2013-2014 Series

CB1 Poetry continues at The Boathouse but moving to the fourth Thursday of the month, and we have a fantastic programme taking shape for 2013-2014.

Later in the series, we're looking forward to readings from Emily Berry, whose superb Dear Boy from Faber was just shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and a special night celebrating Carcanet Press, featuring several readers including wonderful London Olympics poet Caroline Bird, whose fourth collection The Hat-Stand Union is just out from Carcanet.

In September we enjoyed a fantastic reading from Irish poet and Poetry Review editor Maurice Riordan -- some photos below.


Thursday 24th October - Cinnamon Press Special Event

For October we have a special event showcasing the work of Cinnamon Press. Cinnamon Press is a brilliant independent publisher of poetry, and is run by a family team that does a sterling job of spotting and promoting poets, fiction and non-fiction writers from Wales, the UK and worldwide. More information on their website.

The event will feature no fewer than four Cinnamon Press poets -- Sue Rose, Ian McEwen, Wendy Klein and Jane Monson -- and we are delighted to announce that it will also see the launch of Jane's third book and second prose poetry collection, The Shared Surface.

Ian McEwen is a poet with a varied background. He worked as an equity analyst in the City of London for fourteen; ran a small biotechnology company and studied for a DPhil in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics. His poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines, including Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Stand and Magma. He has won prizes in many competitions, including the National Poetry Competition and even the occasional slam! His poetry pamphlet, The Stammering Man, was published by Templar poetry in 2010. He is a trustee of Magma Poetry and an experienced workshop leader and also promotes Ouse Muse, a local open mic group based in Bedford.

Wendy Klein’s poetry has appeared in many anthologies and poetry magazines. A retired family psychotherapist, she is a regular reader at the Troubadour and Poets’ Cafe in Reading. Her first collection was Cuba in the Blood (Cinnamon Press). She enjoys belly-dancing and the curative company of dogs.

Dr Jane Monson has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, and a Ph.D in Creative and Critical Writing from Cardiff University. Based in Cambridge, she works as a freelance writer and teacher and runs independent Creative Writing courses in Cambridge, London and abroad. Jane has been short-listed for an Eric Gregory award and commended by Poetry London and the New Writing Partnership. She has reviewed poetry collections for Magma, and the British Journal of Canadian Studies. Her poetry is widely anthologised and published in magazines. She is editor of The Anthology of Contemporary British Prose Poetry. Speaking Without Tongues is her first collection.

Sue Rose is a widely-published literary translator and award-winning poet whose work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. In 2009, she won the prestigious Troubadour Poetry Prize and, in 2008, the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition. She has also been commended or placed in competitions such as the National, the Peterloo and the Wigtown. She is a founder member of Scatterlings, a group of poets formed to give readings in the Southeast and beyond.

Thursday 24th October, The Boathouse, Open Mic floor spots, books for sale. Doors 7.30pm Readings 8pm. Tickets on the door only, £5/£4.


Perhaps you stand
on the indeterminate rim,
hills below and above,
wind fills your dress, billows
in your sleeves, lifting
the material of you like a kite;
you turn your sight away
from the contours of the land,
green of dead water, dark terraces,
a house, perhaps,
its roof a dull mosaic, smoke
from the chimney lifting, breaking,
and you take to the air,
whole and beautiful,
recalling, as you broach the sky,
the feel in your hands
of a small brown bird,
wings stilled, heart labouring,
when you took it from the room
and, palms splayed,
offered it to the free air,
you remember now its burr
of wings, joyous applause,
ascending into the blue.

Sue Rose


We do not see them whole. Stair-rods
of rain have welded them onto the banks
in the dark. The horses are all gods,
black sparks and zigzag rivers on their flanks,
the rain welding them into the banks
of the carriageway. They stand along the route,
black sparks and zigzag rivers from their flanks
the only light beyond the absolute
of the carriageway. They stand along our route
oblivious to the rain and the car,
the only life beyond the absolute
pouring tunnel of headlights and tar.
As if they didn’t see the rain or the car
the horses have gone deep into their weight,
the pouring tunnels of headlights and tar
mean as little as the bridle or the gate.
The horses have gone deep into their weight.
They make no sound. Our beams of vision
mean as little as the bridle, the five-bar gate
is a joke, a thought in the wrong dimension.
The horses make no sound. The swerve of vision
less than a raindrop in the world they bear.
It’s a joke, a thought in the wrong dimension
to call them ours to own or ride. They stare
at less than a raindrop in the world they bear
against the spheres of night. Beyond a name
to call them ours to own or ride, they stare
through rain so hard the gutters cannot drain.
Against the spheres of night beyond a name,
in the dark the horses are all gods.

Ian McEwen


…sex makes lost things reappear… Chase Twitchell

Tree?  There was always a tree. Sometimes it was pine –
all needles and soughing – dallying
with any breeze that came along, or maybe copper beech,
its roots busy undermining our foundations.
If I go back to thirteen, it was Jacaranda erupting
in puffs of purple smoke, or Eucalyptus,
dropping brutal gum nuts on the dahlias. My grandmother
is there, young enough to laugh
without crying; her hands stained red with pomegranate juice
or henna, or some new colour
she has chosen to paint her world happy again, bring back
my mother, her dead daughter; the memory as raw
as sunrise or sex.

Wendy Klein


Only parts of her face are lit, but she knows that’s her mother. She is at the far end of the table, 
where the shadows collect; her gaze is comforted there. She would rather sink into the dark than into 
the lined face of her father. He is turning away from his wife; she is part of his skin’s tale. He 
only looks at her when he needs something, or when she shouts ‘no!’ Otherwise he follows his knife 
and fork, the food disappearing in measured, carefully timed bites. Nobody speaks of anything. The 
table keeps quiet. She wonders if her mother’s mouth is open to attempt food or speech.  She tries 
to hear her thoughts in the black and white, but only gets the puncture of steel in potatoes, the 
scrape of metal herding peas and the clink of a ring as a glass is levered up and down with frequency.
‘Every time I turn on a light in this house I get an electric shock!’ her grandmother shouts and walks 
out the door before the meal is over. And so the rest of us are left, still not speaking, but 
wondering: who is trying to kill who and is that our cue to speak, or be excused?

Jane Monson