June Poetry Reading with Roy Marshall, supported by Tony Challis

Poetry with Roy Marshall and Tony Challis

Monday, 19th June, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

At Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2D

Book tickets via Five Leaves: Poetry with Roy Marshall, supported by Tony Challis – Five Leaves Bookshop

Roy Marshall wanted to be a writer as a child and young man but became distracted for about twenty years during which time he found himself variously employed as a delivery driver, gardener and coronary care nurse, amongst other occupations. Since leaving nursing he has worked in adult education, both in community and as a part time university lecturer.  

Roy’s  first full collection The Sun Bathers (Shoestring Press , 2013) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy award. A second collection, The Great Animator, was published by Shoestring Press in 2017.  Roy’s versions of poems by the Italian poet Eugenio Montale, After Montale, were published in 2019, also Shoestring Press

Roy’s reading will be supported by Tony Challis:

Tony has had a long writing life and has been writing poetry since the 1980s. His poems have been published in various anthologies, he had a poem commended in a national poetry competition, and his prose has appeared in Late Outbursts (2014) and in Desire, Love, Identity (2019) both published by Bold Strokes. In 2018 Nottingham Writers’ Studio made him their Poet of the Year. For some years, Tony facilitated a Rainbow LGBT Writing Group in Nottingham Writers’ Studio. Tony is Chair of Nottingham Poetry Society, is keen on  performing his poetry at spoken word events, and is keen to share his substantial body of poetry with the world.


Second Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday Lecture

Poet and Publisher John Lucas will be talking about lost poet Norman Cameron

Our next event will be on  Wednesday 1st March, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Five Leaves Bookshop . This is the second Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday lecture, to be delivered by Beeston-based poet John Lucas, who runs Shoestring Press, the region’s biggest poetry publisher. John will be talking about the poetry of Norman Cameron, who was a contemporary and friend of Dylan Thomas, WC Sellar (who wrote 1066 and all that) and Robert Graves.

Born in Bombay, Cameron spent time in many countries, including teaching in Nigeria and in pre-war Germany, where he saw evidence of early concentration camps. His own war service ranged from writing radio comedies for the BBC through to parachuting into Yugoslavia to act as a translator in negotiations with Tito. Apart from translations, Cameron’s output came to seventy poems.

John Lucas will be delivering the 2nd Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday lecture on  poet, Norman Cameron (1905-1953).  The inaugural lecture was delivered by David himself last year, initiating a series the Society have established  to honour David’s  contribution over many decades  as a long serving stalwart of the Society and a man of immense learning, always worn lightly and graciously. The Society and the poetry loving public of Nottingham know that  no individual  embodies the spirit of this new annual feature of our programme than John Lucas.  

 Poems from Prison and Life by Marcos Ana (translated by David Duncombe)

One of our longstanding members and excellent poet David Duncombe has a new collection, Poems from Prison and Life by Marcos Ana. David has translated the poems of Marcos Ana, a political prisoner under Franco’s regime.

 Poems from Prison and Life by Marcos Ana (translated by David Duncombe)

£8.99  wwww.smokestack-books.co.uk

ISBN NO, 9781916312180

‘These poems were written in prison, in the depth of night, by the poor light of a peculiar lamp, assembled from an old inkwell, a little alcohol that I smuggled from the sick bay and a wick plaited from the lace of an espadrille. Afterwards when eyes and keys were waking up, I would hide my words in a shoe and while walking in the prison yard, on a circular path that led nowhere, I would memorise the poems, giving them form and harmony…’

The Spanish poet Marcos Ana (1920–2016) was Spain’s longest serving political prisoner. Captured at the end of the Spanish Civil War, he spent the next 23 years in Franco’s prisons, often in solitary confinement.

 In prison he started writing poems, which were smuggled out and published abroad, Ana was eventually released in 1961, following an international campaign led by Pablo Neruda, Rafael Alberti, Jean Paul Sartre, Yves Montand, Pablo Picasso and Joan Baez. Che Guevara was carrying one of Ana’s books when he was executed.

Clear, musical, painful and compelling, Poems from Prison and Life is the first English translation of Ana’s last book, published when he was 91, in order to ‘open a path of fire and rebellion in the hearts and minds of the new generations, in whose furrows we have sown our history.’

‘burning, militant poetry that exalts the voice of a people seeking the light of dawn, with peace in their banners and love in their throats… verses of struggle and hope.’ Pablo Neruda

 David Duncombe’s books include novels for children and five collections of poetry, Borders & Baggage, Joy Rider, Occupational Hazard, A Brave Show and Pencilling In. He has served in the Army and RAF, and taught in Nigeria and Derbyshire, where he was headteacher in a comprehensive school. He has travelled extensively in Spain and has family there,

Available from Smokestack Books (see above), Amazon Books (search for Marcos Ana, Poems from Prison and Life) or order from bookshops.

Matt Black – further dates for his Edinburgh Fringe Show ‘The Snoopy Question’


Many thanks to poet Matt Black for his highly entertaining show ‘The Snoopy Question’ – what a fabulous way to spend a Saturday afternoon! If you missed the show then you can catch it at the following venues:

“Excited to be doing double-bill evenings of 2 barking shows, myself with story/comedy/poetry show “The Snoopy Question” and the wonderful storyteller Maria Whatton with a great shaggy dog story” –

KENILWORTH Oct 19th, 7.30pm Tree House Bookshop, 4 The Square, Kenilworth CV8 1EB
BURTON Oct 23rd, 7.30pm Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union St, Burton on Trent, DE14 1AA
ALREWAS Nov 29th, 7.30pm The Bank Coffee House, Main St, Alrewas, DE13 7AE
BELPER Nov 30th, 7.30pm Number 28 Cafe, 28 Market Place, Belper DE56 1FZ (just myself)

The Snoopy Question
What happens when a man starts to think that dogs have the answer to all our problems? Starts to think he is a dog? What are dogs really like? Is it time for you to find your inner dog? A crazy canine journey into your own self with cheap props, a wild story, excellent poems, and Snoopy’s answer to world peace. Inspired by Lola (a rescue dog from Ireland) and current dog research, you’ll learn about dogs’ eyebrow techniques, how to talk to dogs nicely, and what percentage dog you are.
Comedy, science and poetry collide

City of Dogs
Imagine you wake up and realise you have a waggy tail and astonishing sense of smell. Maria Whatton takes us through a panorama of dog stories that land her behind bars forced to examine what really makes a dog a human’s best friend.

The Snoopy Question – show touring 2019-20
The Storm Officer – play touring 2020
What the Portuguese Water Spaniel Makes of Social Media
– book of dog poems coming out 2020
Tales from the Leaking Boot – travel haiku, Iron Press, 2018

Derbyshire Poet Laureate 2011-2013
+ 44 114 255 4030

‘Finding Our Voice’ with Cathy Grindrod and Henry Normal

Coming up soon we have a poetry event hosted by  Nottingham Poetry Society member Cathy Grindrod.

On Friday 5th July at 7.30pm at St Martin’s Church, Bilborough, NG8 3BH, there will be a performance by Bilborough Friday Writing Group (which Cathy facilitates).

Cathy will also be performing her own work, as will Henry Normal, (poet and BAFTA winning co-writer of TV shows including Mrs Merton and the Royle Family).  So this is a chance to hear from two award winning writers, as well as give your support to new and emerging writers.

It promises to be a ‘fun-filled evening of poems, stories and chat, refreshments and good company!’ What more could we ask for? Well it’s a free event! All welcome. Just turn up on the night.