Angela Locke

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By alocke, Jan 24 2016 03:31PM

Designed to unlock a writer’s creativity, this residential course at the luxurious Linthwaite Hotel, Windermere is suitable for beginners to published authors. It will take place on 29th February – 3rd March 2016, just before the region’s annual literary festival ‘Words by the Water’ in Keswick on 4th -13th March 2016.

Further Info & Booking

By alocke, Oct 17 2015 01:00PM

View the recital here

It was great to rejoin the Suffolk Poetry Society again a few years ago. It’s a great organisation, dedicated to spreading the love of, and the writing of poetry throughout the big county of Suffolk. I was born and grew up in Suffolk, living and working there until my 20s. I had the honour to the adopted by the Suffolk Poetry Society in my teens as an honorary member, and the support the Society gave me for my (then) rather experimental work was absolutely crucial to my development as a poet, and later, as a novelist and travel writer.

At the end of May I gave a workshop for the SPS’s second Poetry Festival on ‘Elemental Fire: Landscape into Inspiration’, which was very well received. The standards of the poets in the Society is very high indeed, and I had a great time. I came back in the evening to give a recital on stage at the Arts Centre, video attached.

In October this year, I was very pleased to be a winner in the Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition for the second year, and have just come back from performing my Commended poem in Aldeburgh. I have made loads of new friends, and found everyone very inspiring – it was lovely to be back in Suffolk again, and to stay in Aldeburgh thanks to the kindness of dear friends, with lots of happy memories. Video of that to follow!

You can view all my recitals from the 2nd Festival of Suffolk Poetry in May 2015 on The Suffolk Poetry Society YouTube Channel.

Watch this space for news on the launch of my own YouTube channel.

By alocke, Nov 2 2014 01:00PM

8th-10th May 2015 The Mill Inn, Mungrisdale, Cumbria

Words in the landscape!

This year we have the exciting opportunity of writing at Rydal Mount, the beautiful Lake District house where Wordsworth spent much of his life with his family, and wrote much of his significant work. Here Wordsworth walked in the garden and composed his poetry, and here his family grew up. Here too, so many of the great figures of the Romantic Movement came to stay or visit, and some of the great authors of the time. As writers, We are being given the opportunity to have private time here – an exclusive tour of the house and gardens with a guide, and then time undisturbed to write in this very special place. It should be a magical experience! If you would like to know more about Rydal Mount, you can go on the website at

Since we founded Lakeland Writing Retreats last year, we have had an amazing response, and a great deal of interest, from writers across the world. Grevel Lindop and I had the idea of bringing together the literary history of the Lake District with original writing from a group of writers in an entirely new way of looking at the literary landscape. We brought together our particular skills to create an exciting Writers’ Retreat which is entirely new. You can download a brochure for the second Lakeland Writing Retreat to be held next May, to take place in the Northern Fells of the English Lake District, where Wordsworth, Coleridge and the other Romantic poets were inspired to change the literary landscape…for ever.

You can download our 2015 brochure and booking form below….

By alocke, Oct 23 2014 10:00PM

I’m very honoured to have been asked to run a Poetry Workshop for next year’s Suffolk Poetry Society Festival, as below. The link to the SPS is as on my website.

Elemental Fire: Landscape into Inspiration.

As poets, what is it that connects us to the world we inhabit, both our internal and external landscapes? Everything from the sublime beauty of geese flighting by moonlight to the gritty reality of a sunset over an industrial town is all grist to the mill – a source of inspiration and imagery which is infinitely rich. Here too is the ‘ancient language’ of the living Earth which for the Romantic poets was the touchstone of their poetry. We are of the Earth, and our connections are profound.

In this workshop we will explore landscapes of memory and moment; our connection with the elements which gives us that fire of inspiration. Landscape is a major theme in my workshops, from my annual Writing Retreat on Iona, now in its 14th year, to my Lakeland Writing Retreats in the Lake District, and workshops in the mysterious country of Finistere, beside giant standing stones. Growing up in Suffolk, my first inspiration was my childhood spent on the River Orwell, and in the marshes of Essex in an old wooden boat. Landscape is the fire which is driven my poetry from the beginning, and I seek to share this passion with other writers. In this workshop, through exercises, guided visualisations and connections with landscape through memory, I hope to open new doors of perception. You will be welcomed whether you are new to writing poetry, or a poet with much experience. I am delighted to return to the SPS to lead this workshop, so many years after I began my association with the Suffolk Poetry Society as a young poet.

It was lovely to be beside the sea at Aldeburgh two years ago for the annual Crabbe Memorial Competition, with the Suffolk Poetry Society. The sun was shining, the sea was flat as a blue pancake (is there such a thing?) – we were on the East Coast! My old alma mater. I grew up in Suffolk and lived there, apart from going away to study, until I was in my early 20s. I was adopted early on by SPS as their protégé and given enormous encouragement – the only encouragement I got as a writer for many years. My father didn’t approve, for a start, and thought I should have a respectable profession, so I eventually trained as a teacher, while still editing the college magazine, writing jazz poetry, and later working part-time as a journalist. Ipswich High School GPDST, my school, was not always as enlightened in those days as it is now, and although I had a splendid education there, for which I’ll be forever grateful, they were not always very keen on my rather experimental poetry. However, the then Head of English (rather terrifying) descended upon me one day in the Sixth Form corridor (I can still smell the polish) to pronounce that if the Suffolk Poetry Society, a venerable institution even in those days, has taken me under their wing, she supposed she would have to put me in the school magazine. After all, I was a bit of a rebel, and my first poems were probably something of a shock!

Anyway, one of the poems which had won a prize that year at the SPS Crabbe Poetry Competition was Green Jell-O, was also previously long-listed for the Bridport Prize and is still up there on their website. The poem is actually about the East Coast, and was written during a workshop which Grevel Lindop and I were doing together, prompted by memories of rowing with my father in the pram dinghy up the Orwell River, the subject of, and inspiration for, so much of my writing. Despite the privations of the sleeping in a damp fo’c’stle, under rough army blankets, and with Kilner jars of stew for dinner, I loved every minute of it.

Moon moon moon , the other prize-winning poem, which received a Highly Commended, was inspired by my grandson Joe, who especially loved the moon when he was small and would stand looking out the French Windows repeating moon moon moon- almost his first words. Now, like any healthy seven year old he is keener on football, rugby and Barcelona!

You can view my Suffolk Poetry Society profile here.

By alocke, Sep 14 2014 04:00PM

Somerled’s final voyage

At that time when day turns to night.

When the sea holds its breath,

stills its voice.

The wind drops and keeps its peace.

A black-sailed burlin

slips into the sound, sails furled.

Sheets strumming their own rhythm,

to join the sailors’ lament

and the grey seals sing their eerie song.

Somerled sails his final voyage.

As the mighty keel comes to rest on the sand

The Lord of the Isles is carried home.

With the setting of the sun,

With a pounding of silver hooves,

With the ringing of many golden bells

The fairies of the west come with the mist

To welcome the great hero home.

On a road paved with tears

Somerled is borne by warriors who weep.

His fighting done, his battles won

In Oran’s chapel he lies.

A spear in hand, a sword at hip

And a battle-scarred shield to guard his heart.

For all time he will sleep with saints,

A faithful hound to guard his rest.

Jane Laskey, Iona 2007



with Angela Locke.

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