Virtual Walpole 2020

Virtual Walpole 2020

14 June 2020

Usually, at about this time of year, SPS poets visit Walpole Old Chapel near Halesworth for a themed reading. This year the theme was Colours.

Because of the lockdown and social distancing caused by the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic, this year the event was held virtually, on-line using Zoom.

24 poets read 47 poems, taking a wide range of perspectives on ‘Colour’.

A wide range of forms was heard, from verse libre to sonnets, haiku, prose poems, shape or concrete poetry and even a villanelle.

The event was superbly organised by Fran Reader and Sue Foster, who compèred, and poets were widely spread across not only the county but the UK. Roger West must have been the most distant from Suffolk, being in the South of France, followed by Angela Locke in Cumbria.

But that was the beauty of holding the event virtually: poets who could not attend at the usual venue because of distance or lack of transport were able to contribute and enjoy the poetry of others.

Poets contributing, in order of reading, were:

  • Ann Follows
  • Gordon Hoyles
  • Kate Foley
  • Angela Locke
  • Angela Pickering
  • Anne Boileau*
  • Colin Whyles
  • Elizabeth Soule
  • Elizabeth Bracken
  • Derek Adams
  • Florence Cox
  • Fran Reader
  • Kaaren Whitney
  • Gillian Chaplin
  • Margaret Forrester
  • Lynne Nesbit
  • Roger West
  • Pat Jourdan
  • Sue Wallace-Shaddad
  • Marianne Koby Johnson
  • Nicola Warwick
  • Rosemary Jones
  • Stewart Francis*
  • Sue Foster

* Couldn’t attend in person, so their poems were read for them.

It is very likely that this virtual event showed a way forward for some future events.

SPS members can read 44 of the poems here, but you will need to create an account and wait for it to be authorised if you do not already have one.

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