I have loved poetry all my life, and have been writing it more or less since I learnt to read. This page gives an overview of some of my publications of or relating to poetry, and re-prints a few of my poems that have appeared in magazines and anthologies.
Magazines and journals
There are many publications that are either dedicated to publishing poetry or that include poetry in their pages, and my poetry appears regularly in these. As magazines and journals have a short shelf-life, it is worth reproducing some of the poems in full.
- ‘Water music’ was published in Broadsheet, October 2016
- Schoolgirl, Bolivia, was published in Dedalus, spring 2016
- Transition, which won the Jack Clemo competition, was included in the Arts Centre magazine, 2016
- Beekie was published in the Plymouth Herald, 9th January 2016
- Les offrandes oubliés was published in the French Literary Review, autumn 2015
- Retrospective was in the Wenlock Festival Anthology, 2015
- Whale was in Artemis, autumn 2015
- Visiting Speaker was included in The Broadsheet, autumn 2015
- Roadhaul was published in Broadsheet, September 2014
- Spring camping and Riding the Storm were both featured on the Nutshells and Nuggets online poetry magazine, September 2014
- Juggling up to five was published in The Journal, September 2014
- Lycra, Shooting the Greys and Fifty Shades of Greenwere all published in the Pop Up Anthology 2014
- Sharing space in darkness was published in the first issue of ‘Lunar’, August 2014
- Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) and Hidden Power were published in The Cannon’s Mouth, issue 52, June 2014
- Mother’s Day (for children) was published in Caterpillar, Spring 2014
- On the way to somewhere else was chosen to be one of the Poems on the buses in Guernsey, 2014
- Moon and next door neighbour’s tree was published in South 49, April 2014
- Shooting the greys was published in Broadsheet, autumn 2013
- La matelote and bikini were published in Pop Up Poetry, 2103
- Cherries al fresco, Overload, Killer whales and Ritual were all published in Domestic Cherry, 2013
- High planes was published in The Frogmore Papers, September 2012
- La Matelote was published in the Shoestring North Paris issue, 2012
- embedded shapes was published in the Wenlock Poetry Festival Anthology, April 2012
- The clue lies in the lady’s toe was published in The Interpreter’s House, February 2012
- Cherry Orchard was published on the Guardian Poetry Workshop website, September 2011
- When my eyes shrank the fat man in Orbis, May 2011
- La Matelote Artemis, 2011
- Losing it The Interpreter’s House, 2011
- Overheard, Acumen, May 2010
- La Matelote, French Literary Review, 2010
- Fairshare, The Starry Bough, 2009
- The Vine, Poetry on the Lake Journal 2, 2009
- Those who go down to the sea, Big Issue North, 2009
- Tsunami and Skin were both in SOUTH 33, April 2006.
- Skin was subsequently chosen by the artist, Franki Austin, to be on one of the photographs in an exhibition of her work; so it is this illustrated version that is reproduced here.
- Lighter was in the lovely Irish journal, The SHOp, Summer 2007.
This is one of the poems based on energy and the environment that was included in ‘Touching Earth’. It was written following one of the lectures on my MSc course, when the lecturer illustrated our lack of respect for the oil that has taken millennia to form, by blowing out the flame on a cigarette lighter.
- Menses appeared in Acumen, September 2007. It is one of the poems I have written specifically about the experience of being a woman.
The advantage of anthologies is that they tend to be around for many years, rather than having a short shelf life. My poetry has been included in many anthologies.
- Six English Poets’ Diares, Contemporary Literature Press, Romania, 2017
- ‘On landing G3’, which was commended in the South Bank Poetry Competition judged by Mimi Khalvati, was included in the anthology of poems about London, ‘South Bank Poetry’.
- Rebecca Bilkau produced a beautiful book to present to the mayor of Orta, entitled ‘Originals for Orta’, in which my poem ‘Immersed in poetry’ appeared.
- ‘Childproof’ was published in The Seven Ages of Woman, The Quince Press, 2016
- I wrote a new poem for inclusion in the book of photographs and poems about Surrey, organised by the Surrey Libraries and published by Hurtwood Press. My poem is called ‘To be a pilgrim’ and is about a walk from Guildford to Canterbury that I undertook many years ago. The book will be displayed in different Surrey libraries over the coming months.
- ‘Black face of the deep’ was published in Not a drop: Just Oceans of Poetry, edited by Rebecca Bilkau. Beautiful Dragons, 2016
- Gentle Giants was published in Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, Shoestring Press, 2016
- Elemental was published in the Poet’s Quest for God, Eyewear Publishing 2016
- Across the mountain and The price of nuclear energy were both published in Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in our Hands, 2016
- Clapper boards and Christ in the house of his parents were both published in Wordstrokes: the poetry of art, edited by Deborah Gaye, Avalanche Books, 2016
- Whale and Moon and next door neighbour’s tree were published in English and Romanian in Six British Poets, Integral Press, Bucharest, 2016
- Six impossible things before breakfast is being published in the United States in The Alice in Wonderland Anthology, Silver Birch Press, December 2015
- Skin, The Vine and Ski scene were translated into Romanian by Ioana Sabau and published in Fereastra, 2015
- Moving on was published in Poems for a Liminal Age, (in support of Médecins sans Frontieres), 2015
- Tidal flow was in Wild Atlantic Words, 2015
- Almost Harvest Moon was included in a Romanian anthology, 2015
- Bikers, Consider the solitary bee and Invitation were published in The Keystone, 2015
- Retrospective was published in the Wenlock Festival Anthology 2015
- Lycra, Fifty shades of green and Shooting the greys were published in Pop Up Anthology, 2014
- Hildegard, Doctor of the Church was published in ‘Hildegard, Visions & Inspiration’, edited by Gabriel Griffin, Wyvern, 2014
- Lost Scents and Ubuntu love song were published in ‘Love & Loss’, edited by R V Bailey and June Hall, Belgrave Press 2014
- Naming: AD2006 was published in The Other Side of Sleep: Narrative Poems. Arachne Press 2014
- Jane Austen’s tombstone was published in ‘Advice on Proposals’, an anthology of poems about Jane Austen, edited by Angela Topping
- Quartz and Sloe gin in Moor Poets anthology III, 2103
- Cherries al fresco, Overload, Killer whales and ritual were published in Domestic Cherry, 2013
- Those who go down to the sea in ‘Running before the wind: poems about the sea’. Grey Hen Press 2013
- La Matelote and bikini in the Pop Up Anthology 2013
- Ski scene in Ice: Contemporary and traditional poems for the festive season. Pighog Press, 2012
- Luck of the draw was included in the Heart Shoots Anthology pubished by Macmillan
- Skin in Musings on Motherhood, 2012
- Peace Camp, 2012
- embedded shapes, in the Wenlock Festival Anthology, 2012
- Tsunami and The Price of Nuclear Energy in ‘Sunrise from Blue Thunder’, Pirene’s Fountain, 2011. In aid of relief work in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011
- September Butterfly in ‘Shropshire Butterflies’: A poetic and artistic guide to the butterflies of Shropshire. Edited by Nadia Kingsley, Fair Acre Press 2011
- Walking together in Visible Breath, Indigo Dreams 2010
- In Casa Tallone in ‘Reflections on Lake Orta’, Wyvern Works 2010
- Puffin in ‘No Space But Their Own’, Grey Hen Press 2010
- tree x, Orta Christmas Anthology, 2009
- Skin and by heart, Cracking On, Grey Hen Press 2009
- Ski scene in ‘For the kids’. Challenges Anthology. Biscuit Publishing, 2005
- Acrostic for Valentine’s Day in Requiem for Love. Forward Press, 2005
- txtur of luv in Text Poems. Forward Press, 2004 or 2005. ISBN 1 84460 8670
- March morning mist in National Poetry anthology 2005. United Press
- Doxology in A Lifetime of Blessing, compiled by Geoffrey Duncan. Canterbury Press, 2004 œ
I wrote this because I love singing Tallis’s Canon, but find the traditional words a little outdated and exclusive.
This version, which is also used in the meditational material in the liturgy book for Holy Trinity Church Guildford, was sung at the Festival Service for the Guildford Book Festival in 2006. The tune for which is was written is called ‘Tallis’s Canon’.
- Charting the Thames in The River Thames in Verse, edited by Val Mason. The River Thames Society, 2004
- Puddles in Sensational! edited by Roger McGough. Macmillan, 2004
Poems published on-line can be read by people all over the world.
- My poem ‘Veiled’ was posted on the Poetry on the Lake website page, ‘Crossing Lines’, celebrating refugees and immigrants, on 23rd March 2017
- This year’s Christmas poem, Sensing the Stable was on the Poetry Shed website 23rd December 2016
- A prose poem of mine, ‘Sea scenes’, was published on the Stride webzine, October 2016
- The latest in my series of poems on mediaeval women, ‘Lady Godiva: Gift of God‘, is now up on the website of the Women’s Literary Culture and the Mediaeval Canon, October 2016
- My prose poem, ‘Sea scenes’, was published on the Stride website in October 2016
- Hildegard, Doctor of the Church was published on the blog, Women’s Literary Culture and the Mediaeval Canon, July 2016
- Chiara: What the story of St Clare doesn’t tell was published on the blog, Women’s Literary Culture and the Mediaeval Canon, February 2016
- Nettles was published in Poetry on Stinging Nettles, ebook by Fair Acres Press, 2016
- Stone circle on the And Other Poems website, December 2015
- Well beyond Aberdaron, The Ground, 1st November 2015
- GPS, chosen for Poetry Space Autumn Showcase, September 2015
- Paying the price, Care home, Conscript and Shelter on I am not a silent poet website, July 2015
- In praise of moss on Thief, by Tribe, summer 2015
- high humidity on Poetry Space Summer showcase 2015
- Paying the price on Art Saves Lives International, in a 2-page spread with an interview with me
- Earthed and Soaring were both on the Rethink your Mind website on February 12th 2015
- Pluvial is on the Rainy Fiction website
- Not three wise men was featured on the Ink Sweat & Tears website, December 2014
- Almost harvest moon was published on the Antiphon website
- Buzzard’s breakfast appeared on Agenda online
- Spring camping and Riding the Storm were both featured on the online poetry magazine, Nutshells & Nuggets, September 2014
- The Clue lies in the Lady’s Toe was featured on the Stanza poems about Scotland website, 2014
- Counting down on water birds on SW Collective website, 2013
Prizes and awards
I have been extremely fortunate in winning or being placed in several competitions.
- I was pleased to be shortlisted in the Poetry on the Lake poetry competition, 2016
- I was shortlisted for the Paragram Poetry Prize, 2016
- A poem by me was one of five commended in the South Bank poetry competition, 2016
- Nancy’s star turn was shortlisted in the Poetry on the Lake competition, 2016
- Transition won 1st prize in the Jack Clemo international poetry competition 2016.
- The Philosopher’s iff was longlisted in the Oxford Brookes poetry competition 2015
- Tidal flow was commended in the Hungry Hill, Wild Atlantic competition, 2015
- Her Lot was listed in the Poetry on the Lake competition 2015
- Salsa was long-listed in the Poetry on the Lake competition 2015
- Rendezvous was commended in the Segora competition 2015
- Tidal flow was commended in the Hungry Hill Wild Atlantic competition 2015
- RP RIP won 1st prize in the Leeds Peace Poetry Prize competition 2015, judged by Helen Mort
- Clapper boards was commended in the 2014 Poetry Society’s Stanza competition
- Veiled was one of the winners of the Miracle Poetry competition, 2014
- Cherry Orchard won 1st prize in the BigUp Open Poetry Competition. I read at the Prizewinners event in Andover on National Poetry Day in October
- Inspiring Artists was Highly Commended, and Road Haul Commended in the Hastings International Poetry Competition 2012
- Flight at tide’s turning was shortlisted and Those who go down to the sea was longlisted in the Hungry Hill Poetry Competition 2012
- Lycra was shortlisted in the Ashbourne Poetry Competition, 2011
- The clue lies in the lady’s toe won second prize in the Bedford Open Poetry Competition, 2011
- Castle-spotting was shortlisted / commended in the ‘I cento castelli’ poetry competition in northern Italy, 2011
- O was awarded a distinction in the Mere Poetry Competition, 2011
- When my eyes shrank the fat man came third in the Readers Award in Orbis, 2011
- fairshare won second prize in the Farmers’ Weekly poetry competition, 2011
- Ubuntu Love Song was Highly Recommended in the Mirehouse Poetry Competition, 2011
- The Vine was commended in the Silver Wyvern competition, 2009
- Bonhoeffer’s Last Goodnight won second prize in the international Colloquy competition, 2006.
- Highly commended in the BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year, 2006
I very much enjoy sharing my poetry with others by performing to live audiences in Britain and around the world.
- I gave a reading of poems about women as part of the International Women’s Festival in York, in March 2017
- My novel, Rapeseed, was launched in York in March, as part of the International Women’s Festival.
- I was delighted to read at Torriano in London in February, along with two of the poets with whom I worked in Romania last year, as part of the delegation of Six British Poets
- There were two launches for the ‘Poems for Jeremy Corbyn’ anthology during the autumn of 2016, one in London and one in Oxford. I was pleased to read at both of them
- It was lovely to give readings at the Poetry on the Lake festival again this year
- I was guest poet at Open Word at the Grosvenor Hotel in Stockbridge in August, 2016
- As well as taking part in the Oversteps Day at Ways with Words in July, I was also pleased to give a performance of my long poem, Chiara, accompanied by Simon Williams
- I read at the 2016 St Clémentin Festival in France in June
- Reading at prize-giving of the Jack Clemo international poetry competition, May 2016
- Reading at New Writers’ Festival, GLive, Guildford, May 2016
- as part of the delegation of British Poets to Romania, reading at the British Council, Bucharest, April 2016
- Reading at Teignmouth Festival, March 2016
- as a guest of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and Western Australian Poetry In, a reading at the Writers’ Centre, Joseph Furphy House, February 2016
- Reading at the Live Poets Literary and Poetry Society, Taupo, New Zealand, January 2016
- Reading at Oversteps in Oxford at Albion Beatnik in Oxford, December 2015
- Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, November 2015
- Café Culture at Thrive Café, Totnes, with singer-songwriter Zoë Marriage, November 2015
- Poetry on the Lake, Orta, Italy, October 2015
- Featured poet on Romanian radio September 2015
- Launch of Poems for a Liminal Age, Waterloo, August 2015
- Stanza reading at St John’s, Just Festival, Edinburgh, August 2015
- Broadsheet reading, Exeter, August 2015
- Unveiling of memorial stone to Anne Born, July 2015
- Ways with Words Festival, Dartington, July 2015
- The Keystone, Guildford, June 2015
- Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival, May 2015
- Wenlock Poetry festival, May 2015
- Keats House, London, April 2015
- Camden Poetry series, January 2015
- Keystone pub, Guildford, December 2014
- University of Surrey bookshop, December 2014
- Poetry Café, London, November 2014
- Lauderdale House, North London, October 2014
- Albion Beatnik, Oxford, October 2014
- Ways with Words, Dartington, July 2014
- Guernsey International Literature Festival, 2014
- Poetry Society AGM at Keats House Hampstead, 2013
- Winchester Cathedral, 2013
- launch of Broadsheet, Exeter, 2013
- BigUp competition Prize winners Reading, Andover 2013
- Exeter launch of Broadsheet, September 2013
- Just Festival, Edinburgh, August 2013
- Bath Week of Good Poetry, June 2013
- Launch of Domestic Cherry 3, Swindon, May 2013
- Cheltenham Poetry Festival, April 2013
- Wenlock Poetry Festival, April 2013
- Uncut Poetry, Phoenix Theatre, Exeter, November 2012
- ‘Poetry for a winter’s night’, Lewes Linklater Pavilion, November 2012
- Torbay Poetry Festival, October 2012
- Guildford Book Festival, ‘If winter comes, can spring be far behind’, October 2012
- Poetry on the Lake, Italy, September 2012
- Ways with Words Oversteps Day, July 2012
- Wenlock Poetry Festival, April 2012
- Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust, February 2012
- Walpole Old Chapel, Suffolk, June 2011
- The Dower House, Morville, June 2011
- The Space, Dartington, April 2011, in collaboration with Ballet Rambert dancers and choreographers
- Cheltenham Poetry Festival, April 2011
- RSPB Leighton Moss, March 2011
- Falmouth Poets March 2011
- York Festival, Oxfam Shop March 2011
- Epicentre, Paignton, March 2011
- Mirehouse prize-winners reading, March 2011
- Acumen Poetry Day, Paignton: workshop and reading, 2011
- Queen’s Park Bookshop, Kilburn, 2010
- Reading at Sting in the Tail Festival, Guildford, 2010
- Poetry on the Lake, Orta, Italy, 2010
- Reading at Wisewords Bookfest, East London, as part of Women’s History Month, 2010
- Reading at Lumen, Camden Town, 2010
- Poetry reading at Partner Cities Fair, Freiburg-im-Bresgau, Germany, 2009
- Poetry reading at Free Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, 2009
- Guest poet at Uncut Poetry, Phoenix Theatre, Exeter, 2009
- Various readings at Poetry on the Lake Festival, Orta, Italy, 2009
- Reading at launch of Cracking On anthology, Leeds, 2009
- Guest poet at Excite, Exeter, 2009
- Ways with Words, Dartington: ‘A Trio of Poets’ with Penelope Shuttle and Ann Kelley
- Ways with Words, Dartington, Readings with Oversteps poets
- Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Exeter. Poetry reading of environmental poems
- Lewis Elton Gallery, University of Surrey
- Totnes Festival, Devon
- Guildford Book Festival, Surrey
- Torbay Poetry Festival, Devon
- Poetry at the Palace, Exeter, Devon, where Christopher Southgate and Richard Skinner were kind enough to invite me to be the guest poet
- Millbrook Inn, Devon
- Tradewinds, Scorriton, Dartmoor
- Poetry at the Deli Farncombe
- The Guildhall, Guildford
- Guildford Cathedral
- Little Gidding
- Waterstones Torquay
- Brixham Poetry Day, Devon
Readings on video
Some of my poetry performances have been videoed, so you can, if you like, watch me performing from the comfort of your home.
Chiara: what the story of St Clare doesn’t tell
performed at Ways with Words, Dartington, in July 2016
In Casa Tallone
The clue lies in the lady’s toe
Poetry residence with Ballet Rambert, Dartington
Song of the sentimental cow, the cynical sheep and the stubborn donkey
view on Guardian Witness site
view on Guardian Witness site
Women’s Literary Culture and the Mediaeval Canon
At the end of 2015, Diane Watt, Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Surrey, asked if she could publish my long poem, Chiara, on the blog of the inter-university, international project supported by Leverhulme, Women’s Literary Culture and the Mediaeval Canon, to join the project as an Associate Member, and to contribute further poems about mediaeval women every few months.
So far the following poems have appeared on their blog:
- Lady Godiva: Gift of God
- Chiara: What the story of St Clare doesn’t tell
- Hildegard, Doctor of the Church
These and other poems were published in April 2017 in In the image.
I am available to lead workshops – please contact me for details.
- Winchester Cathedral, 2013
- Cheltenham Poetry Festival, 2011
- Poetry Day, Paignton, 2011
- Guildford Book Festival, 2010
Poets are sometimes invited to take up short or longer residencies, and I have greatly enjoyed these.
- Poet in Residence for Winchester 10 Days Arts Festival. 2013
- with Ballet Rambert choreographer and dancers, Dartington, 2011
I have found it difficult to be organised enough to catch the programmes when my poetry is on radio, but here are some details.
- featured poet on Romanian radio, September 2015
- extracts from Epiphany were read on BBC World Service.
- broadcast on Romanian National Radio, May 2012.
- Skin, The vine, Ski scene and Tsunami were read in English and Romanian (translated by Mihai Cristian Toncu) on Romanian radio in June 2014.
Romanian radio has broadcast my poetry on several occasions, and I was interviewed on radio in Western Australia early in 2016, but have not managed to acquire recordings.
To hear an interview with me that was broadcast on local radio in Devon, click here.
Lectures and articles on other poets
I lectured on English poetry at the University of Surrey, where I was also Literature Coordinator and organised the Annual University Poetry Lectures.
I have recently returned to the University as a research fellow in the Department of English.
I have given guest lectures on T. S. Eliot, Alice Oswald, Jack Clemo and others.
Magazine articles by me on the poet Alice Oswald have been published in Resurgence and in Devon Life:
- Celebrating the Dart. Devon Life, 2004
- Footbridge of a Glance – Alice Oswald, Resurgence, 2005
- Dignified Independence, a review of ‘Weeds and Wildflowers’ by Alice Oswald, Autumn 2009
Judging poetry competitions
I have been the judge for a number of poetry competitions, including
- South Hams Writers competition, 2016
- 1000 monkeys poetry competition, 2016
- BigUp poetry competition 2014
- South Hams Writers competition, 2015
- Devon Limericks competition, Kingsbridge Gazette, 2013
- London Festival Fringe Awards, 2011
- Barnett Open Poetry Competition (three years running)
- Jack Clemo Poetry Competition (run by the Arts Centre Group)
- Guildford Cathedral Poetry Competition
Computer poetry and jazz
The group, Sunflowers, was active in the late 1970s creating computer-generated poetry using Bard 0 and Bard 1D computer programs. The poetry was performed to jazz accompaniment, also composed by the group. The jazz quartet gave performances at a number of venues, including the Edinburgh Festival, and was featured on BBC radio.
The members of the group were:
- Robin Shirley: voice autoharp, percussion
- Gus Garside: voice, guitars, electric bass
- Ranald Macdonald: flutes, saxes, voice, percussion
- Alwyn Marriage: voice, pedal organ, recorder
The skill was to feed in to the computer phrases and clauses that would work well together whichever order they came out in.
Publishing other poets
In recent years I have been pleased, as Managing Editor of Oversteps Books, to publish many other poets.
As Editor of Christian Journal (1991-1998), I was fortunate to be in a position to raise the profile of contemporary poetry by giving space and prominence to a wide selection of good modern poets.
A sermon about my poetry at Salisbury Cathedral
Canon Jeremy Davies preached on Uncertain Advent on 8 December 2002.
I am always pleased to consider invitations to read at festivals and workshops or to undertake poetry residencies. Please contact me.
I am a life member of the Poetry Society and, more locally, a member of the Devon Company of Poets and Moor Poets.