Poetry Can Staff

Director – Colin Brown

Administrator – Peter Hunter


Poetry Can Board Members

Chair : Lloyd Fletcher

Treasurer : Anne Le Maistre


Amy Lou Spencer

Deborah Harvey

Sue Wilson

David Briggs

Rachel Bentham

Asif Kahn

David Punter

Yoma Smith

Shagufta Kasour









Bristol Poetry Festival 2011

A post-festival overview from Colin Brown, Director of The Poetry Can.

A very appreciative thank you to all the poets, performers, audiences, organisers, volunteers and workers who made Bristol Poetry Festival

such a success.

web collage

There were many extraordinary, highly entertaining and inspiring events. These included Attila the Stockbroker, at the Polish Club on

St. Paul's Road; Poetry Pulpit, a lively open mic. event at Left Bank; Can Openers at Bristol Central Library cafe; 20 Poets Perform also

at the Central Library; Lansdown Poetry at the Lansdown, Clifton; Word of Mouth – Hiphop & Humour at Bristol Old Vic featuring Dizraeli,

Laurie Bolger and Vanessa Kissule.


It all began with a festival aperitif event: Boston Tea Party played host to Park Street Poetry with entertaining and engaging poetry readings

from Roddy Lumsden, Tamar Yoseloff, Katy Evans-Bush and David Briggs, and with admission only the price of a drink it's not surprising

that the room was full. Park Street Poetry is set fair to take place four times a year at Boston Tea Party. The next one will be at the end of

November, watch this space for further details.


When Simon Armitage and Sean O'Brien read together at the Arnolfini you had to think that there must have been many poetry nights

taking place all over the UK that night, but how many of them could have been as good as this?


Douglas Dunn, Katharine Towers and Rachael Boast

I'm also getting a lot of very good feedback about the Douglas Dunn, Katharine Towers, Rachael Boast event, about the event as an whole

and about the poets indiviually. One person told me how much she had enjoyed seeing Douglas Dunn reading, then she looked at me wrily,

and said, 'now all I have to do is review everything I thought I knew about what it means to write a good poem.'


Saturday was renamed Slamday during the Poetry Festival. In the afternoon Tim Gibbard brought together some of Bristol's finest young

poets and performers in the first ever Youth Slam & Poetry Jam event at the Arnolfini. Over forty young people delighted the audience with

their imagination, passion and panache, and if they were nervous, it didn't show at all. Well done to them and very well done too to Tim


Saturday night was Bristol Poetry Festival Poetry Slam 2011; Bristol VS Manchester.


Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson hosted with the charm, style, deep slam knowledge and humour for which they are renowned.

Bristol was represented by Lucy English, Vanessa Kisuule, James Bunting and Rebecca Tantony.

Manchester brought from the north the considerable talents and experience of Ben Mellor, Shamshad Khan, Michael Wilson and  

Sophie Hall.

A poetry slam is an event in which poets compete for the approval and appreciation of panel of judges and, most especially, the audience, who

play a huge part in the proceedings, their clapping, stomping, cheering, whistling, laughing, and howls of unbridled pleasure influencing the votes

of the judges and embodying the spirit of the the slam itself. Bristol Poetry Festival Slam audiences are fantastic! From the moment Glenn and

Claire danced onto the stage it was clear that the Bristol audience was up for burning down the night and blowing the judges' collective socks off.

I think it will be long time before Ruth Kapadia, introduced as the judge responsible for judging audience response, will forget the entire

audience singing (and clapping and stamping) Queen's We Will Rock You. Lloyd Fletcher, the Poetry Can's chairperson and a poet himself,

judged quality of writing, and Chris Redmond, was responsible for judging quality of performance. Chris, who lives in Bruton, Somerset, was

also the guest poet for the evening, he performed a tour de force poem about a day in his life when he saw two tower blocks demolished in the

morning and James Brown performing in the night.

The teams produced from out of their hats a wide range of poems and performance styles delighting the audience who were supportive and

appreciative (and very loud) throughout. In the end Manchester's Ben Mellor scored highest individually whilst Bristol were the winning team.



Sunday was a more mellow affair, it was a privilege to see Menna Elfyn, one Europe's leading poets, reading with Owen Sheers, who arrived

in the nick of time having just flown in from New York where he'd been discussing the filming of one of his books, and with Ellie Evans who

was launcing her first collection, the deliciously titled: The Ivy Hides the Fig-Ripe Duchess.


Sunday night was a tribute to Bob Dylan on the occasion of his seventieth year. Reading from The Captain's Tower, its editors Phil Bowen,

Damian Furniss, David Woolley and poet Ann Gray demonstrated the influence one of the greatest artists of the twentieth/twenty-first

century, has had over the minds of far more than one generation and certainly more than one generation of poets.


The Music Of Poetry, a celebration of sound and music in poetry, featured Romola Garai reading a selection of classic and contemporary

poems, as well as a wide range of quotes from poets worldwide on the importance and significance of sound in poetry and the desirability of

reading aloud. Romola Garai is one of our most genuinely talented actresses and it was a pure pleasure watching and listening to her read.

She was bewitching.

A list of poems read by Romola at the event can be found here.


Jonathan Davidson, poet and playwright, was reading from his new and second collection Early Train . Jonathan is a very engaging reader

whom the audience warmed to from the first poem. It was hard to come away from his reading and not think I wish he would write more


David C Johnson, performing as Ogden Nash, was the winner of Trevor Carter's very watchable Dead Poets Slam at the Lansdown,

Clifton. Jeremy Toombs as Allen Ginsberg was a very close second.


Acoustic Night Instant Anthology at Halo Cafe Bar on Gloucester Road was a warm and lovely night, it featured Thom the World Poet

and Marc Carver. Twenty Eight performers contributed performances and poems to the instant anthology.


James Bunting hosted a new open mic poetry night downstairs at Starbucks on Park Street. The room was full of enthusiastic poets, many

making their debut. Vanessa Kisuule and Liz Greenfield were the excellent special guests.


Watch this space for details of Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2012.


Colin Brown,

                 Director, The Poetry Can

Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2012

wednesday april 18 - saturday april 21


Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5






Arnolfini Box Office0117 917 2300 / 01         boxoffice@arnolfini.org.uk

Online: www.arnolfini.org.uk

Or in person: Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA.

You can pay at the time of the event but events do sell out, sometimes very quickly, so advance booking is recommended

to avoid disappointment.


For Events at other venues around Bristol

For all free events, just go to the venue for the start time.

For open mics get there early if you want to perform, otherwise just turn up at the start time.

For all open mic events where you wish to perform, early arrival is advised.



Portcullis Poets

Eugenie House, 1-3 Royal York Crescent, Clifton, Bristol (Avon Gorge End)

Thursday 12 April, 7.50 for 8.00pm start

Optional donation of £1 towards wine

The group meets monthly to read their own poems or those of others and comment on them, if they wish.

Anyone interested in poetry is welcome to attend.

Optional theme: April Fool.


Siren Says

Starbucks, Park St, Bristol

Tuesday 17 April 6.30pm

Admission Free

A relaxed open mic for 16-25 year olds in the cosy downstairs room.

Hosted by James Bunting and featuring special guests


Palace of Poets

The Arts House, 108a Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RU

Wednesday 18 April 8.30pm


The Palace of Poets features out of town poets as well as local talent as special guest performers and provides a space for

other poets to perform during the open mic portion of the show.



Wednesday 18 April       7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Admission  £5 / £3 concs


Hosted by Bristol performance poetry legend Tim Gibbard.

Tim Gibbard   Hollie McNish

with special feature guest Hollie McNish

Expect thrills and spills, verve and vigour, cheering, whooping and wild applause and the thunderous stamping of feet

as twelve of Bristol's next generation of performance poets strut their stuff in the excitement of the slam arena.



Thursday 19 April······ 7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS 4QA 

Admission· £7 / £5



Rob Gee
Chris Redmond
Ben Mellor

Comic, poet and reformed psychiatric nurse, Rob Gee presents his unmissible show Fruitcake - a userfriendly guide to losing the plot.

It's the night shift on an acute psychatric ward, and the Voice of God gives a nurse ten benevolent commandments to help him

through his shift

Chris Redmond is a performance poet and musician. His work has been featured on BBC Radio 1, Radio 4 and SKY Arts.

Gigs range from pubs to festivals to London's Southbank Cebntre and Shepherds Bush Empire.

Ben Mellor is one of the UK's most charismatic spoken word artists, entertaining and transfixing audiences across the country.

He is an award-winning slam poets, w=inning the Bristol Poetry Festival Slam in 2011 and BBC Radio 4 Slam in 2009



Friday 20 April       7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA 

Admission: £7 / £5

An Evening with Matt Harvey & Special Guest Lucy English

Matt Harvey
Lucy English

Matt Harvey is a poetical national treasure. He is host of Wondermentalist - Radio 4's comedy-infused,

musically enhanced interactive poetry cabaret and author of The Whole In the Sum of My Parts and

Where Earwigs Dare. He is the self-proclaimed enemy of all that's difficult and upsetting.

Lucy English is Bristol's much loved Queen of Performance Poetry. She has toured the world, from Edinburgh

to India, from Texas to Taiwan, she has built a national and international reputation as one of the foremost

and respected exponents of performance poetry.

Maitraya Social

This show is kindly supported by Maitreya Social and other local independent traders.



Saturday 21 April    7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA·

Admission: £7 / £5 


Carol Rumens

Sacha Dugdale
Pameli Benham

"Long may this voice keep singing it's truthful, funny, vigorous, movi ng song ..."

Carol Rumens is one of Britain's most admired, influential and entertaining contemporary poets.

The winner of numerous awards, she has published fourteen collections of poetry, edited a number of anthologies and has

a popular weekly poetry blog on the Guardian online. SHe writes with bravado, inventiveness and with an often wicked sense

of humour; delighting in form, she makes form sing. Her poems sound like everyday language dancing.

One of the most original poets of her generation, Sasha Dugdale is a poet and translator. She worked for the British Council

in Russia, where she set up the Russian New Writing project with the Royal Court Theatre. She has published two collections

of translations of Russian poetry and three collections of her own poetry. To read her latest collection Red House, is to step

into a dark, unforgettable fairy tale from the heart of Europe.


Pameli Benham is an actor, director, teacher and poet. In Plentifull as Blackberries she looks at how an enduring passion

for theatre has hsaped her life. Expect beauty, expect giggles, expect a cast of prima-donnas, riggers, dancers and menders

of tights, young hopefuls, old has-beens, theatrical ghosts, shifters of scenery, wielders of tickling sticks and many more.



Sunday 22nd April      11.00am - 5.00pm

Maitreya Social, 89 St Mark's Rd, Bristol, BS5 6HY 

Admission FREE but please book in advance


If you'd like to write some poery during the festival, you will be very welcome at Maitreya Social. Polly Moyer brings

her on-line class to the real world with structured sessions including writing prompts to create new work and/or the chance

to read and review your existing poems.

Ffi and to book a place email: polly.moyer@gmail.com

Maitraya Social



Acoustic Night

Halo Cafe/Bar, 141 Gloucester Rd, Bristol

Monday April 23    8.00pm


Olympic Themed open mic session

Bring a 100 meter haiku, synchronised sestina, renga relay, long-jump lament.

With special Gold Medal Guest

To perform, register from 7.45pm


Lansdown Poetry Anthology 3 Book Launch

Grant Bradley Gallery, Bedminster Parade, Bedminster

Friday 27 April    7pm


Featuring: Charles Thompson, David Cook, David Whitwell, Cathy Keal, Tim Burrows,

Mark Sayers, Robin Kidson and Tony D'Arpino.

Diana Taylor will be showing films of poems written by the poets.

Book a seat by calling Charles Thompson on 07969 987102


Park Street Poetry

Boston Tea Party, Park St, Bristol

friday 27 April      7.30pm

free entry (buy a drink)

Hosted by David Briggs

With special guests Ian Duhig and Tim Cumming

Ian Duhig Tim Cumming


Wednesday 2 May    7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Admission· £7 / £6 concs

Paul Durcan

Paul Durcan        Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being

Extraordinary and Unforgettable

Paul Durcan is one of the greatest poets of our time. Anyone who has ever attended one of Paul Durcan's electrifying, hilarious

poetry readings and been reduced to hysteria (this happens often) will tell you that here is a poet you should not miss.

Paul reads from his new collection: Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being.

Advanced booking advised



september 12 - september 19

Web Collage

Quick link calendar. Click on dates to see festival events

September 2011
Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun

1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30



Arnolfini Box Office0117 917 2300 / 01         boxoffice@arnolfini.org.uk

Online: www.arnolfini.org.uk

Or in person: Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA.

You can pay at the time of the event but events do sell out, sometimes very quickly, so advance booking is recommended

to avoid disappointment.


St. George's Bristol Box office & General

Telephone: 0845 40 24 001         Online: www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

Or in person: St George's Bristol, Great George Street, Off Park Street, Bristol BS1 5RR.

Box Office Opening Hours :Monday to Friday: 12pm to 6pm.

Saturday/Sunday: From 1 and a half hours before the start of each performance.

Please note: On most concert days the Box Office is open until the end of the interval.


For Events at other venues around Bristol

For all free events, just go to the venue for the start time.

For Acoustic Night at the Halo Cafe Bar, get there early if you want to perform, otherwise just turn up at the start time.

For all open mic events where you wish to perform, early arrival is advised.


Festival Aperatif

Friday 9 September     8.00pm

Boston Tea Party, Park Street

Admission: Free with a drink

Pay on the door


  Roddy LumsdenTamar YoseloffKaty Evans-BushDavid Briggs  

Roddy Lumsden, Tamar Yoseloff, Katy Evans-Bush, David Briggs

with music from Shaun McCrindle.        Hosted by Patrick Brandon

Roddy Lumsden is the author of six collections with Bloodaxe. He is not only an edgy

and talented poet, and an innovative deviser of new forms, but a significant force in

contemporary letters.

Tamar Yoseloff is an American poet. Tonight, she is launching her fourth full collection,

The City With Horns, a brilliant book stippled with the presence of Jackson Pollock.

Katy Evans-Bush is also an American poet. Tonight, Katy will be launching her second

collection, Egg Printing Explained.

David Briggs is the author of The Method Men. His work has appeared in Reactions 5,

 Identity Parade, and Smartarse.

Saturday 10 September       8.15pm

The Lansdown, 8 Clifton Rd, Clifton

Admission  £5

Pay on the door


The competition has been a feature of Bristol Poetry Festival for the previous two years.  

This year has conjured up a fascinatingly eclectic collection of characters.  It will feature the works of Louisa M. Alcott,

W.H Auden, John Betjeman, Charles Bukowski, Lewis Carroll, Marriott Edgar, Alan Ginsberg and Ogden Nash. 

These will be represented by some of Bristol’s best poets.

For your further gratification, we will be graced by the superlative wit of poet and playwright John Christopher Wood

John will be offering us samples of his seriously funny recitations and acting as senior judge for the competition.

‘…it’s his grasp of the English language that makes him so acclaimed.  It made me come away and ponder some of the subjects

he touched upon and I had a good chuckle while he did it.’  - Bath Chronicle

Hosted by The Bard of Windmill Hill, Trevor Carter.


Saturday 10 September······ 8.00pm

The Polish Club, St Paul's Rd, Clifton

Admission· £10 on the door

Pay on the door


With special guest David Rovics and The Fellow Travellers.

The original punk poet guaranteeing and anarchic evening's entertainment


Tickets available in advance from www.ashkeysmusic.com (no booking fee)

Sunday 11 September       8.00pm

Left Bank, 128 Cheltenham Rd

Admission Free


A lively open mic with featured guests Beth Porter and The Availables

plus two poets tbc. Host: Liz Greenfield

Sign up to perform on the night from 8.30pm

Monday 12 September    8.15pm

Halo Cafe/Bar, 141 Gloucester Rd

Admission Free (donations please)


Bristol's longest running open mic poetry and music session.

Bring a poem to perform and 40 A4 copies to include in the anthology and take one away at the end.

Special guests: Thom the World Poet and Marc Carver

Please note tonight is poetry open mic only.

Tuesday 13 September    7.00pm

Starbucks, Park St

Admission free


A relaxed, unplugged open mic in the cosy downstairs of Starbucks, Park St.

Hosted by James Bunting and Jodi Ann Bickley

Special guests tbc.

Thursday 15 September      12.00 - 1.30pm

Bristol Central Library Cafe, College Green

Admission Free


Hosted by Claire Williamson. Open floor - bring a poem or poems to read or simply

come along and enjoy the poetry.

With special guest Tony D'Arpino.

Thursday 15 September     6.30pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Admission Free



Sara-Jane Arbury, Glenn Carmichael, Lucy English and Anna Freeman·

interact with poetry and prose to focus on revelations and epiphanies in everyday lives.

The sudden flash that reveals the briefest moment, when everything makes sense.

'Flash Intervention' from 6.30 -7.00pm before the main house event.

Thursday 15 September      7.00pm

The Big Screen, Millenium Square



Five poetry films made by film-maker Diana Taylor with Bristol poets will be screened on the BBC Big Screen.

This event will last 25 minutes.

Thursday 15 September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay

Tickets £10

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01


Simon Armitage Sean O'Brien by Gerry Wardle

 Poetry nights don't come much more impressive than this!

 The Poetry Can is delighted to welcome Simon Armitage and Sean O'Brien to Bristol Poetry Festival 2011

 Simon Armitage is hugely entertaining, original, surprising and thrilling, and one of the very best, skilled,

innovative and most popular poets in the UK. His festival appearances are always eagerly anticipated:

be warned, tickets for this event will sell very quickly, advance booking advised.

 Sean O'Brien: November, is Sean O'Brien's new collection of poems; it is haunted by the missing and the lost: lost sleep,

connections, muses, books, the ghosts and gardens of childhood. And at the very heart of this collection, beautiful elegies

for his parents and friends. November proves that no one is as compelling a poet as Sean O'Brien, nobody at all.

Friday 16 September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets £7

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01


Douglas Dunn Katharine Towers Rachael Boast

 Douglas Dunn is the most respected Scottish poet of his generation, a protege of Philip Larkin, the author of over

a dozen collections of poetry, including Terry Street, and probably his best known work Elegies, a justly celebrated

collection of powerful, tender poems of mourning for his first wife. Elsewhere his poems embrace a wide range of subjects

including openly political address and celebrations of working class life. He is also a highly respected critic, editor, teacher

and a hugely respected mentor to other poets including: Sean O'Brien, Don Paterson, Andrew Motion, Tom Paulin and

Rachael Boast, to name but a few. He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to Literature.

 Katharine Towers made a stunning impact with her debut collection: The Floating Man published by Picador in 2010.

Here is book full of music... music expresses things we cannot say, but Katharine harnesses its power to bring beyond-words

into the world of speech in the form of achingly beautiful, irresistible poems.

 Rachael Boast is a Bristol-based poet whose highly acclaimed first collection Sidereal was published earlier this year.

It has been short-listed for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. Sidereal is time measured by the stars rather

than the sun. It's about time a book like this was published. Rachael Boast's emergence is like the discovery of a new star.

It's fantastic that she lives in Bristol!

Saturday 17 September   12.00 - 3.00pm

Bristol Central Library, College Green

Admisssion Free


A range of Bristol poets reading and performing their work at what has become an annual event.

Hosted by Mark Sayers

Saturday 17 September     3.00pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets £3

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01


Tim Gibbard

Hosted by Tim Gibbard

Internationally renowned poet and one of Bristol's favourite Poetry Slam Champions, Tim Gibbard hosts this youth slam

and jam featuring some of Bristol's brightest rising stars.

A selection of Bristol's finest young writers come together to present works in their chosen genre.

Both individual and group presentations, slam, spoken word, poetry and personal prose.

Featuring St Bede's Slam Team, The Abbywood Reporters and Natural Born Poets from the North Bristol Post 16 Centre.

See next year's headliners this year. First class performances from first class poets.

This event was made possible by a generous private donation

Saturday 17 September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets £10

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01



Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson Chris Redmond

HOSTED BY Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson with feature guest Chris Redmond

Bristol take on the might of Manchester in a titanic, ispiring and exhilirating battle between two of the UK's foremost cities for spoken word.

Manchester are represented by the mighty talents of:

Sophie Hall Shamshad Khan Ben Mellor Michael Wilson

Sophie Hall, Shamshad Khan, Ben Mellor and Michael Wilson

Representing Bristol are:

Lucy English James Bunting Vanessa Kisuule Rebecca Tantony

Lucy english, James Bunting, Vanessa Kisuule and Rebecca Tantony.

Advance booking advised

Sunday 18 September  3.00pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets £7

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01


Menna Elfyn Owen Sheers Ellie Evans

Menna Elfyn is perhaps the best-known Welsh language poet internationally, and certainly the most-travelled worldwide.

She has published ten volumes of poetry and a dozen more children's books and anthologies. Her extraordinary range of subjects,

breathtaking inventiveness and generosity of vision place Menna Elfyn, effortlessly, among Europe's leading poets.

Her latest publication Perffaith Nam/Perfect Blemish, is published in a

bi-lingual edition by Bloodaxe.

Click here to read an interview with Menna Elfyn by David Woolley

Owen Sheers was born in Fiji in 1974 and brought up in Abergavenny, South Wales.

An eclectic poet, novelist and writer, he has toured extensively, most recently in New York, Croatia and Hungary.

He was selected as one of the Poetry Book Society's 20 Next Generation Poets. In 2009, he presented the BBC4

television series 'A Poet's Guide to Britain'.

Ellie Evans was born in Carmarthen and spent time in London, Eastern Europe, America and China before settling in Powys.

The Ivy Hides the Fig-ripe Duchess is her exhilarating first collection and ripe it is with strange journeys, exotic locales aligned

with intimate states of mind, surrealist imagery and a more than singular delight in rebellion.

Sunday 18 September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets £7

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01

THE CAPTAIN'S TOWER:  Poems for Bob Dylan at 70.

Phil Bowen David Woolley Damian Furniss Ann Gray

Featuring Phil Bowen, David Woolley, Damian Furniss and Ann Grey

with guest musician Joe Mongon plus special guests reading from The Captain's Tower.

In seventy poems, seventy poets from seven decades and of seven nationalities celebrate and pay tribute to Bob Dylan,

who turned into his seventieth year on May 24th this year. 

Bob Dylan

 The contributers included: Simon Armitage, Caroline Bird, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Peter Finch, Linda France,

Allen Ginsburg, Michael McClure, Roger McGough, Glyn Maxwell, Paul Muldoon, Carol Rumens, Matthew Sweeney

 P HIL BOWEN first heard Bob Dylan on Radio Luxembourg in 1964. He was amazed to find out how young he was with

a voice like that. Recent publications include: Nowhere's Far – New & Selected Poems 1990 -2008 and Cuckoo Rock.

DAMIAN FURNISS first heard Bob Dylan on an Open University radio documentary about the civil rights movement

when he was thirteen, tuning in from under the bedclothes when he should have been listening to John Peel.

His first full collection was Chocolate Che .

ANN GRAY dedicated her last collection At the Gate to Alan Sizer, who gave her You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When

You Go for the journey home. Favourite Dylan songs include Clothes Line Saga (by the Roche Sisters) and Lily,

Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.

DAVID WOOLLEY no longer works in Swansea. His last collection is  Pursued by a Bear.

His favourite Bob Dylan song is no longer Lay Lady Lay.


David Woolley has written a brief article about The captian's Tower for Poetry Can.

The article can be viewed here: The Captains Tower.

Monday 19 September    7.30pm

St. George's, Great George St, off Park St

Tickets £13

Box office: 0845 4024001

THE MUSIC OF POETRY - a celebration of sound and music in poetry.

  Romola Garai  Jonathan Davidson 

Romola Garai and Jonathan Davidson.

"Poetry is... speech with song in it, the song made by words made to dance." Robert Nye

Romola Garai reads a selection of contemporary and classic poems to celebrate the importance of sound in poetry and

to reveal why reading poetry aloud is vital to a real experience and enjoyment of poetry.

Jonathan Davidson’s poetry is darkly musical, full of the sounds of everyday life as it is lived. He will read from his new collection,

Early Train“thoughtful, lucid, deceptively simple poems; but their eye is clear and their approach graceful”  Stuart Maconie

Romola Garai is a stage and screen actress who has appeared in "Daniel Deronda" , I Capture the Castle , Nicholas Nickleby,  

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Vanity Fair and Atonement, she can currently be seen in cinemas in One Day.

 She won critical acclaim for her role as Angel Deverell in the 2007 film Angel and has recently been on TV in Emma,  

The Crimson Petal and the White and most recently in The Hour.

Jonathan Davidson is a poet and playwright. His new collection of poems Early Train is published this Autumn.

His first collection of poetry, The Living Room, was published in 1994. He has published two poetry pamphlets, Moving the Stereo

and A Horse Called House. He has had eight radio plays broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, along with radio adaptations of Geoffrey Hill's

Mercian Hymns and W S Graham's The Nightfishing.

His stage adaptation of Mary Webb's novel Precious Bane was toured extensively by Interplay Theatre in 2008/9.

"If music goes out of language, then you are in bad trouble." Derek Walcott

Monday 19 September    8.00pm

The Lansdown, 8 Clifton Rd, Clifton

Admission £3

Pay on the door


The Lansdown poets present 5 films made with film-maker Diana Taylor and read a selection of their poems.

Hosted by Charles Thompson.

Monday 19 September    8.00pm

Bristol Old Vic, King St.

Tickets £8/£6

Box office: 0117 987 7877

WORD OF MOUTH - Hiphop and humour

Featuring Dizraeli, Laurie Golger and Vanessa Kisuule

Word of Mouth opens it's autumn season with a blast of hiphop and lyrical spoken word poetry

from the spoken word satar Dizraeli and humour from two of the best local spoken word performers,

Laurie Bolger and Vanessa Kisuule.

Festival Dessert

Wednesday 21 September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, Narrow Quay

Tickets: £7

Box office: 0117 917 2300/01


Nick Moore

The Incongruity Project presents an evening of seamlessly welded text and sound to celebrate The Poetry of Surrealism.

Including performances of work by Arp, Breton, Eluard, Prevert, Peret and Schwitters. There will be found poems, sound poems

and love poems, and plenty of incongruities and ambiguities as we explore the extraordinary and the marvellous and perhaps

dare to step into the forbidden zone...

Special guests include: Eldritch Croon.

The core musicians of Incongruity include: Nick Moore, reader, saxaphone; John Eaves, flutes; Nick Hayman, trombones;

Don Hawley, trumpet; Cathy Warner, cello; Rachel Casperd, cello; Julian Dale and Martin Harvey, double bass.


April 2011 - March 2015

Statement of Intent

Poetry Can, in all areas of its activities, will aim to treat all people equally.

Poetry Can believes that human beings are characterised by diversity and aims in all its activities to give expression to that diversity.

Poetry Can recognises that people still face discrimination on the grounds (both singularly and in combination) of race, gender, age, disability,

sexual orientation, nationality or religion.

Poetry Can is opposed to such discrimination and aims to eliminate discriminatory practice.





















Poetry Can provides information, advice and support to individuals, groups, agencies and organisations interested in any aspect of poetry

or poetry activity.

As well as providing ad hoc information, advice and support we also offer:


The Poetry Can Website

The Poetry Can Website represents the poetry world in the South West region not only to itself, but also to the UK and to the World.

It provides key information from the poetry sector in the rest of the UK and the World to the South West.

The site contains details of all areas of the poetry sector at work in the S.W. and will also provide key links to the national poetry sector.

But the website is more than a collection of poetry lists, it aims to show the dynamic web of relationships between the different

personnel and the different areas of activity that make up the poetry sector.

There will be designated sections for both children and young people.

We hope the website will also become a bank of excellence and excellent practice. We will solicit, promote and showcase stories and

examples of good practice in the poetry sector.


The Poetry Can Bulletin

The bulletin covers and includes events and activities taking place throughout the whole of the South West.

We will continue to develop the bulletin, including its circulation to key poetry agencies, organisers and enthusiasts.

It will function, in conjunction with the website, as another vehicle by which the poetry sector in the S.W is supported, nurtured

and knows itself.

If you have any news you would like included in the bulletin please email the information to admin@poetrycan.co.uk

For events use the Submit Your Event form here.


Poetry Surgeries

One to one poetry surgeries focus on the artistic and professional development.

Usually lasting about 90 minutes, each session is structured and designed to meet the interests and developmental needs of

the individual concerned.


For further information on any aspect of poetry or to book a poetry surgery email: info@poetrycan.co.uk


At all times the focus is on equal opportunities for everyone



















The Poetry Can initiates and manages a number of poetry based education activities and projects, which help bring poetry into the community

and develop new audiences.

We work with a range of local, regional and national poets and organisations across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire

with whom the initial ideas for projects often originate. The Poetry Can oversees the planning of the project, including an evaluation process;

we usually manage or co-manage projects and supervise the poet.

Education projects explore the interests and needs of the people concerned whilst working with participants to develop an understanding and

appreciation of poetry that this is empowering, energising and inspiring. Work may range from single workshops to projects lasting several weeks.

Our Education Programme comprises projects and activities which change each year. It is programmed between December and March.

This means it can reflect and respond quickly to current events and major opportunities happening both locally, regionally and nationally.



Examples of education events and activities organised by The Poetry Can have included:


The Migrations Project - Poetry Exhibition at St. Georges Hall, Bristol.

Poetry Performance Training with Firebird Theatre Company

The Friday Morning Poetry Group

Find Your Talent Young Peoples Poetry Academy in North Somerset

The Poetry Cafe

The Dementia Poetry Project, including a South West region conference looking at best practice in arts work with people with dementia.

The Poetry Can Poetry Competition

The Park Street Shuffle – poems about life on Park Street.

The Creative Journal - exploring relationship between journal keeping & poetry writing.

On The Line Exhibition of poetry, photographs and film – working with people with disabilities in Midsomer Norton.

Poetry Workshops: many and various including:

The Impact of the Slave Trade - how it has affected the people of Bristol to this day and how this theme can be translated into poetry;

Ride On - Creative Writing Workshops - at the Perion Centre with vulnerable young people

Skinnandi Project - workshops exploring the personal significance of the journeys and the landscapes we inhabi

HMP Horfield Prison - performance and workshop exploring poetry and personal stories

How to market and promote yourself and your work workshop


Poetry Can has also run cross-art form projects with film, dance and visual art, plus digital and public art projects.

The Poetry Can helps schools and organisations to organise and arrange poetry activities.

The ideas for poetry projects and activities on our education programmes often come from poets and from organisations.


Please contact us if :

    you would like the discuss a potential poetry project or activity

    you want help organising a poetry activity in your school, organisation or workplace

    you want information or advice about any aspect of poetry

    you are currently organising/running an educational poetry project or activity you would like to promote or celebrate.



Bristol Poetry Festival is programmed and organised by The Poetry Can



Bristol Poetry Festival takes place in September/October.


Programming Policy:

Each year we aim to put together a programme of readings, performances and poetry activities that bring together a mix

of the most entertaining, inspirational and award-winning poets and performers from Bristol, the South West, the UK and

the World. The programme's content is mainly of a contemporary nature.


When to apply:

If you wish to apply to read, perform of put on an activity at Bristol Poetry

Festival, please do so between 1st of December and 1st of April for Bristol Poetry Festival


How to apply:

Send an information pack to The Poetry Can that includes:

  • C.V. type details of your experience as a poet / perfomer;
  • something about yourself as a poet /performer (no more than 50 words);
  • examples of your work: a book, selection of poems, you-tube link etc.
  • contact details of a publisher or promoter who can comment on your reading / performance experience;
  • your contact details.

Please remember that every year many more poets/performers apply to appear at Bristol Poetry Festival than there are places

and resources for them to do so. If you do apply but are not invited to take part it probably won't be a decision based on your

qualities as a reader or performer alone but on a range of factors contributing to the cohesive programming of the Festival as a whole.



If you are a promoter with a poet, show or event you would like to showcase during the Bristol Poetry Festival please telephone

Poetry Can in the first instance



Colin Brown Director, The Poetry Can

ADDRESS: Poetry Can, 12 Great George St, Bristol BS1 5RH

TEL:  (0117) 933 0900


WEB : www.poetrycan.co.uk