Meet The Poet: John North

Meet one of the poets on our Poets in Residence project at Theatre by the Lake. The project will involve seven emerging writers spending time at the theatre, and will culminate in a showcase on September 7th 2013, at which their poems will be read by members of the theatre’s summer season acting company.

John North

John North was born in the north of England in 1990. His first short collection, Northern Lad Meets the English Language, Fights (Freerange Poetry Project in association with the Carlisle Arts Festival) was published in 2008. He has worked with, amongst others, the Mancunion, as an editor, and with the BBC. He is currently one of seven Poets in Residence at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick. New poems are forthcoming in Kaffeeklatsch. He has won several awards. johnenorth.wordpress.com

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Meet The Poet: Elizabeth Mann

Meet one of the poets on our Poets in Residence project at Theatre by the Lake. The project will involve seven emerging writers spending time at the theatre, and will culminate in a showcase on September 7th 2013, at which their poems will be read by members of the theatre’s summer season acting company.

Elizabeth Mann photo

Raised in the thriving metropolis that is Peterborough, Elizabeth later lived in a genuine castle during her English degree at Durham University. It was there she fell in love with poetry and decided to devote her life to reading and writing the good stuff. At present she is at St Andrews, thoroughly enjoying working towards an MLitt in Creative Writing and being involved in [insert text here].

Meet The Poet: Fiona Money

Meet one of the poets on our Poets in Residence project at Theatre by the Lake. The project will involve seven emerging writers spending time at the theatre, and will culminate in a showcase on September 7th 2013, at which their poems will be read by members of the theatre’s summer season acting company.

Fiona Money

Fiona Money was born and brought up in West Cumbria, and published her first novel through her school’s Young Enterprise company. She is studying English Literature and German in Edinburgh at the moment and although it took her a year to discover the poetry scene there, she’s trying to make up for that now.

Meet The Poet: Jenny Walker

Meet one of the poets on our Poets in Residence project at Theatre by the Lake. The project will involve seven emerging writers spending time at the theatre, and will culminate in a showcase on September 7th 2013, at which their poems will be read by members of the theatre’s summer season acting company.

Jenny Walker photo

Jenny Walker lives in the Lake District and has been writing poetry for several years, gradually becoming more and more inseparable from pen and paper. In 2011 she was a winner of the Young Foyle Poets Award and since then has read at Ledbury Festival and various spoken word events. She is interested in writing about human relationships, new fads such as the internet and various other ideas, events and occurrences.

‘I write to find out what I didn’t know I knew.’

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.

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.

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Featured Cafe Poet: Alex Zhang

when i read

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

where there is a slight
breeze
and white sun
and light cloud
passing

but you don’t notice
in t-shirt
and jeans
cradling a
book
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.

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