Garstang, Lancashire, England

Organizers:  Ron Scowcroft/Mike Barlow/Carole Coates- Garstang, UK


Mike Barlow and Ron Scowcroft

Rachel McGladdery with Carol Coates and Jane Routh

Ron Scowcroft

Low Countries

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  1. We are now supported by the wonderful acoustic duo ‘Low Countries’ – Nigel Parrington and Els D’hooge. Check them out on Facebook. The Co-operative Membership fund is providing raffle prizes (The Co-op is that rare thing: an ethical bank). We have a top prize of a meal for two donated by The Sultans of Lancaster. Mike Barlow, Carole Coates and Jane Routh are selling signed copies of their books with all moneys raised going to our chosen causes. Garstang’s Fair Trade organisation (we are the WORLD’S FIRST FAIR TRADE TOWN) has given us their full backing – and you can bring along your own bottle of wine to our cabaret-style event. So if you’re in Lancashire UK, drop by and enjoy the evening.

  2. 100 Thousand Poets for Change,
    Garstang Arts Centre, 29th Sept. 2012, 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

    On 29th September, Mike Barlow, Carol Coates, Jane Routh,
    Ron Scowcroft and Rachel McGladdery will be reading to raise funds for Water Aid and Saint John’s Hospice.

    100 Thousand Poets for Change is a worldwide organisation of poets who will produce a simultaneous reading across the globe on September 29th this year – everyone involved will be reading in aid of a worthwhile charity.

    Hundreds of countries from around the world – Brazil, China, Australia, Russia, America, Africa, Britain, Japan, amongst many others, will be celebrating poetry’s ability to bring people together and to engage with the needs, hopes and experiences of ordinary people.

    The Garstang reading includes several highly respected and nationally admired prize winning poets.

    Mike Barlow:

    Mike was winner of the National Poetry Competition 2006. His first collection, Living on the Difference (Smiths Doorstop, 2004) won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection.
    Time and again, in poems that comment and build on each other, the reader encounters Barlow’s questing intelligence and, best of all, a refusal to accept or offer easy answers. (Kate Keogan, Acumen)

    His second collection is Another Place (Salt Modern Poets, 2007).
    There’s directness and lightness of touch, an often brilliant deftness, in Mike Barlow’s poems, and an unusual warmth – all of it underwritten by vivid detail. (Ann Sansom)

    His pamphlet Amicable Numbers (2008) was a winner in the Templar Pamphlet Competition and a Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice.

    Barlow’s voice is clear and direct, the space between the lines easily read. This clarity provides the perfect minimalist setting for his stand-out images and fresh perspectives. (Julia Bird, Poetry London)
    Carole Coates:

    Carole has spent many years teaching creative writing, developing it at degree, MA and Ph.D. level, working with poets like Carol Ann Duffy. Her second collection Looking Good examines the experience of anorexia and a recent email from a stranger comments, The poems profoundly changed my understanding of anorexia.
    The Goodbye Edition (Shoestring Press, 2005)
    … lies in the territory of magic realism but with a very particular map. It’s an unusually powerful and interesting collection by a reliably accomplished poet. Don’t miss it. (R.V. Bailey)
    Looking Good (Shoestring Press, 2009)
    I like the ease of the literary and historical references, the sense of learning lightly worn, naturalised in fact to the poetic texture. The poems are free of self-pity, and have vitality and energy, though dealing with the loss of both. (Carol Rumens)
    Her third collection “Swallowing Stones” (a sequence of poems which is also a dystopian narrative) will be published by Shoestring Press in 2012.


    Jane has taught and exhibited photography but her recent creative work is in writing – non-fiction as well as poetry. She won the 2009 Academi InternationalCompetition.
    Her first collection Circumnavigation won the Poetry Business Competition and was shortlisted for a Forward Prize in 2002. Teach Yourself Mapmaking was a Poetry Book Society recommendation in 2006. Her latest book is The Gift of Boats.
    Her range is impressive…vivid language recreates the physical sensation of what is being described, from the gritty and muscular to the tender and deeply thoughtful..Smith/Doorstop have a star on their list. (Matt Simpson)
    Ron Scowcroft

    Ron’s poetry has received several national awards including, most recently, a ‘highly commended’ listing in the prestigious Magma Poetry Prize 2011. He is widely published in anthologies and poetry magazines.
    A Garstang resident Ron is delighted to be reading in his home town.

    The free-verse Scowcroft deploys is flexible and sure-footed . . . a pleasure to read
    (Peter Bennet)

    It is the realisation and sounding of a clear vision that is impressive here
    (George Szirtes, Guardian Books)

    Rachel McGladdery

    Garstang poet Rachel has gained a loyal following for her humane and heartfelt poetry. She is published in several anthologies and on-line magazines.
    Her work deals with everyday experiences and ordinary people in a way that makes you look at them with afresh. Shortly after she started writing four years ago she won first prize from the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in the Liverpool John Lennon Poetry Prize.

    Rachel’s exploration of relationships, family life, the tragedies and triumphs of those who are often voiceless or disenfranchised, is clear sighted, involving and delivered with candor and wit.
    (April Poets)


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