Uncut Poets with Tilla Brading at 19.30 on 23rd February at Exeter Phoenix


Uncut Poets’ February line-up features Tilla Brading, erstwhile Director of the Porlock Poetry Festival and a well-known figure in these parts and further afield. Tilla’s innovative, exploratory work has a particular focus on landscape – how we experience it and develop ways of describing it. She has often found collaborative writing fruitful and will include in her performance a work written with Alasdair Paterson for the Enemies’ Project 2016 South West Tour.

The evening will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and a Mystery Co-presenter, now known to be Jan Dean. Ten open mic slots of strictly five minutes each are available on a first come, first served basis; last month’s reserves who came along and didn’t get the chance to read have priority this time, though they’ll need to confirm that they want a slot. Anyone wishing to book a slot should contact Alasdair here on FB, at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or by phone on 07783734523. We’re back in the Top Studio, as our spiritual Phoenix home, the Workshop, is still unfinished – a bit like that poem that’s been driving you mad for months… Look forward to seeing you! Admission £5 (£3 open mic and concessions).

Uncut Poets with Aidan Semmens at 19.30 on 24th November at Exeter Phoenix


The last Uncut Poets of 2016 features as guest poet Aidan Semmens. Aidan has three collections from Shearsman Books: A Stone Dog (2011), The Book of Isaac (2013) and Uncertain Measures (2014), and is editor of the online magazine Molly Bloom.

Politically engaged and forthright, he also has a regular weekly column in the Eastern Daily Press and contributes occasional sports reports to The Independent. He is rumoured to support Ipswich Town.

The evening will be presented by Liz Adams and Alasdair Paterson and will take place in Exeter Phoenix in the Workshop, now sporting upmarket new light fittings. 10 open mic slots are available, and can be booked by contacting Alasdair here on FB, at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or on 07783 734523. Admission is £5 (£3 open mic and concessions). Look forward to seeing you!

Uncut Poets with Caroline Carver at 19.30 on 27th October at Exeter Phoenix


Now the dust has settled on another exhilarating Exeter Poetry Festival, we’re back in Uncut Poets action with the ever-popular Caroline Carver as guest poet. Since her last reading with us, Caroline has been poet-in-residence with the Marine Institute, Plymouth University, an enviable appointment that resulted in her 2015 publication ‘Fish Eaters’ (University of Plymouth). Her latest, a pamphlet just out from Indigo Dreams, is ‘Ju Ju Baby’, an insightful and inventive treatment of myth, issues of personal growth and our place in the natural world.

The evening will as usual be mediated/moderated/jollied along by Liz Adams and Alasdair Paterson, and there are 10 open mic slots. These can be booked by contacting Alasdair here on Facebook, by email at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or on 07783 734523. Any of last month’s open mic reserves who came along but were not called on will have priority, but should contact Alasdair anyway to confirm.

It’s likely that we’ll be back in the Phoenix Workshop, though a late transfer upstairs to the Top Studio is not impossible. Start time 7.30pm, admission £5 (£3 open mic and concessions).

Exeter Poetry Festival 2016 Competition Result


There were many inventive, intriguing and humorous entries for our Poem Titles Competition. Entrants were asked to create a title that would make the Festival Committee want to read the (unwritten) poem. Ian Beech was the winner with Einstein’s Theory of Relatives. He wins a £25 book token. Congratulations, Ian.

Review: The Mincing Poets at Studio 36 on Sunday 9th October 2016


‘To the Mincing Poets’ by Anthony Wilson

Sunday 9th October 2016: Exeter Poetry Festival finales with the Mincinglake Poets and the annual Slam!


Sunday October 9th

Mincing to Denmark.

Venue: Studio 36, Denmark Road, Exeter, EX1 1SE

Start: 2.15pm.

Admission: £3 on the door. (All admission monies go to support the gallery)


Photo courtesy Studio 36

A selection of the Mincinglake Poets, a loose affiliation of non-millionaires and accredited wordsmiths, will present some of their latest work in the unique setting of Studio 36.

Curated by Liz Adams with Ann Gray, Chrissy Banks, David WoolleyMark Totterdell, Alasdair Paterson, Annie Fisher, Anthony Wilson, Helen Evans and Damian Furniss.

Exeter Poetry Slam 2016

Venue: The Bikeshed Theatre, 162-163 Fore Street, Exeter EX4 3AT

Start: 7.30pm

Admission: £6 (£5 concessions) from the Bike Shed Theatre Box Office or on the door

Slam 2

The Festival concludes with the annual Exeter Poetry Slam, hosted by Morwenna Griffiths and Tim King. Twelve of the finest poetic performers from the South West will go head to head in a gladiatorial contest reminiscent of the heyday of the Roman arena, slammers compete for the coveted title of Poetry Slam champion, under the eyes of the  Caeser-like judges. To apply to take part, email: slam@speakinsong.co.uk

Exeter Poetry Festival: 3rd to 9th October 2016


Saturday 8th October 2016: Exeter Poetry Festival continues with Archetypes workshop with Julia Copus and readings from newly published books by Devon writers

Saturday 8th October

Archetypes: poetry workshop with Julia Copus

Exeter Community Centre, St. David’s Hill, EX4 3RG

Start: 2.15pm

Admission: Workshop places £25 (limited to 12 participants), tickets from Exeter Phoenix Box Office

Factions and sectors of humanity have always fascinated poets, and many of the poems written about them are among the most memorable we have. Philip Larkin takes a moving but uncompromising look at old age in The Old Fools, P.K.Page brilliantly captures the unpredictable, rambunctious nature ofYoung Girls, and American poet laureate Ted Kooser somehow convinces us that Surveyors have travelled to our roadsides straight from the middle ages. How do such poems manage to be both general and specific? And how can we make use of this knowledge to enrich our own writing?

Join poet Julia Copus in this stimulating three-hour workshop to find out. Julia will also take you on a whistle-stop tour of the line-break and demonstrate how lines can be manipulated to create a range of effects. You will come away with the makings of your own poem, and there will also be time to hear, share and discuss what you produce, should you wish to do so.


Image courtesy Julia Copus

Julia Copus was born in London and now lives in Somerset. She has published three collections of poetry: The Shuttered Eye (Bloodaxe, 1995), In Defence of Adultery (Bloodaxe, 2003) and The World’s Two Smallest Humans (Faber and Faber, 2012). All three collections are Poetry Book Society Recommendations. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). In 2012, she was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for Ghost Lines, a cycle of radio poems following the journey of a couple undergoing IVF treatment. Her latest poetry collection was published in 2012 by Faber and shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot and the Costa Poetry awards. In 2008, she was made an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter. Julia is also an experienced judge and is currently on the judging panel for the T.S.Eliot Poetry Award and Encore Award for best second novel of the year. This year also sees the publication of her third picture book for children, The Shrew that Flew (Faber, 2016).

Devon poets on paper

Venue: City Gate Hotel, Cellar Bar, Lower North Street, Exeter, EX4 3RB

Start: 7.15pm

Admission: £3 on the door.

Another Festival tradition – a celebration of 4 Devon poets who have had collections published in the past year.

helen evans

Image: Helen Evans

Featuring Ian Beech, Helen Evans, Susan Taylor and Simon Williams.


Image: Ian Beech 

Friday 7th October: the Exeter Poetry Festival weekend begins with Annie Freud and Penelope Shuttle

Friday 7th October

Annie Freud and Penelope Shuttle

Venue: Ballroom, Exeter Community Centre, St. David’s Hill, EX4 3RG

Start: 7.15pm

Admission: £8 (£6 concessions) from Exeter Phoenix Box Office or on the door

Our Friday night reading traditionally features South-West poets with national and international profiles, and this year we’re proud to welcome Penelope Shuttle and Annie Freud.


Image courtesy Annie Freud

Annie Freud’s first collection of poetry The Best Man That Ever Was(Picador 2007) marked the start of a third career, following one as an embroiderer and another in local government. Her third collection, The Remains (Picador 2016) is concerned with what is left when everything is broken or lost. She was one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets in 2014.


Image courtesy Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle is a former winner of a Cholmondeley Award and a Forward Poetry Prize; her most recent publications are: Redgrove’s Wife (Bloodaxe Books, 2006); Sandgrain and Hourglass (Bloodaxe Book, 2010); Unsent (Bloodaxe Books, 2012); and Four Portions of Everything on the Menu for M’sieur Monet! (Indigo Dream, 2016).

2015 RDLF logo

Sponsored by the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation 

Thursday 6th October 2016: National Poetry Day at Exeter Poetry Festival

Thursday 6th October: National Poetry Day

NPD 2016 Messages.jpg

Inside the tent.

Venue: Poetry Tent outside Exeter Cathedral Refectory, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter, EX1 1HS

Start: 2pm to 5.30pm

Admission: free


Image: Wonge Bergman

Do you have a poem inside you that you want to get out?  Come to the Poetry Tent on Cathedral Green and we’ll help you get it written on a poster for our competition. All ages.

Indigo Dreams tour

Venue: City Gate Hotel, Cellar Bar, Lower North Street, Exeter EX4 3RB

Start: 7.30pm

Admission: £3 on the door


Image: Indigo Dreams

National Poetry Day is celebrated by a reading from 5 poets, all published by the innovative independent poetry publisher Indigo Dreams.

Poets are: Ben Banyard, Mab Jones, Bethany W. Pope, Helen Boyles and Simon Williams.