Jane Monson - Tuesday 26th October

Jane Monson works as a freelance writer and teacher and runs independent creative writing courses in Cambridge, London and abroad. She has just released her debut collection Speaking Without Tongues.

'A sparkling, eye-opening debut' (Helen Ivory)

Jane has been short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award, commended by Poetry London and the New Writing Partnership and her poetry is widely anthologised and published in magazines, such as The Liberal, Magma and Aesthetica. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a Ph.D in Creative and Critical Writing.

Jane was writer-in-residence at this year’s Cambridge Film Festival and enjoys collaborating with writers and artists across the UK as part of teaching in bookshops, cinemas and galleries. She is editor of what Pascale Petit describes as a 'necessary and groundbreaking anthology': the Anthology of Contemporary British Prose Poetry.

'The richness and depth of Monson’s work, combined with the breadth of perceptive reading which is redolent on every page, makes it an important contribution to the development of the prose poem' (Luke Kennard)

Speaking Without Tongues is poetry with a difference – a collection of prose poems that mark Jane Monson as one of the most talented young writers, delivering highly crafted, exquisitely precise pieces with wit and intelligence. There are many layers to these pieces; philosophy, theology, folk-lore and mythology are the bedrock, but the foundations are built on with linguistic clarity and a story-teller’s eye for detail so that what appears above the surface can be engaging or strange, humane or disquieting, but always compelling and accessible.

Tuesday 26th October, The Punter, Open Mic floor spots, books for sale. Doors 7.30pm Readings 8pm.


Caught in the space between Christmas and New Year, idly
wondering about Huntingdonshire churches: who uses them now?
Are we even closer to the fulfilling of Larkin’s prophecy?

When the man in the four-by-four attempted to winch off
the lightning conductor from Little Staughton spire for the copper,
was that the beginning of the final act? Iconoclasts move

beyond stained glass and altar screens: they strike
at Michelangelo’s very finger and bring down the roof. We snub
the churches around us and they ignore us back; though, on my bike

before Christmas, I reached Little Gidding and found the chapel
unlocked: not a soul, the community gone, a page
of signatures and Eliot on the wall; a bell, no steeple –

nothing for thieves or lightning. But something as shocking
struck me as I put on my cycle clips again and rode
home to wrap up your present – that book by Richard Dawkins.

John Greening