We continue to welcome new members to Stanza in 2023. We meet monthly as a Stanza on Zoom, to welcome guest poets – our next is Ilse Pedler, at our March meeting on Monday 6th March 2023, at 7PM – and to hold members’ poetry workshops. Invitations will be going out soon. In addition, stanza member Kathleen McPhilemy runs a very successful series of Open Mic meetings, also on Zoom: the next one is on Tuesday 28th February at 7PM and the guest poet will be Claire Cox.

Looking forward, we will welcome Oxford poet Stephen Yeo as our guest to our May stanza meeting on Zoom on Monday 8th May.

Looking back at 2022..

Our March meeting at 7PM on Monday 7th March will represent a first step towards a real world meeting for Stanza since the Pandemic started in March 2020! Some of us will meet at 116 Southfield Road and the meeting will also be on Zoom. Let’s see how this hybrid meeting style works out! Steve Xerri will be our guest poet.

Our February Meeting on Zoom will be on Monday 7th February at 7PM Oxford / 20.00 Hrs Bonn time. Our guest poet will be Janet Davey who will be reading from her work and leading us in a Q&A, where Synaesthesia, one of Janet’s main interests, may well feature.

Janet grew up in a home full of music and BBC radio4. In her initial career as a studio manager (or sound engineer) for BBC World Service radio, she worked with over 40 language services. She then went on to write and present current affairs and science programmes, including documentaries about autism, and the brain and music. On having children, she returned to her first passion – music, composing and playing piano for several BBC radio plays, and more recently worked through music with poets. She began writing poetry 5 years ago.

Happy New Year 2022!

Our first monthly meeting of 2022 will be held on Zoom on Monday 10th January! Helen Reid will be our guest poet and she will be reading from her new pamphlet A Field Guide to Wedding Guests.

Our final monthly meeting of 2021 went out on Zoom on Monday 6th December at 7pm and featured David Burridge as our guest poet, reading from his new book Streetwise.

Our November meeting on Zoom, at the usual time, will be on Monday 15th November, with guest poet Pratibha Castle.

From an early age, Pratibha reversed the bed-time story tradition. Instead of listening to tales read by her father, she recited to him tales of her own creation.

Her work features in print journals including Agenda, Irish Poets in the UK edition, Sarasvati, Reach, Inspired, Beyond Words, Dreich, Fly on the Wall, and Poetry and All That Jazz. They also appear online in The Blue Nib, Fragmented Voices, The Honest Ulsterman, Panoply, and Words for the Wild. She is regularly broadcast on West Wilts Radio, appears in anthologies, has been shortlisted and received honourable mention in competitions.

Pratibha Castle’s debut pamphlet, A Triptych of Birds and a Few Loose Feathers, was a winner in Hedgehog Press’ Competition Nicely Folded Paper Trois.

Our October meeting on Zoom will be as usual – at 7PM UK/20.00 Hrs Bonn time – on Monday 4th October. Our guest poet will be long-standing favourite artist and poet John Daniel.

We are back from our summer break and resuming monthly online meetings on Monday 6th September at 7PM. Kathleen McPhilemy will be our guest poet, reading from her cycle Days in April.

Our monthly meetings on Zoom continue. Indeed Kathleen McPhilemy has started a very successful new series of Open Mic meetings, each with a guest reader – great readings from Alison Jones and Lucy Ingrams so far – in which members can read poems without workshopping them.

Since we last updated the site, we have held three very successful monthly online meetings, a wonderful break-out from isolation. We have invited guests, Giles Goodland, Alice Willington and Didi Spencer. Giles and Alice nourished us with their poetry and Didi with a great talk on collaborative play-writing with children, parents and scientists.

Indeed, as a result of this talk, we are working to bring a young online stanza into being to support children in their story-telling and poetry. How exciting might this be!

Stanza members have had no problem sharing poems and workshopping online! It’s as if you had been preparing it for years.

Thanks to the Corona virus, we are now becoming a virtual community! Face-to-face meetings are off until further notice. We will be trying our first online stanza meeting on Monday 20th April: invitations are out! Meanwhile stay safe! Check that two metre gap!

Next Ekphrasis Event with Louise Larchbourne on Saturday 21st March

Louise Larchbourne’s next Ekphrasis event will at the Ashmolean Museum on Saturday 21st March at 2.00 pm. If you would like to submit a poem, on the theme of ‘life’, relating to an exhibit in galleries 65 – 67, you have until Tuesday 17th March. See here for more details

March Stanza Meeting on Monday 9th March

Invitations are out for our March Stanza Meeting, which will take place at 116 Southfield Road at 7.45 pm this evening, Monday 9th March. There will be a news round, a creative writing exercise, preparations for our Stanza Bonanza with Reading Stanza at the Poetry Café, Betterton Street, which will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th April, as well as our poets’ workshop, where we will have five poems to enjoy!

March 2020: Alice Oswald’s lecture Under the Wave cancelled.. Anne Stevenson’s superb reading in Woodstock ..

Oxford University Professor of Poetry Alice Oswald, whose first lecture was reviewed by Kathleen in her blog Poetry Owl here, was unable to give her lecture – Under the Wave scheduled for Thursday 5th March at 17.30 in the Examination Schools on Oxford High Street. We hope it can be rescheduled at a future date. You will not want to miss Alice Oswald’s lectures: they are free and open to the public, but if you can’t make get there, you can listen to them as a podcast. Later on that same evening, at 7.30 for 8.00 pm, Anne Stevenson gave a superb reading, accompanied by wonderful commentary, from her sixteenth collection, Completing the Circle (Bloodaxe Books),organised by Rachel Phipps of the Woodstock Bookshop, at Woodstock Town Hall. This was apparently the last reading Rachel organises – no I can’t believe it either – she has been such a force in Oxford and English poetry – it was nice to see several members of Stanza there!

We are a stanza, affiliated to the Poetry Society. Membership is free.

We have an active membership of around twenty and another twenty or so who keep in touch. There is a wide range within the group, from complete beginner to experienced poet. Our backgrounds are equally varied. We meet once a month, at 116 Southfield Road, Oxford, OX4 1PA, to discuss each other’s work, hear presentations from members and readings from guest poets. Next meeting: 7.45pm, Monday 3rd February.

To see some of our other past readings, go here or here or here.

We are always delighted to welcome new members, so if you like what you see and would like to join, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can e-mail bill_jenkinson@btinternet.com



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Dorothy reading at the Cape

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