Colpitts Poetry was established in 1975 to bring a wide variety of contemporary poets to Durham to read and discuss their own work. It took its name from its original meeting-place, the Colpitts Hotel, a small pub in Hawthorn Terrace, Durham, and continues to use the same name although over the years the venue has varied.
Interweaves themes of emotion and abstraction, the felt and the thought. Her work encompasses love, politics, loss, and philosophy. She has three collections of poetry, The Long Interval (Bloodaxe 1986) Flowers of Fever (Iron Press 1992) The Apple Exchange (Flambard 1999). Her work has appeared in various anthologies, most notably in New Women Poets (Bloodaxe 1993) and in the prestigious Forward Book of Poetry 2001. She has received two awards for her writing from Northern Arts. Her co-edited book The Poetry of Perestroika (Iron Press 1991) was the first of its kind and received world wide attention and acclaim. Originally from Warwickshire, she has lived in Durham City since 1965, bringing up a son and daughter and working as a journalist. She has three grandsons. She tutors part-time for the WEA. A member of Vane Women group although she started out as the group’s tutor. The group has gone from strength to strength and now has its own small press imprint. A poet of long standing with a great reputation for encouraging new writers. She has and dopes run several writers groups.
Prebends Bridge - built in 1777, it offers spectacular views of Durham Cathedral. Turner painted from here. At the west end a plaque features Sir Walter Scott’s words about Durham: ‘Grey towers of Durham, yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles, half church of God, half castle ‘gainst the Scot, and long to roam these venerable aisles, with records stored of deeds long since forgot.’
OTHER POETRY Magazine
Other Poetry was founded over twenty years ago, and published continuously throughout the 1980s. After a five-year break, it was revived in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1995, and has been publishing, at the rate of three issues a year, ever since.
It is a magazine dedicated to good poetry in all its forms. As the editors put it, in introducing Issue 4 of the Second Series:
It is in the act of writing that the individual is closest to the live nerve of her or his imagination: closest to both subject and language. We are all categorisers par excellence, and many get through life simply by pigeon-holing. The editors of Other Poetry are hoping to discourage that tendency. They are looking for individual responses to life, in poems of intelligence,
sensitivity and skill, whether the writers’
names be familiar or new, and irrespective
of fashions in subject matter and style.
The magazine is open to anyone with something to say and an interesting way to say it. The late Evangeline Paterson, the magazine’s long-standing editor and champion, underlined this openness in explaining her decision to relaunch the magazine:
‘We are expressing our right to differ. We are a protest against monopoly and hype. We believe there are many good poems which may not conform to current trends, and we want to see these poems brought into daylight. We believe it is important to maintain outlets, however small, where work can be judged, not by whether it is commercial or fashionable, but by whether it is the authentic stuff of life - perhaps not for everybody, but for somebody; where the work of an unknown writer has as good a chance as that of the established.’
MICHAEL STANDEN Poet and Novelist.
Spent his childhood near London but has moved steadily North. Following an adult education career with the WEA. He now co-edits ‘Other Poetry’ . He has published four novels with Heinemann and one with the OUP. Two collections of poetry ‘Time’s Fly-past’ (Flambard 1991) and ‘ Gifts of Egypt’ (Shoestring 2002).
JAMES RODERICK BURNS Poet and Writer lives and works in Edinburgh. Originally from the north east of England, he spent five years in the USA before returning to Britain. A chapbook of his fiction, 'A Bunch of Fives,' from Mudfog Press is available.
PETER BENNET : Poet
Peter Bennet lives in rural Northumberland near the Wild Hills o'Wanney. He taught at five schools, including the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and then worked in adult education for a number of institutions throughout the North East: Derwentside College, Newcastle University, Northumberland College, the Open University, and Sunderland University. Subsequently he spent sixteen years as Tutor Organiser for Northumberland with the WEA. He has published six books of poetry the latest being ‘The Long Pack’ (Flambard)
RICHARD KELL Poet and Composer
Richard Kell was born in Co. Cork in 1927. He has published four books and three pamphlets of poems including Control Tower (1962), Differences (1969), Humours (1978) and Heartwood (1978). He has contributed to Irish and English periodicals, and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. Between 1960 and 1973 he was poetry reviewer for The Guardian and then The Critical Survey. As a composer, he has had pieces performed by several orchestras, chamber groups and soloists, both professional and amateur. He is a co-editor of Other Poetry.
ARROWHEAD PRESS DarlingtonEstablished September 2001 with the production of 'On Sketty Sands'.Run by Roger Collett, Managing Editor. Joanna Boulter, Poetry Editor.Fifth title - Redemption Songs - Annie Wright, out March 2003.Website set up October 2001.Arrowhead provides a platform for poets who have established themselves bybeing published in magazines and by winning poetry competitions to take thenext step and have either a pamphlet or a full collection published. Allsales receipts are ploughed back in to the kitty to publish the next bookand Arrowhead is non-profit making. We pride ourselves on the quality of ourpublications and continually strive to improve the standard of the materialsand workmanship used in our books.2002 landmarks - 1) Northern Promise Award for our Poetry Editor. 2) Aldeburgh Festival appearance for author BobCooper coinciding with the publication of his first full collection 'All WeKnow Is All We See'.
Joanna Boulter d.o.b. 14.6.42; poet; author of 2 pamphlets Running With The Unicorns (Bay Press, 1994) and On Sketty Sands (Arrowhead Press, 2001); founder member of Vane Women; winner of Northern Arts Tyrone Guthrie Award 1997 and NWN Northern Promise Award 2002; also in 2002 gained MA in Writing Poetry (Newcastle University) with distinction.
Born 1918April 23rd in South Shields
Author of the poem’The Love that dares to Speak its Name’
A blasphemy trial took place on 4th July 1997 and Gay News were charged and found guilty. The poem which is still banned in this country has had a far greater audience due to the trial than it ever would have had. The poem concerns a roman centurion who has necrophilic sex with Christ.
The poem was read out in public and distributed on the steps of St Martins-in-the-field in Trafalgar Square on July 11th 2002 as a protest against blasphemy laws supporting the petition were writers Iain Banks, Edward Bond, Zoe Fairbairns, Alan Brownjohn , John Mortimer and many others artists, politicians and singers.
Started in 1988 Writearound was until its demise the longest running literary festibval in the North East.
The first poet laureate, Ghazala Bashir was inaugurated during Writearound 1998.Others that followed include Pauline Plummer, Nora Hills and Andy Willoughby.
Middlesbrough's poet laureate in 1999. published a pamphlet of poems called 'No Small Fire' by Mudfog press. Born on 27th of January. Now living in France.
Fine performance poet and current Poet laureate of Middlesbrough. Driving force behind the Hydrogen Jukebox. Andy Willoughby grew up in Cleveland between the strange dichotomy of the beautiful iron-emptied Eston Hills (Now vandalised by giant pylons of the national grid against the wishes of most residents) and the blast furnaces of Grangetown
with it’s night time orange skies. He learnt the true nature of post-industrial suffering by supporting Middlesbrough from childhood and was a genuine member of the lowest gate in the clubs history. He went into exile at Kent University at Canterbury where his flat vowels came under serious threat due to being completely surrounded by the privileged southern issue of the bourgeoisie. However he managed to twoc a First , the T.S. Eliot prize for poetry and a W.B. Yeats studentship to attend poetry workshops with Seamus Heaney and drama classes with Katherine Worth in Sligo despite consuming copious quantities of beer in a three year tribute to the legendary Oliver Reed (and Ernest Borgnine in “The Vikings”.)
After sorting out his vowels in Sheffield doing a Masters in Film and Theatre he lived and worked as a lecturer , playwright , actor and performance poet in Tokyo, Manchester, London before returning to the North-East to teach Film, Drama and Literature at Darlington College of technology. He is published in “Oral”- an anthology of British Performance Poetry(Sceptre Press 1999). He has performed regularly since returning at The Verb garden in Middlesbrough supporting poets like Tony Harrison and Linton Kwesi Johnson .He is founder and Co-Director of the Hydrogen Jukebox Cabaret of The Spoken Word based at Darlington Arts Centre which has brought performance poets from all over the country to a young audience in a dynamic format of poetry, alternative comedy and music and is going from strength to strength. He is also currently arranging an international exchange between Teesside poets and poets from Turku in Finland where he has performed for the last three years at the DBLT festival.
PAULINE PLUMMER, poet. born Liverpool. January.First published in 1992 - most recent 2000. This means that I hit writing in middle age! A late time to start, but not unusual for women. In terms of writing what I have enjoyed most are collaborations, e.g. having a poem on the buses in Middlesbrough, working with painter Annette Chevallier on a touring exhbition of poems and paintings. Writing has led to much travelling! I spent three months in Sierra Leone giving creative writingworkshops and also toured around Mali for inspiration. Oh yes, in 1993 I had to climb up the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough for ‘In A City art’ a Tyne Tees film about the arts on Teesside. I had to stand and read a poem on the top. I was terrified as I don't like heights and my legs were shaking. I am involved as an editor with Mud Fog Press and have been doing so for about 6 years, editing many pamphlets of poetry and short stories.The factors that encouraged me to get into writing wasa) membership of the now defunct Middlesbrough based writers' group - Teesside Writers Workshop where everyone was so positive and supportive. Wealso got together to produce a free pamphlet of local writing distributed through the librariesb) the editor of Tees Valley Writer the late Derek Gregory was always very encouraging. He died a few years ago and his collection of short stories was recently launched by Iron Press. I do workshops on the MA Creative Writing at Northumbria University and have worked for the last 7 years with many interesting poets, such as Andrew Waterhouse, Valerie Laws and other younger people on their way such as John Papper, Angela Readman and Adam Fish.
has been making a name for herself on the Darlington-Middlesbrough scene with her electric poetry and as cabaret host of Hydrogen Juke Box at Darlington Arts Centre. Her poetry has verve, attitude and sharp delivery, so watch out, punters, for sharp arrows finding their mark. As if is her first collection published by 'Vane Women'
THE VERB GARDEN
Excellent live literature platform in Middlesbrough. First held in 'The Arc' in Stocton as part of the Writearound Festival. The first Mudfog books were launched here too.
OUTLET Editors Trev Teasdel
TEES VALLEY WRITER Ed: Derek Gregory
Teeside Literary magazine that demised shortly after the death of its Editor.
THE SINGING MEN a new collection of short stories by Derek Gregory.. ..Iron Press ISBN 0 906228 86 7
Teesider Derek Gregory died in 1996, his legacy to the writing world, till now, was as the respected editor of the erstwhile literary magazine, Tees Valley Writer. This collection of stories were found by Hartlepool novelist , Mark Adlard, who also edited the book. Many of them have never been published before.
DURHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL
Long established Festival now ran by Durham City Arts.
A fanzine style freesheet, Poetry, cartoons, graphics, prose, pop culture,
Distributed free in mid eighties to libraries in East Durham.
Edited by Kevin Cadwallender.
Publisher and collective of writers. Pamphlets and books including
SUBHADASSI: Sublunary Voodoo (Mudfog)
Subhadassi's Literary Project Work includes a Poetry Film Residency 1999 (New Writing North) and Wall, Window, Ceiling, Floor, a collaborative project with poets and visual artists. Publication includes Sublunary Voodoo, Mudfog Press (1998); Up, Prop and The Other Poetry (1999); Poems published in Urthona, Smith's Knoll, and The Echo Room Yearbook (1998). His work has been broadcasted on Sounds from the Border BBC Newcastle (1999). Subhadassi received a Northern Arts Writers' Award, London Buddhist Arts Centre Award and New Writing North Mentoring Scheme Award (all in 1998).
DEERNESS VALLEY WRITERS
is a writing group founded in 1997 and based in Esh Winning, County Durham. Their first anthology 'Write Up Your Valley' Ed: Margaret Lewis was published in 1999, their second 'Monks, Miners and Moonshine' in 2000. Their third,'Laying Ghosts’ will be launched in Esh Winning library on 22nd May 2003.
Magazine started in York ran by Poet Mark Robinson ended its life at Issue 17 (eight years) in Stockton on Teeside. Most appearances in magazine Gordon Wardman, most consecutive appearances Andy Croft. Featured 284 poets and translators and published poetry from 24 countries. A small press classic. Whatever happened to Mark Robinson?
Margaret and Peter Lewis set up Flambard in 1990 as a small, independent press offering opportunities to new and neglected writers, especially in the North of England. From the outset Flambard has been keen to nourish developing talent. Poetry came first and is still the backbone of the list, but Flambard now publishes a small amount of fiction as well.
CYNTHIA FULLER 'Only a Small Boat' (Flambard)
Cynthia Fuller's distinctive poetic voice is immediately recognisable in this third collection, Only a Small Boat, but she also extends her range by exploring substantially different areas of experience in each of its three sections. These poems move out of 'past homes, old addresses... left here' towards the discovery of 'what kind of house could fold love safe.' culminating in a sequence of love poems. Equally at home in inner and outer landscapes, they are shaped now by memory, now by the history of the pit village in County Durham where Cynthia Fuller lives. Here, in both people and places, is a sense of continuity and hope.
Andy Croft lives in Middlesbrough, where he makes a living teaching poetry in local schools. He has written nineteen books for teenagers about football, and has published widely on the literary history of the British Labour Movement, including Red Letter Days, Out of the Old Earth, A Weapon in the Struggle and Selected Poems of Randall Swingler. His three previous books of poetry are Nowhere Special, Gaps Between Hills (with Mark Robinson and photographer Dermot Blackburn) and Headland (with Dermot Blackburn). Also Just As Blue (Flambard) and Great North (Iron Press). Has edited a new book of socialist poetry due out in May.
'If Matthew Arnold had been a communist living in the last decade of our century, he would have written like Andy Croft.' MORNING STAR
NEIL ASTLEY lives in the Tarset Valley in north Northumberland. He is the editor of Bloodaxe Books which he founded in 1978. He has published several poetry anthologies, including Staying Alive, Poetry with an Edge and New Blood, a critical book on Tony Harrison, and two collections, Darwin Survivor (Peterloo, 1988: Poetry Book Society Recommendation) and Biting My Tongue (Bloodaxe, 1995). He has received a Gregory Award for his poetry and a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books. The End of My Tether (Flambard), his first novel, was written with the assistance of several animals and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for a first novel in 2002.
Murder Squad - Crime fiction to die for: published by Flambard
Val McDermid writes: "This collection is a showcase of some of the most interesting voices in contemporary British fiction. These are all writers who constantly strive to improve their grasp of their craft and who are never satisfied with leaving the genre as they found it."
Mat Coward wrote in the MORNING STAR on December 10:"Their first collection gets my vote for anthology of the year. The collective has brought together a group of very different authors who complement each other's work superbly. There are private eye stories, police procedurals and pieces in which ordinary people become involved in terrible events. The one thing that they all have in common is lively and literary writing."
The group's members are available collectively, individually or in any combination to grace literary festivals, library events, bookshop readings, post-prandial speeches or murder-mystery evenings. Knowing them as I do, I suspect they'd probably come up with a more than adequate cabaret for any occasion from a christening to a wake. And this anthology amply demonstrates that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. Murder Squad's members are a rainbow coalition, spanning among them the whole colourful spectrum of contemporary crime fiction."
MURDER SQUAD is the collective name adopted by seven leading crime writers, now launching their first anthology.
MURDER SQUAD writers do not conform to any one brand of crime fiction but promote the entire spectrum of the genre.
MURDER SQUAD exists to encourage an interest in cutting-edge crime writing. Since forming the collective in 2000, its members have given readings and held workshops and masterclasses at many venues and literary festivals throughout the UK. The latest news of their activities can be found on the Murder Squad website .
MURDER SQUAD - something altogether new in British crime writing. "This book is a celebration, indulge yourself. Or else." (Val McDermid)
A publisher and Competition sponsor.
Has worked in Arts administration with Cleveland Arts and Creative partnerships. Won a Northern Writers Award and the Biscuit Poetry Award.
Is currently running the Verb Garden and writing a book based around Captain Cook.
Collection : 'Huggin and Munnin' (Biscuit)
MAUREEN ALMOND 'Oyster Baby'
was born in County Durham but lives in Teesside. Began writing in 1992. Holds a Higher Education Diploma in Creative writing from Leeds University and an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University. A pamphlet 'Hot' and a first collection 'Tailor Tacks' were published by 'Mudfog Books'. Runner up in the Biscuit Prize Competition. Is a full time writer.
EAST DURHAM WRITERS WORKSHOP
A Writers group very active in the early eighties brought about as a bringing together of two groups Peterlee Writers Circle and Peterlee Youth Drama Writers Workshop by writer Keith Armstrong. Members included Bill Levitas (stepson of S.J.Litherland)
Kevin Cadwallender, Chris Storey (works for BBC), Mary'Nightingale' Bell and Joy Larraine (Womens Words/ In the pink anthology). Many anthologies to their credit. Membership numbers were as high as sixty people at one point. Split into three rival groups, but only the East Durham Writers survived the split and ran as a group under the guidance of Mary N.Bell for a time. Defunct now as far as I know.
Magazine from East Durham Edited by Kevin Cadwallender
About Nine issues in existence.Most famous contributor :Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
KEVIN CADWALLENDER Poet,Editor, Playwright, Music Journalist.
Born in Hartlepool 1958. Editor of Toerag and Hybrid magazines and small press which published 20 chapbooks between 1990 and 1995..(Including Mark Robinson's first chapbook), Nick Toczek and the Scottish poets Bob Shields and Billy Cornwall. Editor of 'Big Red Yonkly'(Rookbook). Other imprints of Hybrid include 'The Candyman's Trumpet' 'Blue Moon' and 'Cold Maverick' which published Michael Cloud and Keith Armstrong in 1999. Poetry includes 'BAZ POEMS' (Rebel Inc), 'THE LAST GREAT NORTHERN WHALE' (Rookbook), VIEWS OF VIEWS (Great North Forest) Book and Animations.HARDLY LITERATURE (with The Hardly Boys) PUBLIC (Iron Press), VOYAGES (Cleveland Arts). Has worked with Anton Hecht on two films the last of which was 'Around the World in Eighty Lines'. Poetry Residencies include the Cumbrian Co-op, Durham Light Infantry Museum and Arts Centre for Durham County Arts and Libraries; Sunderland Echo, South Tees Health Trust and the Great North Forest. 'one2five' booklet with four other poets (Tom Pickard, Kitty Fitzgerald, Alistair Robinson and David B.Calder) published March 2003. Currently working on research for Independent Northern Publishers Timeline (this) and translating Shakespearean Sonnets into North Eastern Dialect for 'Wor Sonnets' to be published later this year. Editor of SAND magazine which will be launched with a website and readings over the Spring.
Was the brainchild of Alan Edge. An evening combining Jazz and poetry that ran sporadically in the late nineties and early 2000's.Met at the Head of Steam and various other venues.
STAND AND DELIVER
Open microphone venue which ran at 'The Old George' in Newcastle for a while from 1996- 200? Organised by Graham C.Brown and Yvonne Brown. Performers included Kevin Cadwallender, Neville Clay (Brenda System), Richard Pearce(William Bloke), Michael Cloud, Ally May, Angela Readman, Joan Johnston, Sylvia Forrest, Jon the Punk Poet, James Oates, Elle Ludkin, Alan C.Brown, Johnny Nichol and many,many more.
THE LOOKING GLASS
Magazine linked to the literature society at University of Sunderland. Most active when Steve Larkin and Tom Parry ran The Litsoc and the venue 'The Poet's Stage at 'The Royalty' Sunderland.Poets who read for society included Tony Harrison, John Cooper Clarke and many others.
Elusive and sporadic Sunderland based magazine founded in 1991. P.O.Box 77 Sunderland SR1 1EB. (Two first class stamps for one issue or £2.50 for 5 Issues.