Meetup 24th November



Introduction & ‘Realms of Gold’ : SUE BOYLE
Kubla Khan : written by Coleridge and read by STEPHANIE BOXALL at zero notice!
Look Stranger: written by WH Auden, suggested and  read by ANN PRESTON
Glint of Shells : written and read by GRAEME RYAN
The Uninvited : read by CHRISSY BANKS, title poem of her coming collection
Seduction : written and read by CLAIRE DYER
Word Search: yakamoz : written and read by CLAIRE DYER

The Work of Jude Wisdom: appreciation written and read by ANN PRESTON   Slideshow presented by PETE SMITH.

Nanda Devi : written by Hugh Thomson.Read and set compered by NIKKI KENNA
Near and Far : written for the concert and read by ANDREW LAWRENCE
His Way Among the Clouds: written and read by LINDA SAUNDERS
Wish You Could : written and read by CLAIRE COLEMAN
White : written and read by LINDA SAUNDERS
Postscript : written by Seamus Heaney, suggested  and read CHRISSY BANKS


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THE LETTERS FROM MEXICO to begin at 3.30pm

My house looks seawards : ANDREW LAWRENCE
I wear my father’s life : ANDREW LAWRENCE
I own the narrow space : MIRANDA PENDER with guitar
He picked an apple : SHIRLEY WRIGHT
On a summer morning : VERONA BASS
On the roof at night : SUE BOYLE ( for Michael Loveday )
Concealed in albums : AMA BOLTON
I use the wunderkabinett : CHRISSY BANKS
The morning is reluctant : GRAEME RYAN


My cello has arrived : MIRANDA PENDER with guitar
The boy who tends my horse : SUE SIMS
Some children in the villages : MIRANDA PENDER with guitar
We study the names of shells : SUE BOYLE
What keepsake should I send : CONOR WHELAN
News does not come : SHIRLEY WRIGHT
I have been obliged : GRAEME RYAN
William’s Farewell : MIRANDA PENDER with guitar


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MORNING WORKSHOP: Chrissy Banks, Verona Bass, Claire Coleman, Nikki Kenna, Miranda Pender, Graeme Ryan, Linda Saunders, Sue Sims, Shirley Wright.


Here is the morning workshop instruction exactly as I mailed it through to you. It may seem quite strange to you, to revert a poem or a part of your poem to prose.  DO NOT RESIST! On the morning of the workshop, all will become plain.  You do not have to insert verbs etc. to make your new ‘sentences’ correct.  Just use any punctuation marks you like so that your pieces read clearly despite losing their line breaks. The benchmarks for our discussion will be

impact, interest, attractiveness and lucidity. 

“Workshop writers are being asked to bring in ONE or TWO pieces of their own writing ( poetry or prose ) each with a maximum number of 120 words. If the pieces started life as  POEMS, they will have been converted to PROSE LAYOUT before they come. This means NO line breaks and sufficient additional punctuation to make the meaning accessible to all the readers in the room.  The pieces can be incomplete/extracts from longer works. Each piece MUST be on a separate A4 sheet, in a neutral font like Times, or Times New Roman. “

ADDITIONAL NOTE  You will probably be more comfortable in this workshop if you make your morning submissions anonymous.

I will open up the Murch Room a bit after  after 9.30am and drift gently towards making a prompt start at 10.30am.  Arriving around 10am is probably your most comfortable choice so that you can do all your settling in and paper sorting before we start.


If I have to miss this workshop, my place will be taken by Linda Saunders and Shirley Wright. I am intending to be there!


Yesterday morning’s workshop, as always , contained so much unfinished business, asked so many questions and answered so few of them….. we needed a whole weekend to give proper attention to all your wonderful work and to tease out the fascinating ideas and issues we started to explore. I designed the workshop for the follow-up which I am suggesting now, for those of you who think it could be of use. 

I will most happily revisit every one of your pieces, if you mail them to me as Word docs, and will write on each one a compact critique to share around the group.  This won’t be ‘critical’ in the sense that I will say anything to express lack of pleasure in or disapproval of your work!  It will simply continue the work we shared yesterday,  summing up the strengths and special qualities I see in each piece,  and in particular trying to respond to the ways in which the ‘poetry’ of each piece has survived that brutal removal of its form. ( And in some cases, thanks to the word limit, the removal of some of its content too. Though it was interesting that no one seemed particularly aware of this.) I shall be especially pleased to do this with the pieces we didn’t manage to discuss  together, and which I hope you will all be reading now you have them home.

Over the course of these Bath Writers & Artists morning workshops, we have been delving deeper and deeper into ideas about the qualities which lead us to decide that something is an example of ‘good’ writing and the many different ways even the shortest a piece can produce a reaction in us of  ‘excellent’, or not. We have been looking at  how individual the task of good writing is,  how every element in the writer’s repertoire contains its own boundless range of possibilities, how different outcomes are the products of all the deceptively straightforward decisions every writer must make moment by moment about vocabulary, sentence structure, punctuation …. every mark on the page, every decision to include, every decision to omit.  And yesterday we began to explore the kind of decisions that make a poem something that in its very essence might be  different from prose. 

You were a wonderful group to work with and it was melancholy not to have time to bring all your pieces into play, and explore the further reaches of the things we started to discuss.  I hope we can remedy some of this deficit if you let me add responses to your pieces, and that we can together create a shared record not only of what we did achieve, but of the territory we did not have enough time to explore.  I shall be particularly pleased to do this now this series of morning workshops is coming to  an end, and with them, perhaps, the likelihood that I will find myself working with you again in Bath. It has been such a joy to share the marvellous adventures of your different writing journeys, and to see so many of you makng your successful and totally deserved appearances in print.

I look forward very much  to receiving your pieces and giving them the attention they so deserve.  But because no leopard can ever change her spots….  stick to the word limit please!

Affectionate greetings



TEA will be generously provided by members of the group and, less usually, WINE ordered in  by Sue Boyle.



RSVP to assist with seats and catering



Last invite