Event Archive

13 Dec

Christmas Meeting

7:30 pm

Nothing too serious happens at our Christmas meetings, unless a plate of mince pies is accidentally dropped.

Will there be competitions?   Will people bring limericks or other really serious poems to bring Christmas cheer……….. ?

Mark the date in your diary as it is not on our usual last Tuesday of the month.

29 Nov

Fiona Sampson

7:30 pm

Meeting update

Fiona Sampson     Tuesday 29th November 7.30pm at The village Cafe

Fiona Sampson gave the poetry reading on Tuesday 29th November instead of Annie Fisher who was unfortunately unable to come due to health problems.  We hope Annie and Anthony will be able to come on another occasion.

We were privileged to welcome Fiona Sampson to East Coker and fortunate that she stepped in at such short notice enabling the meeting to go ahead.

Professor Fiona Sampson MBE, FRSL has published twenty-nine books, including seven collections of poetry. Her latest collection, Come Down (2020), received the Wales Poetry Book of the Year; in the same year she was awarded the European Lyric Atlas Prize and the Balkan Naim Frasheri Laureateship for her body of work. She has been published in thirty-seven languages, and received numerous other national and international honours, including the Newdigate and Cholmondeley prizes, multiple awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, the Society of Authors, the Poetry Books Society and Arts and Humanities Research Council, numerous Book of the Year selections and several short-listings for the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes – plus further international prizes in the US, Bosnia, Northern Macedonia and India.

Her studies of writing process include Beyond the Lyric and Lyric Cousins: Poetry and Musical Form. She edited Percy Bysshe Shelley (Faber) and her Limestone Country was a Guardian nature writing book of the year. A critic, librettist and literary translator, from 2005-12 she edited Poetry Review, and she’s served internationally on the boards of publishing houses and literary NGOs, on literary juries and on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature. She’s a Trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and Emeritus Professor of Poetry, University of Roehampton.

Her internationally acclaimed In Search of Mary Shelley is followed by Two-Way Mirror: The life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Washington Post Book of the Year, a finalist for the international Plutarch Prize and for US PEN’s international biography award, and currently a Times/Sunday Times paperback of the year. She is at work on a biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau for Princeton University Press.

25 Oct

Competition Evening 2022

7:30 pm

All entries for the 2022 East Coker Poetry Competition were read and the winners announced.

Poet Graeme Ryan, helped by Annie fisher from Fire River Poets was our judge this year and also gave a short reading from his new collection.

Details of the competition are given on our competitions page.

A good evening

27 Sep

Poetry and Politics

7:30 pm

This is a subject that could cover many volumes of books and many hours of talks. Jem Langworthy takes the English Civil War as his starting point and ends in the mid 20th century. We’ll hear poetry written by or from the viewpoint of (i) those in power, (ii) those who want power, and (iii) those over whom power is exercised – including poems by Marvell, Milton, Charles Dickens (yes, he wrote poetry), Yeats, Auden, Larkin and, holding centre-stage, Shelley.

28 Apr

CANCELLED James Crowden - Mountains

7:30 pm

An evening of poetry and prose presented by James Crowden and based on his new book ‘The Frozen River’.  

In 1976 James Crowden left his career in the British army and travelled the Northern Himalaya, one of the most remote parts of the world. The Frozen River is his extraordinary account of the time he spent there, living alongside the Zangskari people, before the arrival of roads and mass tourism.   James captured a crucial moment in time for this Himalayan community. A moment in which their Buddhist practices and traditions were threatened by the pull of a world beyond their valley.

31 Mar

CANCELLED Open Evening

7:30 pm

Bring along a poem or two to read (your own or by another), or come simply to listen. These open evenings always result in an interesting mix of subject-matter and styles.

25 Feb

Love Poetry

7:30 pm

As February is the month of St Valentine, Heather has agreed to lead a meeting on the subject of love, a subject which, surprisingly, has not been covered by the group before (so far as I know). Please bring along a couple of your favourite love poems (we’ll want to fit in as many as possible so no 25-verse sagas please).

And, to add a little spice, we will hold an informal love poem competition. If you wish to enter, please bring along to the meeting a love poem of your own –no more than 20 lines or so. Give it to Heather when you arrive and don’t put your name on it (the entries will be judged anonymously during the break by Keita, our generous host at the café). All the entries can then be included in the poems read in the second half.

Entering this competition is not compulsory – if you want to just come and listen, please feel free to do so. That said, we hope that at least a few of you will enter as poor Heather doesn’t want to have to eat the prize (a heart-shaped box of chocolates) all on her own!

28 Jan

T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land

7:30 pm

Jem Langworthy will guide us through the complexities of Eliot’s most iconic poem – one which can frustrate, baffle, intrigue and delight – explaining the imagery and allusions and examining why, nearly 100 years after it was written, this is still very much a poem for today.

17 Dec

Christmas Open Evening 2019

7:30 pm

This will be a lighthearted  open meeting and you are encouraged to bring poems relating to Christmas, New Year  or Winter. Mince pies will of course be available. The cafe will be open to provide seasonal liquid refreshment. 

26 Nov

Australian Poetry

7:30 pm

Diane Summer leads this evening.   Will we all be sitting under the shade of a coolibah tree by the billabong while the hot antipodean sun shines……….?

There is much more to the vast continent of Australia than Waltzing Matilda – come along and hear the poetry.



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