tall-lighthouse redux

On Thursday 20th a collaboration between in-words and tall-lighthouse brought together four very different poets, whose innovative, unusual and interesting voices contrasting in the most stimulating way.

This was a great celebration of tall-lighthouse’s return to publishing ‘bloody good poetry’. It is owned and run by Les Robinson, who often acts also as mentor and editor, and you could tell that, despite the marked differences between the poets, the common theme was the depth of their empathy, skill and enthusiasm. And that is probably also thanks to Les and his empathy, skill and enthusiasm.

For this event, Les also prepared and managed the powerpoint slides of the texts. For once, I felt I was part of the audience, I could sit back and simply enjoy the readings.

Christopher Horton read from Perfect Timing, the perfect title for his precise, yet playful and sensitive poems. “Christopher Horton’s many voices are equally at home in the city and in the wilds. Perfect Timing surprises with what often goes unnoticed.” Katrina Naomi.

Joshua Calladine-Jones read from Constructions [konstrtukce]. Based in Prague, his poems are experimental sequences assembled from snippets of online conversations, notes and fragments in incorrect English as used by Czech people during lockdown – somehow managing to create narratives out of them.

Sarah Shapiro, born in Chcago and living in Boston, read from her first pamphlet, The Bullshit Cosmos (ignitionpress), and from Being Called Normal. Her poetry grows from a dialogue between her and the impersonal language of diagnostic assessments, and urges us to challenge the easy labelling of children and adults.

With Mark Wynne, we were treated to words and images. Frank Auerbach’s strong, sensuous paintings and drawings work as more than mere inspiration for Mark’s pared-down verse in Frank & Stella. Like Auerbach, Mark scrapes away at what he finds to be not essential “[…] to produce something distinctive and disorienting.” John Clegg.

The pamphlets can be ordered by emailing tall.lighthouse@yahoo.com

A big thank you to Les, Christopher, Joshua, Sarah, Mark and the audience.


Tuesday March 5 at West Greenwich Library, 7-8.30pm

The Birth of a Book: Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety plus A Taste of 154 – readings of some of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, and modern responses to them

Local author and scholar Neville Grant will talk about the writing of his new book, Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange, 2023), about what inspired him to delve into this well-explored subject and to succeed in finding a plethora of unknown, intriguing (and some amusing) facts about the Bard, and many parallels with goings on in the 21st Century.

154 is a poetry collection published by Live Canon. Each one of 154 modern poets was asked to respond to one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets (not counting the ones inside his plays). We shall hear some of these inspired pairings, by and with Nick Eisen, Gillie Robic, Lorraine Mariner, NJ Hynes, Rosie Johnston and Doreen Hinchliffe.


Free as always, with plenty of refreshments – and food for thought!

Neville Grant, best known locally as former editor of the Westcombe News, is a professional author who has published many textbooks on language and literature used in countries around the world. His  latest book, Shakespeare in an Age  of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange 2023), written for the general reader, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio – the collection of his plays published seven years after his death. The book looks at how a grammar school boy made it in London’s theatreland, how he survived Tudor politics, and gives an appreciation of each of his works in the order in which they were written, so one can trace his development as a writer.