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Come & join our monthly poetry evening


Yellow Wood is pleased to offer a monthly poetry evening in our lovely cafe. The aim is to share some wonderful poems in a welcoming and relaxing way. No prior experience or knowledge of poetry is required, this is a relaxed, fun and thought provoking early evening event for all to enjoy.

The poetry evening will be led by Geraldine Gray who will be choosing poems on a different theme each month, and you will be invited to bring along your own favourite poems on that theme. Café Poetry will take place for an hour between 6 – 7pm every second Tuesday of the month.

Because places are limited, please book yours ahead, to be sure of a seat. To buy your ticket, you can either …

- pop in to the cafe beforehand and pay over the counter … or …

- use the green payment link 'Buy a Ticket' button below shown next to the event listing

  • every second TUESDAY (once per month) ...
  • 6pm to 7pm (1 hour) ... arrive from 5.30pm for a 6pm start
  • COST per session
  • £6.50 payable at the cafe or using the green 'Buy a Ticket' button below

Evening Themes ...


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TUESDAY 9th APRIL 2024

NIGHT SKIES AND CONSTELLATIONS

We should be in April by the time you read this with hopefully lighter mornings and a glimpse of blue sky. I'm fascinated by dark skies and I've taken inspiration for Cafe Poetry this month from the stunning new moons and bright constellations I have seen out of my window over the winter. I will be sharing poems on sunrise, harvest moons, constellations, stars, planets and moon landings. Do join us for the discussions and bring your own poems along, looking forward to sharing good poetry and good ideas.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group.

Doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 12th MARCH 2024 (ENDED)

DISCOVERING POETRY FROM THE EAST MIDLANDS

Cafe Poetry is delighted to welcome local poet Teresa Forrest to our March meeting. As well as Teresa's work we will be sharing and showcasing a variety of verse from East Midlands poets including Byron, Lawrence, Cecil Day Lewis, Mary Howitt, Kirke White and Sillitoe. And also sampling work from 21st century and lesser known early poets. I have discovered some wonderful verse in my search for local writers which I will share with you.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group.

Doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event.

GUEST POET: Teresa Forrest
At this evening’s event Teresa will be reading some poems from her debut pamphlet The Stories In Between, published by Five Leaves Publications in 2023. Teresa has lived in Beeston for almost thirty years but is originally from a small town in Northern Ireland. She won the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre poetry competition in 2014 and has been writing ever since.

Teresa Forrest’s poetry has been published in a range of literary magazines and journals. In 2023 she was awarded an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Nottingham Trent University. She is the Secretary of Nottingham Poetry Society.

In this pamphlet she explores heritage, relationships and what it means to belong. There are poems about family, who are rooted in the Northern Irish landscape but also lonely people represented within, asking to be listened to. The poems provide glimpses into other’s lives, showing us how they have been dislocated, and how profound loss has shaped some of them.

‘These poems are delicate yet direct, full of sentiment rather than overbearing sentimentality, easy to digest but with a long aftertaste.’ Rory Waterman


Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2024 (ENDED)

POETRY TO SHOUT ABOUT

Clive James was a great enthusiast of 'getting' poems by heart and extolled the virtues of readers getting on their feet and declaiming. In his anthology 'The Fire of Joy' James said that a poem should sound compelling and make some noise. At the next meeting of Cafe Poetry we will be sharing and discussing poems that are a joy to read out loud – well known poems as well as unusual and obscure ones. The subjects are wide and varied - seasons, tea parties, growing old, parenting, heartache, romance trains and more. Do join us for the discussions and bring your own poems along, looking forward to sharing good poetry and good ideas.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group.

Doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 9th JANUARY 2024 (ENDED)

WASHING LINES

New Year's day always makes me think about my Mum warning me not to wash on that day as I would be washing every day of the year. Well until the beginning of last year I was washing every day and constantly complaining about it to a good friend. She bought me the lovely anthology Washing Lines to cheer me up. I don't have to wash as much now which leaves me more time for poetry.I thought Washing Lines would be a good theme for the start of a New Year. I've really enjoyed selecting poems from one of my favourite anthologies and hope they show that there is more to washday than meets the eye. I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group.

Doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 12th DECEMBER (ENDED)

Winter, customs food and feasting

I've enjoyed seeking out a good selection of poems for our December gathering, both traditional and modern. I've gathered subjects such as light and dark and solstice, Christmas puddings and Christmas mice, candles cakes and dates, revels and Robins, trees and Christmas eves. Looking forward to seeing you all again at Cafe Poetry.

GUEST POET: Ruth Hobson
Ruth will be reading some of her poems at this evenings event from her recently published STARWISE booklet published by Palewell Press. It is a collection of Christmas poems that are rooted in the traditional Christmas story but they're not religious.

‘Starwise’ ‘A few poems for the season of light’ - Ruth Hobson 2023

Ruth Hobson is a poet and who has been steadily published for over thirty years by literary magazines and journals. She currently works with Inspire Learning and Culture, leading poetry writing Her first full length poetry collection ‘Arthur Talks’, was published by Palewell Press in 2019.

‘Starwise’ is a collection of seasonal poems, originally sent out as Christmas cards for over 16 years. Some of the poems draw of the traditional Christmas stories but will also have a wider appeal for the season of light and hope in the darkness.

‘Ruth Hobson's poems move seamlessly between an almost timeless register directing us to enduring physical realities - sky, weather, birds, landscape - and a sharp, compassionate specificity, the reality of contemporary displacement, anxiety and precariousness…… Beautifully, authoritatively crafted.' Rowan Williams


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TUESDAY 14th NOVEMBER (ENDED)

FIRE

The group settled on the theme of 'FIRE' for this month's poetry evening to try and warm us up a little. Geraldine has found a lovely selection of verse ranging from prehistoric flame to home fires, bonfires, braziers and fire pits as well as dangerous and dark fire.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group. We can also have a chat about themes and formats for forthcoming evenings. Looking forward to seeing you all.

Tuesday 14th November, doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event. Do bring your own favourite poems about Autumn mists and memories.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:

Previous Themes ...


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TUESDAY 10th OCTOBER (ENDED)

Autumn mists and memories

Welcome (back) to an evening of Café Poetry! We’re looking forward to seeing you.

With a cool spring and wet summer we hopefully move to a gentler mellow Autumn of morning mists and milder days. Our theme this month looks at memories, traditions and nature turning from green to yellow to glorious reds and golds.

Following previous programmes there will be a playlist of poems on the theme - from poets old and new including local wordsmiths as well. Please bring along your own favourites to present to the group. We can also have a chat about themes and formats for forthcoming evenings. Looking forward to seeing you all.

Tuesday 10th October, doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event. Do bring your own favourite poems about Autumn mists and memories.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 12th SEPTEMBER (ENDED)

Shorelines in All Seasons

Welcome (back) to an evening of Café Poetry! We’re looking forward to seeing you.

Tonight’s poems are about shorelines at all times of year, not just summer - as the season turns now, join us for an evening of wanderings along some beautiful beaches, lakesides and riverbanks. W B Yeats’ Lake of Innisfree (“I hear it in the deep heart’s core”) is his answer to Wordsworth’s daffodils; meanwhile, Elizabeth Bishop closely observes a sandpiper running at the edge of the sea, “Water…glazes over his dark and brittle feet”. Beach-combers turn up unexpected treasures, shells rattle in and out with the tides. An evening of contemplating the soulful, rich edges of our world.

Tuesday 12 September, doors open 5.30pm onwards for 6 – 7pm event. Do bring your own favourite poems about shorelines.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 13th JUNE (ENDED)

The Night Shift: Poems about the kingdom that wakes when the stars come out

Welcome to the poetry of the night – “It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black…” whispers Dylan Thomas before his wide-angle lens begins its panoramic journey. Join our line-up of insomniacs, night-shift workers, clubbers and bouncers, parents feeding their babies in the small hours, birds and beasts of the forest, comings and goings under the crumpled duvet – a celebration of the nocturnal life that wakes when the sun goes down. We’re at the Yellow Wood Café on June 13 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm (doors open from 5:30 pm as usual). See you there. No need to bring a torch, but any night-time poems you’d like to share will be very welcome.

Arrive from 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start We look forward to seeing you there.

Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link below:


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TUESDAY 9th May (ENDED)

Sugar and Spice

This month’s theme, Sugar and Spice, heralds in summer. Please do join us for an evening of tastes and scents, kitchens with windows thrown open, flashes of colour and flavour – some that tantalise and prove irresistible, and some that make our eyes water with their fiery impact. We look at the histories of, and mythologies surrounding, sugar and spice, their clinging grip and, conversely, their joyous release. The poems waft dreams and memories our way - as Kai Coggin writes, “We have all our doors and windows open/ and I am pouring spices into glass jars”.

May 9th 5.30pm for a 6.00-7.00pm event. If you have a favourite poem about sugar and/or spice, bring it along! We’ll look forward to seeing you there. Tickets available in person from the Yellow Wood Café or via the link:


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TUESDAY 14th March (ENDED)

Truth, Lies and…Beverages!

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’ wrote John Keats. But is it? And what exactly did he mean?

Join us on March 14th (6-7pm, doors open from 5.30pm) to discuss the many ways in which poets have presented us with truths and half-truths, unapologetic porkies or the more subtle practice of turning a blind eye.

We’re looking forward to seeing you – do bring a poem on this month’s theme if you’ve a favourite you’d like to share.

Spaces are limited so do book ahead using the 'buy a ticket' button below …


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TUESDAY 14th February (ENDED)

An Evening of Love Poems: from Passionate Shepherds to One-Night Stands

“Come live with me, and be my love” wrote the sixteenth-century poet Christopher Marlowe. Failing that, at least come and join us at the Yellow Wood Café for an evening of love poems on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. We’ll be sharing all manner of perspectives on the subject, from the shamelessly sentimental to the importance of WD40 in any relationship. There will be heaving bosoms, yes, but also the occasional curse of a scorned lover hoping the worst for his or her ex.

Join us for the highs and lows of love from 6-7pm (do arrive from 5:30 onwards) and feel free to bring a favourite love poem with you, to share with us all.

Spaces are limited so do book ahead using the 'buy a ticket' button below …


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TUESDAY 13th December (ENDED)

’Tis the Season of Christmas Poetry!

On Tuesday 13 December between 6-7pm we’ll be welcoming in Christmas with a convivial get-together over a hot drink and a mince pie, sharing poems about Christmas told from so many different perspectives – poems of merriment and dread, of minor catastrophes and major over-eating, poems set in warm, cosy rooms with friends or outside in the bleak midwinter. Let’s enjoy a festive, care-free hour in the spirit of Hilaire Belloc:

May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

Do join us. And bring your own favourite Christmas poem along if you’d like to – we’d love to hear it!

We look forward to seeing you at the Yellow Wood Café on Tuesday 13th December between 6 – 7pm (you are welcome to come along from 5.30 onwards). Spaces are limited so do book ahead using the 'buy a ticket' button below …


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TUESDAY 8th November (ENDED)

SURVIVAL

Poetry has often been written, and read, as a way of getting through tough times – or for celebrating the survival of difficult experiences. As we enter what feels like a daunting winter for many, join us to share poems that can help us to survive times of darkness – whether of the soul or the power cut!

Please do bring any favourites of yours on this theme to share.

We look forward to seeing you at the Yellow Wood Café on Tuesday 8th November between 6 – 7pm (you are welcome to come along from 5.30 onwards). Spaces are limited so do book ahead using the 'buy a ticket' button below …


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TUESDAY 11th October (ENDED)

POETRY NOIR …

If you’re feeling a bit murderous in these dark times, you are not alone! Join us for an evening of Poetry Noir, to borrow from the Scandi genre – poems full of thrills, spills, dubious intents and unnerving, criminal literary undertakings. With an abundance of black humour (Carol Ann Duffy leading the way) these poems will definitely take your mind off more immediate worries. So if you like to feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, in the warmth and safe camaraderie of the Yellow Wood Café, book your ticket now! And as always, do bring along a poem too, if you've a favourite on this theme.

We look forward to seeing you at the Yellow Wood Café on Tuesday 11th October between 6 – 7pm (you are welcome to come along from 5.30 onwards). Spaces are limited so do book ahead using the 'buy a ticket' button below …


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TUESDAY 13th September (ENDED)

Season of mists, mellow fruitfulness…and poetry!

It’s been a long, hot summer and we hope you’ve all survived - or better still, enjoyed - it. Now, as autumn comes rustling round the corner, wafting its leaves through our streets, we can think of no better way to celebrate the turning of the season than an evening of autumnal poetry.

We do hope you’ll join us – we’ll be offering some wonderful poems, some lovely refreshments as always, and the chance for us all to share our most-loved and most interesting poems about autumn.

Do bring along your own favourites, and we (Sarah and Jenny) look forward to seeing you at the Yellow Wood Café on Tuesday 13 September between 6 – 7pm (you are welcome to come along from 5.30 onwards).


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TUESDAY 14th June (ENDED)

“This city music…” - Poems about Cities

Join us on an early summer poetry city break to New York, London, Birmingham, Athens…starting, of course, in Nottingham! We’ll be exploring the poetry of cities and towns, their urban landscapes and the inner landscapes of their residents and visitors.

Bring your favourite urban poems along to share, on Tuesday 14 June, from 5:30pm for a 6:00 – 7:00pm event. Ticket price is £6.50 and includes a drink.

Places are limited so please book ahead to be sure of a seat.


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TUESDAY 10th May (ENDED)

"Come into the Garden”

In this month’s Café Poetry, we’re opening the door into the garden to see what’s growing, who’s digging up potatoes, and what’s going on in scented bowers. We’ll explore the ways in which poets down the centuries have found inspiration in gardens and will be sticking our noses into one or two musty (spidery!) garden sheds along the way…

Please join us in sharing our favourite poems about gardens, and bring your own favourites along too.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday 10th May, at 5.30pm onwards for our 6.00pm – 7.00pm event.


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TUESDAY 12th April (ENDED)

“I remember, I remember … / The house where I was born…”

Come and join us on Tuesday 12 April to share poems about houses. Jenny Swann and Sarah Dale will be reading poems about houses loved and lost, newly-moved-into or out of, ancient and modern, empty (haunted?) or bursting at the seams; share with us the views from the windows, the banging of doors, and all the lives that happen inside them, in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms. Bring along your own favourite poems about houses and what they mean to us all.


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TUESDAY 8th March (ENDED)

Poems of Childhood

The evenings are getting lighter, hooray! Come and join us for some early evening café poetry from (5.30 for) 6-7pm on March 8th. This month, Sarah Dale and Jenny Swann invite you to share and discuss poems of childhood – bring along your own favourite poems, be they poems that you yourself loved as a child or poems about childhood.

Last month, we so enjoyed our read-round of poems about roads through woods and the choices they suggest, and we have a strong hunch that poems about or from childhood will likewise introduce us all to some fabulous poems that are new to us, or old favourites.


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TUESDAY 8th February (ENDED)

The Road Less Travelled

On Tuesday 8 February (from 5.30pm onwards for a 6 - 7pm event) we are kicking off our Café Poetry series with the theme of ‘The road less travelled’ - in other words, poems about the decisions and choices we make (or don’t!).

Contacts

Yellow Wood Café, 42 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham, UK

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