Uncut Poets with Louisa Adjoa Parker and John Phillips at 19.30 on 25th January 2018 at Exeter Phoenix


After a full set of post-hibernation calisthenics (and the last of the Christmas nuts), Uncut emerges into the air of 2018 raring to go with an exciting year’s programme of poetry.

We begin with a bumper edition that features two guest poets, both new to the Workshop. Louisa Adjoa Parker’s Blinking in The Light was published by Cinnamon Press in 2016 and chronicles the experience of growing up of mixed heritage in the West Country in the 70s; she also writes fiction, and about BAME history.

John Phillips lives in St Ives, where he runs Hassle Press, publishing American, British and French poets. His most recent collection is last year’s Shape Of Faith (Shearsman). The work is subtle, thought-provoking and concentrated.

The evening will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and, as is customary, a mystery co-presenter. Ten open mic slots of 5 minutes each will be available on a first-come-first-served basis; these can be booked by email at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or by phone on 07783 734523. Admission £5 (£3 concessions and open mic). Those who wish to toast the Immortal Memory on what is after all Burns Night will find the Phoenix bar close at hand. There is (when last inspected) whisky. We look forward to seeing you.


Uncut Poets with Alwyn Marriage and Julie-ann Rowell at 19.30 on 28th November 2017 at Exeter Phoenix

Jeanne d'Arc

November’s Uncut is the last of the year, and because of a bit of double booking of the Workshop by the Phoenix we find ourselves convening there on a TUESDAY. So 28th November it is, and we’ll be featuring medieval women – no, not our thoroughly modern guest poets, but rather the voices in their new books. Alwyn Marriage, managing editor of Oversteps Books, has recently launched ‘In the image: portraits of medieval women’ (Indigo Dreams ), a stylistically varied celebration of medieval lives that has many modern resonances. Julie-ann Rowell’s new book, ‘Voices in the garden’ (Lapwing), looks at one famous medieval life, that of Joan of Arc, and explores, with characteristic sensitivity and acumen, its drama and its significance for our times.

 The evening will be presented by Alasdair Paterson, reasonably fresh from an elderly birthday tour of Edinburgh, and a mystery co-presenter. Start laying bets now. There are the usual 10 open mic spots to be claimed by contacting Alasdair on Facebook, at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or on 07783 734523.

Admission £5 (£3 concessions and open mic). 7.30 start. Wimples optional.

The last Language Club of the year at 7.00pm on 28th November 2017 at Plymouth College of Art



The final Language Club of 2017 will be taking place on Tuesday 28th November, in the Lecture Theatre at Plymouth College of Art. Please arrive at 7.00 for a 7.15 prompt start.

There will be four readers on this occasion as follows:

Tony Lopez was the first Professor of Poetry at the University of Plymouth, appointed in 2000. He has published many poetry books, including the award winning False Memory and critical writings including an analysis of the work of W.S. Graham. Prior to his academic and poetry careers he wrote ‘pulp fiction’ for the New English Library and also worked in publishing. He is a masterful exponent of the non-sequitur and much of his poetry makes expert use of montage.

Anthony Caleshu is Professor of English at the University of Plymouth, where he directs the MA Creative Writing Programme. His poetry collections include The Victor Poems (Shearsman) and On Whales (Salt). He has also written fiction and at least one play.

Sarah Cave, who is based in Bodmin, has recently been awarded an MA in poetry from Royal Holloway College. She has published poetry, reviews and short fiction in a variety of magazines, including Tears in the Fence, Shearsman and Oxford Poetry. She recently took part in the Tears in the Fence weekend festival at Stourpaine in Dorset.

Hannah Linden won the Cheltenham Compound competition with Gram Joel Davies in 2015 and has also co-hosted the Exeter Uncut readings with Alasdair Paterson. She has published her work in many magazines, including Prole, Domestic Cherry and Ink and Sweat and Tears. She has appeared at both the Cheltenham and Swindon poetry festivals.

Entry is by donation – a minimum donation of £5 (£3 unwaged) is suggested to cover costs. The Language Club receives no public funding and relies entirely on donations.

We look forward to seeing you there on the 28th. Further events are under consideration from April 2018 onwards.

Exeter Poetry Festival 2017 competition results: congratulations ‘James Johnson’ aka Ian Beech


Congratulations to our first and second prize winners in this year’s competition. The challenge was to write the first two lines of the poem inspired by Ian Beech’s prizewinning title of last year, ‘Einstein’s Theory of Relatives.’ Judge Annie Fisher wrote:

‘The competition inspired a range of witty, imaginative and sometimes philosophical entries, referencing all manner of things, from the workings of the United Nations to the breeding habits of rabbits. After much agonising, I plumped for the following, which seemed to me to relate well to the punning title, and worked on several levels’:

First Prize of £50: James Johnson*

‘You don’t have to be an Einstein’, chortled Albert.
We laughed politely. For once, we knew what he meant.

 Second Prize – a meal for 2 at the City Gate: Ian Royce Chamberlain

They gawp at you as you expound the workings of that famous mc2
but when you look around, your dining table’s all empty chairs

 *When we contacted him by email, we were surprised to discover that ‘James Johnson’ was a nom de plume of Ian Beech, who is therefore winner of the competition for the second successive year!


Uncut Poets with Ian Royce Chamberlain and Jenny Hamlett at 19.30 on 26th October 2017 at Exeter Phoenix

ian royce chamberlain

October’s Uncut Poets in the Phoenix Workshop welcomes as guests two local luminaries who have new publications to share. Ian Royce Chamberlain’s work explores our times and landscapes with a thoughtful affability, a care for nature and an eye for the absurdities of later life; his intriguingly titled “Vertigo and beeswax’ is published by Oversteps.

Jenny Hamlett’s ‘Playing Alice’ is her second collection from Indigo Dreams; Jenny’s vision and language are always clear and compelling, and warmed by a sympathetic engagement with landscapes and people, dreams and losses. 

Since Alasdair Paterson has reached a birthday of biblical proportions and is being taken on a variety of mystery trips by family and friends (hopefully none of them one-way) the evening will be compered by two mystery presenters. They will be superintending the 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each that are available; contact Alasdair for one of these – though a few are earmarked for last month’s reserves via a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or by phone at 07783 734523.

Admission still at the bargain price of £5 (£3 open mic and concessions).

Plymouth Language Club at the Plymouth Literature Festival 2017 on Saturday 21st October

Kenny Knight

King Kenny

As part of the forthcoming Plymouth Literature Festival, the Language Club will be organising a poetry reading. This will take place at Plymouth’s Athenaeum on Saturday 21st October at 7.30 pm and the following six readers will take part.

Liz Adams (Exeter) writes a poetry that often relates visual art to the written/spoken word. Her published work includes the poetry collection Green Doberman.

Melisande Fitzsimons is a translator/poet who writes in both French and English (sometimes combining the two). Her work has been published in various magazines, here and abroad, including The Broadsheet and Tears in the Fence. She recently featured at the Tears in The Fence Poetry Festival in Dorset.

Helen Foster (Cornwall) is a long-running participant in Language Club events and her work has been published in the Plymouth anthology In the Presence of Sharks as well as in Shearsman magazine.

Norman Jope has published four collections of poetry: For the Wedding Guest (Stride), Aphinar and The Book of Bells and Candles (Waterloo Press) and Dreams of the Caucasus (Shearsman). He co-organises The Language Club and has also edited a compilation of essays on the work of the poet Richard Berengarten.

Kenny Knight is famous for his two collections of poetry on the matter of Plymouth – The Honicknowle Book of the Dead and A Long Weekend On The Sofa (both Shearsman). He also runs the writing group Cross Country Writers which organises events mainly, but not exclusively, in Plymouth.

Steve Spence is co-organiser of the Language Club and has published three poetry collections including A Curious Shipwreck (Shearsman) which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for a first collection in 2008. His poetry and reviews have featured in a number of magazines.

Entry is on the door, £3.

Please see http://www.plymouthliteraturefestival.co.uk/events for further details of the Festival programme.

Better late than never: Exeter Poetry Festival 2017 Slam is at the Bike Shed Theatre on October 15th at 7.30pm


Date:     Sunday 15th October
Time:    19.30
Price:    £6/£5
Tickets: Bike Shed Box Office or on the door
Map:      Location

Separated from Festival week by cruel fate/healthy self-respect, Exeter’s annual slam marathon is brought to you by seasoned spoken word impresario Tim King in partnership with Clare Engenoi Smyth. Expect – well, anything, really.

Celebrating Roger Farnworth: Painter, Poet, Archaeologist


Terre Verte Gallery Altarnun and Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival invite you to a special day celebrating Roger’s art, poetry, and interest in the archaeology of Bodmin Moor on Saturday 28th October 2017.

In the morning Historic England’s Pete Herring will lead a walk to Rough Tor, sharing Roger’s insights into the Neolithic mind. There will be a soup, snack and wine lunch at Terre Verte followed by a celebration of the Roger and Laura Farnworth Arts Residency Project.

Enjoy a fine exhibition of Roger Farnworth’s paintings of flowers, nudes, and the Cornish sea and landscapes he loved so much. These are for sale at affordable prices. The work of Farnworth Residents Ros Eastman and Tim Ridley will also be on show as will some of Roger’s collection of African masks.

We will round off the day with a poetry reading, led by Roger’s friend, co-director of Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival and award-winning poet Ann Gray.  Ann will introduce readings of Roger’s poems and original poetry and prose by Farnworth Residents Helen Jagger, Ben Smith, Katrina Naomi (read by Tim Ridley) and Lucy Wood.


10.00am. Meet at Rough Tor car park.

1.30pm. Meet at Terre Verte Gallery for lunch and viewing.

2.30pm. Readings.

4pm. Close.

This is part of an exhibition of Roger’s paintings at the Terre Verte Gallery (a contemporary art gallery established on the edge of Bodmin Moor) from 6th October to 3rd November 2017.

Find out more about the day: david.westwords@clara.co.uk; terreverteinfo@gmail.com;  cathyfarnworth@hotmail.com


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Have a night in after a busy week at Exeter Poetry Festival 2017 and tune into BBC4 tonight



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