We are delighted to invite Julie Sampson and Michellle Diaz to this FRP Zoom event.

Julie Sampson’s work is widely published in magazines and anthologies, and has been shortlisted, or highly commended in a variety of competitions (including Survision, James Tate Memorial Prize and Geoff Steven’s Memorial Poetry Prize).
She edited Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2009) and has three collections: Tessitura (Shearsman, 2011); It was when it was when it was (Dempsey and Windle, 2018); and Fivestones (Lapwing publications, 2022).
Julie has a PhD on writer H.D. (Exeter University, 1997). She researches the history of Devon’s women writers and is preparing publication of a non-fiction book as well as follow up collection to Fivestones, focused on Devon landscapes and family history.

Michelle Diaz lives in Glastonbury. She was made Chaired Bard of Ynis Witrin in 2022 – The Jubilee year. This meant lots of civic and poetic responsibilities.
She has been published in numerous journals, both online and in print ie Candlestick Press, Under the Radar and 14 Magazine. 
She was recently nominated for the Forward prize in the Single Poem category.
Her debut pamphlet ‘The Dancing Boy’ was published in 2019 by Against the Grain.
She is working on her first full collection.

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May 2nd, 2024: GENISTA LEWES

Many of Genista’s poems gain something by being read aloud, so as a former actor, she has enjoyed reading her work either solo, or with other members of the Fire River Poetry group in several venues. They include the Exeter Arts Centre (now The Phoenix), Dartington Literature Festival, Wells Literary Festival, The Plough Arts Centre, Black Torrington and others further afield.  Genista has read at monthly readings for many years with the Fire River Poetry Group and guest poets at the Brewhouse Theatre from 2011 and following on from there at the Creative Innovation Centre (CICIC) in Taunton until 2021.  These readings continue on Zoom for the present.

Recent publications: The Page is Printed (Tacchi Morris Arts Centre) for prize winning poems in 2014 and 2015   The Ver Prize shortlist 2014.  Shortlisted for the Wells Festival of Literature in 2014 –  judged by Andrew Motion.
Her first collection, Cat’s Cradle, was published in 2007 by Oversteps Press.

Tonight, Genista will be reading from her second collection, Tightrope (Elms Publishing March 2024).

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In Memoriam, Derek Power

Derek Power

We regretfully announce the death of our friend and former FRP member, Derek Power, who died in Musgrove on Monday 9th October, following surgery on his hip.

Derek was born in Oldham in 1932, but later moved to Falmouth, where he lived for fifteen years.  Whilst there, he joined Falmouth Poetry Group and became Chairman and Secretary.  Other members of that group, whom Derek got to know include such well-known names as Penelope Shuttle, Peter Redgrove and future Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.  Later, he moved to Taunton, where he worked as a pharmacist until his retirement.  Derek joined the Fire River Poets in 1989.  At that time and for some time after, the group was meeting at a series of venues, none of them ideal, until Derek took pity on us and offered his home.  From then on, for many years, he and his wife Eileen hosted our meetings and always made us most welcome (drinks were free, until we insisted on leaving a monetary contribution on the table).  We continued to enjoy Derek’s hospitality until early in 2017, when Eileen’s ill health and other factors made it impractical.

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Poetry at Taunton Literary Festival

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Do check out these three Poetry Events (below) at Taunton Literary Festival (BrendonBooks)

Tue 14 Nov 2023, 7 PM
An Evening With the Fire River Poets – The Thought of the Heart – Tickets £5

Sat 18 Nov 2023, 7 PM
Readings from Three Live Canon Poetry Competition Winners: Josephine Corcoran, Matt Bryden and Isabella Mead – Tickets £5

Tue 21 November 2023, 6.30 PM
Kalevala – Land of Heroes with Graham Fawcett – Tickets £12.50

Tickets can be obtained from: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER, Tel: 01823 337742, email brendonbooks@gmail.com
Or online directly from  TicketSource

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