Summer Break + Programme Preview

We're currently on our summer break, planning a pretty stunning programme for the next season. Dates are confirmed for fourth Tuesdays at CB2 Café, and here is a preview of a few of the fantastic readers you can expect to hear:

September 2016 - Tuesday 27th - John Clegg, Rebecca Watts
October - Tuesday 25th - Kathryn Simmonds, Rachel Curzon
November - Tuesday 22nd
January 2017 - Tuesday 24th
February - Tuesday 28th - A K Blakemore, Ben Rogers
March - Tuesday 28th - Geraldine Clarkson, Paul Stephenson
April - Tuesday 25th
May - Tuesday 23th

Readings will start as always at 8pm (doors 7:30pm) upstairs at CB2, finishing usually by 10pm.

28th June 2016 - Jacqueline Saphra and Patricia Debney

Jacqueline Saphra's The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye) was nominated for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. An illustrated book of prose poems, If I Lay On My Back I Saw Nothing But Naked Women (The Emma Press) won The Saboteur Award for Best Collaborative Work 2015.

'as entertaining as it is thought-provoking - Saphra marks out her own territory while always remaining unafraid to try out different voices and strategies. Highly recommended'  Magma Poetry (Matt Merritt on Saphra's debut collection)

Her next collection, All My Mad Mothers is due from Nine Arches in Spring 2017. She teaches for The Poetry School.

'Full of exquisite phrase-making ... the work is by turns moving, disturbing and funny as it traces its narrative ... through terrain that’s tender, explosive and bizarre.'   Poetry London (Ellen Cranitch)

Patricia Debney’s most recent book is Baby (Liquorice Fish Books, 2016), a collection revolving around loss and dysfunction. Other publications include Gestation (Shearsman Chapbooks, 2014) and a collection of prose poems written in a beach hut, Littoral (Shearsman Books, 2013). Her first collection (also prose poems), How to Be a Dragonfly (Smith Doorstop Books), won the 2004 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition.

'Bold, intimate, urgent new poems.... immaculately crafted'  Nancy Gaffield

Other recent work has appeared in Tears in the Fence, Best British Poetry 2015, the Forward Book of Poetry 2014, The Sunday Times, and The Harlequin. She has also published a novel (bluechrome, 2007) and numerous short stories, as well as libretti for opera, chamber groups, and solo voices. A former Canterbury Laureate, she is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

'Reading [these] prose poems feels like watching a bareback rider ride with more grace and control than most manage with the help of saddle and bridle.'  Susan Wicks


I have learned this week that the common bed bug
can survive for a year without a meal and that Alzheimer’s
may be caused by fast food, which reminds me of David Blaine 
suspended in a box above the Thames without so much as 

a single snack while people pelted him with sausages 
and golf balls, how he descended, woozy after 42 days 

murmuring ‘I love you all’ as if he had forgotten, which 
causes me to wonder at the hunger and delusions of

the loveless, like that anorexic girl in black who jogs 
past me every afternoon but never lets me smile at her,

which leads me back intractably to longing and denial. 
Perhaps it is something to emulate, the bedbug’s stoicism,
how it lives reviled and passive in the cracks, waiting 
with quiet certainty for any fool to lie down in the dark.

Jacqueline Saphra


It seems that
		the closer I get 
		to letting you go 

the more I notice
		the recurrence
		of  beeps on hold, exactly
		eight seconds between them

		the tick of the petrol gauge
		long regular breaths
		between pounds sterling -- 
the more I fret
		over forgetting
		stuck at night
		on a poet’s name: 

		she has something
		to tell me, if only
		I could hear her -- 

the more I resist 
		slipping from this 
		astroturf strip of
		floodlit Truth Revealed…

		one 5am 
		the poet’s name 

		on my phone
		a message 
		from your oldest friend: 

		I am so sorry
		to think of her 
		so angry and alone --

your world 
				at my edges 
		and I edge 

Patricia Debney

2015-2016 Venue

We have a new home for Autumn 2015-Summer 2016. Events will on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8pm, upstairs at the lovely CB2 Bistro Café on Norfolk Street, where there is plenty of room for us to swing a poet or two, and a great bar/café downstairs where you can get all manner of drinks, cakes and savoury delights. Here is our venue information page. Now, we realise there is a slight possibility of confusion, so to be clear... we are still called CB1 Poetry, but we are at CB2 Café, not at our origin/namesake of CB1 Café on Mill Road. Good to get that off our chest...