Poets and their Poetry – Isabel Rogers Hampshire Poet 2016

Report by Lisa Nightingale

‘When I feel an itch at the back of my skull, I think; there’s a poem coming!’ Isabel Rogers Hampshire Poet 2016 told the Society at October’s meeting.

isabelrogers-jpegIsabel is now three quarters of her way through a hectic but fantastic year as Hampshire Poet. The post has enabled her to take her poetry onto the radio and into many of the county’s schools running workshops and getting the children excited about poetry.

Isabel is also an enthusiastic advocate of the Winchester Poetry Festival and in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust her latest commission has been produced for National Poetry Day. It is a poem in Book Morse on a book mark – you have to look at it as a column!

Isabel admitted to often working on a poem with no title adding it at the end and as for research – ‘I usually make it all up!’ she says. But on a serious note, Isabel fessed up to researching her subject to within an inch of his legend when once writing a poem about John Harrison.

John Harrison's Chronometer
John Harrison’s Chronometer

The poem was titled ‘John’s Curious Machines and it won the 2014 Cardiff International Poetry Competition. Still a man in her audience told her that one of her points was wrong!

Read other poets widely was her message – ‘It is essential. It is how we learn’.

Poetry Magazine, a publication based in Chicago (distributed internationally) has this month printed two of Isabel’s poems and she read Watching the Perseids to the Society.

Have a look at Isabel’s website – https://isabelrogers.org/


March Meeting Report – Councillor Roy Perry

Councillor Roy Perry. Councillor since 2005, Leader of Hampshire County Council since 2015. CllrRoyPerry

Report by Lisa Nightingale

Politicians are not listed bottom of opinion polls. In some ways they have lots in common with writers – it is necessary for them to relate complex issues and detail ideas in just a few words to an ever expanding range of intellects. Councillor Perry recognises that this is not an easy ask.

As Culture Secretary, he has been able to visit many countries and experienced the reawakening of the ‘closed down cultures’ of Tallinn bringing the city back to life.

In the UK, it is a difficult time. Councils are fraught with cuts. Many libraries have been incorporated into Discovery Centres where a broad range of resources can be found. The provision of culture has been assigned along with a ‘realistic’ brief to the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Groups like the Hampshire Writers’ Society can help by putting pressure on himself and his colleagues, he tells us.

February Meeting Report – Angela Hicken

Angela Hicken, Literature Development Officer with the Hampshire Cultural Trust is only too aware that there are many sectors who will enjoy the intervention of the written word.

Angela Speaking at HWS
Angela Speaking at HWS

A sad statistic is that only 36% of our population read for pleasure.

Angela programmes and promotes events supported by the trust. She tells us that she has been lucky to come into contact with writing collaborations such as Prime Writers and The Killer Women.

Continuing to work with the Hampshire Poet 2016, Isabel Rogers exploring the relief brought to sufferers of mental illness by poetry, Angela listed the Winchester Poetry Festival as an important event. It takes place from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th October 2016.

Not to be missed this year is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. Linking with this event, the Hampshire Cultural Trust will launch two new competitions – a YA letter writing and a short story.

Please see the HWS Website Events page and the member newsletter for a full list of the events outlined in Angela’s talk.