Anne-Marie Fyfe - Tuesday 27th November

Our next event is on 27th November at The Punter with the Irish poet Anne-Marie Fyfe -- doors 7.30pm reading 8pm including open mic floor spots. More details and programme for the remainder of the year to follow shortly. Our events are generally held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at The Punter.

The Fugitives - Friday 9th November

** SOLD OUT ** Canadian music and poetry fusion sensation The Fugitives are performing for free, yes FREE, at the Judith E Wilson Drama Studio in the Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP, Friday 9th November 8pm. Ensure you get in by sending us an email to reserve place(s)...

'One of the best events we’ve ever had…right up there with Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey' Executive Director, Dylan Thomas Festival

The Fugitives website

Alan Buckley and Lydia Macpherson - Tuesday 16th October - Enjoyed by All

Alan Buckley moved from Merseyside to Oxford in the 1980s to study English Literature and has lived there ever since. His pamphlet ‘Shiver’ (tall-lighthouse) was a Poetry Book Society choice for summer 2009.

'Alan Buckley’s writing is alive with the need to understand. These poems are like x-rays which see through the surfaces of things and “guess their way around the unthinkable dark”' Jean Sprackland

He has won first prize in the Wigtown Poetry Competition, been commended twice in the Bridport Prize, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize. He works for the charity First Story as a writer in residence at a local secondary school.

'Buckley reveals himself to be a gutsy poet, taking on shifts in culture, time and human sexuality in one fell swoop' Kathryn Gray, Magma

Lydia Macpherson was born and brought up on a moor in Yorkshire. She now lives in a village near Cambridge. Poems have appeared in lots of magazines and she has been placed or commended in several competitions. She was nominated for the inaugural Faber New Poets Scheme. She has an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway University of London.

Tuesday 16th October, The Punter, Open Mic floor spots, books for sale. Doors 7.30pm Readings 8pm. Tickets on the door only, £5/£4.


I use it partly through stubborn nostalgia,
the kind that draws me to a red phone box
when I see one, despite the slim Nokia
tucked in my pocket. It’s not the website’s gloss,
its bold promise of waking fully refreshed
at my destination; no bed can give you
that, once you’re past twenty-five. I guess
there’s also the simplicity – that bijou
containment, everything to hand – and the trick
where you slide under the sheets, Euston grey
and too familiar outside, then unclip
the little blind early the following day;
a plate-glass loch you can’t put a name to,
the morning sky a brighter, fuller blue.

Alan Buckley


And when his father left 
he learned to carve, to whet the blade,
worn arched and thin by years
of Sunday lunch, against the steel,
the Bakelite handle gentled
as a bird cupped in his hand.
Then, to test it on his thumb pad,
drawing the finest wire of blood.

Like marking former Soviet states
on maps, he portioned up a steer
in doodles on the fly leaves of
Philip’s Modern School Atlas.
On the way home, his dinner money
bought a whole ox-tail, a fleshy
jointed dinosaur dripping its trail
through his satchel’s hide.

It took a year of careful choice,
getting the right cut, saving
shoulder blades, ribs, hocks,
wishbones standing in for all
the delicate bits too hard 
to find.  The skull was worst,
a patchwork of chicken backs
and Christmas turkey leavings.

His father always said,
“if a job’s worth doing it’s worth
doing well”, and Dad would be proud,
he thought, to look under the single
bed and find, among the dust,
the furry sweets and Lego,
the bony keepsake, complete,
laid out upon the shagpile.

Lydia Macpherson