Category Archives: Exeter University

Beyond Borders: Roddy Lumsden, Peter Finch and Hannah Silva at the Exeter Poetry Festival on Friday 4th October 2013

Peter Finch

Peter Finch

Friday 4th October 2013

BEYOND BORDERS with Roddy Lumsden, Peter Finch and Hannah Silva

Exeter University Queen’s Building – Lecture Theatre

7.30pm – £9 Book at the Exeter Phoenix box office online or phone 01392 667080

preceded by

EXETER UNIVERSITY MA SHOWCASE with Barbara Farley, Isabel Galleymore, Louise Jenkins, and Naomi Williamson

Exeter University Queen’s Building – Senior Common Room

6.30pm – Free Event

Hannah Silva

Hannah Silva

As part of this year’s Exeter Poetry Festival, Beyond Borders on 4th October looks at the landscape of modern poetry, the supposed divisions between mainstream, experimental and performance poets and the characteristics and overlaps of their practices. Roddy Lumsden, Peter Finch and Hannah Silva will present samples of their work and then participate in a panel discussion chaired by Andy Brown. Simon Williams will introduce the evening and Waterstones will bring along a pop-up bookshop.

Roddy Lumsden

Roddy Lumsden

Is the division of contemporary poetic activity into ‘mainstream’, ‘performance’ and ‘experimental’ a useful mapping device? What are the aims and practices of poets in these differing areas, and how accurate or useful do they perceive the terms to be? in Beyond Borders, Roddy Lumsden, Hannah Silva and Peter Finch, all poets with a national reputation, will perform a sample of their work and debate the implications of labels in contemporary poetry. This is an event that promises to be as challenging and thought-provoking as it will be entertaining. Don’t miss out.

Beyond Borders at Exeter Poetry Festival on October 4th: Roddy Lumsden performing ‘Kerouac’

Beyond Borders at Exeter Poetry Festival on October 4th: Hannah Silva performing ‘Talking to Silence’

Beyond Borders at Exeter Poetry Festival on October 4th: Peter Finch performing ‘I Chew Gum and Think of Rifles’

Exeter Poetry Festival 30th September to 6th October 2013 Programme

Exeter Poetry Festival 2013

ExCite and its partners are delighted to announce the Exeter Poetry Festival 2013 programme.

The festival programme was launched on September 5th 2013 at the Exeter Phoenix when a packed house enjoyed readings by Carol Ann Duffy and Ann Gray.

The festival will take place from Monday 30th September 2013 to Sunday 6th September 2013 at venues around Exeter.

We’ll be featuring the poets performing at the festival over the next few weeks in the build-up to festival week.


Monday 30th September 2013

THE BROADSHEET with the Bard of Exeter Simon Williams City Gate Hotel, Cellar Bar, 7.30pm – £2, free to readers

Thursday 3rd October 2013

NATIONAL POETRY DAY with Sean O’Brien and Jo Shapcott Exeter Barnfield Theatre, 7.30pm – £12.50 Book at the Barnfield box office online or phone 01392 271808

Friday 4th October 2013

BEYOND BORDERS with Roddy Lumsden, Peter Finch and Hannah Silva Exeter University Queen’s Building – Lecture Theatre 7.30pm – £9 Book at the Exeter Phoenix box office online or phone 01392 667080

preceded by

EXETER UNIVERSITY MA SHOWCASE with Barbara Farley, Isabel Galleymore, Louise Jenkins, and Naomi Williamson Exeter University Queen’s Building – Senior Common Room 6.30pm – Free Event

Saturday 5th October 2013

FESTIVAL WORKSHOP with Greta Stoddart Exeter (Temporary) Library, 2pm-5pm – £12 To book contact

EXLIBRIS launches ‘Making History’ Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 5.45pm By invitation only – if interested email

TRIPLE BILL with Lemn Sissay, Dizraeli and Benin City Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 7pm – £12 / £9 (concessions) Book direct from the museum or via

Sunday 6th October 2013

STUDIO 36 with Marcus Wylie (workshop), Rachel McCarthy and Alasdair Paterson Gallery 36, Denmark Road, Exeter – £5 (workshop), £5 (reading), £8 (all day) Pay on the door, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

EXETER POETRY SLAM 2013 hosted by Morwenna Griffiths and Tim King The Bikeshed Theatre, 7.30pm – £5 Tickets from The Bikeshed box office or phone 01392 434169 To take part email

Exeter Poerty Festival 2013 back

Graham Burchell at Exeter Poetry Festival 2012

It is my pleasure to be able to formally confirm that Exeter Poetry Festival will be taking place this year from 4th-6th October at a variety of venues across the city. This year, Cyprus Well is working in partnership with ExCite Poetry Stanza and Apples and Snakes to produce the third annual festival. This year’s primary funder is Arts Council England, with additional support from the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation. Exeter University’s Andy Brown is also due a mention, both in his capacity as organiser for the PhD poets event, and as a poet in his own right. More detail on the full programme will be provided imminently.

In the meantime, I wanted to announce that we’ll be hosting a special book launch for South West Poet, Graham Burchell. His collection The Chongololo Club is of particular interest to us, given the fact that Graham was awarded a TLC Free Read from Cyprus Well, and we are proud to say we played a small part in helping him develop as a writer. The hard work was down to him though, and we’re delighted to see the fruits of his labours in this exciting new collection.

The Chongololo Club is a compelling recreation of the poet’s time in Zambia in the early 1980’s; a series of vivid snapshots that captures the people, the wildlife, the politics with colours ‘brash enough’ for this ‘dark continent’ as we slide down it alongside him – ‘glass in hand, whisky gone, just a melting ice-cube cold’ against our teeth.

‘These poems have the virtues of close observation and personal engagement in their accounts of living and teaching in Africa. Flora, fauna, people, loneliness, culture-shock, compassion and humour all contribute to making this collection haunting and coherent. The poet sustains triumphantly the demands of his particular subject material.’

–       Penelope Shuttle

‘Graham Burchell’s ‘The Chongololo Club’ is a wonderful book. Full of the sights and sounds of Africa he clearly loved, he is not blind to its occasional horror; nevertheless he convinces us of its beauties through his careful observation, his ear for its many languages and his eye for telling detail. His style of writing serves his subject matter, but he is not afraid of demanding forms such as the pantoum. If you want your poetry to be pleasurable, you will enjoy this book.’

–       Ian Duhig

Join us for South West launch of Graham’s book on Saturday 6th October in Exeter Central Library at 2pm.

This weekend at the Festival

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After two brilliant opening days, in the company of Alice Oswald, Andy Brown, Jen Hadfield, Ronald Tamplin and the Fire River Poets, the Festival weekend is here already!

Jen Hadfield’s ‘Credo’ workshop is sold out, so is ‘Up With The Bard’ with Liv Torc. There are still some tickets left for the other events, and in the library today we’re looking forward today to the University of Exeter Creative Writing Programme Reading (featuring top festival volunteer, Jos Smith), Greta Stoddart and newly Forward Prized, Julia Copus. Later, in the Phoenix, Cyprus Well, ExCite Poetry and Apples & Snakes have the Meter 2010 Networking Event (only a few places left for that one) with a performance by Dorothea Smartt. Saturday finishes off with Apples & Snakes Live, with Bard of Exeter Liv Torc, and Aoife Mannix with accordion hero Janie Armour.

Sunday kicks off in the library with the ExCite Poetry Lunch with Rachel McCarthy, Fiona Benson and Rachael Boast. This is followed by the Shearsman Showcase with Elisabeth Bletsoe, Damian Furniss and Jaime Robles. The festival closes with Ruth Padel at 4pm, reading and in conversation with Rachel McCarthy of ExCite Poetry.

But not quite … supported by Exeter Phoenix, the Festival finally heads off into the night with the utterly brilliant Devon Incarnate Folk Singer and Folk Hero, Jim Causley.

Full details in the programme, and tickets are available from Exeter Phoenix.

A huge thank you to our audiences this week, and we look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Exeter University poets at the festival

We’re delighted to announce that poets from Exeter University’s Creative Writing Programme will be reading at the Festival at lunchtime (1pm) on Saturday 10th October in Exeter Central Library.

Ben Smith is studying for a PhD in poetry and environment. His poems, which have recently appeared in Succour, Shadowtrain and The Flying Post, combine mythology and folklore with ideas about the relationship between humans, animals and the environment.

Sally Flint‘s poems have been widely published in journals including Aesthetica, The Bridport Anthology, Gangway (Australia), Leaf Press, Mimesis, The North, Shearsman, Succour, Tears in the Fence, Trespass and Wasafiri. Sally is co-editor of the short story journal, Riptide.

Jos Smith was born in Kent but now lives in Exeter where he is researching a PhD on contemporary landscape writing. Much of his poetry emerges from a keen interest in hiking in the British Isles. He has had work published recently in Brittle Star and Conversation Poetry Quarterly.

Miriam Darlington taught English for ten years before her first collection of poetry, Windfall, was published by Oversteps Books in 2008. She is studying Nature Writing for her PhD, working on a new book about the wild otter and its landscapes in Britain.

Andy Brown, Director of Creative Writing at Exeter University, and opening night star of the Festival on Thursday 7th October, will introduce the poets.

The full programme for Exeter Poetry Festival is very close to completion and should be announced very soon.