27th August 2020

Veronica Aaronson
Jean Atkin

24th September 2020

Julia Deakin
Jackie Wills

29th October 2020

Martyn Crucefix
Phil Kirby

26th November 2020

Clare Best
Robert Hamberger

17th December 2020

Things We Should Have Said

Kevan Manwaring

Guest Poet: Kevan Manwaring

Kevan Manwaring has been writing poetry since 1991, and this summer published a collection bringing together work from over a quarter of a century (Silver Branch: bardic poems, from Awen Publications). He is the author of fiction (The Windsmith Elegy; Oxfordshire Folk Tales; Ballad Tales) and non-fiction (The Bardic Handbook; Lost Islands; Turning the Wheel). He is a lecturer in creative writing for the Open University, and has recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. He blogs and tweets as the Bardic Academic. A keen walker, his poetry is informed by his love of the landscape, myth and legend.

Jan Noble

Guest Poet: Jan Noble

Jan Noble is a London-based writer and poet. He has taught creative writing in prisons, schools and psychiatric wards. His work has been set to music, recorded by producer Craig Leon at Abbey Road studios and broadcast on Channel 4 and BBC Radio. A film of his poetic monologue My Name is Swan (performed at every 'Swan' pub in London) premiered at the Curzon, Aldgate as part of the East End Film Festival. His latest epic poem, Reynard, was launched at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.

20th December 2018, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN

A huge thank you to guest poets Jan Noble and Kevan Manwaring for bringing our Words & Ears year to a fabulous close in December. Kevan set the mood for the turn of the year with poems about the 'wild north wind', mistletoe, and the solstice ('the darker it gets, the brighter we become'), and open mic-ers shared childhood family Christmas memories (Mark Sayers); the US East Coast in winter (Diana Durham) and, naturally, snow (Peter O'Grady - 'this wintered acoustic changes everything'); plus there were great poems from Martin Davies, Paul Brokensha, Chaucer Cameron, Verona Bass, John Powell and, freshly written and then performed in the first half, from Kevan's friend Kevin. BUT the highlight of the evening for me was Jan Noble's electrifying performance of his complex, political, luminous monologue My Name is Swan ('King of effortless rivers / mercenary of the estuary... pimp of the tributaries') - the broken streets of our time meet the unbroken voice of the people, 'loose, though not free'... If you weren't there, you missed 15 minutes of the utterly extraordinary. If you'd like a link to the full-length film version, please let me know.