Recent events and publications

November 11th 2017

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 New poetry collection, Hyem, was launched in York on Saturday! Thank you to everyone who came.

It was also special to be part of the launch for the anthology, Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid, at the National Association of Writers in Education’s 30th conference.



October 2017


It was wonderful to share publication day (26th October) for fourth Bloodaxe poetry collection, Hyem, with lovely relatives from Canada. My cousin, Elsa Bolam, is with me here. Elsa founded Geordie Productions, a touring theatre company based in Montreal. She’s proved that roots can be stretched a very long way – an idea at the heart of Hyem, which will be launched at the NAWE conference in York at 5.45 on Saturday 11th November.

Other launches and readings are in the pipeline for 2018 – in London (Twickenham), Portsmouth (Tongues & Grooves), Chichester and the Isle of Wight.

Many thanks to Neil Astley and the Bloodaxe team.


September 2017


Alison Hill’s fascinating anthology, Fifty Ways to Fly, brought Matt West, Maggie Sawkins, Alison, Stephen Boyce and myself together to read with Denise Bennett and others at the Square Tower Portsmouth for Tongues & Grooves on 17 September – with memorable music by Fly Away Peter. It’s sold in support of the British Women Pilots’ Association:




August 2017

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Many thanks to Paul Armfield (above) for hosting a Ferry Tales farewell at Quay Arts Newport on August 8th – and to Lydia Fulleylove, JC Grimshaw and Dom Prag for another special Ferry Tales evening.

Our anthology has sold out now, but CDs are available!

July 2017

Visit the Ferry Tales Exhibition in the Community Room at Lymington Library, 6th-8th July, and please join us (with guest poet, Maggie Sawkins) on Friday 7th July at 7pm for a lively evening of original music and voices at the United Reformed Church on Lymington High Street. Both events are free.


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April 2017

Please join us if you can as we celebrate our year of ferry trips and poetry and song-writing workshops in Solent ports. A big thank you to both Red Funnel and Wightlink  and to all the ferry passengers who gave us words that turned into poems. Through our Facebook page: Facebook/com: ferrytalesproject others joined in from further away – thank you for your poems and photos too! If you’d like to find out more about the project, please go to:

Thank you, too, to everyone who came to our event on 22nd on the Isle of Wight. It was a wonderful day! If you missed it and you’d like to hear the music and read some poems, thanks to Arts Council England and the National Lottery, our CD and anthology are available through the Ferry Tales website (above).



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March 2017

A very exciting time – singer-songwriters JC Grimshaw and Dom Prag recording the Ferry Tales CD of their own ‘Songs of Sea and Travel’ with some lyrics by participants in Robyn & Dom’s song-writing workshops. Come along to Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, on Saturday 22nd April to hear them play as we launch the Ferry Tales Exhibition there.


Fifty Ways to Fly

Alison Hill has edited a fascinating anthology, Fifty Ways to Fly, sold in support of the British Women Pilots’ Association (published by Rhythm & Muse). Check out Alison’s website for details. Contributors include Robyn, Stephen Boyce, Ian Duhig, Paul McLoughlin, John Murphy, Rosemary Norman, Maggie Sawkins, Susan Utting and many more.

November 2016

Robyn spreading the word about the Ferry Tales Project at the National Association of Writers in Education Conference in Stratford-on-Avon:


October 2016

Review of The Poems of Basil Bunting, ed. Don Share (Faber, 2016) in The Lake:



FREE Poetry and Song-writing workshops with ROBYN BOLAM and DOM PRAG – for those whose lives have been impacted by illness –

at the Coates Centre, Lymington, Hampshire:

18th & 25th October, 10am-1pm

 to book , call: 01590 677198        


September 2016


Hampshire Cultural Trust Heritage Open Day Poetry Reading

at River Cottage Canteen, Winchester, on 15th September at 7pm with

Isobel Rogers (Hampshire Poet, 2016) Robyn Bolam and Stephen Boyce

(Thanks to painter-poet Hugh Greasley and to former Hampshire poet, Joan McGavin for the photos of this happy event.)dscf0962

July 2016

Lymington Arts Festival

Friday 8 July at 5.30pm Poetry, Painting and Song

Launching the Ferry Tales Project,

poets Robyn Bolam and Lydia Fulleylove will read

from and talk about their work in relation to the

Annual St Barbe Open Exhibition. They will be joined by

acclaimed singer-songwriter, Paul Armfield.

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington.

FREE ENTRY to event. Standard admission charges apply for the exhibition.



Thursday 7 July at 6pm

Robyn will join Cassandra Clark, historical novelist and ‘mistress of the medieval whodunnit’, in ‘Magic, Myth and Mayhem’: on writing history in fiction and poetry

at WATERSTONES, 105-106 High Street, SO41 9AP



 June 2016

Winchester Writers’ Festival

Robyn will run a poetry workshop at the festival on 19th June. For more information see:

The Winchester WritersFestival will take place at the University of Winchester.


April 2016

Two poems, ‘Basil Bunting’s Shadow’ and ‘Between Four and Five o’clock, 10th August 1628, Stockholm Harbour’ published in Two Thirds North, 2016

March 2016

Review of Christopher Reid’s The Curiosities (Faber, 2015)

October 2015

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The Power of Place in poetry, fiction and inspiration at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.  Cassandra Clark, ‘the mistress of the medieval whodunnit’; acclaimed prize-winning poets Robyn Bolam and Lydia Fulleylove; Wendy K. Harris, author of the popular ‘Undercliff Novels’  set on the Isle of Wight, and multi-talented writer, Brian Hinton, will read from and talk about their work on Friday 16th October at 2.30pm. All have been praised for their ability to convey a powerful sense of place. Between them they will take you from northern Britain down to the Isle of Wight and right across the world. These writers support Dimbola Museum & Galleries, a venue that celebrates the work of photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and artists of today.

September 2015

Review of Clive James’s Sentenced to Life (Picador, 2015)

June 2015

Reading at The English Bookshop, Stockholm, on the day of its re-opening in its new location, Södermannagatan 22


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                                                                 Robyn with Christer Valdeson in his welcoming English Bookshop


Robyn with Paul Schreiber, Senior Editor of the innovative and truly international journal of new writing, Two Thirds North, during a visit to Stockholm this month. Check it out at:


Royal Literary Fund Podcasts

The Royal Literary Fund release a new podcast every week on their website. This week, if you go to:

you can listen to poet Julia Copus interviewing Robyn about her anthology of four hundred years of women’s poetry, Eliza’s Babes (Bloodaxe). Scroll down a little more and you’ll find another podcast by Robyn about Roots, geographical and emotional. This is paired with one by the writer, Kapka Kassabora, on exile.

May 2015

The Power of Place

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Power of Place posterThe Power of Place: writers Robyn Bolam, Cassandra Clark, Lydia Fulleylove, Wendy K. Harris and Brian Hinton will read from and talk about their work at Dimbola Museum and Galleries, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight on Thursday 28th May at 5.15pm. Refreshments available before the event. All welcome.

This is a free event but donations to the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust will be appreciated.

Robyn also runs the Royal Literary Fund’s ‘Reading Round’ here and would like to meet anyone interested in joining the group from September. Please contact her via her website:

Historical novelist, Cassandra Clark, ‘the mistress of the medieval whodunnit’, is the author of eight thrilling, carefully researched novels and a skilled evoker of known places, from northern Britain to medieval Europe.

Wendy K. Harris’s ‘’Undercliff Novels’ , set on the Isle of Wight, have been praised for their ‘stunning sense of place’ as well as being compelling narratives which inspire her readers to visit the island she evokes so vividly.

Author of three acclaimed poetry collections published by Bloodaxe Books, Robyn Bolam has been described as ‘a poet of spirit and a poet of place’. Her latest work is concerned with the concept of ‘home’ and links between her native north and the south, where she now lives.

Prize-winning poet, Lydia Fulleylove’s second collection, Estuary, published in October 2014 by Two Ravens Press, tells the story of a year on the estuary of the Western Yar on the Isle of Wight, using poems, diary extracts and visual images from artist Colin Riches.

Poet Brian Hinton is also the author of more than thirty books about literature, music, writers and place. As writer, researcher, curator, editor and actor, he has supported and promoted the arts on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere for many years. He is Chairman and Curator of Dimbola Museum and Galleries.

March 2015

Two of Robyn’s poems (‘Beyond Men’ and ‘Two Springs’) are included in an exciting new sound recording piece, Voices Returning, for the Bloodaxe ‘Poetics of the Archive Project’. This is a celebration of fourteen women poets with north-east connections by Bernadette McAloon and Wendy Smith and you can listen to it at:

The poets are: Frances Horovitz, Fleur Adcock, Anne Stevenson, Jackie Litherland, Robyn Bolam, Jill Maughan, Cynthia Fuller, Ellen Phethean, Katrina Porteous, Gillian Allnutt, Linda France, Julia Darling, Jackie Kay and Colette Bryce.

February 2015

Review of Alison Hill’s Slate Rising (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2014)

October 2014

9 October at 7.30pm. Guest poet for Wight Words at Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight – with storyteller, Eltjo de Vries, singer-songwriter, Catherine Cameron Martin and much more…

4 October at 4pm. Reading with The Spring Poets (Chris Sparkes, Marianne Barber and John Haynes are pictured here) in St Faith’s Church, Havant, for the Havant Literature Festival.

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2 October at 7.30pm. Reading with Joan McGavin (Hampshire Poet 2014) at Hythe Library for National Poetry Day.

September 2014

12 September at 5.00pm. Reading at Winchester Discovery Centre, Performance Hall with Stephen Boyce, John Haynes, Nick MacKinnon, Joan McGavin, Maggie Sawkins and Julian Stannard for the Winchester Poetry Festival.

August 2014

New poem, ‘Northern Home Front’ in The Arts of Peace, ed. Adrian Blamires & Peter Robinson (Two Rivers Press/English Association)

Review of Deirdre Shanahan’s Recovery Position (Rack Press, 2014)

July 2014

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31 July at 7.30pm. Reading at Romsey Library with Stephen Boyce, Joan McGavin and Paul Gardner in the run-up to the Winchester Poetry Festival (September). Stephen’s latest collection, The Sisyphus Dog, was published this Spring and Joan is the 2014 Hampshire Poet and author of Flannelgraphs (2011). Paul’s poetry collection is Now and Then (2005).

May 2014

An article, ‘Eliza’s Babes: using the skills, ideas and lives of women poets from earlier centuries to create new poetry of your own’, published in Writing in Education, issue no.62, Spring 2014, pp.28-31 [ISSN: 1361-8539]

April 2014

The podcast of the Towards the Point programme is now available. Please see the Towards the Point Blog on Express FM’s website for full details.

March 2014

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Recording an interview with James Sandy and Dave Allen for Express FM (93.7) to be broadcast in Towards the Point (a monthly arts programme) on 31st March at 7pm. James and Dave are lively and interesting interviewers. Listen at

Review of John Agard’s Travel Light Travel Dark (Bloodaxe, 2013)

February 2014

More poems inspired by the High Voltage Laboratory on the recently launched Litmus Project website: (See under 2012, the year the project began)

January 2014

New poem in Poetry Review, volume 103:4, Winter 2013, p.54: ‘Winter Solstice at the High Voltage Laboratory’.

November 2013

Sunday 17th November  National Association of Writers in Education Conference at York, Poetry workshop inspired by early women poets (

Tuesday 12th November, 7pm     Reading with Anne-Marie Fyfe at Garrick’s Temple on the Thames, Hampton (Richmond Literature Festival).

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Monday 11th November, 6pm      University of Winchester, Poetry Reading (contact: Joan McGavin)

Saturday 9th November     Tongues & Grooves 10th Anniversary: Portsmouth Poetry  Festival (reading and in conversation with James Sandy, Express FM)

Robyn interview 1 Robyn interview 2

October 2013

Thursday 10th October, 7pm       Poetry Reading with Stephanie Norgate and music by Les Kazoos d’Amour at Lymington  Library.


Thursday 3rd October, 7.30pm   Poetry Reading with Sylvia Oldroyd at Hythe Library.