Saturday, December 10, 2011

Buzzwords, Sunday January 8th

Next Buzzwords: Sunday January 8th
at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Writing workshop 7pm
Guest reading and open mic 8pm

Guest Poet - Jonathan Davidson, who will also run the workshop

Jonathan Davidson

Jonathan Davidson won an Eric Gregory Award in 1990 and his first collection of poetry, The Living Room, was published by Arc Publications in 1994. He has published two poetry pamphlets, Moving the Stereo (Jackson’s Arm, 1993) and A Horse Called House (Smith/Doorstop, 1997). His radio plays have been 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 produced by Interplay Theatre and toured extensively in 2008 and 2009. He is Director of Midland Creative Projects Limited, Associate Director of the Birmingham Book Festival and Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands. Born in 1964, Jonathan grew up in Didcot, South Oxfordshire. He now lives in Coventry and is married with two children.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday 4th December

Next Buzzwords - Sunday 4th December
Upstairs at The Exmouth, Bath Road, Cheltenham

7pm - workshop
8pm - Guest readings and open mic

£5 waged, £3 unwaged

Guest poet - Colin Watts who will also run the workshop

Colin Watts

Born in Staines to the sound of doodlebugs overshooting London. Trained as a town planner, but turned to community development and training in the early 1970's. Has worked part-time for the Liverpool Adult Learning Service for the last seven years as Community Learning Manager.

Started writing around about 1990, has had stories on Radio Merseyside, plays performed professionally, poetry published in numerous magazines and won prizes. Runner up in the Biscuit Publishing short story competition, 2011.

Booklet: Singing the City, self-published, 1999.
Booklet: Getting The Hang Of It, Driftwood Publications, 2002.
First collection: Human Geography, Driftwood Publications, 2005.
Second collection, Taking Down the Tree House, Headland Publications, 2011.

Will read at poetry venues across the UK if asked (has senior rail card, will travel). Freelance creative writing tutor with Adult Learning Service, WEA, University of Liverpool, Sefton Arts.

Founder member of the Dead Good Poets Society, flourishing in Liverpool since 1991. Currently, chair.

‘Colin Watts is a born storyteller.’ Nessa O'Mahony, Orbis magazine.

’After reading Zen and the Art of Peeling an Orange I will never dismiss citrus fruit as just one of my 'five-a-day' again.’ Christina McAlpine, Citizen 32.

‘Brilliant adventures in real and imaginary worlds.’ Jean Sprackland.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunday 6th November

Next Buzzwords, Sunday, 6th November
Upstairs at The Exmouth, Bath Road, Cheltenham

7pm - workshop
8pm - Guest readings and open mic

£5 waged, £3 unwaged

Guest poet - Ann Drysdale who will also run the workshop

All About Ann Drysdale. (Well, nearly…)

Ann was born near Manchester and brought up in London. She has lived in places as disparate as a narrowboat in the Midlands and a smallholding on the North York Moors where she learned stockmanship by experiment and brought up three children as a single parent. During this time she wrote one of the longest-running by-line columns in the provincial press. She now lives in a mining town in South Wales.

In 1988 she started a degree course in English Literature at York, but having left formal education in the sixties she had not realised that the language of critical theory had developed along entirely different lines from that of literature itself and her vocabulary proved inadequate. She was later awarded an MA in the teaching and practice of creative writing, has been a visiting lecturer at Cardiff University and spent eighteen months as writer-in-residence at UWE, Bristol. She has taught at all levels, from Arvon to special needs primary schools and collaborated with photographer Tim Collier on a book of poems celebrating the changing face of the South Wales valleys.

She is an accomplished and popular reader of her own and other people’s work, once reaching the final of the Cheltenham All-comers’ Slam. Her first volume was shortlisted at Aldeburgh in 1995. Individual poems have won prizes in the Manchester, Cardiff, Peterloo, Housman Society, Bridport and National poetry competitions and she is the current holder of the Dylan Thomas Prize for poetry in performance.

Her five poetry collections, Between Dryden and Duffy, The Turn of the Cucumber, Gay Science, Backwork and Quaintness and Other Offences are all rolling round in the collective consciousness of the Muse and, in the true tradition of the penurious troubadour, copies will doubtless be available on the night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday 2nd October

Next Sunday, 2nd October

Upstairs at The Exmouth, Bath Road, Cheltenham

7pm - workshop
8pm - Guest readings and open mic

£5 waged, £3 unwaged

Guest poet: Joanna Ezekiel, who will also run the workshop.

Joanna Ezekiel was born in Essex and grew up in Kent and Essex. Her background is Ashkenazi Jewish (mother) and Bene-Israeli Indian Jewish (father).

Joanna has an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from Sussex University. She has also studied fiction and poetry with the Open College of the Arts and playwriting with the Open University, and now works as a creative writing tutor for both institutions. She lived in London for many years, and currently lives in York.


A Braid of Words, Poetry Monthly Press, 2003

Safe Passage, White Leaf Press, 2007

Centuries of Skin, Ragged Raven Press, 2010

Joanna has been commended in the following competitions: The Bridport Prize 2009, Leaf Poets 2008, Ragged Raven 2005, Writer’s Inc 2005, Norwich Writers 2005. Her poem ‘She dreams of going to the cinema on her own’ was chosen as the Second Light Poem of the Month in 2008.

Anthologies Joanna’s poetry appear in include: Soul Feathers (2011, Indigo Dreams) Visible Breath (2010, Indigo Dreams) Bright Pebbles (The Shetland Times, 2010) The World is Made of Glass (Ragged Raven, 2010) Seeking Refuge (Cinnamon, 2010) New Poets from Britain and America (White Leaf, 2009) Dancing with Delsie (Leaf Books, 2009) A Twist of Malice (Grey Hen, 2008) Writing on Water (Ragged Raven, 2005) Reactions 3 (Pen&Inc, 2002)

In 2010, three of Joanna’s poems were set to music by composer Pat Livingstone, and published on ‘We are OCA’ the Open College of the Arts blog.

Work in other genres: Joanna’s young adult novel ‘Sam’s House’ was placed in the top ten shortlist of the Cinnamon Press Novel Awards in 2010. Her life writing piece ‘Waiting’ was published in Sarasvati magazine in 2011.

Quotes from reviews of Centuries of Skin:

‘ ..she is a skilled minituarist – a Jane Austen cataloguing the telling details of women’s lives, of city life…’ (South)

‘These are tales from the border told by an outsider, intent on recording.’ (Artemis)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Buzzwords, Sunday September 4th

Sunday September 4th
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Guest poet: Angela Topping

Angela Topping is a full time freelance poet who writes for both children and adults. She is the author of four full collections and four chapbooks, the most recent of which is a book to accompany an collaborative exhibition currently in The Brindley, Runcorn, with a textile artist. Angela has co-authored three books on poetry for OUP, edited two books and written three critical books for Greenwich Exchange Press, the most recent of which is on poet John Clare. Angela has performed her poetry in a wide range of venues, including festivals, libraries, art galleries and schools, and is a seasoned workshop leader. She is based in Cheshire.

We will also be welcoming some of the prize-winners from our first poetry competition to read their poems on open mic

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Buzzwords, Sunday July 3rd

Sunday July 3rd
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Chloë of the Midnight Storytellers

After a decade of mixed fortunes trying to show that storytelling is more than kiddyfodder, Chloë has reinvented herself as a 'spoken word artist'. It's the kind of pretentious art-speak she normally avoids: but how else do you describe someone who tells unscripted stories so vivid you'll think you're there; who writes + performs poetry; and whose comedy is irrepressible? Chloë has enchanted audiences at an extraordinary range of venues and events: from Cheltenham LitFest to cruise ships, from the Worcestershire Federation of Women's Institutes to the International Tolkien & Fantasy Art Exhibition.

7pm Workshop: StoryMaking - No writing! No reading! As easy as chatting to your friends! Modern storytellers work from personal experience almost as much as from the heritage of traditional story. Chloë will guide you through gentle exercises in improvised narrative. No storytelling experience necessary. Love of language essential. Be prepared to play and laugh.

From 8pm onwards - open mic and Performance: Moonlight & Mayhem - Chloë's summer story cabaret. From sweet romance to the downright scary. With sound effects from the infamous invisibly controlled keyboard gizmo (not a theramin).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buzzwords, 5th June

Sunday June 5th
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Guest poet - Gill Learner

7pm workshop
8pm readings and open mic

£5 or £3 unwaged

Gill Learner began writing poetry in 2001and it has since appeared in many journals and anthologies. Her first-ever published poem appeared in Poetry news and two others have been accepted since, one of which won the Hamish Canham Prize 2008. She was also delighted to be awarded second prize in the Keats-Shelley competition 2010. Her first collection, The agister’s experiment, has recently been published by Two Rivers Press. The PBS Bulletin said of it: ‘ ... The poems here fizz and crackle while exploring the vast range of humanity – they are by turns funny, chilling and angry, but are all diverse in form and content. …[they] leave a lasting impression on the reader in this excellent debut.’

Gill loves reading to an audience and is a member of the Thames Valley-based group Brickwork Poets, five prize-winning women who are becoming increasingly well-known in the south of England. She also enjoys Reading’s Poets’ Café where she has twice been guest poet, and values feedback from her peers at Thin Raft workshops

She takes her inspiration from a wide range of topics: family, friends, travel, myths & legends, the visual arts, technologies, the natural world and music, many of which are reflected in her collection. There is more information at

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Next Buzzwords

Sunday May 1st
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Guest poets - Helen Ivory and Martin Figura

7pm workshop
8pm readings and open mic

£5 or £3 unwaged

Martin Figura work ranges from the biting humour of his Boring The Arse off Young People to the dark subject matter of his Ted Hughes Award shortlisted collection and multi-media show Whistle. He won the 2010 Hamish Canham Prize and has performed from New York to Cromer. He is an Apples & Snakes Associated Artist. His photography’s been widely published and exhibited, including at the National Portrait Gallery.
“moving, brave, unsentimental “ Jackie Kay

"Profoundly honest and at the same time joyfully entertaining" Independent on Sunday

“tender, beautiful, funny ” Chloe Garner, Director Ledbury Poetry Festival

‘the first show I ever gave a standing ovation’ Jo Bell Director, National Poetry Day

Helen Ivory was born in Luton in 1969 and has a Degree from Norwich Art School. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 1999, and has three collections with Bloodaxe Books: The Double Life of Clocks, The Dog in the Sky, and The Breakfast Machine, and her fourth collection forthcoming next year.

She has taught creative writing for over ten years at all levels and currently runs several workshop groups where she lives in Norwich. She is married to the poet Martin Figura and they run Café Writers –a live literature organization. She is an editor for The Poetry Archive, and editor of the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears:

Also a practicing artist, she regularly posts work onto her blog. Find out more here:”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sunday April 3rd

Next Buzzwords - Sunday, April 3rd
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Guest poet: Pat Borthwick

7pm: Workshop led by Pat Borthwick
8pm: Readings and open mic

£5, £3 unwaged

Pat Borthwick has published three full length poetry collections (with Littlewood Arc, Mudfog and Templar) and several pamphlets. She has won many poetry prizes including the Templar pamphlet prize in 2007 and has had her work translated into Spanish and Italian. In the last few months she was shortlisted for the Keats Shelley award and two of her poems were published in Mslexia as runners up in their poetry competition.
She is known for her sparkling readings and workshops and Billy Collins describes her work as being ‘The real business’. Simon Armitage says that ‘her poems are like maps with which you can truly find your way.’
Pat is a founder member and former chair of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and is one of the Poetry Society’s delegated Poets in Schools.
Her residencies have included a canal, a coalmine, Northern allotments, the Yorkshire Wolds and, for a new AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty), the Howardian Hills. In 2008 she was commissioned by the Festival of London and the Japanese Foundation to work with Japanese and English contemporary composers and produce a libretto for performers and an orchestra made up of half western and half eastern instruments.
Last year she co-ordinated the web based GPS project in East Yorkshire and more recently became the Poetry Society’s Stanza representative for rural Yorkshire.
She received an International Writers Hawthornden Award in 2003 and is currently Writer in Residence for RSPB Bempton Cliffs and poetry tutor for the Open College of the Arts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Next Buzzwords

Next Buzzwords is Sunday March 6th
Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Guest Poet: Myra Schneider

7pm: Workshop led by Myra Scheider
8pm: Readings and open mic

£5, £3 uwaged

Myra Schneider’s most recent poetry collections are: Insisting on Yellow: New and Selected Poems (2000), Multiplying The Moon (2004), Circling The Core (2008) – all Enitharmon Press. She has had fiction for children and teenagers published by Heineman. In 2003 Jessica Kingsley published her book Writing My Way Through Cancer, a fleshed-out journal with poems and writing suggestions. With John Killick she has written two books about personal writing. The second, Writing Your Self (Continuum 2009), is a resource book of personal writing and literature. Myra taught communication and literacy to severely disabled adults for many years. She is an experienced writing tutor and works for The Poetry School in London where she lives. She is consultant to the Second Light Network of Women Poets and has co-edited anthologies of work by contemporary women poets, most recently, Images of Women (Arrowhead Press 2006.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Change of venue for February

Please note that we will be at The Brown Jug for February 6th, and back at The Exmouth after that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Next Buzzwords

The next Buzzwords is Sunday, 6th February

Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham

Workshop 7pm
Readings 8pm

Guest poets:
Nine Arches Press presents Luke Kennard and Matt Merritt

Luke Kennard writes poetry and short stories. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures in creative writing at the University of Birmingham.

He won an Eric Gregory award in 2005 for his first collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers (Stride Books) which has since been re-issued by Salt. His second collection of poetry The Harbour Beyond the Movie was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007 making him the youngest poet ever to be nominated for the award. His third book, The Migraine Hotel, was published in by Salt in 2009 and was a critical and commercial disaster, leading Kennard to conclude that his star was decidedly sinking. His criticism has appeared in Poetry London and The Times Literary Supplement. He is currently reviewing fiction for The National.

Matt Merritt’s second collection is hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica. His debut full collection, Troy Town, was published by Arrowhead Press in 2008, and a chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light, by HappenStance in 2005. He studied history at Newcastle University and counts Anglo-Saxon and medieval Welsh poetry among his influences, as well as the likes of R.S. Thomas, Ted Hughes and John Ash. He was born in Leicester and lives nearby, works as a wildlife journalist, is an editor of Poets On Fire, and blogs at Polyolbion.