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.

Tuesday 26th - Katherine Gallagher and Kaddy Benyon

We had a packed house for our inaugural event last month at The Boathouse, the place buzzed with the joy of being with others who love poetry; so even if you feel a little wintery come along and we might be able to invigorate you with our March poets Katherine Gallagher originally from Australia and our Cambridge home grown poet Kaddy Benyon. The room is toastie warm so no need to wrap up even if the weather is cold outside. There will be a short open mic as usual, be early if you want to get on the reading list, places are going quickly these days.

Katherine Gallagher was born in Australia, her homeland providing the inspiration for much of her poetry, later moving to Paris and then London where she has lived since 1979. She has published a number of collections spanning nearly 40 years, her work being translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Romanian and Serbian. From 1992 - 1997 Katherine co-edited Poetry London.

'To be able to follow, within a single volume, the evolution and refinement of a poet of Gallagher’s subtlety and integrity is a fascination in itself. At its best, this is delicate, straight talking - a poetics that yokes inner generosity to outward reticence, a guileless paredness reminiscent of outback.' Mario Petrucci

In 2011, one of her poems was “Poem of the Week” on the Guardian’s blog; in 2012 she represented Australia as a Parnassus Poet for the Derry Clipper Homecoming, and she was a recipient of a Society of Authors Foundation Writing Award in 2009. Her latest collection: Carnival Edge: New and Selected Poems was published by Arc publications in 2010.

Kaddy Benyon was born in Cambridge in 1973 and grew up in Suffolk. She has written over seventy television scripts for Hollyoaks and Grange Hill as well as three tie-in novels. She started writing poetry in 2010 during a Creative Writing MA at Anglia Ruskin University and that year she was shortlisted for both the Fish Poetry Prize and the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize (chosen by Don Paterson, Jackie Kay, John Stammers and Sarah Crown).

'I love the earthy, physical quality of the poems, which as they turn at their ends, renders shock and very physical astonishment in the act of reading. I keep trying to turn over their words, as it were, like stones. I love them and look forward to reading more.' Sean Borodale (Bee Journal - Cape)

In 2012, she won the Crashaw Prize with the manuscript for her debut collection Milk Fever (Salt Publishing, 2012). She is also a Granta New Poet and an Agenda Chosen Young Poet. She is a founder member of a local writing group, Angles Writing Workshop, and she is Invited Poet at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge where she is writing her second collection, Call Her Alaska.


From my mother, the eyes of a waltzing woman -
corners to be negotiated with care, on tiptoe at times,
tuning in, turning the music up for Margie and After the Ball,
                     invoking pasts of piano, sax and drums.

From father’s side, I swerved with the curve of horses
blinked through a long line of trainers, riders, and pacers
who knew their place.
                            Horses that could walk extravagant
that could canter into the journey, find their own way home.

My parents came together across tables of sheep and wheat,
alive to the dance of growing and harvesting.
She had her garden - it was as if she could always
carry it with her, along with the keys to the family.

Katherine Gallagher


Sometimes I have an urge to slip
my hands inside the soiled, wilting
necks of your gardening gloves;
to let my fingers fill each dusty
burrow, then close my eyes and feel
a blush of nurture upon my skin.
Sometimes I am so afraid my envy
will hack at your figs, strawberries,
or full-bellied beans, I dig my fists
in my pockets and nip myself. Sometimes
I imagine the man who belongs to
the hat hanging on the bright-angled
nail in your shed. I think about you
toiling and sweating with him;
coaxing growth from warm earth;
pushing life into furrows. I am curious
about what cultivates and blooms
there in your enclosed, raised bed –
yet I want no tithe of it for myself.
Sometimes I just want to show
you the places I’m mottled, rotten
and bruised; I want you to lean close
enough to hold the strange fruit
of me and tell me I may yet thrive.

Kaddy Benyon