Programme Preview

A pretty stunning programme is under development for 2016-2017 -- all events on fourth Tuesdays at CB2 Café -- here are some 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 - Malcolm Guite, Penny Boxall
January 2017 - Tuesday 24th - Helen Ivory, Martin Figura
February - Tuesday 28th - A K Blakemore, Ben Rogers
March - Tuesday 28th - Geraldine Clarkson, Paul Stephenson
April - Tuesday 25th - Kirsten Irving, Harry Man
May - Tuesday 23th - Sarah Howe, Jodie Hollander
June - Tuesday 27th

22nd November 2016 - Malcolm Guite and Penny Boxall

Poet, priest and songwriter Malcolm Guite is Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He lectures widely in England and North America on theology and literature.

'I can hardly overstate my enthusiasm for this work. The poetry is masterful, the insights breathtaking.'  Steve Bell

His books include Parable and Paradox (2016), The Singing Bowl (2013), Sounding the Seasons (2012), Theology and the Poetic Imagination (2010) and Faith Hope and Poetry (2006). Mariner, a spiritual biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, will be published in February 2017.

'Malcolm Guite knows exactly how to use the sonnet form to powerful effect'  Rowan Williams

Penny Boxall grew up in Aberdeenshire and Yorkshire. In 2016 she won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the Elmet Poetry Competition. She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing (Poetry) from UEA. Her debut collection, Ship of the Line, is published by Eyewear.

'Penny Boxall runs a tight ship'  Jackie Kay

In 2014 she came second in the Jane Martin poetry competition and was commended in the Forward Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The Sunday Times, Rialto and Mslexia; she has been selected as a 2017 Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library, and as a Hawthornden Fellow.

'With a clear and humane eye, and love of ambivalence and curiosities, she shares her delight in unexpected emotional nuances'  Stewart Conn


(on learning certain words had been ‘culled’ from the Oxford Junior Dictionary)

To graceful names and lovely woods farewell,
To acorn, adder, ash, to beech and bluebell.
Farewell old friends. I name you in my sonnet:
Buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet.
Farewell, your fields are brick, our books are barren;
No dandelion or fern, hazel or heron.
We’ll go no more alone, no more together;
The mountain thyme is gone and gone the heather.
The clinging ivy’s gone and soon to go
‘The kingfisher’s blue bolt’, the mistletoe.
Nectar, newt and otter, pasture, willow:
To their last rites my muse comes footing slow.
We’ll hear no more the heaven-scaling lark.
We’ll all go down together in the dark.

Malcolm Guite


Tradition holds that on a wet starless night
in 1665 the King slept in this bed, or one quite like it.

He lay his head, or might have, upon a facsimile
of this pillow. And in the morning, that probably 

fresh pleasant morning in1665 or thereabouts,
servants, in befitting manner, brought him the sort

of breakfast popular in those days, dressed him
in the garments that would have been the fashion. 

What is known is that he, the King, was living
in those times, and so slept somewhere.

The nearby houses make claims of their own. 
By reading this you have brought him to this bed.                     

Penny Boxall

Event Information and Venue

We continue at our new home of CB2 for Autumn 2016-Summer 2017. Events will be on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8pm. Doors open from 7.30pm; ask for the sign-up sheet to secure one of our strictly-2-minute open mic slots. (N.B. it's first-come-first-served, though slots may well still be available at 8pm). All events are £5 / £4 concessions, payment by cash on entry. The venue is the lovely CB2 Bistro Café on Norfolk Street, which has a great bar/café where you can get all manner of drinks, cakes and savoury delights with a discount on meals for CB1 Poetrygoers. 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...