Nick P… at the first Symposium. Very supportively.

Well? Are you coming tomorrow to the Carlisle Poetry Symposium tomorrow at Tullie House. I hope so. And you’re bringing your poetry to sell at the pop-up bookshop, too, yes? And you’re going to read, too? Yes? There are twenty open mic slots: but I’m sure you already know that because you’ve read that on the Symposium page. Especially if you’re one of the 140 people who’ve been on the Symposium page this August (!). Rather entertainingly, I’ve just found some ruminations of mine on the open mic sections after our last event (back in the mists of 2019) here. I read it and it made me chuckle. Take it with a pinch of salt (especially about the breaks – which will again be twenty minutes this time), but epic readers of open mic sagas do think on the rumination in the fourth paragraph (!).

Some thank yous. Thank you so much to the Featured Writers: Kelly Davis, Kerry Darbishire, Kate Davis, Ilse Pedler, David Hopkins (I’ll explain tomorrow…) and Joy Howard. Their enthusiasm and willingness to be involved is wonderful. Special thanks to Joy Howard for bringing her Grey Hen Press stall to the Symposium for the first (but hopefully not the last) time. Also thanks to Josephine Dickinson who will close the event, as is traditional – always an inspiring way to end (you can read more about Josephine’s previous performances here ( and here ( Thanks, too, to John Wilkinson for helping in various ways tomorrow at the pop-up bookshop and other ways, too. Thanks, too, to Tullie House and its staff for their help – we would be a homeless event without their continued support. Thanks, as well, to Mike Smith and Annie Foster who help and support me a lot behind the scenes with things. Finally, thank you to you for supporting the Symposium – even after our enforced break. More thanks tomorrow.

If you haven’t been before: please come. It’s free. Come and read. Come and sell your work at the pop-up bookshop. Come and listen to some outstanding contemporary poetry. Come and buy some contemporary poetry.

Here’s a peek at the running order:

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