Helen Ivory’s Guide (continued)

Local poets Sarah Law, Gary Kissick and Martin Figura have read there, along with visiting writers such as Roger Garfitt. Each session has a guest reader and open mic slot. The Poetry Cubicle meets on the first Monday of the month starting at six pm at The Tea House, Wrights Road, Elm Hill. These meetings are informal and intimate platforms for local poets and musicians from the well-seasoned – Sara Wingate Gray, Lawrence Bradby and Ramona Herdman – to trembling beginners. And Open Mic meets on the last Sunday of the month at The Ten Bells pub in St Benedicts Street at 8.30pm. Also keep an eye out for events at Ottakars, Waterstones, UEA's Centre for Creative and Performing Arts and Norwich Arts Centre.


Creative writing courses ensure a constant flow of lively activity, as with all university cities. Norwich Art School's MA (Writing the Visual) and BA (Creative Writing) devised by George Szirtes and Andrea Holland have produced four Eric Gregory Award winners including Tom Warner and myself. UEA's MA also has its fair share of Gregory Award winners (Esther Morgan, Matthew Hollis). It was started by Andrew Motion but is now tutored by Denise Riley, Michèle Roberts and George Szirtes.


UEA's Continuing Education department runs introductory and advanced poetry courses and some outreach courses catering for the rural environment. I teach at Introductory and Diploma level, as do poets Sarah Law and Tom Warner. We create a relaxed atmosphere and welcome complete beginners and more advanced writers. City College and Wensum Lodge and Adult Education also offer level 1 and 2 writing and UEA is experimenting with an on-line course in poetry.


Local publications include The Rialto (Michael Mackmin) and Spiked (Thea Abbot). These are quality quarterlies, publishing both local writers and those from further afield. Pen&Inc (UEA) publishes an annual anthology, Reactions, which until recently was edited by Esther Morgan. They also publish Pretext, a bi-annual guest-edited paperback containing both poetry and prose.


It was once said that Norwich had a church for every week and a pub for every day. I don't know whether this is true any longer, but I'm certain that your poetry calendar will be well catered for.


Helen Ivory's The Double Life of Clocks is published by Bloodaxe.

Poetry News Summer 2004

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