HISTORY                                      the LANSDOWN POETS


My memory of the first gathering of the Lansdown poets is of a wet dark evening in late 2006 in an upper room in the Lansdown Public House in Clifton where perhaps eight or nine of us gathered. Charles Thompson, whom I had not met before, chaired the meeting, and we each read a poem. I came to the meeting with David Whitwell, and other stalwarts may have included Mark Sayers, Mary Crowder and Tim Burroughs. There were never any minutes, nothing so formal, so I am relying on my hazy memory of a pleasant occasion to which I felt inclined to commit there and then.

We have continued to meet in that room, with a few temporary uprootings, and with a loose and changing membership, until the disruption of the pandemic this year. However we have held regular virtual meetings and one summer social in a Clifton garden on Tim Burroughs’ birthday.       

Charles, by virtue of energy and commitment, has organised and chaired the event once a month, and intermittently it has produced an anthology of poetry written by the group and accompanied by a launch. The first was published in 2008, and contained the work of seven poets. Others followed in 2010, 2012, and then after a delay, longer than anticipated, in 2018. In 2018 we had fifteen poets represented in the Anthology signifying a new energy and enthusiasm.


At any rate, mindful of our six-year publishing drought and with a wish to maintain momentum, we went on to publish two pamphlets, PLANET in 2019, and ASYLUM in 2020, although the launch of ASYLUM has had to be a virtual one, and the physical one will probably take place in 2021. These proved to be imaginative and cohesive ventures which were not only a stimulus to good writing, but enabled us to raise money for two Bristol Charities, Frank Water and The Bristol Refugee Centre.

Current plans are evolving and we are hoping that positive news on the pandemic will free us to move forward decisively. In the meantime the website will provide updates.

David Cook


Present members of the Lansdown Poets:-

Charles Thompson

Robert Beavis

Tim Burroughs

David Cook

Tony D'Arpino

Richard Devereux

Mick Escott

Mike Gower

Gillie Harries

Rachel Hawkins-Crockford

Peter Milner

Simon Murphy

Maithreyi Nandakumar

David Punter

Mark Sayers

Pete Weinstock

David Whitwell