A massive congratulations to the [insert text here] contributors who were involved in Unleashed this weekend. It was a truly spectacular performance, and you did poetry proud.

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Cafe Poet: Elizabeth Mann

Have no fear, folks! We’re still featuring some of our fabulous Cafe Poets on the site. (For the full list of poets, check out here.)

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Featured Cafe Poet: Elizabeth Mann

Shells

have sipped the salt-brink,
lived its pitch and precipice.
On my desk they sit domestic
as crockery. Inside I hear whispers
of grit, but little else. There is no
softness left, only the perfect
swerve of their orbits. Yet once
way out in the wild and wet
they rode the tide, brim-full of flesh

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Raised in Peterborough, Elizabeth later fell head-over-heels in love with poetry when she lived in Durham castle. She’s now in St Andrews doing the MLitt in Creative Writing and eating copious amounts of baked goods. Elizabeth is also the newest member of the [insert text here] staff.

Cafe Poet: Katie Byford

The physical manifestation of our Cafe Poetry project has come to an end. But don’t worry! We’ll continue to feature the Cafe Poets online, and you can always check out the poets we’ve previously featured via the Cafe Poetry page.

So make yourself a coffee, grab some cake, and sit back and read today’s featured Cafe Poet:

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Featured Cafe Poet: Katie Byford

Alpha

to the letter A

Curling up by the hearth in my throat,
a lock of red hair
reaching round to brush your cheek –
red, always red; now

not a pulse but a root –
strong marble columns resting their foreheads together,
your light architecture
holding my windpipe open
with two straight feet; sometimes

you swim through my lips like an alpha
and thick tail fins scratch their consonant followers
across my tongue,

a spring of liquid vowel
touching dry lips.

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Katie is a sixth-former from West London, studying Latin, Ancient Greek and English, with the intention of reading Classics at university. She enjoys music, 50s cinema, and generally any activity not involving a calculator.

The Cafe Poetry Mystery…

Yesterday (Sunday 4th November) was the final day of our Cafe Poetry project, which took place at Bibi’s Cafe, North St, St Andrews.

But never fear! We haven’t quite finished with it yet, as we’ll be continuing to feature some of our Cafe Poets on our website in the coming weeks.

Today’s featured poet is something of a mystery. This morning, on going to Bibi’s to collect the jam jars and the poems they held, I found something rather odd: one of our poems had been removed, and replaced with a handwritten poem, entitled ‘Rain’. On investigating further (turning the piece of paper over), I discovered that the poem had been signed, ‘Anon’.

This is what [insert text here] is all about. We loved it that our project inspired someone to write something, and we loved it even more that the mysterious writer chose to share that poem with us. The poem itself also gave us a bit of a giggle.

Mystery Cafe Poet: if you’re reading this, please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you!

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Featured Cafe Poet: Anon

Anonymous Cafe Poet: we’d love to know more about you, and what you thought of our project. Thank you for your poem, and we really hope to hear from you soon.

And, just in case anyone had trouble with the handwriting, here’s the poem below:

Rain

On the days when lack of
clean underwear
leads me to wear
a dress (after all, no one
can see you go commando
if you’re wearing tights)
it rains
everyone sees my bum
and I lose all casual
elegance.
Oh rain.

Thank you so much to our mystery Cafe Poet!

Cafe Poet: Sonority Turner

Morning all!

Only two more days to get yourself down to Bibi’s Cafe on North Street, St Andrews, to check out our amazing Cafe Poetry. Alternatively, here’s today’s sampling for you right here:

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Featured Cafe Poet: Sonority Turner

My life

This is my heart take it.
This is my art you can take it.
You can take my laptop. Take my iPhone,
take my camera and my headphones.
You can take my money. Take my time,
take the clothes off my washing line.
You can take my job. Take my bike,
Take my bus pass if you like.
You can take my bed. Take my desk,
Take the sofa where I rest.
You can take my things. Take my mess,
Take the contents of my treasure chest.

Take my mother. Take my father.
Take my sisters and my brothers
and my friends and their friends
Take my beginnings leave me loose ends.
Take my money. Take my time,
take my freedoms with your fines.

But you can’t take my smile.
I got my mouth, my teeth and my lips.
You can’t take my voice.
And you can’t take my music.
I got my hands, my feet and my lungs.
You can’t take my speech.
I got my heartbeat.
You can’t take my life.

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Sonority Turner is a Poet and Creative Artist. For more info check out www.sonorityturner.co.uk

Cafe Poet: Will Tyas

This is the last weekend to see the beautifully presented Cafe Poems in situ at the lovely Bibi’s Cafe!

But have no fear, because we’re still featuring the poems on this site, with another poetic treat for you today:

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Featured Cafe Poet: Will Tyas

Pull ups in Secondary School, 2004

Our arms were frantic.
Our arms were standing to attention
and holding onto cold bars
and our feet were swinging.

The hollow steel was singing
with unbroken voices
under our fingers
and we sang back

with virgin flushed lips
and slipping finger tips
and awkward elbow shifts
before falling.

We imagined ourselves as pistons,
fists clenched on metal ice,
but each time we fell
with our arms twitching

like dying birds.

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Will Tyas writes songs and poetry. He is currently involved with Lonely Robot Theatre Company and acoustic band Luna & The Curious. He is also involved with The Barbican Young Poets’ scheme and hopes to complete a pamphlet later this year.