Welcome & News

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We were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Tony French.  Tony was a valued member of Fire River Poets and will be much missed.  Our deepest sympathy goes to Hilary, his wife.

Tony was a very private person and enjoyed working behind the scenes rather than being at the microphone, but his advice and support were unstintingly given whenever needed and were much appreciated by all.  Tony was also an assiduous and careful editor. Alongside his many other voluntary activities, he undertook the editorial responsibility for our website and, with Hilary, ran our Facebook page.

At his own request there has been no funeral, but if they wished, his friends were invited to take time at around 3pm on Saturday 3rd June to remember him and celebrate his life.



    • June 1 – Tom Sastry + bookable Open Mic slots
    • July 6 – Open Mic Evening
    • August 3 – Open Mike Evening
    • Nov 2 – Linda Saunders + bookable Open Mic slots
    • September 7 – Gram Joel Davies
    • October 5 – tba
    • Dec 7 – Open Mic Evening

All meetings are held on a Thursday at 8pm at the Creative Initiative Centre (CIC), Taunton. The CIC (location map via Events page) is fifty yards from Taunton’s multi-storey car park, in Paul Street,  TA1 3PF. There are two other car parks nearby. Bus stop: 120 yards; taxi rank: 300 yards.

Taunton’s Fire River Poets, in partnership with Make Performing Arts, invites young poets to enter the Young Poets Competition as part of the Taunton Live Arts Festival in July, 2017.
The Theme is CLIMATE. Entry: Free. Deadline: 16th June. Prizegiving at The Brewhouse, 12th July 2017. Download pdf of full details here: Young Poets Competition 2017

1st Prize £200,   2nd Prize £100,    3rd Prize £75

Bill Lythgoe, Liz Parkes and John Lancaster
are the winners in our annual Competition
see all the winning and commended poems here –
Winning, Commended and Shortlisted poets


• Guest Poet Evenings – each features a well-known, established poet  – these evenings also have time reserved for bookable Open Mic slots (see below). Next events shown above – go to our Events page for more.

• The Open Mic slots on Guest Evenings. We encourage you to book one of the five-minute slots on the Guest Poet Evenings. This could be the first time you have read your poetry in public. Give it a go! Experienced and beginners alike are welcome. Book a slot via our Contact Us page. Click the link and it will open in a new tab.

Dedicated Open Mic evenings – read your own poetry to a friendly audience. Book Open Mic slots via our Contact Us page.

The monthly 8pm open meetings are at the Creative Initiative Centre (CIC), Taunton. The CIC (location map via Events page) is fifty yards from Taunton’s multi-storey car park, in Paul Street,  TA1 3PF. There are two other car parks nearby. Bus stop: 120 yards; taxi rank: 300 yards.

We also hold monthly meetings in FRP Members’ homes, when we share and discuss each others’ poetry – these meetings are of necessity limited to the (approx one dozen at any one time) FRP Members. Members also have access to a private Chat page on this website. Read about our current and recent Members at Poets & Poems and browse a selection of their poems.



List of competitions held by a wide range of organisations. Updated near the start of each month. Download latest PDF file via our Facebook page. 

The full list of Matt Bryden interviews with our Guest Poets are on this page.

Annie Fisher writes. Guest poet with poem and biog at Acumen.

‘Getting away from the children’, written in 1982 by FRP Member Anthony Watts, has just appeared in the anthology ‘Crying for the lost tigers’, published by Carefree Kids, a children’s charity – http://www.carefreekids.org/ . It was chosen by Rowan Williams, poet and former Archbishop of Canterbury, as one of the winners in their competition for poems on ‘aspects of family life’.

FRP Member Anthony Watts has work selected for the Annual. The publishers say, “This Annual returns with a selection of extraordinary short fiction and poetry to spark the literary imagination. The winners and finalists of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award represent a broad selection of the very best in established and promising international talent….  The featured compositions invoke a rich array of imagery and concepts that illuminate daily life. This inspirational collection combines longevity with innovation – a book that will stay with the reader, whilst offering new perspectives on the world and our place within it” Go to:  www.aestheticamagazine.com

Orni-thology. A book of poems about birds… the work of FRP member Tony Watts is quoted in this book  review. See the review here.

9781910131343Infinite in All Pefections is a 22-poem booklet by FRP member Annie Fisher, published by Happenstance. See details on the publisher’s website.

Somerset Young Poets Competition 2016. See results & winning poems here. This was part of Taunton Live! and organised by Fire River Poets in association with Brendon Books/Lamp Magazine and Resources for Learning.[/caption]

Red on Bone a free 66-page eBook of 14 winning poems and 63 illustrations by international artists – published by FRP member Tony French, sponsor of the website Poems Please Me

Visit Fire River Poets & Friends on Facebook  then click JOIN

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 Comments, news & links most welcome.
Please e-mail John using the Contact Form