2012 Poetry Cafe

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Crowds have once again assembled in the Court Room of the Town Hall for the annual Poetry Cafe, hosted by the ever-brilliant John Richardson.

The first half hour sees Sue Boyle recite two beautifully evocative poems about Italy, followed by Victoria Jinivizian’s autumnal lament dedicated to her late father. The mood was brightened by Colin Heber-Percy’s poem called ‘Ooo’ exploring the sound of the word and all its meanings. The half closed with the The Foxy Silver-Haired Duo, Wendy Klein and Lesley Saunders – whose self-pronounced themes of love were explored in poems dedicated to husbands, grandsons and overcoats!

A great start to the Poetry Cafe…now on to the second round.


The second half kicks off with the Frances-Anne King and her magical realist poem about butterflies ‘Luna’. This is followed by an exploration of de ja vu in the work ‘Trace’ and then apologetically finalised with a piece called ‘When the colour left the world’, a lament for the deterioration of the planet.

The poet Dawn Gorman then followed with four poems exploration of the intertwining of love and death. Beginning with the account of the death of a fisherman in Tenerife, then followed by ‘Honeysuckle Belladonna’, a poem inspired by a love letter written by Catherine Mansfield to her German lover who eventually was the cause of her death. The last poem ‘Apple Tree’ was written by Dawn for a wassailing event – an event which sees the departure of bad spirits from apple orchards in order to guarantee a good crop.

Jim Mallinson was up next, now a LitFest regular, Jim is not a poet, but in fact a translator of Sanskrit poetry. Performing for us five of his new translations, poetry dating back to the 4th century AD.

The section was finished off by The JETset, who read for us their poems inspired by their travels. They first looked at how they were affected by the landscapes from their holidays in Britain, France, the Scottish Isles and Africa. The trio then explored their attitude to an arrival in a new place, and finished their readings with ‘street sketches’ of cities that they had visited, looking at Barcelona, Delhi and Brighton.


Ann Stevens began the final half with two of her poems including the technical and witty poem, ‘How To Repair A Grommet’. She was followed by the famed poet Matthew Oates, who also is a well-known writer and broadcaster on nature. His poem was called ‘Butterflies’.

Next followed the children’s poet Brenda Williams who not also recited a few of her well known children’s poems but also delved into her adult collection, notably a poem about Napoleon and Josephine.

Finally the trio Hidden Paths, a musical/poetry group performed for a wonderful finish. A superb mix of solo guitar by Stevie Gilmore and poetry read by Katherine T. Owen and today’s chair, John Richardson.