A rare public screening of the 1916 Battle of the Somme film

The Poetry School has been given permission by the Imperial War Museum for a public screening of the Battle of the Somme film at the Cinema Museum, London on Saturday 4th February 2017.    A group of ten poets, including myself, guided by Simon Barraclough and Julia Bird, have been working on poems written in response to…

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Friday Poetry from Choman Hardi – Considering the Women

Today I’ve gone back to Choman Hardi’s Considering the Women.An important book with a central sequence of poems about the Anfal genocide of the Kurds in 1988 in which over a hundred thousand people were killed. I have heard her read twice at Aldebugh and in London at the Poet’s quest for peace. There are two…

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Sidney Greenfield, MC, the story continues

I’ve been doing some more reading and research after last week’s blog post on Sdney Greenfield. He was awarded the MC in July 1918. The citation as published in the London Gazette on 18th July reads “2nd Lt. Sidney Richard, Greenfield, North’d Fus. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. As intelligence officer,when all communications…

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Friday Poetry from Clare Best and Butcher’s Dog

I have a couple of items of poetry reading lined up for the weekend. The first is Clare Best’s poem, Cell, which will unfold into a cell with artwork by Michaela Ridgway.  I’ve been saving this up until I had enough time to read it properly. I was going to describe this as a poetry…

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Friday Poetry from Matt Merritt and Happy Weekend

  I had the pleasure of introducing Matt Merritt at Ouse Muse this week and hearing him read from his two collections from Nine Arches Press. I had already browsed my way through  The Elephant Tests and as so often happens have gone back to the poems with even more enjoyment through having the poet’s voice…

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Charles Jagger and the Cambrai Memorial

This year’s annual trip to the Somme battlefields included a visit to the Cambrai memorial at Louverval. I’ve written about Charles Jagger previously on this blog and about his work in poems in Voices from Stone and Bronze so I was keen to see the two Portland stone reliefs which he’d created for the memorial.…

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Friday Poetry by Becky Cherriman and Happy weekend

I’ve been busy for the last couple of Fridays with poetry related activities in Aldeburgh and North Wales so haven’t had a chance to share a Friday poet recently. I’ve come back from Wales with Becky Cherriman’s glorious Empires of Clay.  It is so exciting to get my hands on this book. There is sometihng about…

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Hedgerow Apple Trees of Wing in Buckinghamshire

One of the benefits of having a dog is that you get to go on regular walks and so over the past year I’ve got to know the footpaths around the village very well. What I have noticed this autumn is the abundance of crab apple trees in the hedgerows. Almost every field seems to…

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German Literature Month

November is German Literature Month so I am about to make a start on reading All for Nothing – Alles Somst, which is this month’s title for the war and lit readalong. It’s described as Walter Kempowski’s crowning achievement and to judge from the opening chapter it is going to be a dark and compelling…

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