Guest Poet: Moira Andrew
Moira Andrew was born and educated in Scotland. She is an ex-primary teacher, head teacher and college lecturer in primary education (known there as the 'poetry lady'!), and part-time tutor in Creative Writing in the University of Glamorgan. She wrote several books on the creative arts for primary teachers from Belair in the late '90s & early 2000s, the best-known perhaps, Language in Colour and Paint a Poem. She has also written lots of children's poetry for various publishers, poetry posters and stories for Scholastic. She now concentrates mainly on poetry for adults, with eight collections in publication, the first, Light the Blue Touch Paper, Iron Press, 1986 & 1989, the most recent Breakfast with Swallows, Austin Macaulay, 2018 and Geese and Daughters, Indigo Dreams, 2019; the others, Firebird and Man in the Moon, are from IDP. She also has a children's collection, Wish a Wish, from Poetry Space, 2012, and is editor of a number of anthologies, the most recent, A Scream of Many Colours, published this year by Poetry Space. Moira currently runs a monthly poetry workshop for adults in Nunney. Hand-in-Hand, the group's first pamphlet, was published by Poetry Space this year.
Photo: David Golby.
Guest Poet: Maggie Harris
Maggie Harris is a Guyana-born writer from Kent living in Wales. Her poetry is a blend of English lyricism and Caribbean Creole; she has twice won the Guyana Prize and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014. Her poem Lit by Fire was commissioned to represent Kent by BBC Radio for National Poetry Day 2016. She has performed alongside Jean Binta Breeze and John Agard. Previous books include Sixty Years of Loving, (poetry) Cane Arrow Press, and Writing on Water, (stories) published by Seren. Her latest is On Watching a Lemon Sail the Sea, the title poem of which was a winner in the Welsh International Poetry Competition.
Guest Poet: Ruth Marden
One evening during her 40s Ruth was doing her lesson preparation when she suddenly 'answered' a poem by Thomas Hardy. Since then she has worked pretty continuously, deriving benefit from classes and writing groups. Her poems celebrate the everyday, focusing on childhood, age, friendship, and loved places - notably Greece. Her awareness of traditional as well as contemporary poetry influences the way she writes. Her pamphlet The Little Jockey was published by HappenStance in 2014.
Guest Poet: Crysse Morrison
Crysse Morrison is an ex-Londoner now living in Frome. She has written fiction, plays and articles, but enjoys the challenge of poetry and performs at venues around the south west. As a self-styled crone, her mission is to give voice and visibility to the wrinklie generation. Her collection Crumbs from a Spinning World is published by Burning Eye Books, and she runs the Frome Poetry Cafe.
Guest Poet: Patrick B Osada
Patrick B Osada is an editor, writes reviews of poetry for magazines and is a member of the management team for SOUTH poetry magazine. His first collection, Close to the Edge was published in 1996 and won the Rosemary Arthur Award. He has five collections; the latest, Changes, was published in January. Patrick's work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and on the internet.
Guest Poet: Peter Wyton
Peter Wyton has presented his poetry at festivals, arts centres and a wide variety of events for over two decades, from Falmouth to the Kingdom of Fife and from Aldeburgh to the Glens of Antrim. Nationally, his verses have appeared in three national newspapers and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please and Something Understood. He makes regular appearances on BBC Radio Gloucestershire and has a monthly column in Cotswold Life magazine.
24th June 2017, The Old Road Tavern, Old Rd, Chippenham SN15 1JA
We had some excellent readings at Words & Ears at ChippFest in Chippenham on June 24th - huge thanks to our guest poets Maggie Harris, Patrick Osada, Moira Andrew, Peter Wyton, Crysse Morrison and Ruth Marden, who all performed for free in support of the Festival's two charities, Dorothy House, and Doorway. We were able to hand over £57 to organiser and human dynamo Brian Reid - thanks for making this event possible, Bri. Heartfelt thanks also to Crysse for donating to the charities half the money she took from the evening's sales of her book Crumbs from a Spinning World, and to Sue Boyle, who simply asked the audience to take a copy of her book Safe Passage and give a donation to the charities. The six guests treated us to a huge range of subject, voice, genre and tone - from Peter's hilarious performance poetry to Patrick's sensitive observations; Crysse's feisty take on older age to Moira's knickers and teabags; and Ruth's vivid childhood memories to Maggie's broad canvas, stretching from slavery to Bruce Willis. Great to see both familiar and brand new faces in the open mic, too.