We've a pretty stunning programme for 2016-2017 -- all events on fourth Tuesdays at CB2 Café -- here are 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 - A mystery guest poet with Ira Lightman

28th March 2017 - Geraldine Clarkson and Paul Stephenson

Geraldine Clarkson lives in Warwickshire though her roots are in the west of Ireland, and she spent some years living in monastic community in Peru. She has been an Arvon/Jerwood mentee, and a Writers’ Centre Norwich Escalator prizewinner. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, Ambit, Under the Radar, Tears in the Fence, and Magma. She is a past winner of the Poetry London and Ambit competitions, and was commended in the 2016 Natonal Poetry Competition. Also in 2016, her work was showcased in Primers Volume I from Nine Arches Press/The Poetry School, and she won the Poetry Society’s Anne Born Prize. Her chapbook, Declare (Shearsman Books, 2016), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and her pamphlet, Dora Incites the Sea-Scribbler to Lament (Smith|Doorstop, 2016), is a Laureate’s Choice. Supported by Arts Council England, she has just completed the manuscript for her first full-length collection.

Paul Stephenson was born and grew up in Cambridge. He studied modern languages then European Studies. He has lived and worked in France, Spain and the Netherlands, and recently spent three years in Paris. He completed the Arvon/Jerwood mentoring scheme in 2013/14 and was one of the Aldeburgh Eight. He has won the Magma Editor’s Prize and came second in the Troubadour International Poetry Competition. His first pamphlet, Those People (Smith Doorstop, 2015) was a winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition, judged by Billy Collins. His second pamphlet, The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016) contains poems written in response to the terrorist attacks on November 2015. Paul works for Maastricht University and lives in Brussels but is often in the UK. He has a diary/blog at www.paulstep.com


Mapped to the urban (but the soul can live on a little green, 
can thrive on a tree; witness Coleridge’s patch of sky), 
they nonetheless call themselves women of the blue flowers,
who flow back to the source, small and pink-breasted, multifoliate,
stamens alight. They will never be obsolete, women of the blue faces,
women of the blue fleeces, their tongues plumped up, giving rue, 
dealing it like it was a winning hand at rummy, a many-wristed mother 
wiping mouths of bambinos with a muslin napkin while thick white moths 
gather at the door. During Compline on the radio, a husband makes a pass 
at the agency cook, who takes it all in her athletic stride. At day’s end,
the rhythm of the hours pauses on its cusp and the women reclothe
themselves in midnight blue, clutching the stars, women of the blue faeces, 
dusting the moon and sinking down naked to dawn and Lauds.

Geraldine Clarkson


What are they called? Those people who turn up
unfashionably early, too premature for it to be a party,
just a room full of drinks and square metres of carpet.
I mean the opposite of stragglers, not the hard core
with staying power and no home to go to, or the dregs
of the party who’ve no intention of going anywhere
but love to linger, end up getting chucked out into
the night, or if they’re lucky and it’s a good party,
into a warm sunrise. I’m talking eager beavers,
the party-goers who make a punctual appearance,
greeted at the door by hosts running around with
nibbles still in cupboards and half their face on,
the guests who arrive bang on and get shown through
to hover admiring the smoothness of wallpaper,
which they do politely, not entering yet into the spirit
of the party, swaying by a bucket of orange punch.
Those folk who don’t often get to go to parties,
so have it marked fluorescent for weeks in their diary
and make a mission of what to wear, but never sure
of the dress code, opt to play it safe and wear jeans.
Those characters who eight hours later could be
hitting Havana, sipping mojitos and dancing mambo
and rumba and salsa merengue with dollar-hungry
doppelgängers of Che Guevara in desperate need
of mechanical parts for dilapidated Dodges and
Chevrolets, but hey, instead revel in the refuge
of empty strip-lit galley kitchens, to sit on a ledge
of marbled Formica, slurring into sausage rolls
and spilling their life, is there a name for them?

Paul Stephenson

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...