Thursday’s Poetry with Friends session was inevitably overshadowed by that day’s EU Referendum. Even if attendees wanted to ignore it they couldn’t. Why? Well because the referendum transformed our usual room in Whitley Bay’s library into a polling station!

We had to have our meeting in a room upstairs. It looked a bit like our regular room but was slightly different. I wondered if this “almost the same but different” vibe would match the following morning’s mood after the referendum result had been announced…

Back to Thursday’s PWF session which saw Tuesday evening stalwart Alan join us for his first Thursday morning session. Alan was reassuringly familiar in his trademark shorts and delivered fresh poems written that morning both before and during the session.


The session was well-attended and lively. Tessa shared Blake’s Holy Thursday (apt as Radio 4 ran a programme about Blake that morning) and the rest of us shared work by ee cummings, Mary Oliver and work by our group members Gail, Liz, Tessa and Alan.

A week or so ago Guardian journalist John Harris wrote a piece about the EU Referendum. In it he quoted Italian Marxist theorist and politician Antoni Gramsci who was describing the world around him in early 20th century Europe. Harris quoted Gramsci: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new is yet to be born.”


These words ring true with what is happening now in British politics as well as what is happening with Poetry with Friends. Our Tuesday evening group remains homeless as does its “parent” body, Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC. The new is yet to be born for Happy Planet but rest assured we’ll keep you posted with our news via this blog and

As for British politics, I’ll leave you to follow the news the way you choose: reading papers, listening to the radio, watching TV or following developments online. We live in interesting times…