Oversteps News 52

Oversteps News 52

May 2018

Oversteps Books Ltd, 6 Halwell House, South Pool, Nr Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2RX


It is always a pleasure to introduce to the wider public a poet who has been writing and publishing for some time, but for whom this is the first collection.

Places by Paul Surman (ISBN 978-1-906856-79-3), price £8 plus p&p.

In his poetry, Paul is often ‘the observer unobserved’ as he introduces us to aspects of nature that we might well have otherwise missed. This role is fed by his enjoyment of walking in the Chilterns and his former experience as Reserve Manager of a nature reserve. He helps to organise poetry readings and workshops for Back Room Poets in Oxford.



Some of the events coming up in the next few weeks

19th May      Alwyn Marriage will be reading at The Crypt in Islington, with Martyn Crucefix and Will Stone
24th May      Melanie Branton is starring in a Comedy night at the Roxy Cinema, Axbridge
25th May      Denise McSheehy is Guest Reader at the Second Light Spring Festival
30th May      Melanie Branton is reading at Newcastle Literary Salon, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
3rd June       Paul Surman is reading at the Avington Arms in Beckley
4th June       Paul Surman will be reading at Pembroke College, Oxford
7th June       Oversteps at the Poetry Café will feature Maggie ButtSimon Richey, Alwyn Marriage and Ian Royce Chamberlain, with songs by Zoë Marriage and shorter readings by Anne Stewart, David Broadbridge, Jane Spiro, John Daniel and Graham High. 7.00 pm, Betterton Street, London
28th June-1st July Melanie Branton will be appearing at the Barnstable Fringe
2nd July       Melanie Branton will be reading at Wells Fountain Poets, Wells, Somerset
6th July       Denise McSheehy will be reading at Penzance Literary Festival, Acorn Barn Penzance
14th July     Oversteps Day at Ways with Words. This annual bonanza of readings by Oversteps poets will this year feature Ian Royce Chamberlain, Melanie Branton, Denise McSheehy, Hilary Elfick, Rebecca Bilkau, Jane Spiro, Sue Proffitt, Christopher North, Paul Surman, Jennie Osborne, Simon Williams, Susan Taylor and Alwyn Marriage. The day will start at 10.00am in the Duke’s Room, Dartington Hall, Devon
18th-22nd July Melanie Branton will be appearing at Buddhafield Festival, Somerset
27th-29th July  Melanie Branton will be appearing at WOMAD festival

When Anne Born, the former Managing Editor of Oversteps, died, she kindly left a legacy to the Poetry Society which has, for the past four years, provided mentoring for a promising poet. This is now coming to an end, and to celebrate the success of the scheme, we are offering copies of Anne’s last poetry collection, Singing Granites (rrp £12), co-authored by the Australian poet Glen Phillips at half-price (£6) with the purchase of any other Oversteps book, while stocks last. Let us know if you would like to receive one, and add £6 to your payment.

warm summer wishes


To Oversteps Books, 6 Halwell House, South Pool, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2RX

Please send …. copies of Places by Paul Surman at £8 each plus p&p

Please add … copies of Singing Granites by Anne Born and Glen Phillips at £6 (one per purchase of another Oversteps book)

Postage and packing per book£1.80 in UK (£4 if ordering from abroad)                   £
P&p for 2 books: £2.50 (£5 abroad), 3 books £5 (£6 if ordering from abroad)       £

Total                                                                                                                                                       £


Name and address ………………………

Many of the other Oversteps books that are for sale on http://www.overstepsbooks.com can be added to this order.
Money can be sent either by post to Oversteps, with cheques made payable to Oversteps Books Ltd;
or by email to alwynmarriage@overstepsbooks, using Paypal. We also welcome payment by bank transfer:
please contact me for bank details if you would like to pay by transfer.



Oversteps News 39

Oversteps Books Ltd, 6 Halwell House, South Pool, Nr Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2RX


Oversteps News 39    October 2015

Lighting the fire by John Daniel  (ISBN 978-1-906856-59-5)

Front cover

John's pic for coverjpg









John Daniel’s first Oversteps collection, Skinning the Bull, was published in 2012. We are now pleased to present his new book, Lighting the fire.

John is both a poet and an artist, and in designing these two collections, I have used paintings by him for the front covers. He has a strong, clear poetic voice, his subjects range from chess to shrimps to Chinese kidneys, and his interest in the finer details of the English language can be observed in poems such as Dr Johnson’s Dictionary and Punctuation. 

John lives in Totnes and Oxford and is married to Oversteps poet Jane Spiro, whose collection, Playing for Time, we published this last summer.

Other recent news

Jean Atkin had a poem commended in the Battered Moons competition, and read it at Swindon Poetry festival in October
Helen Overell was selected in this year’s Ver Poets Open competition, and highly commended in the Roundel Poetry competition
Tony Watts won first prize in the Four Counties’ Poetry competition
Michael Thomas won first prize in the Cheltenham Buzzwords poetry competition
Sue Davies won first prize in the Royal Navy Museum Poetry competition

As in other years, Oversteps poets were very well represented at the Poetry on the Lake festival on Lake Orta in Italy this October, with readings by, among others, Elisabeth Rowe, Anne Stewart, Michael Swan, Caroline Carver, Hilary Elfick, Rebecca Bilkau and Alwyn Marriage. We enjoyed readings by Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker, and basked in the warm Italian sunshine, and several of us also enjoyed swimming in the lake. The Sunday morning readings were on the Sacro Monte, which you can see in this picture, courtesy of Poetry on the Lake:


Some forthcoming events featuring Oversteps poets

Oz Hardwick will be appearing at Word Club at the Chemic Tavern, Leeds, on 23rd October
Ross Cogan is reading at Madhatter Books in Oxfordshire on 24th October
Cora Greenhill will be reading at Duffy’s Bar in Leicester on 27th October
Alwyn Marriage will be reading poetry and the song-writer Zoë Marriage performing some of her songs at the Thrive Café in Totnes on November 6th
Cora Greenhill will be reading with the Derbyshire Stanza at the Derwent Poetry Festival in Matlock between 6th and 8th November,
at Writers in The Bath, Sheffield, on November 10th and
at Shindig! in The Western in Leicester, on November 16th
Oz Hardwick will be reading at Spoken Word Shindig at Nelson’s Bar, Hebden Bridge, on 17th November
Joan McGavin, Denise Bennett and Alwyn Marriage will be reading at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton on November 20th
Rose Flint will be reading at Words and Ears at the Swan Hotel in Bradford on Avon on 26th November
Oversteps in Oxford will take place on 5th December at Albion Beatnik



Managing Editor, Oversteps Books


To Oversteps Books, 6 Halwell House, South Pool, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 2RX

Please send ….   copies of Lighting the fire
by John Daniel at £8 each plus p&p                                                                                           £

Postage and packing, per book£1.80 in UK;   £4 if ordering from abroad                        £

P&p for 2 books, £2.50;     (£5 if ordering from abroad)                                                        £

Total                                                                                                                                                      £

Name & address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Any other Oversteps books that are for sale on www.overstepsbooks.com can be added to this order.
Money can be sent either by post to Oversteps, with cheques made payable to Oversteps Books Ltd;
or by email: sales@overstepsbooks.com, using Paypal.
If you’d like to pay by bank transfer, please email me to ask for our bank details.

Oversteps Day 2013

We had a wonderful day in Dartington earlier this month, when a number of Oversteps poets  took part in another Oversteps Day at the Ways with Words Festival. Many thanks, once more, to Kay and Steve, who so kindly invite us to take part in the festival and give us a free hand in what we do.


Because of the re-organisation of rooms at Dartington, which resulted in Waterstones taking over the Upper Gatehouse, we were not able to use that lovely hall this year; but the Duke’s Room provided a space and atmosphere that was both elegant and cosy – especially as we read to capacity audiences.

In earlier years we have presented five sessions during the day, but for the sake of our poets and to spread the delights out evenly over the day, we decided to offer just four this year.

In the first event, ‘Hot off the Press’, four of our most recent poets read from their new collections: John Daniel (Skinning the Bull), Kathleen Kummer (Living below Sea Level), Jean Atkin (Not Lost Since Last Time) and Charles Bennett (Evenlode).


This was followed by ‘A toast to absent friends’, in which Oversteps poets who were at the festival introduced and read the poetry of some of the poets who were not able, for various reasons, to be with us. John Daniel read from both Elisabeth Rowe’s books  (Thin Ice and Taking Shape), Oz Hardwick shared the poetry of A C Clarke (Messages of Change and Fr Meslier’s Confession), Susan Taylor read from W H Petty’s collection (But Someone Liked Them), Simon Wiliams charmed us with the work of Marie Marshall (I am not a fish) and Christopher North celebrated the poetry of Anne Born and Glen Phillips (Singing Granites). The Ways with Words artist, Jennifer Johnson, was sketching in the room during this session, producing a page of poet portraits.

After lunch our thoughts moved to holidays and travel, as we invited the audience onto our magic carpet. The pilots, Oz Hardwick (The Illuminated Dreamer), Alwyn Marriage (Touching Earth and Festo) and Christopher North (Explaining the Circumstances and Al Otro Lado del Aguilar) were supported by Jennie Osborne (How to be Naked) and Kathleen Kummer (Living below Sea Level), and while the poems ranged over many countries, we were eventually brought safely back to Britain.

J Osborne Dartn

simon dartn

Our final event of the day was a new departure for us, as it included several musical items. Charles Bennett (Evenlode) began the session by talking about the libretto he wrote for last year’s BBC Proms in a joint commission with Bob Chilcot; Susan Taylor (The Suspension of the Moon and A Small Wave for your Form), Jennie Osborne (How to be Naked) and Alwyn Marriage (Touching Earth and Festo) read music-inspired poems, and Simon Williams (Quirks and A Place Where Odd Animals Stand) and Zoë Marriage, with her songs about capoiera and about RD Congo, extended the range of poetry into that which is sung.

susan dartna dartn 1z at Dartn 2

Both performers and audiences enjoyed the day, and we hope we can bring another programme to Dartington next year.

There were several other events by Oversteps poets at the festival as well. Christopher North facilitated a workshop, Susan Taylor took part in the amazing performance of ‘Skeleton Woman’, Simon Williams introduced a Tradewinds session and launched a new book, and Miriam Darlington spoke about her nature book, ‘Otter Country’.