Archives for posts with tag: Martin Figura

Today is the 22nd National Poetry Day and I marked it by running a poetry appreciation in a North Tyneside park.


Northumberland Park, nestled between North Shields and Tynemouth, is a glorious mix of Victorian elegance and 21st century urban open space. I love it and jumped at the chance of running a two hour poetry appreciation session in the room next to the cafe.

Five of the eleven attendees were Poetry with Friends regulars and the two hour session followed the same format as our popular PWF get togethers on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings.

This year’s theme for National Poetry Day is “messages” and we kept that in mind as we shared our own poems as well as work by Rudyard Kipling, Mary Oliver, Martin Figuera, Carol Ann Duffy, Walter de la Mare, Maya Angelou and more.


Poetry with Friends stalwart, Ken asked what message could we get out of the session. We were undecided but I think it’s fair to say we covered life, the universe and almost everything in our time together. We laughed a great deal too. And enjoyed the October sun in our break.

Thanks to Northumberland Park’s ranger and attendees for making today so enjoyable.





No I’m not. I’m quoting from fellow North East poet, Scott Tyrrell who was read and enjoyed at our last Poetry with Friends of 2014 on Tuesday night.


Scott headlined at last month’s Free as a Bard evening at Whitley’s Jam Jar Cinema. He brought the house down that night and one of our regular Poetry with Friends attendees, Alan, bought Scott’s book, Grown Up. Alan did a great job of reading Scott’s poems out to the gang. Alan delivered the line “I am Fortune’s Pervert” with Scott’s impeccable timing. Scott will give a masterclass in poetic comic timing next month at Apples and Snake Scratch afternoon, Finding Funny.

This Poetry with Friends session was all about sharing our own work and throwing in the odd festive poem too including BC:AD by U A Fanthorpe and Family Christmas by Martin Figura. It’s the ultimate Crimbo poem! Seek it out!!

I shared three of my North Sea-inspired  haiku :

On the grey North Sea

white specks are boats dreaming of


At the water’s edge

Sanderlings play Catch Us If

You Can with the waves.

Time spent by the sea:

all our questions answered and

all our problems solved.

Poetry with Friends will return to Whitley Bay Library on  Thursday January 22nd and at The Mission on Tuesday 27th. The theme on the 27th is Beginnings.

Thank you to all attendees plus Happy Planet’s Gail Curry for a series of wonderful, enlightening and life-affirming sessions. Poetry makes life smell, sound, feel and taste better.

Happy Planet


Pear flavoured marshmallows from Gareth James, the chocolatier in Tynemouth were sampled during this morning’s Poetry with Friends session at Whitley Bay Library. The jury is still out on the mallows (sorry Gareth) but we love your chocolates and hot drinks!

gareth james

The theme of today’s session was Otherness. It was a tough one but we managed to chat about:

I’m Nobody! Who Are you by Emily Dickinson

Discipline by George Herbert

I Would Like to be a dot in a painting by Miro by Moniza Alvi

The Grey Eye by Martin Figura

The Mystery of Pain by Emily Dickinson

Death by George Herbert

Every Day Life by Svetislav Stefanovich

To my Master in Zen by James Kirkup

The Quest for Tropical Paradise by Sheree Mack

Night by William Blake

Full Walnut Moon by Jen Hadfield

Corpse by Kirstin Luckins

What an interesting couple of hours!

The next Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay is on November 13th. Come and join us. Visit for more info.



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