Hampshire Poets Together: an evening of poetry

Friday 2nd October, 8pm-9pm

Sit back, relax and join us for an evening of local (digital!), Hampshire poetry with Hampshire poets, Stephanie Norgate, Maggie Sawkins, John Haynes, Robyn Bolam and Steve O'Brien.

This poetry reading evening will take place over Zoom, bringing the poets into your living room as they share their work with you. Full details of how to join will be sent to participants after booking their place.

Book your place here.   

About the poets!

Stephanie Norgate is a poet and playwright. Stephanie’s plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her poetry collections are: Hidden River (Bloodaxe Books, 2008, shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize and the Jerwood Aldeburgh Award) and The Blue Den (Bloodaxe, 2012). She recently completed her forthcoming collection, The Conversation. Her novel Storm was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Literature Award 2019. For many years, she ran the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and is now a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Southampton. Stephanie was born and grew up in Selborne. She has known the paths walked by Edward Thomas all her life and also been influenced by the surrounding countryside. 

John Haynes: won the Costa Prize, for his long poem Letter to Patience, the Troubadour Prize, and was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize for another long poem, You.  His mother and father were in seaside shows and pantomime. He’s been a teacher at all levels, infants to PhD, and written books about language and teaching,  served in the RAF, and been a stage manager in professional repertory theatre (New Theatre Royal,  Portsmouth). He worked at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, for eighteen years, and now lives in Hampshire with his Nigerian born wife.  At present he’s working on two book-length poems, on about the British boarding school, the other about his children leaving home. He likes Edward Thomas because Thomas is original and deep without being ‘loud’.  

Maggie Sawkins: Maggie Sawkins’ poetry collections include Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press), Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon Press), and Many Skies Have Fallen, (Wild Mouse Press).  In 2014 she won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for her live literature production, Zones of Avoidance, which has been performed at literature festivals and theatres throughout the country. Maggie runs creative writing workshops in community and healthcare settings. Her most recent projects include the Penned-Up Literature Festival at HMP Downview, and Community Conversations for the refugee and asylum seeker community in Portsmouth in partnership with Journeys Festival International.  Maggie regularly runs poetry workshops at Portsmouth Central Library for people affected by substance misuse, mental ill health and/or homelessness.  She recently collaborated on a project with the Good Mental Health enabling people to take part in a ‘From the Heart’ poetry recital for Bookfest 2020.


Robyn Bolam was Hampshire Poet 2018. She has published four poetry collections with Bloodaxe Books, the latest being Hyem (October 2017). Her selected poems, New Wings (2007), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She edited Eliza’s Babes: four centuries of women’s poetry in English (Bloodaxe, 2005) and her libretto for Bennett Hogg's opera, Beyond Men and Dreams, was performed by the Royal Opera House Garden Venture. She led the ACE/National Lottery-funded combined-arts Ferry Tales project on the Solent. Robyn is Emeritus Professor of Literature at St Mary’s University and a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow/Lector at Southampton University and on the Isle of Wight. Her latest short podcasts for the Royal Literary Fund can be found at: https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/robyn-bolam-wim/ https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/robyn-bolam-wiw/  and https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/robyn-bolam-cbr/

Robyn admires Edward Thomas’s poetry for the way it expresses the endurance of the natural world and what this shows us.