Guest Poet: Ross Cogan
Ross Cogan has published two collections, Stalin's Desk and The Book I Never Wrote, with Oversteps, with a third Bragr, due out from Seren in 2018. He studied philosophy, gaining a PhD from Bristol, and currently works as a writer, researcher and editor, as well as being Creative Director of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Ross received a Gregory Award, and has won the Exeter, Frogmore, Cannon Sonnet, Staple and Crabbe Memorial prizes, and come second in the Troubadour International Poetry Competition. His poetry has been published in a range of magazines including Poetry London, PN Review, New Welsh Review, The Rialto, Acumen, Stand, Orbis and The Interpreter's House.
Guest Poet: Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck (Pindrop Press), Kissing the She Bear (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams) and the forthcoming Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018). Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash and The Museum of Light.
Anna holds a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Gloucestershire and is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Fetival. She has been described as 'a poet who surely can do anything' by The North and 'a poet of quite remarkable gifts' by Bernard O'Donoghue.
27th September 2018, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
Our Words & Ears open mic on Thursday night was 'dauntingly good' according to guest poet Anna Saunders, and I have to agree that it was pretty breath-taking, with work from readers including Heidi Beck, Rosie Jackson, Tom Sastry, Paul Deaton, Stephen Payne, John Hawkhead, Andy Fawthrop, Tom Forrest, Sylvia Novak, Mark Sayers, Paul Brokensha and a must-mention, memorable piece about a mother and child sculpture from Peter O'Grady. Lots of kissing poems, too... Meanwhile, Anna and her co-guest poet, Ross NR Cogan, filled the room with myth and legend, somehow appropriately backdropped by oriental carpets ready for a sale in the Coach House the next day. Anna whisked us away to the spirit world, Welsh myth and the magic of meadowsweet and feathers, with hugely enjoyable readings from her new book, Ghosting for Beginners, while Ross, performing from memory from his book Bragr, took us from 12,000BC, and a little girl's grave lined with a swan's wing in the exquisite Swan, to his own earth magic and living ghosts in Wreath, where the twigs on the lopped limbs of a horse chestnut, sprout 'neat turbans, sweet-swelling, sticky red/ brown buds' that 'might be a charm against, or cure for, death'.