Friday, 27 November 2015

Excellent evening rounds off the year

We were delighted to round off our year with yet another excellent group of writers and poets.

Once again we had a very successful session with an enthusiastic audience. 

Two established poets, Ann Pilling and Chris Considine, had chosen Settle for the launch of their new collections. Ann read from about her life in Hawes, her family and life experiences while Chris focussed on the idea of home, the remote Dales cottage she inhabited for many years and what it was like uprooting herself to move to Plymouth. 

We also had four other readers, Ron Scowcroft from Lancaster, Bob Dew from Kendal, Gavin Wilshaw from Bentham who each read two of their own poems and Kathy Swinscoe from Settle who read two poems she particularly liked by Edward Thomas.

We would like to thank the Anne Read, the curator of The Folly for the use of a beautiful room and the provision of a wood fire that made for a very cosy evening.

2015 has proved to be our most successful yet, with top rated writers and poets bringing stimulating and enjoyable work to Settle.We'll be back with a series of evenings of words and poetry in the Spring. 

Keep an eye on our website for more details

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Distinguished and new voices combine in final Session

The final Settle Session of the year starts with a reception open to everyone and a brief AGM followed by a strong programme of published and new poets. The evening takes place The Folly in Settle on Friday 20th November at 6.30pm.

"We've had a very successful year and look forward to celebrating this with friends and members in our reception to start the evening" said Jean Harrison of Settle Sessions. "Our final Session of the year brings together highly respected published poets, with voices new to Settle as well."

The evening's entertainment features two leading poets reading from new work associated with Yorkshire.

Chris Considine is a poet and former school-teacher who lived for many years in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, before moving to Plymouth in 2011.
Chris Considine
Chris's latest collection, In Search of Home, is about her move from Yorkshire to Devon and explores what it means to belong somewhere – what we might mean by ‘home’. Her Swaledale Sketchbook was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in the best first collection category in 2002. Other publications include St. Cuthbert and Bystanders, Learning to Look and Quarll, and Behind the Lines. At the beginning of 2004 she was a Hawthornden Fellow.

Ann Pilling is a distinguished writer of children's fiction and a poet, winning prizes and accolades for both careers. She will be reading from her new collection Ground Cover, poems about remote places, ageing and being young, about death and birth , and about the natural world and its power to redeem. Ann is a trustee of Settle Sessions and lives in The Yorkshire Dales which she calls "the country of my heart".

Ron Scowcroft
Also on the bill will be four writers airing their work in the brief "Read Two" section. Alan Pascoe is a playwright and poet with work heard on BBC Radio 3 & 4. Bob Dew is a priest who has found the space to write in retirement in The Lake District.
Bob Dew
Completing the bill are Founder member of Lancaster's April Poets Ron Scowcroft, and Gavin Wilshaw
Gavin Wilshaw
who writes both humorous and spiritual pieces.

 More information from or 01729 824537. Tickets £65.50 members) available from Cave and Crag, The Courtyard Dairy and The Folly.

Excellent combination

We were very pleased to bring together the establishment and the newcomer in our September Session! 

Meg Peacocke and Kim Moore graced the evening and brought a wide spectrum of emotions and observations to the evening.

Mike Barlow was very impressed:
Last night’s event was excellent. Both Meg and Kim. And what an interesting combination, the up-and-coming and the established and venerable. I’m just sorry there wasn’t a bigger audience. It deserved a packed one.

And I thought the local readers reading other poets’ work was also very good to hear and a nice change.

In the Read Two slot, locals Anne Richer, Sandra Fox and John Raubenheimer brought some of their favourite poems to share with a very appreciative audience

Some audience reactions:
A very good balance of speakers • Always an enjoyable evening • Great poets this evening • it was magnificent, the best yet

The next evening will be on Friday 20th November, starting with wine and nibbles reception. This will be your opportunity to suggest how you would like Settle Sessions to be in 2016.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Best of Britain's new and old!

Meg Peacocke
We are delighted to bring the best of the country's leading young and mature poets in September!

Rising star Kim Moore will share the platform with doyenne Meg Peacocke who is still publishing poems in her eighties.
Meg Peacocke began publishing poems in her fifties, when she gave up everything she'd done before and started a new life as a smallholder in Cumbria. She had written since childhood, but academia, teaching, marriage and family and counselling work, buried the writing mostly though not the need for it.

One of the country's leading poets, Meg won the highly prestigious Cholmondeley Award in 2005. She collaborated with her late brother the composer Richard Rodney Bennett on a number of musical and written pieces. She has published five collections – a sixth should be out this autumn – but as she says "the most important poem is always the next, the one you’re trying to get to grips with now".

Kim Moore
Kim Moore was born in 1981 and lives and works in Cumbria. She has quickly caught the ears of the Poetry world with her down to earth and accessible work. She has just taken part in the "Poetry and Songs" Festival in Vlieland, Holland. Her first full length collection “The Art of Falling” was published by Seren in April 2015. She won a New Writing North Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2012.

In 2014 Kim was Poet in Residence for Ilkley Literature Festival and Digital Poet in Residence for The Poetry School. Her first pamphlet ‘ If We Could Speak Like Wolves’ was a winner in The Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, judged by Carol Ann Duffy.

The evening is on Friday 11th September at 7.30pm at The Folly in Settle. Tickets are £6 (£5.50 members) and available from The Folly, The Courtyard Dairy, Cave and Crag or 01729 823305. Contact for more

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Summer activities with Settle Sessions

Settle Sessions is on the road this summer - to Settle Library!

Do you know someone under 10 years old who loves to write?
We'd like to see them!

If you have children or grandchildren, bring them along to our exciting poem writing sessions at Settle Library on Thursday 20 and 27th August from 2.30pm to 4pm.

These free, fun and friendly activities are aimed at children under 10 and last about 1.5 hours. The children will be helped and encouraged to write their own poems. 

We're also hoping to ask some of the children to read their poem at our next Settle Sessions held at The Folly in Settle on Friday 11th  September. You never know, we might discover a young Simon Armitage or Carol-Ann Duffy!

To book places please contact Settle Library - Catherine Barlow on 01609 535820  extn 5820

More information from Settle Sessions's Kathy Swinscoe

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Imaginative, gripping, compassionate, entertaining

5th June  - review

Once again Settle Sessions provided a wonderfully varied programme of prose and poetry.
Jean Harrison

Local writer Jean Harrison, well known as a poet, read extracts from her debut novel 'On a Wandering Planet,' a highly imaginative book which gripped her listeners from the start.
Neil Curry
Jean's prose impresses as much as her poetry and the themes of loss, search and redemption are woven into an exciting story that challenges the way society chooses to live. Her characters are rich, complex and alive on the page. 

Neil Curry, an established poet and literary critic, read from the poems in his new book 'Some Letters Never Sent' as well as from his earlier work. His poems have a great depth rooted in scholarship and knowledge but are accessible through a careful choice of words, a compassionate tone and perfectly judged humour, and he drew the audience in by entertainingly giving us the background to his work.

Annie Neligan and Ali Easton
Sarah Wiltshire and Anne Richer

In Read Two, Sarah Wiltshire read poems described as 'noticing in words'; Ali Easton read poems in response to the natural world; Annie Nelligan read poems which gave us vivid pictures of people; and Anne Richer read from the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy's book '1914 Poetry Remembers'.

Jean Stevens

Monday, 11 May 2015

Local Writer Launches first novel

From the edge of SciFi to 18th Century.

June's Settle Sessions on Friday 5th June at The Folly in Settle features well established poets and novelists.
Jean reads at a previous Settle Session
Jean Harrison from Settle, writes both prose and poetry. At Settle Sessions she will be launching her first novel On a wandering planet. On the edge of sci-fi/fantasy, it focusses mainly on the story of a woman lost in a strange universe, trying to come to terms with herself, both helped and hindered by a chance encounter. It promises to be a fascinating piece! Jean's poems have been widely published and have been commended in competitions. Woman on the moon was short-listed for the Forward single poem prize. She has two collections but at present is focussing on prose. She will be reading from her new new novel 

Neil Curry
Neil Curry is a poet and literary critic. As a critic he has published studies on Christopher Smart, George Herbert and Alexander Pope. His Other Rooms: New and Selected Poems was published in 2007. His recent works include Six Eighteenth Century Poets and William Cowper A Revaluation

Sarah Wiltshire
There will also be an open mic session featuring local writing and favourite poems. Sarah Wiltshire, Ali Easton, Annie Nelligan and Anne Richer will read some of their favourite poems.

Other Sessions this year will be in September and November. Tickets for the evening are £6 (£5.50 for members) available from Cave and Crag, The Courtyard Dairy The Folly, and 01729 823305.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Stimulating and broad ranging programme

Review - Settle Sessions, 17 April, The Folly

Settle Sessions' third Year got off to a flying start last Friday evening with a stimulating programme illustrating the broad range that this group seeks to encompass.

Two of the North's most highly-regarded prizewinning poets, Carole Bromley from York and Carole Coates from Lancaster were a perfect foil for each other.

Carole Bromley's poems were pithy, firmly set in the everyday world, and expressed wry humour, pathos and empathy in a manner that was both matter-of-fact and yet highly sensitive. Carole Coates' work was more expansive and narrative in style. The depth of her creativity was evident in populating the imaginary country of Kor. She has a novelist's eye and it was no surprise to hear that next year she is publishing a novel in verse – something to look out for.

These readings were very effectively interspersed with contributions from Hilary Holdsworth reading her own amusing short story 'A Blast from the Past' warning of the dangers of the Friends Reunited website; Floe Shakespeare shared two poems by John Davies and Maya Angelou, centuries apart in style and content. Ann Pilling and John Raubenheimer gave readings from the work of Elizabeth Bishop, one of America's greatest 20th century poets.
Anne Read

Carole Coates writes:  I'm really glad you enjoyed the reading.  I particularly liked coming to Settle.  The venue was unique, the audience excellent, the organisation faultless.  There was also an easy, friendly and laid-back atmosphere which I appreciated....  I will try and get to more Settle Sessions.  I enjoyed that one so much.  So I hope I'll see you again.
Other Sessions this year will be in June, September and November. Tickets for the evening are £6 (£5.50 for members) available from Cave and Crag, The Courtyard Dairy, The Folly and 01729 823305. Become a member for £2 and play your part in making Settle Sessions even better! More details are at

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Leading northern poets open the year

The 2015 Settle Sessions starts off with two leading northern poets and writers on Friday 17th April at The Folly in Settle.

Carole Bromley (right) teaches Creative Writing at York University. Some of her poems have appeared iin Poetry Review, Magma, Rialto, The North, Interpreter's House, Poetry News, Ink Sweat and Tears. Her first collection, A Guided Tour of the Ice House (Smith/Doorstop was published in 2011.

Carole won the first prizes in Bridport, Yorkshire Open, Torbay, Bronte Society Literary Competitions, and will be juding the York Poetry Competition this year.

Carole Coates' most recent publication is a pamphlet called Crazy Days, published by Wayleave Press in November 2014.  Carol Ann Duffy said of it "Crazy Days is stunningly, beautifully, heart-breakingly marvellous.  It's one of the best things I've read all year." Carole (pictured left) has had three poetry collections and will have her first novel published in 2016.
She was given a Yorkshire Arts Award for an early poetry sequence. She won the Nottingham Open Poetry Prize in 2011.  She lives in Lancaster where she helps to run The April Poets, and is a member of Sixfold, a reading and performance group.

There will also be an open mic session featuring local writing and favourite poems. In April Floe Shakespeare and Hilary Holdsworth will take part, with Ann Pilling and John Raubenheimer readng from the poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Other Sessions this year will be in June, September and November. Tickets for the evening are £6 (£5.50 for members) available from Cave and Crag, The Courtyard Dairy and 01729 823305. More details are at