Pimm’s and Poetry in Welney, and the green heart of Bury St Edmunds

On Friday, over twenty guests joined my guest poets, Emma Danes, Leanne Moden and Fenland Poet Laureate Poppy Kleiser for a wonderful evening of poetry and wildlife in the beautiful surroundings of WWT Welney.  It was great to hear the poets displaying their very different styles – they were all very well received.  I read a few of my own poems, including some quite new ones, which were good to try out.  The birds on the reserve also put on a display, with lapwings, avocets, house martins and, at one point, a ghostly barn owl quartering the fields over Lady Fen. Everyone was enraptured by the moths demonstration at the break.

We also surprised Poppy, whose birthday it was…

Happy birthday Poppy! (Photo by Karen Harvey)

Happy birthday Poppy! (Photo by Karen Harvey)

Thanks to Emma Brand and our hosts WWT Welney for letting us bring poetry to their lovely reserve…

The next day I was at St Edmundsbury Cathedral for a poetry study day – a familiar venue to me from years gone by.  The cathedral have an impressive programme of arts related activities run by the Edmund for Arts and Theology (ECAT).  That day we were in the capable hands of Dr Elizabeth Cook, former poet-in-residence at the cathedral.  The theme was: “Smelling the dew and rain: the green heart of poetry”, and included a wide-ranging and thought-provoking lecture on poetry and “greenness”, as well as a reading from her long, beautifully evocative poem “Edmund in Edmundsbury”, written during her residency, which mixed history, legend and contemporary cathedral life in a way that made me smile wryly.  There was plenty of opportunity for discussion and a workshop in the afternoon looking at the way in which poets evoked the senses and for what purposes.

We finished as guinea pigs for the Dean (Frances Ward) to practice her sermon on for the Aldeburgh Festival.  She invited comments, which were rendered fearlessly.  The interested and friendly atmosphere reminded me what I enjoyed about the cathedral when I lived in Bury St Edmunds…

St Edmund, Elizabeth Frink (Source)

St Edmund, Elizabeth Frink (Source)

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3 Responses to Pimm’s and Poetry in Welney, and the green heart of Bury St Edmunds

  1. Pingback: Flutter Bugs & Shutter Hub | I Don't Like Peas

  2. coastcard says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Elaine. I’m so glad the WWT Welney poetry evening went well. Pleased, too, that you linked up with Elizabeth. I went to one of her ECAT days (have been to two – both excellent. The second was with Malcolm Guite).

    • Elaine Ewart says:

      Hi Caroline, thanks for posting! Yes, the Welney poetry went very well, thanks, and I very much enjoyed meeting Elizabeth and hearing her work at the ECAT day. I enjoy Malcolm Guite’s work as well.

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