Acanthodiformes family
Actinopterygii family


Symbolist Moments in Larkin’s Poetry


Graham Banks, Former Head of English, Bedales School, Petersfield

24 May 2017


Wendy Cope: The River Girl: A rehearsed reading

Organised by Chris Sylvester

BRLSI Member

10 September 2004

As introduction, Janet Cunliffe-Jones read part of an interview with Wendy Cope, which had been printed in Saga magazine, and in The Oxford Ammonite, the newsletter of St. Hilda’s College.

The Art of Losing: Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

Patricia Adelman

27 October 2004

BRLSI Member (referred to in text as PA)

The talk began with a brief biography of a poet who is perhaps less known in this country than she deserves, (J.C-J. could only find a handful of her poems in several anthologies) as follows.

What is Performance Poetry?

Lucy English

Novelist, performance poet, Lecturer at Bath Spa University

24 November 2004

In the first part of this meeting the speaker gave an account of the development of Performance Poetry, which has a number of different strands.

The early history of poetry is oral. In pre-literate societies, bards recited poems, usually narrative, and frequently accompanied with music, to live audiences. This oral tradition has never quite disappeared, though in recent centuries, mainstream poetry has mostly appeared in print.

New Poetry – a discussion of The Brink by Jacob Polley

Meeting chaired by Janet Cunliffe-Jones

Led by David Skidmore

Poetry Book Society Member

26 January 2005

David Skidmore began by saying that he was interested in the discussion of contemporary poetry, and hoped to found a group that could meet regularly.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Chaired by Janet Cunliffe-Jones

Reading & discussion organised by John Bulman

BRLSI Member

23 February 2005

First, six volunteers, who had been given passages to prepare in advance, read from ‘Burnt Norton’ and ‘Little Gidding’, books 1 and 4 of Four Quartets.

The second part of the meeting was for audience participation, rather than questions and answers. Comments on the poem were made and discussed freely among the fairly small audience. This is difficult to convey without some bitty repetition.

A Writing Life

Sophie Hannah

Wednesday, March 2nd 2.30 2005

Poet in Residence at the Bath Literature Festival, who kindly supported this event.

A small audience gave opportunity for a very informal approach, which Sophie Hannah clearly prefers.

In view of the title of the talk, Hannah began by reading some poems about being a writer – though that is not, she said, her usual subject.

Ivor Gurney (1890–1937): Soldier, of a Sort, Poet & Composer

Meeting chaired by Janet Cunfille-Jones

Richard Carder

Editor of Ivor Gurney’s Songs, Music, & advisor to the Ivor Gurney Society

Chairman of the English Poetry & Song Society

27 April 2005

Richard Carder’s talk about Gurney was illustrated with pictures, and much recorded music.

There has recently been a renaissance of interest in Gurney. A biography by Michael Hurd, published in 1978 has done much to arouse interest.

Poems of Faith and Doubt

Meeting chaired by Janet Cunliffe-Jones

22 June 2005

Janet Cunliffe-Jones, the Convenor, had taken the title for this event from an Anthology of Victorian poetry which had once been an A level set text. She thought the theme had relevance before and after the nineteenth century. Readings, selected from long poems, had been prepared by five people, and after that it was hoped, others present would read shorter poems on the theme which they had brought with them.

A Copernicus in Poesie: A Consideration of the Life & Writings of John Donne

Chaired by Janet Cunliffe-Jones

Ann Watkins

Once actress, once teacher, always a curious & delighted reader

13 July 2005

Edward Thomas – Country poet?

Richard Emeny

21 July 2004

Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo

Geraldine Lindley (with Maria Amesbury)

9 June 2004

The speaker began by with an account of how her interest in Vittoria Colonna was aroused by a visit she made to an islet, the Castello Aragonese off the larger island of Ischia. She showed pictures and related some of the island’s varied history.

Byron’s A Vision of Judgment

a satire on George III

Gavin Turner

Local Author

28 April 2004


Turner began by saying that he had become aware of Byron when working on the continent, where Byron was a heroic figure. When reading Byron’s work he had found it rooted in experience, often sublime, and frequently funny.

Colour Words in Poetry

Judith Young

BRLSI Member

24 March 2004

Judith Young began by asking the audience if they could remember certain colour words used in well-known poems. Most people knew that the Owl and the Pussycat’s boat was ‘pea-green’ but no-one remembered the only colour in Robert Herrick’s ‘Delight in Disorder.’ (It is scarlet, which should be memorable.) Young wondered why we remember some colour images and not others.

A Year in the Quantocks

Janet Cunliffe-Jones

21 January 2004

Janet Cunliffe-Jones’ talk combined biographical information about the time spent by Coleridge and the Wordsworths in Nether Stowey and Alfoxden, with readings of some of the poetry written there. She said that much of the material was well-known, but she hoped worth re-visiting. The talk was illustrated with transparencies of the houses and people involved.

Poetry for December

Janet Cunliffe-Jones

18 December 2003

This meeting was hurriedly arranged by request to take advantage of the enthusiasm shown for poetry at the meeting in the previous month. Approximately 19 people attended. Some poems were read in a planned programme by three readers:

Donne: ‘A nocturnal upon S. Lucies Day’, being the shortest day

James Thomson: ‘Winter’ (from The Seasons) Three extracts

Milton: ‘Hymn on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity’

Most of those present took part in reading this long poem, a stanza each around the room.