Artswords News October 2015

Dear Writers and Readers

October is here, and so is a festival of poetry in Swindon!

Yes, the month begins on a high with the fourth Swindon Festival of Poetry, 1st to 5th October.  Come along and find out why poet Robert Peake calls it the ‘friendliest and least pretentious’ festival. Meet the bard of the barge, Canals Laureate Jo Bell, who will be offering poetry on a slow boat in Swindon!  Savour poems over lunch, cake, or tea; make poetry mosaics; join a workshop; or just listen and join in in any way you like. For further details, see here.

To accompany the festival, Artsite is hosting a special exhibition uniting artists with poets in Poetry with Postcards from Monday 28th September to Sunday 4th October

On 6th October, an eight-week ARTSWORDS Writing Course, with Jill Sharp, begins at the Richard Jefferies Museum.This course is timed to coincide with worldwide NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
It offers practical advice and support in a relaxed but purposeful atmosphere. For further information see  or ring 01793 771080 or email

Mum’s the Word, a group for mothers interested in writing, next meets on Tuesday 6th October at 7.30pm at Lower Shaw Farm. For further information, please contact Monica at

On Tuesday 20th October at 7.30pm the Artswords Reading Group meets at Lower Shaw Farm to discuss The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrente. Without warning, Olga is left, by her husband, with two young children. Her world falls apart, in one sense, but, in another, she recreates it… Further information from Matt at 01793 771080 or

This month’s Artswords Writers' Cafe and Kitchen takes place from 6pm on Thursday 29th October at Lower Shaw Farm. Cost £2. Starts with pot-luck supper from 6pm. If you can, please bring something to nibble or drink, to share with others. Following acclimatisation with food and friendly chat, we take time to look at our writing. You may simply read your work for up to 5 minutes; or, if you’d like your work to be the subject of helpful comments and discussion, bring 10 copies of one piece of writing. This should amount to no more than 500 words of prose or 40 lines of poetry.

Other News

As already mentioned, it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, a worldwide initiative to uncover the writer in us all. Discover more here.

On Saturday 21st November, New York poet Kathryn Maris comes to Swindon to share her expertise. Find out more and book your place here.

If you wish to share this newsletter with others, please do; and like us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

If you have any news or events for November that you’d like us to mention in the next newsletter, please let us know by the middle of this month.

Looking forward to meeting, greeting, and enjoying poems at the Swindon Festival of Poetry!

Matt Holland & Annie Vickers