Tag Archives: Stratford-Upon-Avon

Poetry is Life


Once in a while you get golden opportunities to do something outside of your normal/usual experience. I have always loved finding places for my poems outside the bound pages of a book, this is why they have appeared in Bank Vaults for an International Dance Festival, formed art installations, been displayed on poetry trails at festivals and on fences at museums and hung on branches of trees.

I love performing at unique events also. That is what last night was to me.

Cordula Kempe lives in the Kempe Studio at The Muses in Stratford-upon-Avon, where she produces an annual programme (and has done for 30 years) in aid of The Ruldolf Kempe Society in support of Young Musicians/Artists. Dame Judi Dench is the Patron.

I have known about these classical programmes since 2016, Cordula uses actors for the readings, although from time to time there are opportunities to contribute poems to the Word & Music Programmes, Cordula (as far as I know) has never used the poets themselves for the readings.

Songs of Apollo Word and Music Events

A new way to meet, enjoy and love the Classics

Bergonzi Quartet & Friends
with RSC and NT Actors

Kempe Studio at The Muses
58 Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6BA

Last night ‘Poetry is Life: Colour, Light and Shade’ was a programme of music & poetry read by actors & poets devised by Cordula Kempe, Angela France & Zubin Varla.

It was a truly magical experience. Crossing the lines of my acting past and my writing present, being absorbed by words, music, humour, talent and soaking up the atmosphere created by 22 creatives in a room as wonderful as the studio. I know Poetry is Life – but if I was in any doubt I would know it now for sure.


Actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre are reading their own favourite poems on a given subject, which this year is colour, light and shade.

The words will be interwoven with short piano pieces ranging from Bach to Shostakovich, played by well-known actor and singer Zubin Varla. © Stratford-upon-Avon Herald 2018



It was a privilege to be part of ‘Poetry is Life’ last night, the Songs of Apollo programme  devised by Cordula Kempe with words and music music, traditionally the words have been spoken by actors. Programme 1 of the 2018 season was special because it included invited poets reading their work.

Following a workshop with Angela France last year, poems were submitted and the accepted works formed part of the script. 
There were 15 poets involved in last night’s performance: 
Angela France, Nina Lewis, Kathryn Alderman, Jenna Plewes, Marg Roberts, Connie Ramsay Bott, Ann Alexander, Wendy Freeman, Cathy Whittaker, Belinda Rimmer, Susan Davies, Hazell Hills, Ann Drysdale, John Mason & Linda Williams.

A wonderful experience to be part of.





Emmapress – Mildly Erotic Poetry Book Launch



Mildly-Erotic-Poetry-Tour1 em Title-copy-copy1

Tonight I enjoyed a fabulous book launch in Stratford-Upon-Avon, at the 1 emma p Emmapress received Arts Council Funding for a poetry tour and have set up events around the UK to promote the launch of the book. You can find out more here1 em Mildly-Erotic

I arrived after a major de-tour of the town (I have never needed a sat-nav more!) fortunately I wasn’t late for the event and even managed to get a seat!

I recognised a few people in the room – proof the world of poetry is a small one. There were lots of students from the Shakespeare Institute – supporting Richard O’Brien, it reminded me of haydays (uni days) that I like to pretend were not long ago, but are actually counted on nearly 2 sets of fingers now!

I enjoyed poetry from the anthology by three contributors;

Ruth Wiggins 1em

Rachel Piercey 1emmapr

Richard O’Brien 1 em

I had seen online that there were open mic opportunities and earlier on today some of them had not been filled. I had submitted work to the anthology and had it deemed too erotic, the poem I chose may have come down on the emotive side of erotica rather than mildly erotic. It is about dancers and as an ex-dancer/performer myself I have always read the charged bodies as sexually placed on stage – often choreographers play to the roles of sexuality – in fact (back in the nearly counting on 2 sets of hands days) I wrote a dissertation on the role of gender and sexuality in performance.

People spoke to me after about my poem, which I found very touching (no pun intended!)

It seems the dance – eroticism is only in my mind maybe…

I sat with a group of strangers and the whole 1st half I felt I recognised someone at the table. After the interval and after we had both performed our poems, I plucked up courage… I had seen Geraldine reading her poetry at the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham Literature Festival) at the Art in the Heart event! And have one of her poems on my bookshelf! blf art heart book

Thanks to Patrick and Geraldine for your wonderful company at the end of the evening. 1 emmap

1emmapress And to Emma for taking the risk with un-vetted open mic poets – who brought their own mix of mildly erotic word shaping to the evenings launch!

Learning Lines and Loving Life – 2nd performance at the mic


Today I am lucky enough to be working from home, I am trying to learn some of my set off by heart and am practising my poem for tonight. I have found out there will be just 6 of us performing after the Emmapress Mildly Erotic Poetry Tour, tonight in Statford- Upon-Avon. Mildly-Erotic-Poetry-Tour

I am looking forward to my second spot behind the mic in 15 years tonight! 2012 brighton 532