Uncut Poets at 7.30pm on Thursday 28th June 2018 at Exeter Phoenix with Angela Topping

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June’s Uncut (as the days begin to shorten, sorry about that) features Angela Topping, a well-known name to many Uncut regulars but making her first appearance here as guest poet. Angela’s life in poetry has been centred in the North-West and has included a teaching career and a long history of leading workshops at all levels; she has also been poet-in-residence in a wide variety of venues, including schools and libraries. Her latest books are Hearth (Mother’s Milk Books) and The Five Petals Of Elderflower (Red Squirrel Press).

The evening will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and the obligatory Mystery Co-Presenter.

There are 10 5-minute open mic spots and these can be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis by applying to Alasdair here on FB, by phone at 07783 734 523 or at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk.

Admission is £5 (£3 open mic and concessions) and the reading begins at 7.30pm.


Uncut Poets at Exeter Phoenix on Thursday May 31st 2018 at 7.30pm with Julie Mullen and Helen Boyles.

Image result for erotic poetry for vegans

The end of May, that happy time between incessant rain and hosepipe bans, brings to Uncut two bright sunshiny days in the persons of Julie Mullen and Helen Boyles.

Julie Mullen is an actor, performance poet and the moving spirit of Word Café in Totnes; her Erotic Poetry for Vegans and Vegetarians has been described (by Brian Patten) as doing for vegetables what Wordsworth did for daffodils.

Helen Boyles‘ new book, Transitions (Indigo Dreams), showcases her continuing fascination with landscape and the human stories emerging from or shaping it, finding the exact, evocative language for the histories of change.

The evening will be compered by Alasdair Paterson and the ever-reliable Mystery Co-Presenter. 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each are available to those quickest off the mark, though last month’s reserves who came along but didn’t get the call will have priority. Apply to Alasdair here on FB, at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or by phone at 07783 734523.

Admission is pegged at £5 (£3 open mic and concessions). The bar will be open.

Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival on 25th to 27th May 2018 at Sterts Theatre and Arts Centre, Liskeard, PL14 5AZ



Welcome to BMPF Seven. We have joined with a wide variety of partners to make this year even more varied and exciting. Our line-up of poets runs from the newest voices on the block to some of the UK’s most established and respected figures.  We continue to explore poetry’s relationship with dance, and we once again celebrate the centenary of a 20th century great, this time W.S Graham, a Scottish poet who lived most of his adult life in Cornwall.

Our readings and workshops range from the traditional to the experimental, from the local primary school to the Celtic fringes.  We draw out the art of book illustration, the relationship between a great poet and his artist friends, and the poet as the artist.

We move from the dialect of the Black Country to Spain, from Cardiff via Beat & Black Mountain to poetry on film, from the Moomins to memes as we savour the many marvellous voices poetry can inhabit.

Our chief partner this year is Guillemot Press, along with clinic, Periplum and Shearsman, all small independent presses so vital in continuing to pump the life-blood around poetry’s system.  We are also working with Hillfort Primary School, and both Plymouth and Falmouth Universities, as they encourage our future generations of poets. We look forward to seeing you.

Ann Gray and David Woolley







Language Club on Tuesday 29th May 2018 at 19.00 in the Lecture Theatre at the Plymouth College of Art


The next Language Club event will be on Tuesday 29th May, in the Lecture Theatre at Plymouth College of Art. Please arrive by 7.00 pm for a prompt start at 7.15.

Our extended session on this occasion is from Ric Hool. Originally from Northumberland, Ric is now resident in Abergavenny where he is the organiser of a regular series of poetry events. He has published nine collections of poetry, including Between So Many Words (Red Squirrel Press, 2016), A Way of Falling Upwards (Cinnamon Press, 2014) and Hut (Woodenhead Press, 2016). He was the Welsh Academy poet for the Abergavenny Food Festival in 2009.

His poetic themes are the psychological and geographical impact of place and space on the human experience. Water is a recurring feature in his work. Fiona Owen has commented on his work that ‘the word that most characterises this collection (No Nothing – The Collective Press, 2009) is ‘fluidity’. If water is its central element then winter is the season that Ric Hool seems most at home in, with its qualities of darkness, receptivity and the music of weather’.

Marion Clare is a performance poet and organiser of Soapbox, an open mic event which occurs on the first Wednesday of the month, currently at Bread and Roses in Ebrington Street. She works with a group of musicians named The Spoils and her solo projects have included ‘The End of the Party’ and a piece based on an encounter with a whale, inspired partly by the late Heathcote Williams’ Whale Nation.

Sam Richards is a musician and composer as well as a poet and has also written a number of books on music, including Soundings (essays, Plymouth University Press, 2017) and The Engaged Musician (2013). He has also published a mammoth history of Dartington Arts – Learning by Doing. He is a regular reader of his poetry in the South West and his work has appeared in The Broadsheet and The Plymouth Herald. A first collection is overdue.


Rachel Gippetti‘s first poetry collection, Birthright, was published by Eyewear in 2017. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Plymouth and works as a Higher Education study manager at Plymouth College of Art. Her poetry has also appeared in a number of magazines, including Shearsman, and deals with questions of genetic inheritance, birth, fertility and her Jewish ancestry.

We look forward to seeing you there. Entry is by donation: the Language Club receives no public funding so the more we receive, the greater our ability to invite readers from further afield.

Uncut Poets at the Exeter Phoenix on 26th April at 7.30pm with Roselle Angwin and Rose Cook

angwin iona

So April has been doing that thing of stirring dull roots with spring rain – quite a lot of rain actually – and a plume of sun and it’s already time for the next monthly edition of Uncut Poets. Mixing memory and desire will be our two guest poets, Roselle Angwin and Rose Cook.

Roselle’s new book from Pindrop Press, A Trick Of The Light, is a luminous, reflective account of the history, landscapes and special atmosphere of the island of Iona, where she leads annual writing retreats.

Rose’s latest collection Hearth, from Cultured Llama, showcases her characteristic mix of lightness of touch and clarity of vision, dealing with the changes, the losses and gains that age brings, as well as the beauty and revelations of the natural world.

The evening in the Phoenix Workshop will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and a mystery co-presenter. There will be the usual 10 open mic spots and anyone wanting to grab one of these 5-minute short cuts to celebrity should contact Alasdair here on FB, at a.t.paterson@exeter.ac.uk or on 07783 734 523.

Admission £5 (£3 for open mic and concessions). Lilacs bred out of the dead earth optional.

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).