Wed 15 Oct 2014
by Myra Schneider
Poetry in Palmers Green was set up in 2006 after Palmers Green Bookshop closed. Joanna Cameron, who managed the shop and whose warm manner made her popular with her customers, had a created cultural and community centre by putting on regular poetry readings and other book events.
Most of the evenings featured local and London writers. Joanna, poet Katherine Gallagher and I were determined to keep something of the spirit of the bookshop alive. We were fortunate as Father Cullen kindly allowed us to use St John’s Church as an occasional venue.
With the help of a committee for the last eight years we have held twice yearly poetry readings in this magnificent building, the church poet Stevie Smith attended, and more recently in the Parish Centre adjoining the church. We feature local and London poets in particular but also invite guests from further afield. At each event we bring together five poets with very different voices. After the interval, in which refreshments and poets’ books are available, there is a spot for floor readers.
There is a wealth of poetry talent in Palmers Green and its vicinity and many people in the area appreciate reading and listening to poetry. Poetry in Palmers Green has become known for its friendliness and the enthusiasm of its audiences. The famous Norfolk poet and writer, Kevin Crossley-Holland, read for us a couple of years ago and he and other poets have gone away to sing our praises at poetry venues in London and elsewhere.
All five readers at our next reading, which is on Saturday October 18th, are based in London. Stephen Watts from Whitechapel translates and edits poetry as well as writing it. Adele Ward, who lives in Golders Green, is a publisher as well as a poet and prose writer. Roísín Tierney is an Irish poet who now resides in Camden Town and she will be reading from her first full collection. Two of us are local poets. Alan Murray from Enfield will be reading from his debut pamphlet, Perhaps. I live in Arnos Grove and will be launching my 11th collection of poetry, The Door to Colour. The evening will also include the introduction of music played by the Helios Consort, a local recorder ensemble.
We especially welcome newcomers to Poetry in Palmers Green readings – both poets and those who enjoy listening to poetry.
For further information please contact:
Myra Schneider: Biographical note: Myra Schneider lives Arnos Grove and her poems often refer to locations in the area, in particular Arnos Park. As well as poetry her publications include books about personal writing. She is an experienced tutor, works for The Poetry School and is consultant to the Second Light Network of Women Poets. She has co-edited anthologies of poetry by contemporary women writers. www.esch.dircon.co.uk
FINDING AUDREY by Myra Schneider
'Do you know where Audrey lives?' Her bird head nods, her eyes plead; her humped back’s too heavy for her slight, breathless body. 'I'm sure her house with the green door is near the park but I can't find it.'
She points at a long street of semis, brick decoration blurred in the thin mist. I can't produce the answer she wants to prise, apologize. She scuttles over the road.
On the railway bridge the hope in her voice is still flailng in my head. Has she forgotten Audrey's dead, been misled, muddled this piece of street in Palmers Green with one of a thousand lookalikes?
If I helped her search what hours of twisting ways, double backs, cul-de-sacs, would snare me? Light is running along the train tracks, leaping off the pale peak of Alexandra Palace. Let her wander into the park, enter its once-hothouse. Let her be bathed in the green of banana fronds the magenta of primula petals and the quivergold of fat fish at the foot of the tiny waterfall.
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