Season of mists …..

and certainly fruitfulness for the wonderful Bath Writers & Artists Group!

The October meetup is fully programmed now and we are looking forward to another excellent afternoon on 6th October with seasoned performers and new friends. The full programme details are now on the 6th October Page. ( Please click link.)

Remarkable to realise that our four 2018 meetups will soon have hosted SIX launch readings – MICHAEL LOVEDAY’S launch on Saturday is following in the dazzling footsteps of books by SUE SIMS’ son, DR MARK SIMS, poet novelists CLAIRE DYER and SHIRLEY WRIGHT and pamphlet poets ANN PRESTON and VERONA BASS.

Spurred on by their examples, perhaps, four hopeful first-time novelists will be appearing on Saturday, talking about their projects and inviting questions from the audience. This will be Bath Writers & Artists’ first Q&A session and I am very grateful to poet-artist NIKKI KENNA for offering to manage it with KINDNESS, FAIRNESS and FEROCITY.

The October meetup is also hosting some remarkable specially written contributions on the theme of home and a powerful concert of readings from major writers on the theme of wilderness, compiled from pieces submitted by members of the group.


Chaqmaqtin photo by Matthieu Paley


I am delighted to be showcasing CAROLINE FRANCES-KING’S forthcoming talk at the BRLSI on the evening before our meetup.  (You can read much fuller details on her Page.) I am hoping to persuade Caroline to present some of her work to us in a future meetup – with November in mind because her botanical adventures would team up so eloquently with the presentation of The Letters from Mexico – whose artist, JUDE WISDOM has already agreed to answer questions about her work , following an appreciation generously written for the November afternoon by ANN PRESTON, author of  A North East Light. 

I am delighted, too, that Bath Writers & Artists may soon have a visit from PETER REASON, who is proposing to help design a hugely  important day for us next year inspired by the question from the great poet Mahmoud Darwish. ( For ‘poetry’, of course, we will be also reading ‘art’.)




To recover from ecological disaster, we humans must transform our sense of who we are in relation to the Earth. In Search of Grace is the story of an ecological pilgrimage in my small yacht, Coral, from the south coast of England round the west coast of Ireland to the far north of Scotland. It explores themes of pilgrimage: the overall pattern of separation from the everyday, venturing forth, and returning home. It tells of meeting wildlife, visiting sacred places, confronting danger, expanding and deepening experience of time, of silence, of fragility


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Peter Reason

In his years at the University of Bath, Peter Reason rose to prominance as a brave pioneer of Action Research–a participative approach to scholarly and whole life inquiry, that refuted narrow reductionism. Now, in this meditatively written and rich interwoven account, he takes his inquiry futher. Sailing his boat around the seas of Celtic lands, he gains insights into these our troubled times, as glimpsed through the cracks of a deeper grace belonging to this planet Earth. Alastair McIntosh, author of Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An Island Journey



A huge welcome to this blog to the members of Moor Poets who came to the Sharing Our Bright Fields workshop in Devon on 14th September and are now allowing me to see some of the marvellous poems they began that day.  Such good writers, devoting themselves to such a good topic, with prompts from such masters of the craft…. it is a real privilege to invite them to join our blog and – perhaps – one day, to join us not just in virtual but in ‘real’ reality.

sue boyle 30 september 2018






So much to look forward to

Bath Writers & Artists’ News 3rd September 2018

I hope you have all kept up with the marvellous collective post about  the meetup in July.  It has contributions now from thirteen people – VERONA BASS, AMA BOLTON, RACHAEL CLYNE, CLAIRE COLEMAN, SARAH GREGORY, MARGARET HEATH, CAROLINE HEATON, ROSIE JACKSON, MICHAEL LOVEDAY, ANN PRESTON, LINDA SAUNDERS, CONOR WHELAN and SHIRLEY WRIGHT  – to all of whom, many thanks.

For those of you who were spellbound at the July meetup by the Mikis Theodorakis’ song, Ena to Helidoni, and its place in history, here is a link to his own extraordinary performance at the open air concert on the Rosa Luxembergplatz in East Berlin in front of a huge audience just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Theodorakis 1987

Bath Writers & Artists has been gathering some very interesting new followers and I am looking forward very much to discovering how they choose to develop their personal Pages on this blog.  Of the original 20 subscribers, I am abashed that only VERONA BASS and SUE BOYLE have updated their Pages in July.  Do check out PETE SMITH‘S new Page.  He is busy finishing a project at the moment, but is managing to come to the Bradford Homeric Afternoons and will soon be featuring with us in Queen Square.  We have also been promised content by Corsham designer JOHN MAGGS. The second Homeric Afternoon will owe a great deal to CONOR WHELAN’S inspired suggestion that we should look at some of the Odyssey and The Waste Land in one afternoon. Reading great literature followed by great food seems a winning formula.  Do get in touch if you feel like hosting something similar to extend the joy.

Plans for the October 6th Programme are well advanced, thanks to the terrific contributions which have already come in from so many of you.  There is a Page for the Meetup on the Header Menu which shows the evolving programme for the afternoon, and another, dropped down from that,  titled Writing the Wilderness where I am collating the stunning variety of concert pieces which have come in.  Do read these as soon as you have a moment, not just for their own sake, but in case you would like to be one of the readers during the meetup afternoon.

There is a Page on the Header Menu for Writing Workshops, which at the moment is looking rather sparse. If you are a member of Bath Writers & Artists and you give open workshops, or workshops to which people can come by special arrangement, please broadcast them here.  My workshop, Sharing Our Bright Fields,  for Moor Poets in Devon is coming soon.  It will be good to have some company on our Page!


I am altering the Header Menu Subscribers Page so that all our Friends, Associates and Followers appear on the same Page with the rest of us. For anyone who doesn’t already know how our regrettably hierarchical system works, it seems a good moment to explain.  Bath Writers & Artists has no public funding.  We raised enough money to rent space for our bi-monthly workshops and meetups by finding twenty wonderful people willing to split the cost.  Those twenty subscribers get a share of the available morning workshops and the privilege of launch readings for their new books.   This makes it possible for the afternoon meetups to be free for everyone. Everyone involved in Bath Writers & Artists gives their time for free, even when they are so prestigious that in other circumstances they would rightly expect to be paid to read.

I’ve recently been asked to write about us ( and had the article accepted ) for the Artemis Journal.   I will tell you more when I’ve seen us actually in print.

Lastly, for the moment, a little plea to everyone who has a Page on this blog.  If you can keep up the habit of monthly updates – inserted at the top – it is so interesting for everyone as well as being a useful little exercise in reflective thought. I have stripped out the preamble about Project 2017 from my Page now, just to give the ongoing text a fresher start. And when you do read Pages, if you enjoy them, please click the ‘Like’ button…..

These are the last lines of a poem by Mary Oliver called Wild Geese ………

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.