Category: Latest News

Guest Poet Zoom Event – November 5th, 2020 at 7:30pm

The guest poets for our third Zoom event will be Veronica Aaronson and Virginia Griem. (Please see Zoom joining details in panel on left).

Veronica Aaronson
Virginia Griem

Veronica and Virginia are well known to our Taunton audience. Both are accomplished poets and are based in Teignmouth where they are members of the organising group for the Teignmouth Poetry Festival.
Please see their biographies below.

Veronica lives in a quiet haven in South Devon. She is a co- founder and one of the organisers of the Teignmouth Poetry Festival. Her work has been published widely in literary journals, online and in anthologies. Her first collection Nothing About the Birds Is Ordinary This Morning (Indigo Dreams 2018) has been put forward for the 2020 Laurel Prize. One of the poems from the collection was chosen for the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems Anthology 2019.

Recent comments include “Veronica Aaronson’s poems are lit with a deep luminosity – and numinosity. Striking in her delicate, passionate collection is her subtle juxtaposition of description of the natural world with human concerns, and griefs. She asks us to look, and look again. A fine collection to which you will want to return.”
Roselle Angwin – “There is much beauty in the detail and her use of colour imagery in the poems can be astonishing. Her authentic observations of human character can transform a seemingly ordinary experience into something remarkable, with a quality of transcendence. “
Susan Taylor – “Her second collection Emily’s Mothers is due to be published by Dempsey and Windle this December.”

Virginia is a poet, painter and potter. She lives in Kingsteignton, Devon and like Veronica is heavily involved in the Teignmouth Poetry Festival.  Virginia is responsible for organising the annual festival poetry competition, as well as curating a festival poetry and art exhibition.

Virginia was awarded First Prize in the Walter Swan poetry Competition at the Ilkley Literary Festival in 2018, and in the past year she has won second prize in the Barn Owl Trust poetry competition, was shortlisted for the Silver Wyvern Award at Poetry on the Lake and was longlisted in the National Poetry Competition 2019. 

As well as having poems appearing in various anthologies, Virginia has created the images for Ian Royce Chamberlain’s illustrated pamphlet Not Forgotten/Nicht Vergessen published in January 2020.

Guest Poet Zoom Event: October 1st, 2020

After the success of our first Zoom Poetry Evening we are delighted to invite Chrissy Banks to our next. (Please see joining details in panel on left.)

Chrissy lives and writes in Exeter. She previously worked as a psychodynamic counsellor and trainer. Her poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals.

Chrissy’s first pamphlet was ‘Watching the Home Movies’ (Odyssey) followed by ‘Days of Fire and Flood’ (original plus). Her latest collection, The Uninvited, came out last autumn from Indigo Dreams. (Signed copies of the book can be ordered post free directly from Chrissy at or through her website, price £9.99)

She won second prize in the inaugural Wordsworth Trust Single Poem Competition in 2017 and has been longlisted in the Welsh Poetry Book Awards, prior to a final selection. A Poetry Business pamphlet, ‘Frank’, is due to be published in May of next year.

Poetry Reading Evening (via Zoom) – September 3rd 2020

Fire River Poets have decided it is time to begin our regular monthly poetry evenings again.
We are still unable to hold our regular events at the Creative Innovation Centre, so we are introducing ‘virtual events’ using Zoom, which many people are now familiar with.
We hope it will be a welcome return to some sort of normality for everyone who writes poetry or has a love of poetry.

Our first Zoom Event will be on Thursday 3 September 2020 starting at 7.30 pm with guest poets Rosie Jackson and Graham Burchell.
See biographies for Rosie and Graham at the end of this post.

If you are interested in joining this Zoom Event, please send an email to
We will let you have the Zoom Meeting Link and some joining instructions nearer the time.

Open mic slots – Poets who would like to read should apply additionally through the Contact Us page of the website. Slots will be restricted to one poem per poet for this virtual event.

ROSIE JACKSON lives in Frome, Somerset, where she teaches creative writing workshops and works in arts and health. She has a first-class degree from the University of Warwick, a D. Phil. from York, and has taught in many universities and educational settings, including the University of East Anglia, Nottingham Trent, Bristol UWE, Bethesda Writers’ Centre Washington DC, Skyros Writers’ Lab, Cortijo Romero, and the Open College of the Arts.

Her poetry pamphlet What the Ground Holds (Poetry Salzburg, 2014) was followed by her first collection The Light Box (Cultured Llama, 2016). Her poetry has been published in Acumen, Ambit, Domestic Cherry, Frogmore Papers, High Window, Poetry Ireland Reiew, Poetry Salzburg Review, Scintilla, Tears in the Fence, The Interpreter’s House, other journals and anthologies; set for GCSE; used for a sculpture by Andrew Whittle in the grounds of a Dorchester hospital; and she has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

With Dawn Gorman she won the Hedgehog Pamphlet competition 2019; won 1st prize and the Hilly Cansdale award at Wells 2018, 2nd prize at Torbay 2018, 1st prize in the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition 2017, 3rd prize Hippocrates Open 2017, Hilly Cansdale Award Wells 2015, 1st prize Bath 2015, 2nd Prize Battered Moons 2015, 1st and 2nd prizes Berkshire Festival, 2016 and 2017, 2nd prize Havant Literary Festival, and has been widely commended at Bridport and elsewhere. She was a Hawthornden fellow 2017.

Her books of prose include Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion; Frieda Lawrence; The Eye of the Buddha (fiction); Mothers Who Leave and she has won awards for her short stories. The Glass Mother: A Memoir was published by Unthank Books in 2016.     

GRAHAM BURCHELL lives in South Devon. He has lived and worked in Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Tenerife, Mexico, France, Chile and the United States. He was a teacher from 1976 to 2003, with a B.Ed. in Art and Education. He became a full-time writer in 2004. His first collection Vermeer’s Corner, based on the 35 known paintings of Johannes Vermeer, was published in 2008 (Foothills Publishing, NY).

With an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in 2010, he went on to publish The Chongololo Club with Pindrop Press in 2012; Kate (Indigo Dreams Press) and Cottage Pi (one of the winners of the inaugural Sentinel poetry book competition), both published in 2015. His next collection will be published by Indigo Dreams in September 2018.

His poetry has appeared in most of the major UK poetry magazines and he has won, been placed or commended in many competitions. These include 1st prize in the the National Stanza Competition 2015; winning the 2012 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year; runner-up in the 2016 BBC Proms poetry competition; 3rd place in the Bridport Prize 2017; 1st prize in the Red Shed Poetry Competition, 2018. 

He was a Hawthornden fellow 2013. For several years he has been active in the poetry scene in Devon, as chairperson of Moor Poets and as one of the team of five who run the Teignmouth Poetry Festival.

Guest Poet: April 2nd, 2020

Event Postponed

BUT, do read FRP member Graeme Ryan’s interview with Will Harris

Will Harris

Bio: Will Harris is a poet and critic from London. He is the author of the chapbook, All This Is Implied, and the essay Mixed-Race Superman. He has had work published in The Guardian, the Poetry Review, and the London Review of Books, among other places. He was the recipient of the Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation in 2019. His debut collection RENDANG (Granta, 2020) is the Poetry Book Society Choice for spring 2020. 

Fire River Poets perform at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre

Event Postponed

Friday March 20th at 7.30pm

We’re back! Enjoy a fantastic evening of poetry with Taunton’s acclaimed and prize-winning Fire River Poets performing for one night only at The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton. In the friendly and informal Spotlight Bar we will move, amuse, dazzle and entertain you …

Entry is Free!
Bring a friend and let our dozen talented Taunton troubadours transport you.

Click here to link to Tacchi-Morris website and directions.

Guest Poet: March 5th, 2020

Rachael Clyne

Rachael comes from Glastonbury and is a psychotherapist who has published self-help books as well as poetry.  She is well known on the poetry circuit.   Her prizewinning collection Singing at the Bone Tree is published by Indigo Dreams.  Her work appears in many anthologies and journals.


Guest Poet: February 6th, 2020

Anthony Watts

Anthony has been writing ‘seriously’ for nearly 50 years. 
He has had poems published in many magazines and anthologies in addition to five published collections: Strange Gold (KQBX Press, 1991), The Talking Horses of Dreams (Iron Press, 1999), Steart Point & other poems (John Garland, 2009), The Shell Gatherer (Oversteps, 2011) and his latest collection Stiles (Paekakariki Press, 2019).
Do read the FRP Interview with Anthony.


Guest Poet: October 3rd, 2019


Louise was born and grew up in the West Country and now lives in London. With a background in theatre, her first collection A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo won the Cinnamon Press debut poetry competition and was published in 2012. A pamphlet In the scullery with John Keats, also published by Cinnamon, came out in 2016.  Her poems have been widely published in magazines including Ambit, The Rialto, Poetry Wales and Stand. In 2018 she won first prize in the Prole Laureate Poetry Competition with her poem ‘The Marshes’, which appears in John Dust.


Guest Poet: September 5th, 2019


Maitreyabandhu was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1990, since when he has lived and worked at the London Buddhist Centre teaching Buddhism and meditation. In 2010, he founded Poetry East, a poetry venue exploring the relationship between spiritual life and poetry and attracting some of the finest poets writing today. His poetry has won numerous awards including the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Basil Bunting Award, the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and in 2010 he won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition.
Please click to read his full blog and click here to read the FRP Interview with Maitreyabandhu.