Monthly Archives: August 2016

Next event Monday 12th September 2016


the Sitting Room 7.30pm
The Radnorshire Arms Hotel, High St, Presteigne. LD8 2BE

Inspiring, entertaining, informal and enjoyable. An evening with poetry at its heart.

£5.00 / £2.00 students at the door. info 01544 267418


Monday 12th September
Guest Poets:

Ric Hool & Bethany Rivers

Ric Hool web page

Ric Hool

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya and raised in Cullercoats, Northumberland, Ric moved to Wales in 1990 after several years in Hastings and five years journeying the islands and mainland of Spain. Since living in Wales he has become well established, as a reviewer of poetry in magazines and a creative writing tutor for a wide range of literary projects across Wales. For the last 23 years he has organised the much admired and respected poetry reading series based Upstairs at The Hen and Chicks in Abergavenny. Ric has nine collections of poetry published by the Collective Press. Red Squirrel Press and Cinnamon Press. His latest collection, ‘Between so many words’ was published earlier this year.

Ric’s poetic themes are the psychological and geographical impact of place and space on the human experience. Water is a theme, poured from place to place and from experience to experience: an agent of informing. ‘His poems have nerve…he ploughs a lone furrow, but like all poets of true originality, he carries his song fully along that furrow.’  Phil Bowen

Bethany Rivers web page

Bethany Rivers

Bethany has been widely published by magazines and ezines in the UK and USA, including Envoi, Fair Acre Press, Cinnamon Press, The Ofi Press, Poetry Space and many others. She teaches creative writing and leads poetry inspiration and healing days. Her debut pamphlet, ’Off the wall’, was launched in July from Indigp Dreams Publishing. This collection is a celebration of art and how it expresses the inner landscape – the pain of Ophelia, the empowerment of Persephone, the textures of love, the enlightenment of Bhudda and the ultimate comfort of home.

    ‘Rivers has produced an intensely personal collection that proclaims the vitality of art in women’s lives: a remarkable first collection.’   Graham Hartill


Monday 10th October
Guest Poets:

Frank Olding & John J. Jones

with Aneirin Jones – classical guitar

Frank Olding web page b&w

Frank Olding has a deep personal and political commitment to the languages and culture of Wales. He writes in Welsh and is a widely published poet and literary critic. He was placed second in the competition for the crown at the National Eisteddfod in Bala in 2009 and was the poet in residence at the Lle Celf art exhibition at the Ebbw Vale Eisteddfod in 2010. He recently published his first full collection Mynydd Du (“Black Mountain”).

For six years, he was Welsh-language editor of Poetry Wales and has edited and published anthologies of new Welsh-language poetry and collections of translations. As poetry editor of the Collective Press, he helps to run a small press dedicated to publishing poetry by young and/or promising Welsh poets writing in English. Frank was the chairman of this year’s National Eisteddfod at Abergavenny and is a member of the Gorsedd of Bards. He regularly translates his poetry into English and the reading tonight will be bilingual !

John Jones web

John Jones is a stockman from the Black Mountains of Gwent, South Wales. He has worked as a calligrapher, illustrator and graphic designer and has been co-ordinator for the Collective, a contemporary poetry organisation, since its inception in 1990.  He has read his work internationally, talked of it on radio and been filmed by the BBC and The Moving Picture Company, Milan.  Awarded an Arts Council Bursary towards his writing, and development of what he terms ‘containment theory’, in the Observer he was called both ‘consistent and original’.  The Magazine PQR described him as R.S.Thomas with muscles and went on to say, “His poetry is shaped to the land, to the moment.  John Jones shapes and crafts poems like a piece of winter wood; they are worth long contemplation”.

From the forward to   ‘Carreglas and other Work’

‘This exquisite book, touched with mortality, celebrates the business of being alive, reminds us “we’re a long time dead”. John Jones is asking us to live with our shoes off. Not to walk away from the lapis horse but to acknowledge the “exchange between hearts”, the importance of the cyclical nature of things, the fact that “there is strength here; all we have to do is find it”. – and, sometimes to take a gun with us, just in case. ‘     Alicia Stubbersfield   Poet

Aneirin Jones is an instrumental acoustic guitarist, graphic artist and photographer from the mountains of east Wales. His first encounter with a guitar was as a small child alongside family friend, Labi Siffri.

Following Labi’s encouragement, Aneirin was lucky enough to be tutored classically by Benjamin Maddock and later by veteran performer Mike Lease formerly of the cult band, ’Freedom’. He therefore describes his influences as eclectic, a fusion from folk and classical schooling with a free-form approach influenced by his later experiences with blues and jazz music, heightened by his time on the Svalbard Archipelago.



Monday 14th November

Gladys Mary Coles & Edward Storey

GMColes web

Gladys Mary Coles

Poet, novelist, biographer, publisher, editor and tutor of creative writing, Gladys was educated in Wales and at the universities of Liverpool and London. Her published work includes nine collections of poetry, six anthologies and two biographies of Mary Webb. She has received many prizes and awards, and was selected to represent Britain in the Euro-Literature Project.

Gladys’ poetry has been anthologised by Faber, Cassell, Virago, the Forward Prizes, Seren, Collins, as well as being broadcast on BBC TV, BBC Radio 4, BBC Wales.

Gladys has a PhD in Creative Writing and is a Lecturer in Imaginative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and also at the University of Liverpool. She is President of the Mary Webb Society and runs the literary press, Headlands Publications. Gladys has tutored courses for the Arvon Foundation and at Tŷ Newydd, and is a frequent adjudicator of poetry competitions (most recently at the Cardiff International, Llandudno and Conwy Festivals). Clay (Flambard Press, 2010) is her first novel and was on the 2011 Wales Book of the Year Long List

Edward Storey web

Edward Storey

Poet, dramatist and non–fiction writer, Edward was born in 1930 at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. Before becoming a full time writer in the late 1960s, he completed National Service and worked in adult education for the Peterborough City Education Authority. His first volume of poetry, North Bank Night, was published by Chatto & Windus in 1969. In one of his earlier works Portrait of the Fen Country (Robert Hale, 1971) Edward reflected upon his childhood understanding of the world as it was shaped by his fenland experience. In Fen Country Christmas (Robert Hale, 1995) he collected a number of stories, legends and fenland superstitions. He was a founder member of the John Clare Society and of the Eastern Arts Association Literature panel. A regular contributor to BBC ‘Listening and Writing’ programmes and ‘Time for Verse’, Edward was a founder member of Eastern Arts Association’s Literature Panel, promoting its ‘Writers in Schools’ policy

Edward moved to Wales in 1999 and quickly became involved in a variety of cultural enterprises. He has published nine collections of poetry and several volumes of prose; his poems have also been published in Acumen, The London Magazine, The Rialto and Spectator. He has given many readings throughout the country and worked as a tutor for Arvon Foundation courses. His latest anthology ‘Seeing the Light’ was published last autumn by The Leverett Press.
“…A deeply meditative poet who sees in nature a mirror for the human condition and sensibility…these are beautifully crafted poems that exist because they have to…”
     The Poetry Quarterly Review

Monday 12th December
Guest Poets:

Adam Horovitz & Liz Lefroy

Adam Horovitz web page

Adam Horovitz

Adam Horovitz was born in London in 1971 and bred in Slad. He has written poetry since childhood but started to take it seriously in his early 20’s, becoming involved in the performance poetry scene. He was the 2009 poet in residence for Glastonbury Festival’s official website.

An accomplished performer of poetry, his first collection of poems, Turning (Headland), was published in 2011 and in 2012 he was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. He released a memoir of growing up in the Slad Valley, ‘A Thousand Laurie Lees,’ for the Laurie Lee centenary.in2014 and in the following year he released an album of poetry and music, ‘Little Metropolis’. Last year he was chosen as one of Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Versopolis poets and for 2015/16 he is Herefordshire poet in residence

 ‘Horovitz writes with great delicacy about relationships and the natural world, sometimes baldly countered with an almost gothic sense of unresolved psychic violence.’   Martin Crucefix. Poetry London  on ‘Turning’

 Adam’s Blog

Liz Lefroy web page

Liz Lefroy

Liz Lefroy’s first publication was Pretending the Weather (2011)which won the Roy Fisher Prize for new work in poetry.[The Gathering followed in2012, a meditation on the Anglican liturgy set to music by Brian Evans. It premiered at the 2012 St Chad’s Music Festival, Shrewsbury.]Her most recent collection is Mending the Ordinary (2014). Gillian Clarke, said of it,

“Liz Lefroy’s first slim pamphlet is a triumph. These delicately told human moments sound with the perfect pitch of a true poet. Using not a word too many, she lets us read between the lines.”

In 2012 she founded Poetry at the Coffeehouse, a monthly event in Shrewsbury, in which local and national poets perform their work. This outgrew its venue and is now at Eat Up, on the first Thursday of every month. Guest poets have included Andrew McMillan, Fred D,Aguiar, Helen Ivory, Martin Figura, Adam Horovitz, Lucy English, Rosie Shepperd, Katrina Naomi, Matthew Stewart and Philip Gross.

She appears regularly on BBC Radio Shropshire as a guest of Ryan Kennedy, reading poetry and highlighting forthcoming poetry events in and around Shropshire. She has curated the Poetry Busk at the Wenlock Poetry Festival in 2015 and 2016, giving readings alongside James Sheard, Kathleen Jamie, Andrew McMillan and Don Paterson.

Liz’s blog  I Buy a New Washer

Inspiring, entertaining, informal and enjoyable. An evening with poetry at its heart.

£5.00 / £2.00 students at the door. info 01544 267418