26th April 2018

Tony Curtis
Cora Greenhill

27th April 2018

Cora Greenhill

31st May 2018

Susan Richardson
Claire Williamson

28th June 2018

Jacqueline Saphra
Julia Webb

26th July 2018

R V Bailey
June Hall

30th August 2018

Josephine Corcoran
Lesley Saunders

27th September 2018

Ross Cogan
Anna Saunders

25th October 2018

C L Dallat
Anne-Marie Fyfe

9th November 2018

Martin Malone

29th November 2018

Pey Pey Oh
Alasdair Paterson

20th December 2018

Jan Noble
Hannah Teasdale

John Greening

Guest Poet: John Greening

John Greening has published more than a dozen collections (notably To the War Poets, Carcanet, 2013), and several studies of poetry and poets. His edition of Edmund Blunden's Undertones of War (OUP) appeared in 2015, along with a classical music anthology, Accompanied Voices. His latest publications are Nebamun's Tomb (Rack Press) and the collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, Heath (Nine Arches). His memoir of two years spent in Upper Egypt, Threading a Dream, appears in 2017, as does his new edition of the poems of Geoffrey Grigson. TLS reviewer and Eric Gregory judge, his awards include the Bridport Prize and a Cholmondeley. He is RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College.

Penelope Shuttle

Guest Poet: Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle lives in Cornwall. In May 2017 Bloodaxe are to publish her new book, Will You Walk A Little Faster? July 2016 saw the publication (with John Greening, of Heath, their exploration in poetry of many aspects of Heathrow airport and Hounslow Heath upon which the airport now stands (Nine Arches Press). She also published a pamphlet titled Four Portions of Everything on the Menu for M'sieur Monet! (Indigo Dreams Publications).
Penelope has given many readings of her work, and has been a tutor for many organisations. She is currently a mentor for The Poetry School.
Photograph: Jemimah Kuhfeld

27th July 2017, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN

July's Words & Ears was a real treat, with memorable readings from Penelope Shuttle and John Greening, and a first-rate selection of open mic readings from a large and, as John put it, 'terrific' audience. Penny and John said later how much fun they'd had giving their joint reading from Heath, and that really showed. Their beautifully choreographed excerpts from the book (which was planned 'as a pamphlet, but just grew') took us from Heathrow's planes, those 'passing metal vagrants' skimming old man's beard and blackberries, to back when the area was a royal hunting ground, home of the last wolf in the south of England, to 'the snuff box of sneezy silver' stolen by highwaymen, and even to the Vikings' stake (literally) in the land. The pair's comments on their collaborative process was equally gripping, with lots of examples of how the phrases, form or content of one were explored or echoed by the other, and how their research - and their 'library angels' - shaped their portrait of the area. As John said, 'If you're not lucky enough to be born in the Lake District, you make do with what you have', and I think these two poets, who grew up on opposite sides of the heath, proved to us that with dedicated delving and a sharp ear to the ground, all places can be excavated for their history, ecology, myth and geography, to create a richly satisfying narrative.
There were also superb readings from John and Penny's latest books, and, among those delicious open mic contributions, a great 'double act', not to mention a little tasseomancy, from Lesley Saunders and Linda Saunders; a walk through Bristol's past and present from Deborah Harvey; more time travelling, this time through the woods, with Conor Whelan; and Allen Ginsberg and Wilfred Owen meeting up in the DIY store courtesy of Dominic Fisher.