Latest Notices

Sad News

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.

Matt Bryden Interview with Stephen Boyce

Matt’s latest interview is with


Young Poets Competition 2017

A new COMPETITION for YOUNG POETS has been announced.
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


The resullts of the last FRP Compeition have now been announced –
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
1st Prize £200,   2nd Prize £100,    3rd Prize £75

Archive News – 2016


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 – . 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:

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

Archive News – 2015

  • ‘Mistletoe Prayer’ by FRP member Anthony Watts was awarded a Special Commendation in the Magma Editor’s Prize Competition.
  • Cristina Newton
    Cristina Newton

    Cristina Newton read on 7th May. Read about Cristina.





  • Mark TotterdellMark Totterdell was our guest poet on 5th March 2015. Mark grew up near Taunton and now lives in Exeter. Many of his poems are inspired by the wildlife and landscapes of the South-West. He has been published in magazines such as Agenda, Ambit, Stand and The Interpreters House. He came first in the Poems Please Me Prize 2014. Other prizes include a first in the 2012 Fire River Poets competition. He is a member of Moor Poets, based around Dartmoor, and reads regularly at Uncut Poets in Exeter.
  • hilary menos photo
    Hilary Menos at FRP
    Hilary Menos read from her latest collection, Red Devon, at the Creative Innovation Centre on Thursday 5 June 2014. The event was the fifth in the season of readings, open mics and poetry cafes organised by Fire River Poets. Hilary was praised by audience members for her clarity, wit and unblinking realism in poetry that surveyed the ups and downs of farm life (admittedly in Devon but you can’t have everything).
    Hilary is relatively new to the poetry circuit and John Stammers has said ‘She is sure to make an immediate impact’. Correct, John. She did! It was a great evening. – report by John Stuart
  •  Alien winner. A short poem by Anthony Watts, ‘The Alien’, was a runner-up in the Thynks In Memoriam Poetry Competition and was due to appear in their anthology.
  • Writing for Children. FRP member Anthony Watts received a ‘highly commended’ for his portfolio of five poems entered for the Manchester Writing for Children Prize. One was Writer’s block – like others, picked from his exisiting poems, but selected as appealing to children.

    Writer’s block

    I’m all at sea
    I’m a stingless bee
    I’m a pulled-up weed
    I’m an unsown seed
    I’m a bow without an arrow
    I’m a hawk without a sparrow
    I’m a cat without a mouse
    I’m a boarded-up house
    I’m a glove without a hand
    I’m a brassed-off band
    I’m a derailed carriage
    I’m a broken marriage
    I’m a north without a south
    I’m a toothless, tongueless mouth.

    • FRP member on BBC’s Today news programme FRP member Anthony Watts read his poem Flood on BBC Radio 4’s Today  programme – on Somerset floods – Sat 8 Feb 2014.

    flood Capture