POETIKA 57 – Sex, Sexuality & Gender

When we asked you to decide on this month’s theme, we were mildly surprised that last month’s audience were unanimously in favour of SEX…

OK that’s a great soundbite, but the real topic – sex, sexuality and gender – is a perfect prompt for a range of work and styles –  the world we know is created by ourselves, and we are created by… sex, sexuality and gender… so the world is your oyster for inspiration.

So bring along your new work or previous work on this theme – or any theme – and we’ll be delighted to hear your contributions as sexy or prudish as you like – we’re artists, so no holds barred!

Because of the theme we’ve chosen our sexiest member, Ria to host – so come along on Wednesday 18th July, 7.30 for 7.45, upstairs at The Pheasant, Salt lane, Salisbury. We ask a contribution of £2-3pp please towards expenses.

As usual we welcome everyone who wants to read or sing their own work or that of others as well as those people who prefer only to listen.
Poetika header

Not written by a member, but a sweet poem by e.e. cummings


Lady,i will touch you with my mind.
Touch you and touch and touch
until you give
me suddenly a smile,shyly obscene

(lady i will
touch you with my mind.)Touch
you,that is all,

lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite ease

the poem which i do not write.

All the best, Ria, Nicky, John and Dave

Open Word in Wiltshire Friday 13th of July Poets day and Art Exhibition

Open Word in Wiltshire Friday 13th of July Poets day and Art Exhibition

Open Words is holding a day and night long event in Burbage Village Hall, 60 Eastcourt Rd, Burbage, Malborough SN8 3AJ

The Poets Gala Cafe in the Village Hall (8.30 am -5.00pm) Your favourite poets will be running the Cafe, with a special programme of events during the day for all to enjoy. All day in the cafe David Robinson and Deborah Robinson will have their artwork on display to enjoy and buy.

10.00 am Audio Visual Poetry with David Robinson
David Robinson 
will entertain and delight our senses with his audio-visual poetry. A big hit in Open Word 2016 and are delighted to have him in the hall

Boundary Stone from MoonTree Gallery http://www.moontree.org.uk/davids-landscapes.html

Boundary Stone from MoonTree Gallery http://www.moontree.org.uk/davids-landscapes.html












10.30 Stories for Adults
Mike Rogers is our storyteller. If you are a mum with toddlers, he can take requests. Mike runs several storytelling clubs around South East England and is Storyteller-in-residence for Test Valley Arts foundation “Talk About” festival.

 11.00 am Comic Poetry Appreciation Club

Rat Candle (aka Cat Randle) will introduce you to the difference between funny poems and bad ones. She will be introducing a new comic poem style, “The Punnit” Fresh from 2017’s ‘SO: To Speak,’ Southampton’s Festival of Words
2.00pm Poetry Workshop
David’s workshop caters for all levels whether you are a complete beginner, intermediate or seasoned poet, there’s something for everyone.
Dave reading from one of his books.

Dave reading from one of his books.










3.30 Children’s play The Colourful Adventures of Merciful Grace
A colourful adventure of a mechanical maid who wants to bring her robot friend a present “Of the best blue paint “and the mishaps and creatures she meets along the way. A wonderful mix of humour and costumes straight from their sucessful debut at Andover Rocks Festival.








Gala Cafe stops serving at 5 pm to get ready for the evening’s entertainment and reopens at 7 pm

7 pm Open Mic for Poets

. Come and perform your poetry workshop poems. Our guest poet is David Robinson. This will give you the opportunity to see his audio-visual poetry if you missed it in the morning.

Part Two (Adults Only): 8.30pm A Grown Up version of “The Colourful Adventures of Merciful Grace.” Bob the evil man-bot wants Merciful Grace the mechanical maid to stay longer than 59 seconds exactly, and he has a plan. How long will it take Merciful Grace to work out what’s going on?

Open Word logo Stockbridge

Open Word logo Stockbridge

Billed as Horrible Histories meets Monty Python, the poetry show is an anarchic steampunk romp through time and space. Filled with all the naughty bits we had to cut out of the children’s version. FREE ENTRY. We’ll be passing the bucket around and donations will go to Big Up Words to support and promote local writers and poets



Open Word Burbage Gala Weekpage 2Evening

Christmas present with a difference! Last days to fund 10 Little Astronauts

This year we supported Damon Wakes unbound book 10 Little Astronauts. He is literally days away from completing his goal and we need ALL your help. Please tweet, share, instagram, post and buy gift cards to help him reach 100% funding.

This is what Damon is saying

Last Chance to Support Ten Little Astronauts

It’s the eleventh hour. Aragorn is making his “It is not this day” speech. The rebels are approaching the Death Star. Neville Longbottom has destroyed the final horcrux and Harry Potter is preparing to battle Lord Voldemort. I’m not familiar with Twilight, but I’m sure there’s some confrontation between Heartthrob McSparklepants and a bad guy of some kind.

The point is, there are just days left to fund Ten Little Astronauts. At 63%, it’s the bulk of the way there and it has a solid chance of reaching its target, but only if the people who want that to happen make it happen.

At this point, you’re either behind the book or you’re not: there’s no time left to “get around to it.” 213 people (at current count) have pledged for a copy of their own. Countless more have shared it, told their friends about it, and generally helped it along in less direct ways. If it’s not your kind of thing, I get it. If you can’t afford to chip in for a copy right now, I definitely get it. But if you’d like to help my career as an author all the same, doing something – anything – to spread the word about it before that Christmas deadline would make a spectacular difference to the book’s chances of success at absolutely no cost to you.

For the benefit of anybody who’s coming across this for the first time (possibly having been pointed here by a friend):

Ten Little Astronauts is a sci-fi murder mystery novella based on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It takes the basic premise of that popular classic – ten people trapped together with the knowledge that one of them is a murderer – but shifts it into interstellar space.

The book is being published by Unbound, who crowdfund all their titles. This means that readers pledge for – essentially pre-order – a copy, and potentially extra rewards if they choose to contribute more to the funding of the book. Those pledges are what cover the cost of designing, editing and printing the thing. Ten Little Astronauts already has enough support to make it into print – other books that were accepted onto less ambitious lists have funded with less than half the number of readers behind them – but if it reaches 100% of its goal by Christmas, the paperback will be of higher quality and it’ll be distributed by Penguin Random House. Obviously, this would be a massive boost and help ensure the book has the best possible chance of success once it’s printed and out there.

For the benefit of anybody who wants to get some cool stuff:

There are rewards for supporting Ten Little Astronauts beyond getting a copy of the book itself, and even beyond the extras available to people who choose to contribute more than the minimum. Anybody who pledges, no matter the amount, will get:

People who pledge soon may get:

  • A place in a prize draw. When the book reaches 225 supporters, I’ll be sending a signed copy of Myths, Monsters, Mutations to one of those first 225 supporters at random. If we reach 250, I’ll most likely be doing much the same thing.
  • A badge. If Ten Little Astronauts reaches 100 Paperback pledges by the end of Monday 18th, I’ll be sending out a Ten Little Astronauts badge with every single paperback. We’re already (currently) at 83, so there’s a very good chance we’ll get to 100: the real question is whether enough people will share it around for that to happen before Monday.

Over 200 people have taken Ten Little Astronauts well over halfway to its target. It’s up to you to help take it those last few steps. If it sounds like your kind of book and you’d like a copy for yourself, please put in a pledge to get one, and invite your friends to do the same. If it’s not your cup of tea and/or you can’t afford to pledge for yourself, please share this post. The audience for this book is out there: the only challenge is reaching them in time.

200 supporters qive away as Damon L Wakes reaches 50% of his croud funding

Ten Little Astronauts, the Christie-inspired sci-fi murder mystery by Damon L. Wakes, is approaching 200 supporters on Unbound. To celebrate, he’ll be sending a signed paperback copy of Unearthly Sleuths to one of those first 200 at random

Unearthly Sleuths is an anthology of speculative detective fiction by JayHenge Publishing. It includes two stories by Damon himself—lighthearted steampunk “The Card” and the significantly more sinister “Noise on The Wire”—as well as many more by a wide variety of other authors.

Unearthly sleuths an out of this world anthology

Unearthly sleuths an out of this world anthology

You’ll have to be quick if you want to be in with a chance of winning this book, though: 196 of those 200 places are already taken, meaning that there are just four still up for grabs! To put in a pledge for yourself, simply follow this link. As well as a chance of winning Unearthly Sleuths, you’ll get your very own copy of Ten Little Astronauts, have your name recorded in the back of every edition of the book. If the book reaches its funding target by Christmas, it’ll be distributed into bookshops through Penguin Random House, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you were one of the people who helped make it all happen.

Poetika are calling for poetry submissions for 2 different poetry festivals.

Salisbury Fringe Festival and Salisbury Literary Festival are both calling for poetry submissions.

 Poetika at the Salisbury Fringe: Call for Dramatic Poetry (closing date 30/9/2017)

Salisbury Fringe – the established festival of cutting-edge drama by local writers performed in a variety of informal venues during the first weekend in October. Poetika’s mission at the Fringe is to bring poetry to the drama. Poetika are seeking works of ‘dramatic poetry’ for the event, where they will be performed by professional actors.

Submissions close on  Saturday 30th September. E to email your pieces (5 mins max) to drama@poetika.org.uk .

To find out more about the Salisbury Fringe follow this link http://salisburyfringe.co.uk/

City of Poems’ (Salisbury Literary Festival ): Call for Poems about Salisbury (closing date 30/9/2017)

New this year- The Salisbury Literary Festival is  taking place over the last weekend of October it will be a feast of readings, talks and workshops, celebrating the best in literature by writers with a local connection and some from further afield.

Poetika has an event – City of Poems – as part of the festival, where in addition to presenting some of the best known poems written about the city, Poetika will be reading a selection of works specially written for the Festival by local people. Send Poetika Salisbury poems (max 5 mins) to be read at the event. Poetika is also creating a pamphlet of chosen poetry which will be on sale at the event and at other venues in town (all sale proceeds going to Poetika’s adopted charity, Childrens Chance).

You have until midnight on Saturday 30th September to email your pieces (5 mins max) to city@poetika.org.uk.

More about the Salisbury Literary Festival here: http://salisburyliteraryfestival.co.uk/


New venue for Salisbury’s poetry, prose open mic Poetika

Due to closure of the Cloisters Poetika has returned to the Pheasent Inn 19 Salt Lane, Salisbury SP1 1DT

The event will be found in the shoemaker’s hall-function room at the Pheasent Inn. Poetika starts its new season, in a new venue. The evening will premiere David King reading from his new collection ‘Strange Stranger’ Books will be on sale and donations from the book sale will go to the charity Children’s Chance.

The theme for the evening is Strangers and John Bruce and David Kind said

“We welcome all to come and present poetry or short pose, or perform acoustic songs, comedy or other performance – either their own or work they admire.”

Sign up is from 7.30pm on the night, performances begin at 7.45 – a small donation of £2.00 is invited towards room hire.

Poetick 47

Teapoets are returning on September 10th!

We here at Big Up Words are excited because The Teapoets Cafe is returning September 10th.

Co founder Cat Randle gets very excited. “I look forward to meeting up with all the poet’s and finding out what they’ve done on their summer break.”

Here they are in their own words

Spetember 10th






To kick off our new season, we look forward to welcoming guest poet Peter Roe, and singer-songwriter Lisa Thorne.

We welcome one and all who enjoy poetry (either as audience or readers). Come along and have some listening fun, and maybe introduce a friend to the joys of the spoken word too. A warm welcome awaits.

Rum’s Eg gallery and cafe are open throughout.

Spoken word open spots may be booked in advance by sending an email to signup1709@teapoet.org.uk and we will keep some in reserve on the door.

About the guest-Peter Roe guest poet

Peter RoePeter Roe was born and raised a ‘Northern Lad’ in Buxton in the Peak District. He has served in the RAF and has worked with computers and emerging technologies in education.
Peter is a poet, writer, film-maker and self confessed Nerd who likes to shatter people’s pre and misconceptions about “Computer Geeks and Anoraks!”
Peter’s poems and stories come out of that bit of the world where technology meets people and have been well received at public readings both in the South West of England and The Netherlands where he was dubbed ‘The Techno-Poet’. As the Millennium ticked over he became embroiled in a Poetry War with his Father and his Siblings… as the words flew it created a schism within the family. ‘The War of The Words’ that followed was a breeding ground for many of his performance pieces.
Forced into early retirement with only a dictionary and a smartphone for company… He remains an eternal optimist and describes himself as “Disabled by Bread… Soft int’ head… Dad of Three… Addicted to Eye Tee… Poet and Writer… App Game Fighter…”
He is constantly rhyming and punning and is currently working on ‘Reunification’ a poetry event with his Brother to be premiered at The Buxton Fringe in 2018.

Musical guest-Lisa Thorne

Lisa Thorne has never looked back since her uncle introduced her to the music of Steeleye Span when she was a child. Working with an intuitive style, she refines songs until they ‘fit’ the images in her mind.
She is particularly interested in the narrative of the voice, using words to pin down a point of that narrative, rather then to express or describe.
“Folk is certainly an influence,” explains Lisa, “as I adore the melody lines, harmonies, and rhythms.” We are delighted to introduce Lisa to the TeaPoet Collective as we feel her songs deserve wider exposure, and we’re sure you will agree.

And finally news about becoming a member of Teapoets 

Teapoet membership card 2017-2018 (4)






Our membership cards for the next season will be available when we return to Rum’s Eg on Sunday 10th September. For £30 you will get:

  • Admission to 8 TeaPoet Cafes (September to April) for the price of 6
  • Admission for a guest to the above events for half price
  • The opportunity to sell your books etc. on our merchandise table





BUW founder member Roy Chatfield finalist in inaugural Terrence Rattigan Society award.

Roy Chatfield

Roy Chatfield

Andover Playwright Roy Chatfield is one of the seventeen writers shortlisted for the inaugural Terrence Rattigan Society award. His play Going Back is an updating of Ulysses return to modern-day Central Africa.
The judges – writer Julian Fellowes, actor David Suchet, director Thea Sharrock and academic Dan Rebellato – are now reading the shortlisted entries and will announce their decision at an awards ceremony at Harrow School on 26 September 2017.
The winner receives a cash prize and a guaranteed production of at least six nights at the Sara Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs, with a rehearsed reading on offer to the runner-up.
Roy said ‘I’m delighted to be shortlisted. As the closing date for entries was last August, I’d assumed I hadn’t made it. They obviously read all the scripts thoroughly.’
The competition received 197 entries, of which seven were ineligible – always read the rules! Competitions such as this are a good way of promoting your work as they aim to discover unknown writers.

The Poetika Echo 46 – The Worst One Yet!!

he Poetika Echo 46: The Worst One Yet!!
(hosted by John Bruce, Echo brought to you this month by Ian Chorlton)

Wow, so many people, our biggest crowd since records began (ed: not quite), 32 listeners, writers, poets, musicians, presenters and drinkers, all climbed the wrought iron steps of the Cloisters pub to attend this month’s Poetika.

John was tonight’s host, fresh from seeing Mr Corbyn at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. He introduced Edwin with his self-suggested controversial Corbyn Brexit poem. Good to start with a bit of politics. Before he began he made sure all the exits were clear and reminded everyone that he was a pensioner wearing glasses. He need not have worried, Poetika is all about diversity and tolerance unless you’re praising Theresa May!

Mike informed us that the British poet Edward Thomas died 100 years ago and he is dedicating tonight’s trio of sonnets to him. (There are six in total which can all be found on his blog). Edward wrote a poem about Adlestrop, a now defunct station in a tiny Gloucestershire village where he once stopped and wrote a poem about peacefulness just before war broke it. The same Great War which took his life in 1917. Mike’s first sonnet was a response to this poem. our fears do not create chance beauty but destroy. That halt was scheduled – if you like, intended – But not, let’s hope, the way his journey ended.

Battlefields explores why wars occur and the futility of it, War came, and was not brought, by what men did or thought,

Sarah’s debut performance at Poetika began with two poems about an ex. Before they split, then after. Before; Past mask of disguise, heart beats faster at every breath, I fell like a comet, high and happy. After; saint and sinner, must keep going, who knew the ending? Life is a gift we must cherish.

Vic with his guitar played a sing-along ditty entitled ‘I don’t care about Doctor Who.’ There is nothing you can’t be, but I doubt the eldest will teach PE.’ Then we all joined in with every chorus.

Syd hit us with an amusing rap born on the mean streets of Romsey, about his greatest failing, self-promotion. So continuing with the crowd participation half the room chanted self, self, self, and the other half, promotion! Hotter than a sheep, cooler than a goat. Bestselling author, isn’t no lie, been nominated for noble prize, I’m the hardest rapper since 50 cent.

Ian added shade to light with a multi-layered story about the murky world of selling of arms in Yemen during war and famine. but life in London is ignoring the activities in the dessert, and the search for a criminal.

David, a free-range farm kid (from Friday Street near Eastbourne) turned poet and artist told us about coincidences. His poem was about how he went back to find the farm. Perhaps you should never go back. Hedgerows where rabbits lived, landmarks, the borders of my world. Stamping bull, sweaty men in shorts sleeves, all gone.

Now for our special guest this evening, winner of a string of slams, it’s Stewart Taylor, the world’s worst poet. He began with a poem loosely about Isadora Duncan the mother of contemporary dance. This lead into an ode to the working classes. How wonderful they are, salt of the earth, until the end of the poem, not so fond of the dirt, I despise the working classes, cheap lager from plastic glasses, I think I might be one of them as well!!

Southampton is famous for Ikea, Salisbury has a Cathedral with the Magna Carta (Big Chart). The first pops stars, King John and the Barons, beat Cliff Richard to the top, as he was on a religious tour! So we journeyed down and got our kicks from the not so famous A36.

A more sombre poem followed about WWI, daddy what did you do in the war, she watches as he turns away, some things you cannot say to a child. Then no to plastic bags just because they are wrong. The last poem was all about the out doing of the doer. No matter what you do or say, always remember someone did it before you; quicker, slicker, sweeter and cheaper, but don’t let that put you off.


Randomly throughout the first half, John came up with this great idea based on the theme of ‘worst’ that every act could state what they were worst at. However, it was so random I did not write everyone’s down. So to ensure no one is left out, here is a worst of everyone montage. I am worst at; sticking to principles, keeping my opinions to myself, self-promotion, writing short poems, cooking, running, naming German sausages and arriving on time (that was Derek’s).

How did we pack so much into the first half? I fear Poetika 46 is bursting at the seams and will surly overrun, and all the better for it, so off we go again, more music, more thoughtfulness, more laughter and of course more poetry?

Adam opens Act 2 with a song about the underbelly of Southampton. Many divides in the town, everyone wears their crown. Stranded on the borderline. Little shits outside smashing up my garden fence, do they think I stay inside and not take offence, baseball bat by the door….in the city.

And now James and Alfredo the Wonder DogBusy with my business, no time to write a song, two cups of coffee, straight back to bed, blurry day, not much sleep last night, busy writing lyrics to the sound track of my life. Perhaps a message about procrastination, the muse may never come, we must grab it and make things happen!!

Then a poem of love, mellow like Green sleeves and Scarborough fair, a four-leaf clover will bring you luck and a song of love.

Cat, with a cheeky poem about Stewart Taylor, the best part about Stewart Taylor is Stewart Taylor’s wife.

Peter’s debut, 3 poems written in 38 degrees’ heat on a train. Sea 1 and Sea 2 for his 5-year-old son. I stood with you 100 years ago, blue month of August. Then the third ‘when it came.’ A ghost by the river, it came just before dawn when the wind picked up, crept in, climbed up into my bed.

Another debutante, Ria, two poems about Wiltshire and India. Butterflies fallen to golden feathered wheat, still in this moment dedicated to me. Colours. India full of diversity but still troubled by the stark realities of a divisive caste system. Day for perfection, Disney princess bride, we are the decorated women, the ways of colour clash, then part. 

Papa Webb returns for more cheeky ditties. On a dark and stormy night, a wizard met a witch. If God was a man and created man in his own image, he must have has some self-awareness issues.
Then a limerick about Fairy tale balls, choppers and whoppers and tears.

Junior Papa Webb, Nick took to the stage. Normally a song writer but happy to try his hand at poetry in a song lyric style. Right where I don’t Belong. I tie myself to a firework, space here I come, I stare t my phone and wonder why no one calls.

Oh well, last day on earth, what can I say, rob this town, pull its pants down, arrest me, take me, I don’t agree, and shoot them down, oh well, oh well, oh well.

Anna, another Poetika first, her poem is a tribute to her tutor Lynn who helped her with her dyslexia. Hated Oreo’s as a child, just too wild, hated all things English until I met you.

Derek returned, self-confessed, late again, but always worth the wait. Derek, good at telling bad jokes. Especially if the stakes are high! (or should that be steaks?). His poem was about an art installation with the words ‘I love you’ in 311 languages. Wall of Love (Mr soppy or ode to his girlfriend). 311 words to say I love you, 311 ways to mislead, misinform, misdirect. A little cynicism slipping into this love poem. Another about a trip to Disney Land Paris, from steamboat Willie to photo opportunity, a shop, all the punters taken for another ride. A second helping of possible cynicism creeping in.

Roya made her first appearance and read a fascinating piece of flash fiction. Marie Antoinette is helping her flat mates move. But keeps producing pillows but achieves little else much to the frustration of the others. Then Mark appears with two full sized antlers. Marie Antoinette doesn’t understand.

POWER CUT, the lights go out…..no wait, it’s all part of the finale drama, welcome to the stage our even more special guest, J Arthur Prufrock.

He complains that he has been misnamed in the local press. But, ‘before I read this poem’ we, the audience get instructions on the form of the poem, the history, how to react to certain parts, especially stanza 71, 74, 75 and 129. So, as he is about to treat us to sixty minutes of artistic and poetic genius he is rudely interrupted by John. Time check, Poetika has burst at the seams, we are running wild crazily beyond 9.30, even more outrageously heading to 10 and beyond, unknown territory. ‘I can’t do anything shorter, but I can do something concise.’ With that, he launches into the final delight poem of the evening.

So as the evening ends and our extra-large audience queue to exit the building there is still time for some final announcement.

No Poetika next month, the gasps of shock reverberate around the Cloisters. Summer break. But wait, it’s not all bad news, Poetika will return on Wednesday 20th September, everyone has two whole months to write new material or rehash old ones. Then October will be a special month, an early Sunday Poetika for the Salisbury Fringe, usual fare on Wed 19th then again at the end of the month for the inaugural Salisbury Literary Festival.

And finally, Deborah and David Robinson have their latest art on display from July 21st until August the 3rd. Well worth a visit, I was there on Friday night enjoying nibbles and wine watch the apocalyptic rain in the safe surroundings of the Hayloft, Wick Lane, Christchurch.


And finally finally – have a great summer break from all at Poetika.Poeticka on holiday 2017