About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Poetry openings and a visit to All Saints, Clifton

 My small corner of the poetry community is opening up, just a little. I did my first real-life reading, in front of a real-life audience, in 17 months last Saturday night, at the Victoria Methodist Eco Fair. The space was cool and airy; all the audience, which was sizeable, wore masks; and it was a chance for me to read some of my new poems about the field, wood and common in the north Bristol edgelands that we visit most nights, as well as some older ones from 'The Shadow Factory'. I even sold some books. 

I don't have any photos of the event, but here's a couple I've half-inched from the church's FB page. 

The IsamBards have also been plotting some pop-up poetry over tea and biscuits in Pameli's kitchen, this time in the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, so if you're planning a visit and would like to hear us, make it the afternoon of Sunday 8th August from 2pm.

Prior to our refreshments, we'd been for a wander around All Saints Church in Clifton, which was designed and built in 1967 by architect Robert Potter, and which I'd intended to visit for ages. It was a treat to finally get there and see John Piper's striking and very beautiful fibreglass windows, which were cutting edge when installed (and painted in situ), the original Victorian Church, designed by G E Street, having been bombed in 1940. 

The Lady Chapel South window

Windows by the organ, itself a work of art

Perhaps the most sublime are the West Windows, offset by the beautiful, plain font.

The River of Life

The Tree of Life

I don't think I've seen such glorious blue light since I visited Liverpool's Catholic Cathedral. 

The altar, which was covered in a cloth but has fossils in it, apparently, has a decorative canopy or baldachino, which was designed for the new church and incorporated into the design.  

The angel on the left appears to have two left feet. 

Part of the old church, which was founded in 1868 and added to in 1909 and 1928, still stands. This includes the former narthex, now a chapel dedicated to St Richard of Chichester, with some (unimpressive) surviving Victorian glass and an East window by Christopher Webb, designed in tribute to one Ella Madeline Hodgson, who lobbied hard for the Church to be rebuilt after its destruction. I like the detail of the then vicar, Father Albert Luetchford, delivering up the new church building.

I also love the patterning on the ceiling, which is reminiscent of work by William Morris. Not surprising, perhaps, given that the narthex was designed by George Frederick Bodley, who, like Morris, had been a pupil of the original architect, G E Street, and collaborated extensively with him. 

Bread of heaven

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