It is with the most profound sorrow that we have to announce the sudden death of founder of, and guide, Andy Thompson which has come as a great shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and two children, of whom he was immensely proud.
For many years Andy was a teacher and Headteacher who led tours for his students. On his retirement, he founded Eyewitness Tours and continued to travel to the battlefields of Europe, leading tours for groups large and small over many years. He was with a group on the battlefields of Normandy shortly before his death. His tours with the Western Front Association and the War Poets Association were a highlight of each year,
Andy was a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and had been awarded the inaugural ‘Old Bill Award’ for his enthusiasm and cheerfulness in times of difficulty, a thoroughly deserved accolade for the many hours of selfless time he had given to the Guild. He organised the yearly Christmas Dinner, helped overseas members travel to the AGM and gave selflessly to anyone who asked.
He was a member of the committee of the War Poets Association for many years.
We have information about a new publication.
I am a widely published poet from Newcastle. My audio piece, a sequence of poems titled The Stone Men of Newcastle, was recently broadcast on BBC Introducing Arts with Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 6 Music, and is now available on BBC Sounds until the 7th of June. I was wondering if you would be willing to promote The Stone Men of Newcastle on the War Poets Association website, newsletter, social media, or any other appropriate channels you may have?
The Stone Men of Newcastle is a sequence of poems about the city’s statues and their place in contemporary Newcastle. The audio piece features poems that reflect on war memorials, including ‘The Response 1914’ and the statue of St George and the Dragon at Eldon Square, and war poetry, specifically the work of Sidney Keyes. It was commissioned by New Creatives, a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, and delivered by Tyneside Cinema. The sequence was performed by prolific Geordie voice actor Dan Pye, and stage and screen actress Stacey Ghent. The lead audio production partner was Naked Productions. I have attached a press pack with full details of the audio piece.
Here is a link to the programme on BBC Sounds:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0016ybf (The Stone Men of Newcastle is featured 4-18 minutes into the programme)
I gain distribution rights to the piece on the 15th of June 2022, so if you would be interested in publishing the audio piece directly, instead of, or in addition to, promoting the BBC programme, I can send you the audio file for publication from this date. I can also send accompanying print versions of the poems if you would like to publish one alongside the audio piece.
My previous work has often engaged with war poetry; I won the Poetry Society’s Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize 2018 for my essay on Second World War poetry by Sidney Keyes, John Jarmain, and Henry Reed, and my poem ‘Dona Nobis Pacem (for Britten’s War Requiem)’, responding to Wilfred Owen’s poetry and the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten it inspired, was published in The Wilfred Owen Association Journal.
If you have any questions, or would like further information, I am happy to correspond further. Many thanks.
War Poetry Review 2021
The new copy of the War Poetry Review is now available to members only. As with all other editions access is via the War Poetry Review link above or the link in the menu bar above which will take you to the password access page. To get the password please contact David Worthington, who will happily provide the password to all paid up members.
Anthony Rudolf, Elizabeth Cook
Jewish Book Week – Sunday 27 February 1pm, Kings Place, Kings Cross London.
An exploration of the extraordinary career of the war poet and artist, Isaac Rosenberg.
Isaac Rosenberg. A Jewish poet, an English poet, a war poet, a painter-poet, a young poet, a great poet. Writers Elizabeth Cook and Anthony Rudolf explore his life and work, considering what he might have achieved had he not been killed in in the final months of World War One.
October 2021 Newsletter
I’m delighted to announce that the 2021 issue of the War Poetry Review is at the printers and will be posted out to members in mid-November. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet for this year and want to receive the journal please visit www.warpoets.org.
We are launching the Review, and a new book of Selected Poems by John Pudney, on Remembrance Sunday at 6pm and hope very much that you can join us then.
The event is online and free but you do have to register in order to get the zoom link and password. To register click on the invite below or follow this link : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-reading-of-war-poetry-tickets-195082927287
This year’s Review is full of excellent articles and poems. Essays include Charles Mundye on Wilfred Owen in Scarborough and Fran Brearton on Irish Soldier Poets of the First World War. Leo van Bergen writes about the extraordinary exhibition ‘War/Raw’ by Dutch artist Tonie van Marle. There is a profile by John Howlett of the Second World War RAF poet John Pudney, who was extremely famous during the war for his poem about a fighter pilot, ‘For Johnny’. We have poems by Milena Williamson, Chris Hunter and Alexander Thymmons. Most exciting of all we are publishing for the first time a previously unseen poem by Ivor Gurney, which is why we feature him on the cover of this year’s journal.
I do hope you can join us and please feel free to forward this email to family and friends and encourage them to come along.
I look forward to seeing you there. If you have any queries please email email@example.com.
Editor, War Poetry Review
Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship
Following on the very well-received recent interviews with Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Viv Whelpton and Max Egremont, the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship is delighted to announce a new online event.
Sister Jessica Gatty, who is Siegfried’s niece by marriage, has agreed to talk to us about her friendship with him, and to read and discuss some of his poems. Sister Jessica was helped by Siegfried’s friendship and advice to make the commitment to a life in a religious order. In the company of SSF Committee members Tim and Anne Penton, she will speak to the Fellowship on
Tuesday 26th October from 7.00 to 8.00
To join us, please reply to this e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by 7.00 on the previous day, Monday 25th October, and you will receive a ‘link’ to join the session. It is hoped that, after the event, the recording will be placed on the SSF’s YouTube channel.
We look forward to your company!
A New Play Called Feathers
Performing at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre in London, 21 – 25 September 2021.
Set during a fictional war, and using themes of resistance and morality to reflect on conflict, the play had a successful run last year in between lockdowns. It’s back for a limited run this month.
About the show:
The day before a national draft, two siblings hide from sight in a bookshop. They will soon part ways, on the run from the district’s draft board – from a War they don’t believe in – to find their sanctuary in the north. Before they both leave, they have one final visitor to their shop. A gripping, suspenseful new show asking: when does patriotism become ignorance and when does morality become cowardice?
We would love to reach out beyond traditional theatregoers to people with an interest in the way that war and conflict is represented in art (for example, those interested in war poetry).
More info on Twitter here
To find out more and book tickets click here
You may be interested in a radio programme about Ivor Gurney due to be broadcast this coming Sunday at 6.45 p.m. on Radio 3, featuring Dr Kate Kennedy and Andrew Motion, among others. Here is the link to the programme website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000x6km
War Poetry Review 2021 Submissions
We are currently open to submissions of articles and poems for the 2021 War Poetry Review, to be published in Winter 2021.
We are interested in all aspects of poetry and war. While many of our contributors are academics please note that we are aiming at a general readership rather than an academic one. We publish both long and short articles.
Previously unpublished poems and translations are welcome. They must be about some aspect of war experience. Proposals for articles must be received by 31st May.
Finished articles must be received by 30th June.
For poems please send a maximum of two poems by 30th June. Address for submissions: email@example.com
Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War
The Making of Frank Prewett
Please follow the link below for a 35% discount code from Bloomsbury which you may wish to use if you are interested in buying Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War.
The War Poets Association had an evening of reading poems from the First World War.
Readers included Michael Longley, Edna Longley, Tim Kendall, Bel Mooney, Fran Brearton, Steve Douglas, Antony Owen and Paul O’Prey.
Poets featured will include Edward Thomas, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Mary Borden, Robert Graves and Isaac Rosenberg.
The event was held via Zoom on Thursday 26th November.
There is now a link to catch up to this event, for members only, available on the War Poetry Review page to which there is a link in the menu above. Once on the page the whole event, which was recorded, can be watched again – or if you missed it, for the first time.
If you would like to hear more about the War Poets Association and forthcoming events, including an expert-led, poetry-focussed tour of Western Front battlefields in October 2021, please remember to click the ‘keep me updated’ box when you register with Eventbrite. That enables you to receive update emails from the War Poets Association.
If you are not a member of the WPA please consider joining. Go to our website: www.warpoets.org
War Poetry Review 2020
The new copy of the War Poetry Review is now available to members only. As with all other editions access is via the War Poetry Review link in the menu bar above which will take you to the password access page. To get the password please contact David Worthington, who will happily provide the password to all paid up members.
A Message from the Chairman – October 2020
Dear Members and Friends of the WPA,
This email is being sent to all who have sometime in the past kindly shown interest in the WPA and supported us by taking out membership, joined our trips or otherwise helped us and been keen in what we are doing.
We very much appreciate your interest and support
Unfortunately our records of your addresses and contact details are not up to date. Emails are returned and not delivered. Members have moved and not advised us.
A number of the last issue of the War Poetry Review posted to members were returned to us as unknown or undeliverable. We know too that very sadly some of our members and friends have died.
Please therefore when you receive this email will you acknowledge it and confirm your postal address and, other than WPA life members, make sure too please that your WPA subscription for 2020 is paid?
Details of current WPA membership rates and how to pay are on our website: warpoets.org
If we do not hear from you we will remove your name from our contact lists.
The latest issue of the War Poetry Review, possibly our best so far, is being printed and will be sent in October by post to all paid up members for whom we have a confirmed postal address. As WPA members you can also read the Review on line at our website rather than receive a copy through the post. We know some of you prefer this. Please let us know when you reply.
We are looking forward to hearing from you. Do please keep in touch with us and let us have your ideas and comments. WPA Facebook and Twitter @WarPoetsAssn, currently tweeting Ivor Gurney, are also ways of contributing to the debate.
It now seems almost certain that we are in for another round of the covid-19 virus and we do hope you and your families will keep well and safe from the virus.
Very best wishes,
David Worthington for the WPA Committee.
Please note my change of email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Message from the Chairman – August 2020
Dear Members and Friends of the War Poets Association (WPA),
I hope that you and your families are well, keeping safe and coming out of Covid lockdown positively.
The WPA Committee met in London in early March and agreed to look at a number of initiatives including a WPA event and our next tour. These ideas have been overtaken for the moment by lockdown and isolation but as the rules relax and allow we hope that we will be able to meet and also tour again. We will provide more details about these plans in the Autumn after the next Committee meeting.
Details of the Committee are on the website. Since last writing Patrick Villa has left the Committee and I want on behalf of all of us to thank Patrick very much for all his work and support for the WPA over the years. Patrick was with us right from the beginning and took on many of the roles including treasurer, membership secretary and the website. His huge contribution has been very much appreciated.
We welcome Jonathan Bradley who is now the treasurer and Mike Scott who runs the website and will organise our tours.
I am very pleased that the next issue of our War Poetry Review, with some poems from contemporary poets and articles about Robert Graves, Vernon Scannell and others, is now ready and will shortly be printed.
We think it is very good and many thanks to our editor Merryn Williams and also to Paul O’Prey for organising the printing.
The last issue of the Review was returned to us from some of the postal addresses on our records and a number of members have not been in touch for some time, nor advised of new contact details and changes of their postal or email addresses.
If you would like to receive a copy of the forthcoming Review please ensure that we have your current contact details and that you have also paid your subscription for 2020.
We are now updating our records and we need you please to confirm to us your current email and postal addresses. Please let us know also if you would like to receive a copy of the Review or are happy to read it online.
Full details of how to make a payment to WPA are on our website www.warpoets.org.
You can pay by bank transfer to the WPA ‘s account with Lloyds Bank, account number 62819560,sort code 30-93-74 are the easiest methods of payment.
The membership rates remain the same: annual membership £15.00 with concessions for students and seniors of £10; Life membership £150, concessions £100.
WPA has a growing community also on Facebook and is active on Twitter. Please take part and please support the WPA. New members and friends are always very welcome
Chair, War Poets Association
- War Poets Association Subs are due on 11 November 2020. Please renew your membership now if you have not already done so.
- Please confirm your address and contact details as the Association is updating all records.
For those in the UK, an online or electronic banking transfer to the WPA ‘s account with Lloyds Bank, account number 62819560, sort code 30-93-74 is probably the easiest method of payment. If you do make a ‘traditional’ bank transfer to Lloyds Bank from another country, please indicate that you will pay the bank charges. Alternatively, you can send a cheque in favour of the War Poets Association to me c/o Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Narrow Quay House, Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA, UK.
The membership rates remain the same, as they have for a number of years: annual membership is £15.00 with concessions for students and seniors of £10; Life membership £150, concessions £100. You will find all the details here on this website.
Odyssey TV – The Pity of War : Poets at the Front – Sassoon & Owen
We have received news of a new DVD on War Poets available from 28 September 2020. Follow the links below for more information.
The War Poets Association promotes interest in the work, life and historical context of poets whose subject is the experience of war. It is interested in war poets of all periods and nationalities, with a primary focus on conflicts since 1914 – mainly the First World War, Spanish War 1936-39, Second World War and Ireland. There are already many societies dedicated to individual war poets; one of the WPA’s aims is to work with these and others to help promote joint activities and events of mutual interest.
If you have any feedback on this website, please do not hesitate to e-mail the WPA here or click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab above to send us a message
The War Poets Association are proud to be supporters and friends of the Edward Thomas Fellowship
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