Symposium Line-Up November 2018

It gives me great pleasure to post up the line up for our November Symposium. In no order, here are the amazing poets we have reading:

Malcolm Carson

You can read more about Malcolm’s work here. His most recent collection from Shoestring, Route Choice, includes five Edgar poems – you might hear some of those fabulous poems on the day. You could buy it here (or on the day at the pop-up bookshop). Malcolm has always been highly supportive of other writers and has worked as an editor and promoter of local poetry events. Many of you will know Malcolm through the reading group that he hosts at Cakes and Ale – which is an excellent event, in no small part down to Malcolm’s excellent skills as a host, arbiter and chairperson. For the last few years, he has also been the mc of a very successful event at the Borderlines festival – the ‘Poetry Breakfast’.

Judi Sutherland

I met Judi at this year at the Kendal Poetry Festival and (perhaps quite rudely) asked her to read at the Symposium almost on the spot having heard her read. She is based at Barnard Castle and is another example of us pushing our links across our geographical region. You can see Judi’s website here. You can buy her pamphlet The Ship Owner’s House here (or – here’s a surprise – buy it on the day at the pop-up bookshop). I’d show you a picture of the book, but one of my students has run off with it.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore’s well known blog can be found here, if you have been wandering in the desert for a few years and don’t already know that. She is the co-founder and organiser of the outstanding Kendal Poetry Festival and another tireless supporter of fellow writers. It is her approach (along with an event that Vivien Jones rang in Dumfries last year) that made me stop worrying and start something: the Symposium. You can buy The Art of Falling from all good bookshops and I think there are still some copies of Kim’s pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves available through her website (or – and you might have heard this before – you can buy them on the day from the pop-up bookshop).

Autumn Richardson

As Autumn Richardson’s own site points out (here), her ‘poetry, translations and essays have appeared in literary and environmental journals throughout Canada and the UK’ and ‘in addition to private collections, her work is held by The British Library, The Saison Poetry Library and the Scottish Poetry Library’. I first became aware of her work by reading Reliquiae, which she publishes as one of the editors of Corbel Stone Press. In poetry you need to make your own discoveries for them to be as personal as possible, so in lieu of words can I point you towards where you can read a sample from An Almost-Gone Radiance here. You can buy it here (or – I hope, also – buy it alongside more of Autumn’s work at the pop-up bookshop on the day).

Richard Skelton

Richard Skelton is also an editor of Corbel Stone Press and of Reliquiae. You need to read Reliquiae, if I haven’t made that clear. After Josephine Dickinson’s blistering reading of the poem ‘Alphabetula’ at the last Symposium, I was struck by the urge to show just how broad poetic practice is in our own area (even though ‘area’ itself is mischievous and tricksy because we cross several borders to bring you this range of poets to the Symposium); I am very grateful that both Corbel Stone editors are willing to come to read at the Symposium. You can read one of many Quietus reviews and features on Richard Skelton’s musical work here, also. Richard Skelton’s publications can be found here (or – you’ll be able to buy them on the day at the pop-up bookshop!).


Impressive, no? We aim to have just as much open mic with the same guidance as last time, the pop-up bookshop, a panel discussion and even a rare acoustic appearance by Carlisle’s premier post-punk band. All in all, it should be a cracker. I even went on Radio Cumbria to publicise it! As I said on the radio, poetry should be a broad church of styles.

So, in true Speakeasy fashion and in homage to the great NP, the mythical men and women in the smokey back room should be happy with that!

(Please note changed date for ‘Freiraum’ which I imagine has been posted up on the Speakeasy group page)

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