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Welcome to Contour, the Poet Laureate magazine. When I was appointed Worcestershire Poet Laureate I knew I wanted to create a space for poetry in people's lives. Worcestershire is a rich county for Literature and inspiration can be found in many of the towns, villages, countryside and the city itself. Where better to start than this place, the idea for Issue 1 was born. I discovered the photography of Philip Halling whilst researching the County and with his kind permission we are using his work in this Issue under the Creative Commons agreement. A digital magazine can be read easily and freely, so settle down and enjoy the inaugural issue packed with poetry, interviews and news.

Thank you to everyone who submitted the editorial experience was a joy.

Nina Lewis Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017-18

Contour ŠWorcestershire Poet Laureate 2017 Cover image used under terms of CC0 public domain license Images used with permission. Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Individual poets retain copyright. This publication must not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written consent of the publisher or the individual authors of the work contained in the magazine. All rights reserved. Contact us worcspl@gmail.com


Poetry

Margaret Adkins Malvern Hills She lay down over 600-million-years ago and stretched out in straight-legged sleep using her heels to valley Whiteleaved Oak. Ever on her back, she still twists a shoulder to beckon travellers between Bristol and Birmingham along the M5. In sleep, she waited for her water to break the granite caul – icy and saltless. Saltless unlike the dried-up sea to her right scattering tiny stone-bones that once blew breath.


Brian Comber A singularity more like a sack of grain bearing down on the chest, a pulse in the temple that tells him he’s here, beyond monumental hills or in back lanes he gathers the leitmotifs of age, the rood screen, the furniture polish, the honesty box, the Norman font, he traces the carving with a transitory fingertip, for a moment of stillness and what is through stillness, a holding down of the corners, a freezing of this frame, to give him pause for breath. He pokes about in the nursery corner and fills the nave with a "right then" spoken out loud as a counterpoint to the centuries of absent babble. He tastes the keening air, whistles a lament, which, even as it is held seems to fracture, disassemble and escape settling on the fields around; hands pushed deep in pockets he finds, tickets, keys, 'phone and a message to call home, an indistinct man at the transept, sometimes here, sometimes there, vague around the edges, who moves away when approached, he smells of must, he has bicycle clips and a fifty pence guide and hangs around inside, astonished by the systole and diastole of the point of singularity. as an ancient tension is braced motes swim above a painted radiator, in Brownian motion, boards creak as the heat subsides. He slams the door to re-join the flow like a bear, with enormous bulk, pounding on the roof of the Worcestershire plain, work starts again.


Brian Comber The Home service by dusk she dragged her chair out onto the ridge, and hunched forward in her overalls, scanning the low grey cloud in the east for her birds, making from Hilversum, Rheims, names on the dial of her set. She would palpate the pigeon's breast for signs of wear, as a mother soothes the heaving chest of a child, she called them all "Billy" and loved them each the same and played grandmother to the birds lost or hunted in scourged woods or exposed on tracks, feeling the pull of home over European farms. She would sit, as if in prayer for the gathering in, as the tumblers appeared from the gloom, returning along the curvature of magnetic threads to home, to the Malvern ridge, clattering into the loft like a promise kept, with a sense, in their feather light bones, of a place to rest.


Sarah L Dixon Worcester Love Was it when you shared a bag of swan food with me, a stranger on Bromwich Parade? When we watched the eddying Severn as the June levels rose to wash our bare legs on the steps? When we shared a midnight fumble on a Kleeve Walk bench? When you got the voice of the evil black swan so right I couldn't talk for laughing? Was it when you gave me your jacket at Foregate station and caught a chill? When you booked me a surprise water-skiing course because I love the way mallards land? It was when you got the lock engraved and clipped it onto Diglis Bridge not telling me, waited for me to find it. knowing it is a place I go for reassurance. To read every wedding message, to cry at every locked goodbye. To run fingertips over love. You knew I would return to the locks and find this solid declaration. You didn't hint at it or steer our feet or words that way. You weren't with me when I found it. An emerald green padlock I spotted as new. You had waited patiently seventeen days for me to find it.


© Sue Thompson


Maggie Doyle A Poet’s Eye Trampling the verdant grass he sites his easel parallel to the river. Royal swans, ignore his clumsiness, glide through the gentle eddies, meringue-like shapes copying the clouds. He doesn’t notice them nor the sky. Cathedral bells drown the sound of traffic, jack hammers, seagulls screaming and laughing at nothing. A bicycle whispers past on the gravel track, the rider’s back marked with sweat and yet his movements are effortless, calculated. On the opposite side of the Severn stand a young couple, caught in the magic of the morning, sunlight drawing gold from the girl’s hair, laughter leaving her lips and rising skyward as the bells cease their message. The artist lifts his palette, dabs a brush into a splash of ochre and begins to paint. My picture is complete.


Alan Durham My Worcestershire Garden An apple boughed with yellow green Mistletoes; needs a pruning I should let in the light and help its fruiting, I know it well, but cannot cut. In winter cold, Black-caps gorge on sticky white waxen berries, no denial. My appetite is sated by their beauty. A tall hedge woven with Honeysuckle and Ivy’s, widening each year, needs a trim I let it grow, for within its depths Mother Blackbird broods her chicks. Waiting for fledglings, I vow an autumn spruce, longer shears from higher steps. Order tempered by promise of blissful song. My garden, once lines on a rigid plan, outgrowing symmetry, finds natures balance Prescribed forms soften and grow with grace, nectar flowers feed butterflies All is green, plants growing as they should, bearing the fruits of happiness and delivering peace to my soul.

Š Alan Durham


Kathy Gee Spirit of Place I’m more than just a roadside sign. My strength recruits an army drawn from shop and pub and club, dependable in times of crisis. It was my spirit overcame their fear when plague arrived in panniers or when they dug the air raid shelter. Where neighbours talk and chestnut fingers throw their shade as piglets search for fallen apples, chains of tiny children grow. My music makes each generation’s boy-bands play and brings commuters home at night. At two o’clock, we win at cricket. Cheers disturb the churchyard dead. At four, I am a pink marquee, where weary, child-hung uncles find a seat with chocolate fairy cake. Join me and we’ll build together, not just brick and stone but home.


Nina Lewis Drowning The floods came and ate the city, water turned from sea blue to coffee brown. Trees and lampposts swallowed whole. The cricket ground and racecourse became Lidos – without swimmers. The bridges still worked from East to West, although driving was avoided, all parking spaces underwater. Most houses stayed afloat. Riverside developments would dry out. Chalk markings left as a reminder of mother nature's child, growing, ever taller.


Ali Oxtoby Wild About Worcestershire even though I have a poster on my kitchen wall which reads wild women don't get the blues even though I was born in Wylds Lane and my nickname in predictive text is W...I...L...D I am not by any stretch of the imagination wild I could tell you lots of interesting facts about Worcestershire I could tell you it is made up of six districts Worcester, Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills Redditch, Wychavon and Wyre Forest I could tell you there are three main rivers running through it the Avon, the Teme and the Severn the latter being the longest river in the UK measuring 220 miles I could mention Kempsey probably the oldest village in the county and Tardebigge which houses the largest lock flight in the country but that's not why I am wild about Worcestershire I could point you to places of interest you could have a brine bath in Droitwich drink Malvern water from a spring have a ride on a Severn Valley steam train Go Ape in the Wyre Forest dance the night away at the Upton Blues Festival visit Elgar's birth place walk the Worcestershire Way but that's why I am wild About Worcestershire I could give you a flavour


of Worcestershire apples, plums, hops, asparagus the Black Pear, more than likely dating back to Roman times vineyards: Astley, Rose Bank, Tiltridge, Lovells I could give you samples of ciders: Barkers, Knights, Titlark and Wedgers beer: Muzzle Loader, Bah Humbug, This and That cheese: Bishop's Knot, Snodsbury, Old Worcester White but that's not why I am wild About Worcestershire I could give you some of the more quirky facts at least 4 of Kate Middleton's ancestors were born here including a vicar, a rector and a plasterer the Theatre of Small Convenience in Malvern ex Victorian gents' toilet officially the smallest theatre in the World the Malvern Hills inspired the Hobbit you will find the UK's tiniest thatched roof on a pillar box in Abbots Morton and a giant's grave in Ripple and my favourite Worcestershire sauce when squirted up their nostrils can revive new born lambs but that's not why I am wild about Worcestershire famous people buried here: Elgar, Jenny Lind King John, Prince Arthur (older brother of Henry VIII) Stanley Baldwin, Roget and Darwin's daughter famous people born here Elgar, Stanley Baldwin Fay Weldon, Clifford T Ward A E Housman, Harry Styles and Roland Hill inventor of the adhesive postage stamp things we are famous for: porcelain, gloves, carpets, sauce the Morgan, the Cathedral, cricket the battle of Worcester 1651 Malvern Water Cures The Hive, Cher Lloyd but that's not why I am wild about Worcestershire


you could tell me about all the things I've failed to mention and they wouldn't be why I am wild about Worcestershire but here's the thing . . . Worcestershire in the heart of England right in the middle middle in the positional sense not as in average, ordinary or bland being neither one thing nor the other like me the middle child the middle as connector, joiner the most stable point without the middle there would be a big hole in England without this beautiful place I call home there would be a big hole . . . in me if home is where the heart is then my heart is here in Worcestershire it's where I was born where I grew up where my friends and family are I have left many times but always come back the grass isn't always greener I'm where I want to be and that's why I am wild about Worcestershire


Jenna Plewes Canal Bridge into Withybed Green Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Humped over the canal, brickwork pitted, the bridge spans two centuries of ordinary lives. Mirrored in stillness, it circles the past. All memories now, the thud of hooves on the tow-path chuckle of water past a laden barge cackle of ducks, gossiping wives, squealing pigs, scratching hens all gone. The three rows of cottages, front, forward and rear, still huddle together, working boats have gone, the bustle of life is beyond the bridge, it’s quiet now in Withybed. Each day cars leave for school and work, the publican picks up crisp packets, swans watch a narrow boat pass, a child in a pram throws bread to the ducks, a man with a dog stops on the bridge to chat with a friend. The canal still flows, muddy and cool under the rich red arch, memories catch in the grooves from the towing lines, the bridge remembers the rumble of carts, but the growl of cars, chatter of folk returning home crowds out the past.


Winston Plowes Albino Love Box M5 Southbound (Worcestershire) Lying beside you my pale forearms delicately lithographed with grass stems, turning your handles. Like an oversized white music box. I watch you slowly rise as your legs unfurl. You exhale the months spent winterised in the storage yard, the occasional flick of a flashlight your only contact with the human world. You are a Swift dappling the mantle, a hook-up Symphony dripping through the skylight, the Champagne Pageant of light rain on your roof, a Firestorm of sweet condensation. But that was then and this is now and I’m drifting off to the comforting sounds of Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire. as your hand-painted glass ashtray slowly fills up with rain and a fag end floats like a compass needle always pointing home.


Anne Price Pirton’s Secret I walk along the leafy lane The sunlight dapples through The trees ‘umbrella’ over me An iron gate ahead I see Through I pass – the track leads on Another gate lies just beyond A gentle rise of lush green grass And as I walk – some sheep I pass Cattle also graze this land A tree’d horizon ‘fore me spans And as I breach the welcome brow I gaze at what’s before me now Our village secret hidden gem And ‘Pirton Pool’ I spy again.


Timothy Stavert From North to South Red, yellow and gold Autumn leaves, rustle in the wind, such an eerie sound as they float down from the towering trees, to rest like a blanket on a rain sodden ground. I climb high up to the top of North hill, remember walking here long ago during my younger days. When I see the circling buzzard, flying high in the sky, calling with a screaming sound in the sunny haze. Descending the long slope to the Wyche Cutting, where one of the many springs from the hills trickle water so pure, an attraction for many visitors from ancient times, they come to this place, famous for the water cure. Eventually reaching the British Camp with the sun now higher, I now feel there is a story in my mind, this amazing iron age fortress, a historic feature and an ancient, maybe holy ground of some kind. I can now see Eastnor park, with its castle and obelisk, as I climb Midsummer Hill around the next bend, I pass the last remaining quarry of Hollybush, to climb to my final hill at Chase End. This beauty of God's country, inspired me to explore, those titanic hills of Malvern whom many people adore.


Polly Stretton Echoes Of Bells Evesham Walk in the steps of Benedictine brothers, up Cowl Street, down Monks Walk, here they pace, to the Abbey for Matins and back again. Days spent tending vines; treading grapes, to and fro, as breath through netting, for carmine wine and sacraments to the love of Christ and the echoes of bells. Come Midday Prayer, come Evensong, come Compline they return. Devotions, psalms, and canticles; black worsted cowls raised against prying eyes. Controlling the desire to scratch the itch, they cast their lids down in prayer; only lips move, silently. Two by two, columns of holy men progress, back and forth to the Abbey in the echoes of bells.


Michael W. Thomas Harbours Hill Belbroughton One day I shall return to Harbours Hill and die. On its only street, cambered, gritted the colour of headache, against the fall of January stars I shall let my eyes roll back to see what my mind makes of the last quaint shuffle of life… having looked in the window of the village’s one shop, how it gathers little marvels of winter light on stuff it never sells… having walked the greenish length of the path beside the unattended church to see the berries drowse in their blood between the railing-spikes… having stood in the church itself in case the breathing dust should work loose a word from a long-immured prayer. On the only street at the mouth of the path I shall set like a tumbler, my bones brewing a forward roll so when it comes I fold soundlessly, ball up where the railings meet scarps of moss. Mulch to mulch, preserved a while as a randomness of sockets till the grasses of spring fill my eyes, lush over the whitened nooks in which a passenger-spirit might once have bided its time.


Cathy Whittaker The Morris Dancers are Lost They hurry through Worcester Cathedral jiggling bells at their knees in a hot panic of being late, dressed in black tall hats ringed with peacock feathers, artfully torn red and yellow striped cloaks, carrying sets of whistles a violin tucked underarm, dragging a pushchair over the marble floor stacked with thick sticks ready to beat to the throb of music. It’s over there someone shouts. They fumble out of the oak door march over manicured grass in the heat of the afternoon, curses, hectoring words, as they peer here and there, sweat the steps leading down to the river gliding beneath the stately cathedral spires watching with impassive eyes.

Š Philip Halling


Interviews SpeakEasy is a monthly event hosted by Worcester LitFest & Fringe, currently at Café Bliss. Every second Thursday of the month. Open mic spots can be booked through sending an email to secretary@worcesterlitfest.co.uk, 3 & 6 minute slots are available. I decided Contour would feature the Headline Acts. I am the 7th Poet Laureate for Worcestershire, so I ask 7 questions. The LitFest SpeakEasy Special (June) was Headlined by Pete the Temp and I Headlined in September. Our interviews will feature in the next issue of Contour (Spring).

July featured Mark Kilburn who won Worcester LitFest & Fringe Poetry Slam this year. MARK KILBURN: 7 Questions 1.What does being creative mean to you? In my case, ‘being creative’ is a means to interpreting and making sense of the world. Some people do this through gardening, through cooking, or music-making, theatre, art, engineering…my preference is words. 2. What kind of writing rituals/patterns do you have? I take notes, write first drafts, think a lot about form, after which follows a period of incubation. I’ve got work in my digital bottom drawer that’s 10-15-20 years old and hasn’t yet seen the light of day. I tend to use AbcTales.com if I want initial feedback on a poem or piece of prose. I like posting work online – in the digital world everything is subject to revision. 3. How do you begin a poem? A thought, a picture, an experience, something seen, something read…history is a passion…I jot down a lot of stuff in notebooks and I’m naturally drawn to certain subjects – fish, for example. 4. Does writing energise or exhaust you? Both. 5. What does Literary success look like to you? Completing a poem, story or novel to my utmost satisfaction. Unfortunately, in my case, literary success doesn’t occur very often.


6. What are you reading right now? I’m currently reading two books: Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami and Sieges of the English Civil Wars by John Barratt. 7. Best thing about Worcester? The river, the people, the history, the cathedral, the Hive, the literary scene.

August featured Roz Levens, who won the Flash Fiction Slam during the LitFest. SpeakEasy tends to feature Poets & Spoken Word, sometimes there have prose and music. Roz brought Flash Fiction to SpeakEasy. ROZ LEVENS: 7 Questions 1.What does being creative mean to you? I guess being creative is using the iceberg parts of my mind that sit below the waterline unobserved by others! 2. What kind of writing rituals/patterns do you have? I use squared paper and italic pens. I write everything longhand and edit as I type into the computer.


3. How do you begin a flash fiction? I take my dog for a walk. It sounds daft, but I get my best ideas when walking. I record them into my phone so I don't forget them. 4. Does writing energise or exhaust you? Writing definitely energises me – I will write the bones of a story and then be unable to settle until I've tweaked it into shape! 5. What does Literary success look like to you? I'm editing my first novel and I'm halfway through my second – I'd like to get published. I'm also working on a book of flash fiction stories. 6. What are you reading right now? I've just finished 'Commonwealth' by Ann Patchett, which was about the complicated lives of ordinary people. I'm halfway through dipping in and out of 'The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker' by Roger Hutchinson, which is all about census results. Fascinating. 7. Best thing about Worcester? I wish I'd realised years ago just what a fabulous city Worcester is, such a creative city. It's got so much to offer!


October saw Rick Sanders a.k.a Willis the Poet Headline. WILLIS THE POET: 7 Questions 1.What does being creative mean to you? It gives me the chance to explore my imagination and create something from nothing. The idea that in one second something does not exist, but when you think it up and create it, you have bought something new into the world—just you, no-one else and that is an amazing feeling of achievement 2. What kind of writing rituals/patterns do you have? Not many! I tend to be inspired by single thoughts or individual lines, which pop in to my head at different times of the day or night. I tend to have a pen and paper on me at all times and beside the bed, so when these ideas pop in I can make a note of them. I often get ideas when driving back from poetry nights, so those just get repeated out loud in the car until I have remembered enough to be able to write it all down when I get home! 3. How do you begin a poem? With a single idea or phrase or word. I explore that in my mind, start writing and see where it takes me. It is often not where I expected it to end up!! But that’s the beauty of comic verse, you can twist words and phrases and ideas anyway you like to make them entertaining and funny. 4. Does writing energise or exhaust you? On the whole, and as Captain Kirk would say, "energise"! 5. What does Literary success look like to you? 1. Getting paid to perform 2. Getting new audiences to my events 3. Getting a book published 4. Making a living through poetry in all it's different guises 6. What are you reading right now? Poems our Parents Wouldn't Like by Mogs, Do What You Can by Tarik Ross-Cameron and Ten Letters by Spoz. Recently finished Steve Pottinger's A Fine Fine Place and Rupi Kaur's The Sun and Her Flowers. All are aces..... 7. Best thing about Worcester? A vibrant poetry scene at Speak Easy, 42, Bottles and through the LitFest & Fringe peeps. Also having my name on a massive poster for SpeakEasy and also on a poster in the bogs at Bottles – you know you've made it somehow, when your name is on a poster in the bogs!!

Monthly Poetry in Worcestershire Licensed to Rhyme (1st Monday) Uncorked (1st Thursday) SpeakEasy (2nd Thursday) 42 (last Wednesday) Open Mic Nights (12-19 years) The Hive (last Friday)


Poet Laureate Projects TWIN TOWN I are currently working with Janet King (Bromsgrove International Link) and our Twin Town of Gronau, in Westphalia Germany. I am currently asking Worcestershire Poets to register their interest with me for this project. There is already a team of 7 committed to buddying up with a European poetry partner for some call and response poetry. To register your interest please email worcspl@gmail.com This project started in July and we hope to have our poets linked before the end of 2017.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES A similar project is currently in consideration with a poetry group in Worcester, Massachusetts. This project was started in June. The writing for this will be based on the city of Worcester. If you interested and are based in Worcestershire, please register your interest by sending an email to worcspl@gmail.com

JINNEY RING SCULPTURE TRAIL In September I ran a poetry workshop, poems from this will be exhibited in the Restaurant soon.

POETRY ANTHOLOGIES Throughout the Laureateship I feel it is important to raise awareness of issues that are part of the world we all live in. These anthologies were open to international submissions. The World Mental Health Day in Poetry Anthology remains open (see Submissions for details). Refugee Poems https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/world-refugee-day-inpoetry/

Freedom Poems For National Poetry Day https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/happy-national-poetry-day/

World Mental Health Day in Poetry https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/world-mental-health-day-inpoetry/

Halloween Poetry I am currently making a spooky Poetry Film with your submissions, check website for details.


READINGS 11th November, Elgar Poetry Evening, 7:30 PM Elgar School of Music https://www.elgarschoolofmusic.org.uk/copy-of-about-2 14th November 7PM start. Parks CafĂŠ, Droitwich Poets from the Hanbury Hall Project will perform ekphrastic poetry. FREE Open to the public This event finishes at 7:45 PM. https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/wanted-hanbury-hall-poets/

SUBMISSIONS: Submissions are currently open for a Remembrance Anthology. Poetry on the World Wars. https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/remembrance-poetry-opensubmissions/ DEADLINE 10th November. Submissions for the Spring Edition of Contour will open shortly, keep your eyes on the Blog for further information.

PAST PROJECTS: Celebrating the Salt King 200 with a Poetry and a Picnic. https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/events/ Droitwich ArtsFest Jinney Ring Sculpture Trail Poetry Workshop Second Friday Stories Poetry at the Salt Festival https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/poetry-at-salt-festival-2017/

MEDIA/SOCIAL MEDIA Catch Tammy Gooding's BBC Hereford and Worcester show and hear my Poet Laureate interviews once a month. https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/bbc-hereford-worcester/ Follow the blog https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com Find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NinaWriter/ Twitter @Neens07


BIOGRAPHIES Margaret Adkins has lived in Malvern for twenty-four years and is currently a final year degree student at Worcester University, studying Creative Writing and English Literature. A poem of hers was commended in the Welshpool Poetry Competition (2017). She has poems anthologised in various collections, including You Are Not My Final Form (The Emma Press. 2017). Her poems have appeared in online magazines, including The Fat Damsel & Algebra of Owls. Brian Comber lives in Inkberrow, Worcestershire. He has been writing poetry intermittently for many years and occasionally performs poems at spoken word events in Worcester. Brian often incorporates historical events or metaphors in his poems, often trying to blend these with modern events. He is planning to start working fewer hours and hopes this will give him the energy and motivation to write more. Sarah L. Dixon is based in Huddersfield and tours as The Quiet Compère. She has been published in The Interpreter’s House, The Lake, Obsessed With Pipework and in Half Moon OWF Press pub and Troubadour music anthologies. Her pamphlet, The sky is cracked will be released by Half Moon Press in November 2017. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being by water and adventures with her six-year-old, Frank. http://thequietcompere.co.uk/ Maggie Doyle lives in Worcestershire she is one part of Decadent Divas, her work is topical, funny and poignant. She was Worcestershire Poet Laureate in 2012 and has since been given the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate Emeritus. She was the Poet in Residence at Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, a director of the Worcestershire Literary Festival & Fringe, a co-curator of Worcester’s spoken word event, SpeakEasy and now runs Licensed to Rhyme with Spoz. Alan Durham lives in Worcester and is an active member of the Worcestershire Writing and Performance community. Alan regularly attends and performs at Speakeasy and 42 as well as other spoken word venues in Worcestershire and the Black Country. In addition he is a member of the Worcester Writer’s Circle, and a committee member of the Worcestershire Literary Festival and Fringe. Alan has published two books The Hen Race in 2014 and Poems, Rhymes and Snippets of Prose in 2015. Kathy Gee lives in Worcestershire and works in museums and heritage. Widely published online and on paper, her first collection Book of Bones was published by V. Press in May 2016. http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-of-bones.html. In the same year, she wrote the spoken word elements for a contemporary choral piece http://suiteforthefallensoldier.com/ Nina Lewis is published in a variety of Anthologies and poetry magazines. Her work has appeared in an installation at the Midlands Art Centre, on the Poetry Trail for Wenlock Poetry and BIG Lit Festivals. Nina's début pamphlet Fragile Houses was published by V. Press (2016), she is in the current cohort for Room 204 (WWM) and is Reader in Residence at Rugby Library for WMRN. She is Worcestershire Poet Laureate and editor of Contour too. She blogs at https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/ Ali Oxtoby Ali was born in Wylds Lane Worcester and now lives in Malvern. She enjoys walking the hills, playing the ukulele and of course writing. She wrote this poem for a Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition. She didn't win but had great fun writing it. She has just published her first collection of poems Heart to Heart. She reads her quirky, heartfelt poems in and around Malvern to anyone who will listen.


Jenna Plewes lives in Worcestershire. Her poems have been published in magazines in the UK and Canada and in several anthologies. Her first full collection Salt was published by IDP in 2013. Gifts a collection of contemplative poetry published in 2014 is available on Amazon. Pull of the Earth is her second full collection with IDP. She was highly commended in the Hastings International competition in 2012, highly commended in the Geoff Stevens memorial prize in 2013 and 2014, commended in the Four Corners International poetry competition and in the Second Light Poetry Competition in 2015. In 2016 she has been short-listed on Poetry on the Lake, and Poetry Space competitions. Winston Plowes lives aboard a floating home in Calderdale which doubles as a home for lost books. He teaches creative writing and was Poet in Residence for The Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 201214,17. His collection of surrealist poetry Telephones, Love Hearts & Jellyfish, Electric Press was published in 2016. www.winstonplowes.co.uk Anne Price is based in Worcestershire and submitted her poem for Contour after hearing Nina on BBC Hereford & Worcester. She lives in a wonderful small hamlet/village called Pirton which has a beautiful old church with stunning views of the Malverns and also a lovely hidden secret ... Timothy Stavert lives in Worcestershire, he has written fiction for many years. He attends a variety of Worcestershire groups and events. When he is not writing, Tim enjoys gardening. In addition to Flash Fiction and poetry he also writes newsletters and articles for various papers. Polly Stretton writes for both page and performance, her work has been widely published in anthologies; she is one of the Croome Poets and has poems featured at Croome. Her first collection of poetry, Girl’s Got Rhythm was reprinted by Black Pear Press (2016) https://blackpear.net, who also published her series of poems in a pamphlet, Chatterton, (2014). Polly attends a variety of Worcestershire writing groups and events. Michael W. Thomas's poetry collections include Batman’s Hill, South Staffs (Flipped Eye, 2013) and Come to Pass (Oversteps, 2015). His work has appeared in The Antioch Review, Critical Survey and the TLS. In 2015, his novella, Esp, was short-listed for the UK Novella Award. He is Poet-in-Residence at the annual Robert Frost Festival, Key West, Florida. His latest novel is Pilgrims at the White Horizon. Cathy Whittaker has had a sequence of 15 poems published in Quintet, Cinnamon Press. Her work has also appeared in Under the Radar, Prole,The Interpreters House, Envoi, Orbis, Ink Sweat and Tears, Southlight, Obessed with Pipework, The Magnolia Review, Mslexia, and many other magazines and anthologies. She was short-listed for the Bridport Prize. She won the Southport Writers Competition and was runner up for The Baker Prize. Cathy works with a colleague facilitating workshops in Creative Writing: www.openmindwriting.com


With special thanks to local photographer Philip Halling.

Š Paul Stringer 2017

The next edition of Contour WPL Magazine will be published in the Spring 2018.

Contour WPL Poetry Magazine  

Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Nina Lewis created CONTOUR a poetry magazine to house your work. The inaugural issue includes poetry on Place,...

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