Genista Lewes

Genista Lewes

Genista  began her working life as an actor. Later in life she trained as a teacher and lectured in Art History at the Somerset College of Art. In the early 90’s she was an early member of the Fire River poetry Taunton poetry group.   She subsequently became a tutor of Creative Writing at Bridgwater College and the Bridgwater Arts Centre. She attended Selima Hill’s Advanced Poetry workshops in Exeter and with Fire River Poets began to give readings in the West country and further afield. Genista particularly enjoys performing her work but has also published poetry in the Small Press, in anthologies and poetry magazines and been placed in competitions. Her work has been heard on Radio 4 and many times on Local Radio.

Genista published her first full collection: ‘Cat’s Cradle’ in 2007 with Oversteps Books. A few copies obtainable by post from the author or in Brendon Books, Taunton.
“Genista Lewes’s work has a wonderfully haunting quality. It accompanies one to the edge where the echoes of elusive memories and other worlds are momentarily and marvellously available.” Mary Maher 

Fire River Poets remains a thriving group, promoting and encouraging both writing and appreciation of poetry. Genista continues to read her work regularly and collaborates with other group members in organising monthly reading by highly regarded poets at the Creative Innovation Centre (CICIC) Taunton.

Some examples of Genista’s work:
She knows
a reckoning
Alice’s door
Beneath the Bridge
Original Skin
Poetry Reading
The Sisters

She knows

‘She knows’ by Genista Lewes was awarded First Prize in the
‘The Page is Printed’ poetry competition at the Tacchi-Morris open mic event, June 2015

a reckoning

and all the while
as winter held its breath
I never knew  

never realized that you had tucked
a thousand papery bulbs
into the patient soil or that we too  

would hold our breath
until the thaw
began to take effect  

and how I’d come to understand
that breath that’s held too long
can be as perilous as permafrost  

yet once exhaled
can make a spring time
reckoning come true  

© Genista Lewes     from ‘Cat’s Cradle’

Alice’s door

a teapot’s silvery curves
our world reflected in its polished cheek

so how to sneak through

how to spread ourselves thin
avoid the taint of patina

and what will be left behind
traces of temper   a coloured stain on the cloth

 a cup of cooling tea

we perch at the limits
of the earth’s unstable core

breathe in the verdigris of  prejudice
trip over rhetoric   are laid out like cards

 on a glass table
no-one has yet seen through 

almost out of reach
a door handle speaks
makes plain its enduring message   

on tiptoe we go
not even sure of slipping through unscathed

shrinkand grow
shrinkand grow
this is the way our fantasies go…

© Genista Lewes     from ‘Cat’s Cradle’

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