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.

‘The poem acquires independence…’

‘There is a process called annealment, the heating to a high temperature and slow cooling of glass or metal, to toughen them. Making a poem feels like that, writing as yourself and reading it back as someone else. Distance, perspective, irony, derision (terribly important!), all come into the picture. The poem acquires independence, the poet, in Montale’s comparison, is like the props man who’s stumbled upon it, “unaware that he’s / the author”.’

– Michael Hoffman, “I happen to believe” (2000)

Beneath The Boughs – click to submit

Submissions fb cover inc Arts Council

Looking for inspiration?

Thinking of submitting to our Cafe Poetry venture, but not quite sure what to write about?

No worries! As always, we’re here to help.

Back in August, we posted some information about poetry prompts, to help kick-start your writing. You can check that out here:

Or feel free to browse our general back catalogue of poetry related quotations to help you on your way.

Failing that, you can always read through the [insert text here] zine, Dawn Killing Darkness, or take a look at some of the other poems on our site, here:

Still stuck? Here’s a picture of a squirrel to help you on your way.


To find out more about our Cafe Poetry project, and how you can get involved, click here:

‘…the values of creative work…’

‘Often when my friends pronounce responsibility about the values of creative work I experience a loss of contact. I want at such times to voice what may appear to be an antagonism, maybe even a wilful stupidity, about “culture.” To “learn the tools of writing,” to “understand the essentials of the craft,” to “base my practice on models that have proved to be fundamentally sound” – these apparently winsome and admirable phrases put me in a bleak mood. When I  write, grammar is my enemy; the materials of my craft come at me in a succession of emergencies in which my feelings are ambivalent; I do not have any commitments, just opportunities. Not the learning of methods, not the broadening of culture, not even the preserving of civilization (there may be greater things than civilizations), but a kind of dizzying struggle with the Now-ness of experience, that is my involvement in writing. And I believe it is this interaction between imagination and its embodiment as it develops which sustains the speaker and the writer – and sustains the artist in other materials.’

– William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl

The one rule…

Over the years, I’ve found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write.

– Norman Mailer

Bukowski: ‘air and light and time and space’

Lots of people want more time to write. Or more space. Or so they say. What is it that we really want?

Read Charles Bukowski’s down-to-earth and inspirational (or perhaps motivational) poem here:


air and light and time and space

by Charles Bukowski


“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something
has always been in the
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and
the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your
body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquakes, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses


Poem taken from

‘Don’t be too harsh…’

‘Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed.  I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty:  at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.’

~Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, March 1938

It is necessary to write…

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. 

~Vita Sackville-West

Robert Frost: Acquainted With The Night

It’s nearing midnight, so here’s Robert Frost reading his brilliantly evocative poem, ‘Acquainted With The Night’. A little something for everyone else who has ‘walked out in rain – and back in rain’: