New Venue

CB1 Poetry is moving down the road to The Boathouse for all remaining events through to June 2013. The Boathouse is a riverside pub at the Mitcham's Corner end of Chesterton Road, with a splendid function room for our events. There is free parking from 5pm in the numerous pay and display bays on Chesterton Road and around Mitcham's Corner, and if you're coming by bus, Citi 1, 2, 4 and 8 all pass close by. Click here for a map of the location.

Please note that the room is on the first floor and regrettably there is only a staircase for access.


The programme for the next four events at The Boathouse is now confirmed and is given below. The first event falls on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday.

Thursday 28th February 2013 -- Patrick Widdess with Patrick Sheil plus open mic floor spots -- The Boathouse, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 26th March 2013 -- Katherine Gallagher and Kaddy Benyon plus open mic floor spots -- The Boathouse, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 23rd April 2013 -- George Szirtes -- Special Sonnet Night with Q&A -- plus open mic floor spots -- The Boathouse, 8pm, £5/£4

Tuesday 28th May 2013 -- Ross Sutherland plus open mic floor spots -- The Boathouse, 8pm, £5/£4

Doors are open from 7.30 for all events and readings begin at 8pm sharp (usually!) with a 15-20 minute interval midway and ending at about 10pm.

Thursday 28th - Patrick Widdess with Patrick Sheil

Join us at The Boathouse on Thursday 28th for a very special Patrick-themed evening of poems and songs. Patrick Widdess will be charming and surprising us with his trademark poems packed with surreal encounters and twists, and Patrick Sheil – sharing not for the first time a platform with his fore-namesake – will be collaborating with songs and mini-stories for your auditory delight. An event not to miss.

Patrick Widdess has been active on the local poetry scene for many years and did his first reading at CB1 in 2001. He has reached the finals of the Cambridge heat of the Hammer & Tongue poetry slam three times and reached the national final in 2012. His poetry has appeared in The Guardian, The Liberal, Cake, Orbis, Small Word and a poem is due to feature in Ink, Sweat and Tears later this year.

'...surreal and witty vignettes of closely observed absurdity.' Moving Tone

He presents a regular show on Cambridge 105 which features a variety of music and spoken word and has provided a platform for local poets. He is also an award-winning photographer and teacher of English as a second language who has lived in Greece, China, Japan and Poland. In 2012 he released an album of poetry and experimental music which can be heard at

Patrick Sheil is the singer and occasional bassist of Cambridge indie group Moth Conspiracy. His publications include studies of Kierkegaard, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. He is now employed by Cambridgeshire County Council as a web developer in Adult Social Care. This Patrick has often shared a platform with tonight's main Patrick, and together they have stood firm on a range of Patrick-related issues.


I do not hear its single foot
slip beneath my bed,
turn dust into silver
and make a soggy doily
of last month's gas bill.
But the morning sheds light
on its nocturnal wanderings
charted in dry mucus,
its glittering autograph 
scrawled across yesterday's paper.
I set mouse traps with lettuce leaves,
surround my bed with half-empty beer glasses,
scatter pellets like deadly confetti.
I sleep well for a week
then find a survivor;
inch long and mossy green,
relaxing by the radiator.
It's then I notice the leafy odour,
and the rug; tacky underfoot.
I dare not look beneath the bed
but lie awake, ear pressed to the mattress.
At dawn I start to drift
and sense the bed being lifted
on a thousand slithering backs,
doors sliding open, and the morning air;
cold and sharp against my cheek.

Patrick Widdess


To set sail!
That's what I want.
Only yesterday, the question was about what would be happening in the coming year.
'Why,' I replied, 'To set sail, to set sail!'

Patrick Sheil (sample song: In the Long Boat)