Poetry with Friends is the poetry appreciation with a difference group I attempt to co-parent with artist Gail Curry from Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC. I say “attempt” because Poetry with Friends (PWF for short) bypassed baby steps and teething and is now marching around Whitley Bay in DMs making new friends and dragging them along to our Thursday morning and Tuesday evening sessions.
Poetry with Friends has been running for over two years. We’ve seen a few friends come then go but there’s a core group of approximately 15 bods who flit between Tuesday evenings in St Paul’s Parish Centre and Thursday mornings in Whitley’s library.
I’ve missed quite a few PWF sessions this year so Gail has been in Madame Chair’s hot seat for most of 2016. If Gail can’t make a session I cover but sometimes (very occasionally) neither of us can make a PWF session. Thanks then to one of our Thursday “regulars” Joyce for chairing last Thursday’s session. The group welcomed newcomer Liz and shared some of their own poems plus work by Dylan Thomas, Cole Porter, Geordie Broon, Robin Moss, Vicky Arthurs and A.E Houseman.
Joyce said there was “LOTS of chat and good fellowship” last Thursday. Thanks, Joyce.
This Tuesday’s PWF saw me in Madame Chair’s seat. It was good to catch up with the PWF regulars and welcome back a poetry fan who first joined us almost two years ago. We shared poems by writers including T.S. Eliot, Ogden Nash, Mike Pratt, Louis MacNeice, William Blake and poems by some of the group. I was struck by David’s choice “In Praise of Songs that Die” by Vachel Lindsay.
PWF regular Ken Creen turned up halfway through the session. He’d just been to see Jo Scott read her work at Monkseaton Library. This coming Monday Ken and I will perform with fellow Poetry with Friends regular Harry Gallagher at John Hegley’s gig in Whitley Bay Library. All three of us are looking forward to sharing the stage with John.