Three Events, Two Venues, One Spring.

So, our brief sabbatical from The Gonville begins and we are excited to have some excellent Cambridge venues for our March, April and May events. Below is the programme for the three events we have lined up and their six brilliant readers, after which we return to The Gonville in June.

For full details on the new venues, including comprehensive directions, here is our venue information page.

Tuesday 24th March
Peter Robinson & André Mangeot
Murray Edwards College
at 8pm

Tuesday 28th April
Chrissy Williams & Anna Selby
Faculty of English, West Road
at 8pm

Tuesday 26th May
Shara McCallum & Lesley Saunders
Faculty of English, West Road
at 8pm

As always, doors open at 7.30 for an 8pm start to the readings; payment on the door only £5/£4 concessions; first come first served 2-minute open mic spots will be available (ask for the sign-up sheet on arriving) and there will be books by the guest readers for sale.

Tuesday 24th March - Peter Robinson & André Mangeot

Peter Robinson was born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1953, and grew up mainly in Liverpool. A poet, translator and literary critic, his connection to Cambridge dates back to his editing Perfect Bound, an important journal of the Cambridge School, and to numerous Cambridge Poetry Festivals (1977-1985). His many volumes of poetry include a Selected Poems from Carcanet (2003), The Look of Goodbye (2008) and The Returning Sky (PBS Choice, 2012). His work is the subject of The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson (2007).

'A major English poet'  Poetry Review

Buried Music, his latest full collection, was published in January 2015. He has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize, Poetry Book Society recommendations and the John Florio Prize for translation for The Greener Meadow: Selected Poems of Luciano Erba (2007).

'He carries a listening device, alert for the moments when the tectonic plates of mental experience slide quietly one beneath another to create paradoxes and complexities that call for poems to be made.'  Roy Fisher

Other publications include a collection of aphorisms Spirits of the Stair (2009), four volumes of literary criticism, a collection of short fiction Foreigners, Drunks and Babies: Eleven Stories (2013), various edited collections and anthologies and The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (2013). The literary editor for Two Rivers Press, he is Head of Department and Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading.

André Mangeot has published two poetry collections, Natural Causes (Shoestring, 2003) and Mixer (Egg Box, 2005) along with two books of short stories, A Little Javanese (Salt, 2008) and True North (Salt, 2010).

'Poems presented with a sharp eye and, best of all, a kind of common, affectionate music.' George Szirtes

He has won a number of leading prizes, including twice runner-up in the Wigton/Scottish National competition. Since its formation in 1999 he has also been a member of the poetry ensemble The Joy of Six, which has performed at many UK festivals and in New York.

'Mixer seems to me a very special book. I find myself returning to it often.'  Hugo Williams

CB1 remains close to his heart as he read his first poem in public at its Open Mic some twenty years ago and from 2006-09 helped to co-ordinate the programme following CB1’s initial move from Mill Road to the Michaelhouse Centre in Trinity Street. He has just completed a third poetry collection, now seeking a publisher, and continues to work on a novel.


‘On n’écrit pas pour emmerder le monde’
    Raymond Queneau

Like characters in daytime comedy shows
glanced at through a mosquito screen
with its mesh unifying the scene,
our neighbours appear at French windows.

Against a scorching white wall, those people’s
laundry droops on balconies.
Their block’s new-planted sentinel trees
shrivel in noon stillness. Lombardy poplars

point towards cloudless, cerulean blue
above a shortcut to the shops.
Pallid grass, pallets and packaging collapse
like an overheated worldview

as its moral hazard, or lone mosquito voice,
hums past the speech-mark of our angle-poise.

Peter Robinson


Remember, too, our secret pool? How in those burning
weeks the river turned its back and took another path,
leaving us to stumble on that slow and curved meander, 

a perfect O? Screened by rushes in the glow of evening
only we, its first explorers, appeared to know the truth 
about that sacred circle where, with bestial hunger 

we came to know each other, the sky alone approving.
But ever since, and just as true, it seems we’ve both
assumed life’s yolk, tugging us with unseen pressure

at another’s whim, down furrows darkening, unfurling 
at our backs like clods of earth. Now it’s but the breath
of memory, and something else, across our shoulders.

André Mangeot