Poetry with Friends is a poetry appreciation group with a difference. I think the difference is our merry band of North East England coast-dwelling souls care about other group members. Care and concern for fellow attendees of our meetings has led to friendships as well as the publication of at least one book.


Yesterday’s book launch in North Shields of Kisses from Above by John Gardham Lowe is a direct result of caring about another poetry lover. John was a regular at Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC’s Poetry with Friends groups. John wanted to get his work published and asked me for advice. I helped fulfil his wish but sadly he died before the book was printed.

In the past week Kisses from Above has featured in our local paper, The Journal, on BBC Radio Newcastle and we’ve nearly sold out of copies of the book. The “we” I’m referring to includes John’s “kids” (as he used to call them), son and daughter Steve and Deborah plus publisher Angie Stanger-Leathes of Limelight Classic Productions and Gail Curry of Happy Planet Creative Arts.

johns-accordian-boxJohn will never been forgotten by his chums at Poetry with Friends. How can we forget his smile, his love of John Masefield and playing the accordian, his cheeky sense of humour and his baking skills?! Our poetry groups resume meeting this week after an extended Christmas break. Our first Thursday morning session of the year takes place this Thursday 26th January at Whitley Bay library from 11 am. It is followed next week by our first Tuesday evening session at St Paul’s Church centre on the 31st from 7pm. I suspect we will be talking about and sharing poems from Kisses from Above.