On Tuesday 22nd May we present another brilliant Special Event -- the show tour of Angela France's The Hill reaches Cambridge. Angela describes the event as follows:

The event is a multi-media presentation based on poems from my new poetry collection (The Hill). The book is my fourth collection and is a psychogeography of a hill I have walked for fifty years, blending my experience with the layered human history of the place. I present the poems as part of a show which includes pictorial references as well as recordings giving voice to the local people who have worked and played on the hill. Thirty years before Kinder Scout, a quarry owner closed the hill to local people and this led to riots; the ringleaders were working men, clay-diggers and labourers, and the court case papers in the county archives have provided source material which have been recorded by a voice actor for the show. This is not versified history; the poems are contemporary and innovative, acknowledging the influence of past events while engaging with the hill and its life now.

While the book and show are focussed on one place, the poems, and the voices in the show, raise questions about land and who can own it, who can walk on it or be denied it. Audiences from elsewhere are finding resonances in its themes of protecting green spaces, particularly with contemporary concerns about fracking, building on green belts, and the threat of parks closing.

Tue 22nd May - Angela France, 'The Hill'

Angela France has had poems published in many of the leading journals and has been anthologised a number of times. Her publications include Occupation (Ragged Raven Press, 2009), Lessons in Mallemaroking (Nine Arches Press, 2011), Hide (Nine Arches Press 2013) and The Hill (Nine Arches Press 2017).

'Exuberant, controlled, angry, elegiac, this is a poetry of landscape, politics, witness'  Sheenagh Pugh

Angela teaches creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and in various community settings. She runs a reading series in Cheltenham, Buzzwords.

'The Hill was one of the absolutely outstanding events at Ledbury Poetry Festival this year. I was enthralled.'  Gill McEvoy


The aged witnesses grumble over the shill,
stop to point at narrowed paths and fallen trees.
Hawker kicks at encroaching roots while Bill Tilling

beats down an earth-packed ramp, prods the debris
and asks how a man can carry bread on the stoneway
to Cubberly and Cowley when young men speed

down the trails on bikes, making fresh ruts every day
to catch a foot or twist a knee. Sparrow Hiscock
climbs past the quarry to Devil’s Chimney, waylays

walkers who follow the signposted way along the top,
demands to know where his garden went. His staff
points at the rocky slope below, the treacherous drop

where he says he grew cabbage and spuds, the path
to his cottage gone under fallen boulders and moss.
Dorothy Trye’s skirts wick damp from the long grass

as she leaves the skew path to find the way across
to Seven Springs. She can’t find the Ladies’ College girls
and misses the company, the giggle and scoff

of bright voices, the ground-covering chatter and twirl
of their youth. She’s fading now, blending into the cliffs
behind her; Trye, Tilling, Hiscock, no more than blurred

statements, archived names on a list.

Event Information and Venue

We continue at our new home of CB2 for Autumn 2017-Summer 2018. 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 and not at our origin/namesake of CB1 Café, formerly of Mill Road. Good to get that off our chest...