Happy Halloween!

Trick or treat?


Although we are in the middle of our Cafe Poetry project, it hasn’t escaped our notice that today is Halloween. So, we’re giving you a little Halloween treat, by linking you to Tim Burton’s 1982 short film, Vincent.

Enjoy the film, the poetry, and the references to Edgar Allan Poe!

Cafe Poet: Alex Zhang

It’s raining today in St Andrews, but that’s all the more reason for people to duck into a coffee shop and read some fabulous poems.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any poems about ghosts and bats and vampires. So today’s featured poet won’t be all about unexplained hauntings or witches’ spells. Sorry. Eat pumpkin while you’re reading it, if that puts you in a more Halloween-y mood.


Featured Cafe Poet: Alex Zhang

when i read

I like to imagine
that you
are sprawled out in
front of an open

where there is a slight
and white sun
and light cloud

but you don’t notice
in t-shirt
and jeans
cradling a
in one hand
and gripping your
naked feet
in the other

and I can see
your head pressed into
a pillow propped up
against the wall
with your legs
mounted on a desk

and can feel
all the spaces
between the chair
and the curve
of your back.


From Tucson, Arizona to London. Studies philosophy. Writes. Has a pet sourdough starter named Amy.

Cafe Poet: Samantha Emily Evans

Day 9 of our Cafe Poetry project, and here’s another tasty treat for you to feast your eyes on:


Featured Cafe Poet: Samantha Emily Evans


He wears thrift store sweaters
and has drum stick blue eyes
the light reflecting off tambourine hair

He knows emily bronte and wuthering heights
and wants to write a novel
to study the humanities

He travels, is adventurous, to spain,
and goes alone, i am not the only one
the photos sporadic and without asking.

He asks me to coffee, kind of, I think.


From Los Angeles, Samantha Emily Evans is almost a west coast hipster, and attends University of St. Andrews. She has been published in the Moorpark College Literary Magazine, and founded the youth poetry program at the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley. She is a Girl Scout, and believes that the perfect date is dinner and a play.

Cafe Poet: Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes

Today marks the half-way point of our Cafe Poetry project.

Poems have been adorning the tables of Bibi’s Cafe (North St, St Andrews) for one week now, and will stay there until November 4th. So if you haven’t checked them out yet, then don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to do so – but don’t leave it too long!

As promised, we’re featuring another of our Cafe Poets today: Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes.



Featured Cafe Poet: Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes


It is ironic that the letter ‘D’ is in dignity
because he has none, the dunce.
He teams up with ‘f’s and ‘t’s and ‘h’s,
likes to look hard, making dull thuds.
But he’s not that special; he knows it,
oversized in a crib where he turns,
and when he clasps the hand of another whilst snoring
he wakes up, affronted, and burns.
He plods on, smiles rarely and vaguely,
guffaws as the graceful pass by.
D doesn’t dare without others.
Thinks he’ll dream a dull life till he dies.


Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes is an eighteen year old girl from London. A Barbican Poet from 2011-2012 and a Poetry Parnassus Young Producer, she loves poetry and hopes to study English Literature at University. When not writing she can usually be found eating her own weight in samosas, or doing something similarly constructive.

Cafe Poet: Dominique Dunne

It’s the weekend, and it’s a beautiful sunny day in St Andrews, so if you’re around, why not head down to Bibi’s Cafe to check out some poetry? (They also do a great weekend brunch, which I will definitely be making the most of in an hour or so.)

If you can’t get to Bibi’s, or you need a little nudge in the right direction, here’s a little taste of what you might find when you get there.


Featured Cafe Poet: Dominique Dunne


It’s almost like I’ve drowned
except I have no mouth,
nothing to swallow this water.

Nothing to stop the pull,
the whim of the tide.
Sucked across a bed

of hopeless lost property
that no-one looks for anymore.
I am in five pieces

spilt and carved.
One was found in a suitcase
and one in the boot of a car.

I am with the forgotten,
trailing the bottom of the canal
in this red plastic bag.

Nothing will swallow this water.


Dominique Dunne was born and raised in the heart of London; she completed a BA in poetry and film at Bath Spa University, 2011. Since then she has been travelling, working with Literary Festivals and been part of ‘The Barbican Young Poets’ scheme. She is currently working on a growing collection entitled ‘Words Through the Glass’ which she hopes to get published one day. Alongside poetry, Dominique loves kayaking, sloths and winning at Scrabble.

‘Poems are poems because…’

‘Poems are poems because we want to listen to them. Some poems have a prominent argument; some poems don’t. But all poems live or die on their capacity to lure us from their beginnings to their ends by a pattern of sounds. This is why a poem we don’t understand may seem wonderfully satisfying, and this is why a poem we understand all too well may also seem wonderfully satisfying. A poem may harness the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line to establish and disrupt a pattern of sounds, and a poem may with equal integrity reject the power of meter, rhyme, syntax and line. But the poet needs to understand what she is rejecting as well as what she is harnessing. Every poem is based at least implicitly on a choice to do something rather than something else, and, as a result, every poem takes power from its exclusions as well as its inclusions.’

– James Longenbach, The Art of the Poetic Line

Cafe Poetry goes live!

It’s official – our cafe poetry project has gone live!

Cafe Poetry, Bibi’s Cafe, St Andrews – October 2012

After a mad day of reading poems, curling ribbons, and frantically trying to scrub the labels off jam jars, our Cafe Poetry project is ready, and looking extremely beautiful – though we do say so ourselves. There is a fantastic array of poetry to be read at Bibi’s Cafe, written by emerging poets from all over the country. Definitely worth checking out.

So if you’re in the area, head on down to Bibi’s Cafe (North Street, St Andrews, Fife), to peruse some of our beautiful poems (and you might as well have some cake while you’re at it).

For those of you who can’t make the trip to St Andrews to see the poems for yourself (and they do look beautiful), never fear. A selection of the cafe poems will be up on our site shortly. (Though you’ll have to make your own cake, I’m afraid.)

A big thank you to everyone who provided me with their old jam jars, and of course to everyone who submitted. Those who were successful will be informed later today, but if your poetry wasn’t chosen this time, then don’t be downhearted. There was a fantastic number of entries, and we simply couldn’t include everything. Please keep an eye on what we’re up to, and we’d love you to submit again in the future!


Dear lovely poets.

Thank you to everyone who has already submitted for our cafe poetry project.

Owing to unforseen circumstances (the fact that we won’t be reading through the poems until tomorrow anyway), we have decided to extend our deadline to MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!

That’s until MIDNIGHT, SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER to get your poems to us!

See here for how to submit:


‘…reading is a sort of new synthetic instinct…’

‘In a sense, reading is a sort of new synthetic instinct, input which becomes a program and which in turn crystallizes into neural hardware, and which incorporates a cultural loop into the human nervous circuit. This “new instinct” in turn profoundly changes the environment within which young human brains are programmed. In the early stages of human evolution such new instincts (speech must have been one) had to wait for their full development while sexual selection established the necessary elaborate vocal circuitry in the cortex. Later on we were able to use our technology, which required much less time to develop, as a sort of supplementary external nervous system. A book is a sort of R.O.M. chip we can plug in to our heads.’

– Frederick Turner and Ernst Poppel, ‘The Neural Lyre’

Cafe Poetry: the Poster!

Not long now!

Our Cafe Poetry event goes live in less than a week. Check out the poster for it here (courtesy of our very own Lizzie Mann): Bibi’s poster

Still want to submit a poem? Never fear! You still have until Friday to send us your masterpieces.

Check out here for more info on how to submit.