham Dean Village Hall

Spencer finalMembers of the public will have a chance to hear selected poems from the newly published Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology  at this year’s Cookham Festival.  A special poetry event to be held at Cookham Dean Village Hall on Friday, 12 May.

 

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The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees by Adrian Lawson (author) Geoff Sawers (author)


Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology by Carolyn Leder (editor) Jane Draycott (editor) Peter Robinson (poet, editor)