Wales Poetry Award

Somewhere Else member, Iris Anne Lewis, has been highly commended in the  Wales Poetry Award competition for her poem ‘In, Over, Through, Off’. Judge Gwyneth Lewis said, ’This poem is very tightly woven, the tension is right, the pacing impeccable. A stunning poem.’

The Wales Poetry Award is an international competition to find the best in contemporary poetry. The winner was Kathryn Bevis with ‘Translations of Grief’. The Award ceremony, which took place on Zoom, was recorded and will be available on the Poetry Wales website soon. In the meantime, you can read all the shortlisted poems here.

Writers in the Library

Literature lovers are in for a treat with the new monthly ‘Writers in the Library’ event in Cirencester Library. This brand-new venture is the brain-child of Frank McMahon, the author of two well-received poetry collections. Frank said “There is a wealth of literary talent in Cirencester and its surrounding villages and through ‘Writers in the Library’ we are planning to bring local writers and readers together in a welcoming environment. Members of the public, writers or not, can bring their own work or that of other authors to read fiction, non-fiction and poetry to an informal, friendly audience.”

Set up with the enthusiastic support of three Cirencester writers groups, each session will feature a short reading by a guest author followed by an Open Mic, where both beginner and experienced writers are welcome to share their work or read a favourite piece in a supportive environment.

Located upstairs in Cirencester Library, sessions will run for an hour on the second Monday of each month at 2pm. Tea and coffee will be available. The first event takes place on Monday June 12th at 2pm. Please come along. You will be sure of a warm welcome.

For more information, contact

Poem of the Month

This month’s poem, Patinage, is another piece of writing included in “Off the Wall” – the group’s anthology published last year and still available from Somewhere Else Café Bar at 65 Castle Street.

Linda Dyson has led a varied life in several countries, and has been writing since she was seven, when she composed her first poem – about hollyhocks – and by the age of nine she wrote the beginning of a novel in an exercise book. She says she hasn’t stopped writing ever since!

It may be warm this month, but Linda’s poem will transport you to the cool of the ice skating rink, and we hope you will find the descriptions it presents will fill your mind’s eye with refreshing and graceful images as we look forward to an English summer.

You can read Linda’s poem here

End of a literary era

The final edition of the literary magazine, “Grafitti”, is about to be published under the imprint of Catchword, a Cirencester-based writers’ group. Somewhere Else Writers, also based in Cirencester, share a debt of gratitude to the founder of the magazine and both writers’ groups – Dr Rona Laycock – who has been a prime mover in encouraging the development of both amateur and published professional writers around Cirencester. Rona has devoted considerable time and energy to running writing courses and events, most recently at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, and is now planning to spend more time on other interests, although she will still be involved on a more relaxed basis in the activities of local writers.

Somewhere Else Writers are pleased to note that in the final edition of Grafitti, the winner of the poetry competition is our founder member, Iris Anne Lewis, who also wrote another poem published in the issue. Another group member, Graham Bruce Fletcher, who has been featured with short stories published in recent editions of Grafitti, also has a commended story in the last edition. Copies of Grafitti 29 can be ordered from Dr Rona Laycock, at 33, Sandford Leaze, Avening, Glos, GL8 8PB, enclosing a Sterling Cheque for £4.50 made out to Catchword Writing Group.

The High Window

The Spring edition of The High Window features two poems by Iris Anne Lewis.

The first poem The Woman of Dolní Vestonice was inspired by a remarkable figurine found in a paleolithic settlement in the Czech Republic. Some thirty thousand years old, it is one of the oldest ceramic items known.

Much closer to home, the second poem, Down Ampney, explores the history of this small village near Cirencester. 

You can read the poems here 

Gwyl and Beryl

Our current Chair, Selwyn, has written “Gwyl and Beryl” – a very short story – which you can read by clicking here. He explained: “This short story was completed after being set a free-writing exercise at one of our Wednesday meetings. We were asked:

‘Given a free choice, would a banana have blue hair?’.

Of course, who knows where to go from there? But, surprisingly, a story came to mind of how behaviour, out of the ordinary, leads us to question ourselves and others before coming to a resolution of our conflicting emotions.’

The group is now welcoming new members to join its weekly meetings on Wednesdays at Somewhere Else Deli in Castle Street, Cirencester.  Whether you already write, or have always wanted to, but would appreciate support and inspiration, contact us via our group website. Alternatively, just leave us a message at Somewhere Else at the top of Castle Street. Members write poetry, plays, fiction, and other forms of writing.  Some are published and performed, but others prefer to explore their personal potential. If you want to get the most out of words, get in touch.