Friday, 11 September 2015

Meetings and Workshops for the rest of 2015

Here are the dates of Cheltenham Poetry Society Meetings for the rest of the year:

Poetry workshop - 3 November, led by Michael Newman

Poetry reading group meetings - 20 October (members'  choice of poems)
and 17 November (poems with an interesting form)

Poetry writing group (members only) - 27 October and 8 December

Shortened writing group meeting and AGM (All welcome) - 24 November

Christmas social evening - 1 December

All meetings take place 7pm - 10pm on Tuesday evenings at Parmoor House, 13 Lypiatt Terrace, GL50 2SX

Additional notes:

Workshop evenings feature a one-and-a-half hour writing exercise, followed by reading of draft poems and constructive, helpful commenting to assist poets in the editing of their own work.  Workshops are led by experienced members of the Society or guest poets.  Please bring writing materials and approximately 8 copies of one or two of your poems to the workshops.

Poetry Reading Group meetings alternate between members' choice of poems, and poems on specific themes or topics.  Please bring 10 copies of the 3-4 poems you have chosen to read and discuss.

Poetry Writing Group meetings are for experienced poets, and by invitation.  Please note that the group is currently running at capacity, so there are no vacancies in the Writing Group at this present time.

Please check back for details of the Programme for 2016, available during November.

Meanwhile, if you have any queries, please join the Facebook group

And follow us on Twitter @Cheltpoetrysoc

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Workshop, 7pm, Tuesday 2 June

We're looking forward to our monthly workshop this Tuesday. It will be led by our former Chairman, Roger Turner, who always aims to include a learning element, or a new challenge, in his prompts for our writing.

In the first half of the meeting, we will respond to this exercise - so we'll all end up with a draft to continue working on at home.  There is usually time for a read-round of drafts before breaking for refreshments - but no obligation to share these if people would prefer not to.

After tea, coffee and biscuits, we'll share the poems we've brought to the meeting, giving and receiving helpful, constructive comments to help us become good "self-editors".

As usual, please bring writing materials ... and about 7 or 8 copies of a poem you have already written.  The workshop costs £5 for the 3 hour session.  Members who have opted to pay an annual subscription pay slightly less.

The workshop is 7pm - 10pm upstairs (Rosalind Room) at Parmoor House, 13 Lypiatt Terrace (parallel with Lypiatt Road), Cheltenham, GL50 2SX.

We are always pleased to welcome new members, so if you haven't given us a try before, this is an excellent opportunity to try us out.  As the photo shows, we are a friendly bunch!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Cheltenham Poetry Society's annual retreat - the Dumbleton Awayday, 21 May

For the third year running, Cheltenham Poets have spent a full day devoted to writing and getting to know each other better - in the Bredon Room at the Conference Suite of the Dumbleton Hall Hotel near the border of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.  And, again for the third year running, we had wonderful weather.

The day included two writing exercises, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, each followed by a read-round and short feedback session.  In the morning, we played music videos, featuring a variety of compositions and artists - using these to inspire our first poems of the day.  In the afternoon we used a throw of the dice to help us decide subjects, forms and poetic elements to incorporate in our work during the latter half of the day.  Most people ended the day with two drafts - some, notably David Ashbee, with considerably more.

The hotel kept us well supplied with tea coffee, biscuits, pastries and cakes during the day - and a sit-down lunch in the dining room - after which we took advantage of the excellent weather for a short walk in the beautiful grounds.

Many thanks to the management and staff at Dumbleton Hall, especially Terry who has helped us organise the three Awaydays we have productively spent at the hotel.

Here are some photographs from the day:

 Members of CPS in the Library Bar, 
 Dumbleton Hall Hotel, Worcestershire

  Writing in the Bredon Room  - Roger, Gill, Michael Stuart, Derek, Robin, Sheila, Michael, Howard, Marilyn,  David, Gerald, Alice, Annie.  Sharon behind the camera.

     Dumbleton Hall Hotel


 In the grounds at Dumbleton Hall

 Canada geese and goslings

 Black swans and cygnet

Yellow flag iris

Alice and Sheila

Alice Stuart Michael Annie Sheila


Stuart Annie Gill Sheila

Crossing Counties - CPS joins with Evesham poets again

On Wednesday 13 May,  Michael Newman, Sheila Spence and Sharon Larkin from Cheltenham Poetry Society joined up with Evesham poets Sue Johnson, Bob Woodroofe and Joy Thomas for a reading at The Royal Oak in Vine Street, Evesham.  This was a return visit - reciprocating a joint reading at The Strand in Cheltenham in March.  A wide variety of poems has been read at the two events and we look forward to further opportunities for collaboration with Sue, Bob and Joy in future.

Sue Johnson

Sheila Spence  

                                                  Michael Newman

Joy Thomas   

Bob  Woodroofe

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Crossing Counties - Worcs and Glos poets get together again

Sharon Larkin, Michael Newman & Sheila Spence of Cheltenham Poetry Society join Sue Johnson, Bob Woodroofe & Joy Thomas for poetry at 7pm 13 May in The Royal Oak, High St, Evesham.

This is a free event and we look forward to a good night of poetry, good company ... and, of course,  refreshment!

Performing with the Jubilate Chamber Choir, 9 May

Last night's concert at the University of Gloucestershire Chapel was an unforgettable occasion.
Roger Turner, Robin Gilbert and Sharon Larkin all appreciated the wonderful music and singing under Ian Higginson's leadership, with fine solos by Kenneth Jones and Elizabeth Marchant, excellent accompaniment by Neil Fortin.  The poets were much indebted to Caro for her excellent PA advice regarding pace and volume in the chapel - and for her time and expertise in setting up the sound desk and microphone for us beforehand, and monitoring levels during our performance.

We are delighted to have received the following message of appreciation from Ian for Cheltenham Poetry Society's participation in the concert:  

" ... a huge thank you to the three very fine and talented poets who very kindly gave their time - Sharon, Robin and Roger, who read their poems so beautifully adding a wider dimension to the concert which added such a lot."

All in all, it was a splendid occasion, and we look forward to further such opportunities in the future.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Performing with the Jubilate Chamber Choir, Cheltenham, 9 May

Tonight, Sharon Larkin, Robin Gilbert and Roger Turner performed their poetry at a concert given by Ian Higginson and the Jubilate Chamber Choir.  A wonderful programme of music, and a privilege to be invited to share the event with such talented musicians.  Thanks to Ian for the invitation.

Photographs of the poets:

Sharon Larkin  

                                  Robin Gilbert

                                                         Roger Turner

Cheltenham Poetry Society poets read with the Jubilate Chamber Choir, Sat 9 May

Sharon Larkin, Roger Turner and Robin Gilbert will be reading their poems with a full programme of music by the Jubilate Chamber Choir, led by Ian Higginson, 7.30 Saturday 9 May.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Crossing Counties - reciprocal readings

Cheltenham and Evesham poets
Cheltenham Poetry Society poets Sharon Larkin, Michael Newman and Sheila Spence hosted a visit from Evesham poets Sue Johnson, Bob Woodroofe and Joy Thomas for a reading at The Strand, Cheltenham on 5 March.

We are looking forward to a return visit - to read in Evesham - in May.  We are also planning further occasions for other CPS members to read with poets from/in other towns and cities. Please let me know if you are interested - and keep a watch out for details of future events.
Sue Johnson
Bob Woodroofe
Michael Newman

Sheila Spencer

Joy Thomas

Sharon Larkin

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Workshop with Michael Thomas

On Tuesday 3 March, 7pm - 10pm, Cheltenham Poetry Society is delighted to be holding a poetry writing workshop led by Worcestershire poet Michael Thomas 
(see his website - 

This will be in the Pauline Baring Room, upstairs at Parmoor House, 13 Lypiatt Terrace, Cheltenham, GL50 2SX. 

Come and write a dialogue poem, a conversation poem, or a poem from contrasting viewpoints! 
This is well-timed for contributing to Magma 63 - on the theme of ‘conversation’ - the submission period for which is open now, until 30 May 2015.

The workshop is suitable for all levels of experience, including beginners. 
Please bring writing materials and half a dozen copies of a poem you have written. 
£5 including refreshments.

"Crossing Counties"

On Thursday 5 March, 7.30 - 9pm, Cheltenham Poetry Society has pleasure in hosting "Crossing Counties" - a poetry reading upstairs at The Strand, 40-42 High Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1EE by Michael Newman, Sharon Larkin and Sheila Spence from CPS, and Sue Johnson and Bob Woodroofe from Evesham and Joy Thomas from Hucclecote.  Free admission and all are welcome.  

This is the first of a series of collaborative events; there will be a return reading in Evesham in May.