The 2nd Festival of Suffolk Poetry,
John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket
The Suffolk Poetry Society hosted its second all-day festival on Saturday 30 May 2015. Colin Whyles, Festival Director, was at the helm, with assistance from fellow committee members.
The morning programme comprised poetry workshops, including a session entitled ‘Poem as Time Machine’, with quick-fire exercises presented by Michael Laskey, co-founder of the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Other workshops focused on the Villanelle poetry form (led by Suffolk Poetry Society President, James Knox Whittet) and on internal and external landscapes (led by Angela Locke, former Ipswich High School student, now a writer in Cumbria).
The afternoon events featured more than 30 members of 9 Poetry Cafés or groups from throughout our region, including a staff and student representation from University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. The poems displayed a huge variety of style and subject matter. Suffolk-themed pieces ranged from a railway rap to a poem by previous Society Chairman, Anne Boileau, on the theme of Thomas Gainsborough’s pocket watch.
There were more readings in the evening, including one from Michael Laskey. Douglas Coombes of InSuffolk (www.insuffolk.com) held an onstage conversation with three Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition Prize Winners, namely James Knox Whittet, Pam Job and David Healey.
A bookstall displayed an impressive range of members’ books, pamphlets and chapbooks. Poetry doctors were on hand for those who were having difficulty with a poem. There was a demonstration of calligraphy by Sue Hufton.
Society Chairman, Ian Griffiths, noted that the poetry presentations
‘were of an exemplary standard and demonstrated the vast range of creative and performing talent from poets in our region. Suffolk Poetry Society has worked hard to encourage and give voice to this talent.’
Festival Director, Colin Whyles, reflected on the event, describing it as
‘a scintillation of Suffolk poetry, spanning the generations.’
Caroline Gill, 2 June 2015
Suffolk Poetry Society Social Media Representative
This was the post-festival press release, which unfortunately appeared in somewhat distorted form in local papers.