Poetry feast on the Verandah – second half of 2023 programme!

The Verandah is looking forward to welcoming poets from both hemispheres for new exciting  programme. 


We are taking a break over July & August, mostly because it’s summertime in the UK with loads of post-Covid travel. Though, of course, the ongoing small group poetry feedback workshops continue year-round.

Here’s the programme for the second half of 2023. Masterclass bookings will be released over July, August, September – sign up to the newsletter to hear about them first.


The Climate of Change: UK Morning OR UK Evening timezones   

Be at the forefront of poetic thinking, exploring positive change. Find fresh and inspiring perspectives on the change we need in this ongoing environmental emergency. There are three sessions and each session delves into a theme in depth, starting with sustainable sustenance. Food has a huge role to play in sustainability. About a third of food is wasted, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. How can we better value food and its means of production?


Join the UK morning workshop (evening time for Aussies) or the UK evening workshop (suitable for US timezones).


Dive into Poetry: Thematic reading and writing poetry sessions

Away with the Birds, 22nd October 

Explore birds and flight. Birds are a vital connection with nature no matter where you live, even in city centres.  Their flight and song has accompanied our lives and they’ve fascinated imaginations since the beginning of time. Flight is the ultimate imaginative power. Superheroes can often fly and humans have invented an array of contraptions in order to fly. 


Mindfulness & Poetry Uplift

To make sure you have a smooth landing toward the end of the year, Poetry & Mindfulness returns over November! You an book now and I’m offering all newsletter subscribers  a FREE session or 50% off for all four sessions. Limited places: first come first served. 

Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and improve well-being, clarity, focus and creativity. Good for your wellbeing as well as sharpening your writing!


Small Group Feedback

There is one spot left on a new small group poetry feedback: 3 sessions in August, September and October. It’s an enjoyable and effective way to hone your work. To apply get in touch.


Poetry Masterclasses


1. Environmental perspectives in Hughes, Heaney & Beyond,
Yvonne Reddick 18/9/23

How do poets use environmental language and approach environmental perspectives in their work? This is a critical question as we
consider how to write in a time of climate and environmental emergency.


Yvonne will lead you through close readings of how the poetry of Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, poetry giants of their time, developed
environmental sensibilities. She’ll also give contemporary poetic examples and lead a short writing session.


2. The Art of Play, Judith Beveridge 4/9/23

Over the centuries the magic of poetry has been explained in various ways, either as a gift from the Muses, as a result of ‘inspiration’, or via the
idea of ‘genius’. Part of the mystery and magic that language can deliver is connected deeply to the sense of play. The play of language exposes all sorts of things from the irrational and absurd, to comparison, openness, and movement, rather than closure, stasis and the predictable. 

3.  Don Paterson Masterclass: The Telling Detail – Metonymy and the Half-said Thing  4/10/23  (details to come)

4. The Dramatic Monologue, Judith Beveridge 18/10/23
The Dramatic Monologue has been around for centuries; it is the second oldest form of poetry after the epic. The dramatic monologue challenges the poet to be imaginative, empathetic, and inventive because it requires adopting a persona or mask to explore and expose feelings which the poet may feel uncomfortable exploring when using their own voice.

5. Precise Poetry Editing, Pascale Petit 13/11/23 

We will discuss how to edit our poems, focusing on free verse and that all important line-break. We look at how to edit a poem so it’s precise
and each line has integral power. We’ll do this by comparing earlier drafts of published poets’ poems as they appeared in magazines, with the final versions collected in their books.

Pascale will also share some of her own early drafts and talk about her editing techniques.


 6. Writing the Self, Pascale Petit 5/12/23

What are the ways into writing the personal in poetry? How can you make it intimate, playful and inventive for the writer and reader? Pascale will guide you to explore how to estrange the personal to make it new, while drawing closer to your truth. You will learn strategies for expanding your sense of self-in-writing by inspiring example poems, and you will use images to help write imaginary and real selves


More in the new year, including Paul Hetherington looking into more nuance and flair in prose poetry &  Judith Beveridge close reading Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Gray, showing us how we can use imagery better in our poems… 



Shout out to places I’ve been published recently

Here’s a few recent places I’ve been published recently. Shout out to… 

– The Weekend Australian (Review Section) –  The only Australia-wide weekend newspaper

– ‘Best Australian Poems 2022‘ anthology, published by Australian Poetry in most book stores in Australia and purchased online of course.

– ‘Modron Magazine’, Writing on Nature and the Ecological Crisis

– Roland Leach’s anthology Cuttlefish: Western Australian poets’ published by Sunline Press, launched 30th June HERE in Perth WA

– A poem is coming out in the winter (November 2023) issue of Poetry Wales.

– & one in Plumwood Mountain Journal (an Australian and International Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics) soon too.

– Poetry Salzburg Review 41

Also interviews in The Post Newspaper & Manjimup-Bridgetown Times and published earlier this year.

Hello Aussies, hometown of Perth Australia here I come!

Hello hometown people – it’s been too long!   I’d love to see you… 

Feature reading from The Shaking City

Saturday 18th February, 2-4pm 

The Moon Cafe, 323 William St, Northbridge

https://www.perthpoetryclub.com/whats-on  (the details & link for my event won’t appear until about a week prior … but if you click on the week before’s event, you’ll see it listed at the bottom as coming up next !)


 OR UK time via Zoom 6-8am for early birds!

 Refer to the ‘What’s On’ page link above on the day for the Zoom link


This is the very long time coming post-pandemic Perth launch of ‘The Shaking City’ … the book came out at at time when bookshops and reviewers wouldn’t accept books, so it is wonderful that it will have its time in the sun in Perth now!


Wonderful poets from both sides of the hemisphere that I’ve been working with these past couple of years will also read a poem: Jenny Hetherington, Tineke Van der Eecken, Coral Carter, Suzanne Iuppa, Glen Hunting, Kathy Armstrong, Rtia Tognini

There are open mike slots to sign up for if you come early.

Also featuring poet, Karen Louise


The Shaking City is beautifully engaging, lively and imaginative with tremendous flow and movement, turning so much of life into memorable language, imagery and emotional resonance.  The poems pulse with emotions and connection. Judith Beveridge


The Shaking City (Seren Books) conjures a threatened world and the pleasure it takes in language as an act of grace. The tone may be conversational, sometimes ironic, but its wisdom is delivered with subtle craft and formality. The poems burst with images of tilt and teeter, life at an angle, on the verge of disaster but rich with transformation.  Imtiaz Dharker



Water, water everywhere! writing workshop

The Wetlands Centre, Cockburn, 184 Hope Road, Bibra Lake, WA 6163 

Thursday 16th March, 6-8.30pm… a poetry sundowner!

More info & sign up HERE


WA Poets Inc & Cockburn Wetlands Centre are hosting my workshop at the gorgeous wetlands centre. Come and immerse in the delights of water! Thanks to  poet-in-residence Lakshmi Kanchi.



 OOTA Reading and Q&A

Fremantle Arts Centre, Friday 17th March,10am-12 

 Private event for OOTA writers group – but you can join OOTA, a very marvellous Perth writing collective that I always love hanging out with.

https://www.ootawriters.com/  There’ a Join Us button in blue at the right hand top of the homepage.



Poetry & Mindfulness on the Beach (South Fremantle) – ON HOLD

Sat 25 March, Arrive by 730am

730 to 8.45am


Mindfulness & Poetry have been gamechangers in my life so combining them is double the pleasure! Find new ways into your writing and boost your day. Our session will focus on nature, senses and solace. Half an hour of guided mindfulness will be followed by a writing exercise or two.


Bring something to sit on that will be comfortable for 30mins of stillness – a foldup chair is ideal. Of course a swim afterwards if you wish!

If there is an unlikely downpour, I’ll let you know and refund.

($18, payment system is in £GPB and converted),

I’ve put this on hold but if you are interested get in touch as I may reschedule



Red House Writer- in-Residence, Donnelly River writing workshop

30th March 10am-12.30, Workers Club, Donnelly River Village


The poetry workshop will focus on Nature Connection & Disconnection in the stunning Donnelly River Village, hosted by Sally Paulin. 




One-to-one mentoring in April

Limited slots. Send me 3-4 poems (or 3-4 pages) for in-depth discussion and editing tips. 
Meet up in person (oh, that will be a treat in itself for me). Close analysis and discussion of how to make you good poems even better.
 $70 for an hour session and $45 for the second hour. Enquire by emailing me HERE.

Poetry Picnic

Shenton Park Lake or South Beach 

Sat 22nd April 10am-12.30 then social lunch. $28 (bring cash but let me know you are coming)

Let your imagination fly with mindfulness and short writing prompts, followed by social lunch in the park reading poems we love. Bring refreshments, something comfortable to sit on and a notebook to lean on, plus a short poem you love (not your own).  Get in touch to let me know you are coming by emailing me HERE.  Poems will be send out a couple of days prior so let me know early if possible


Poetry refreshments for 2023 – Cath Drake’s The Verandah

The writing of the poem is an experience. It’s not the record of an experience. Even if you’re writing about something that happened before, it has to be a new experience… There has to be a discovery in recalling it. Marie Howe 


The Climate  of Change poetry workshops, 2023

After two successful series, the Climate of Change workshops continue. This can be a difficult and overwhelming subject, but writing together is more enjoyable, nurturing, rewarding and productive. Find new and transforming angles into this complex crisis.

Join live international zoom workshops either in the morning UK time (Australia late afternoon / evening) OR UK evening time (also suitable for US timezones).

It was great to work within a supportive community of writers on the most pressing issues facing humanity at this time. A kind of magic happened… Anne 

I was positively stretched as a writer. Patricia 

Thursdays: 19 Jan; 23 March; 18 May

Choose from two timing options:

UK Morning & Australian evening


UK Afternoon &  US timezones


Poetry & Mindfulness Uplift

Recharge in the new year.

A series of four poetry & mindfulness sessions for writers to explore techniques to recharge their wellbeing and creativity. But equally, you don’t have to be writer or poet to enjoy the sessions. Try the first session or sign up for all four.  A top Xmas present idea too.

It was a little oasis of calm in a busy, too active life; time to switch off and be still… to be a human being rather than a human doer. Moira

I can feel the impact during the day, and as the week goes on… Kath

Four Tuesdays: 17th, 24th, 31st January & 7th February

30-45mins long  


Dive into Poetry

Splash into poetry reading & writing sessions in 2023. The most enjoyable way to share & learn poetry is in a small group. In the first hour of these workshops, we’ll discuss an inspiring batch of poems and then we’ll write together. Rich & life-enhancing. Suitable for UK, Perth & other Aussie timezones.

Sunday 22nd January

Sunday 19th March 

Poetry of Place with Judith Beveridge, 30th January

 A masterclass with one of Australia’s best! The American poet Maxine Kumin said: ‘In a poem one can use a sense of place as an anchor for larger concerns, as a link between narrow details and global realities. Location is where we start from.’

Place is a tremendous inspiration for many poets. We are all formed by the landscapes and cityscapes with which we have interacted. We will look at poems by Philip Hodgins, Charles Wright, Sarah Holland-Batt, Anthony Lawrence and Elizabeth Bishop to explore the power of place.


‘A constellation of words and seeing’ – Cath Drake’s The Verandah

Discovery is what I want when I write a poem, when I read a poem. I want to be left changed … If the poem is good, I am a different human being for having made the journey through that particular constellation of words, seeing, imagination, music and understanding. Jane Hirshfield

  • Dive into Poetry, three sessions of reading and writing poetry together – is there anything more enjoyable and rewarding? Expert guidance, inspiration for writing and enriching discussion. Flex your creative muscle. Sundays, starting 15 May. 
  • Poetry feedback workshops to help take your poems to the next level. Make your good poems even better.  Mondays or Wednesdays, starting in May (intermediate and advanced).
  • The Power of Poetry Rhyme with Mimi Khalvati 23/5/22 : one of The Verandah’s most favourite teachers and poets, Mimi Khalvati, explores the wonder and power of poetic rhyme.  SOLD OUT – sign up for waiting list.  
  • Experiment with Poetic Voice:  Masterclass with Karen McCarthy Woolf, 16/5/22 Award-winning poet, Karen McCarthy Woolf leads a poetry masterclass experimenting with voice to expand and enhance our poetic repertoire. How can we take on voices other than our own? How can we create a strong, authentic and consistent voice in our poetry?

Coming up later in 2022 … More masterclasses including with Hannah Lowe – UK (Breaking the Sonnet on 23/6/22), Judith Beveridge – Australia (Lyrical Poetry on 11/7/22), Paul Hetherington & Cassandra Atherton – Australia, Caroline Bird – UK and more! Join the mailing list HERE to hear about these.

Part of the UK/Australia Season of Culture 2021/22.


Refreshing poetry & creativity programme into 2022 with Cath Drake’s The Verandah

  • Mindfulness and Poetry Uplift to get your year off to a good start and recharge your energy and creativity. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and improve well-being, clarity, focus and creativity. Of course, I’ve thrown in a sprinkling of poetry and a period of writing together for a weekly uplift! Writing with mindfulness gives your writing a refreshing edge. Six short 30-45min sessions, weekly January to February. 
  • Refresh 2022! The new year isn’t far away. It may not have been the easiest of years for many of us, so let’s refresh and reflect on another year with journaling, mindfulness and, of course, some choice poetry. Set aside time for yourself: you deserve it. Get ready for a great 2022. Sunday 16 January. (Tming best for Perth & UK Audiences.)
  • Dive into Poetry, three sessions, monthly, of reading and writing poetry together – is there anything more enjoyable and rewarding? Expert guidance, inspiration for writing and enriching discussion. Flex your creative muscle. Sundays, starting 9 Jan.  This is for beginners to intermediate level. Try something new this new year!  (Best for Perth & UK Audiences.)
  • Three new year poetry feedback workshops to help take your poems to the next level. Do you have a new year’s resolution to focus more on your writing and to send your pieces out for publication? Make your good poems even better.  Mondays, starting 10 Jan.
  • The Making of a Sonnet with Mimi Khalvati, is the first of The Verandah’s one hour interactive sessions with poetry masters on how they created some of their best poems. Mimi is our most sought after teacher with peerless wisdom on writing and editing sonnets. SOLD OUT
  • Crafting a prize-winning poem with Professor Paul Hetherington, revered Aussie poet with 16 collections to his name. Paul takes you through the process of creating one of his best poems that won a major prize in 2020. Spend a rich hour with Paul, 28 February. NEW

Coming up later in 2022 … More masterclasses including with Judith Beveridge, Paul Hetherington & Cassandra Atherton, Caroline Bird, Karen McCarthy Woolf and more!

Part of the UK/Australia Season of Culture 2021/22.



International Laurel Prize

The Shaking City was longlisted in the international Laurel Prize. The prize is run by the Poetry School and funded by the UK poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s Laureate’s honorarium, which he receives annually from the Queen . It is awarded to the best collection of environmental or nature poetry published the previous year. Congrats to the winners and all on the longlist. It’s a lovely booklist to dip into!



Courageous connections in poetry in the 2020s – new programme!

My virtual poetry programme, The Verandah, part of the UK/Australia Season of Culture 2021/22, kicks off in September / October and runs until late 2022. There’s high quality timely poetry workshops, masterclasses, debates, readings, mindfulness & poetry sessions – all led by and featuring top UK & Aussie poets.  

The theme of the Season is Who are we Now? My take on this is given COVID-19, the immense environmental and social challenges we face both locally and globally, who are we now in relation to our connection with our land and people? How can we describe, challenge or create new connections with our land and people in the 2020s?  Poets are inherently courageous in searching for truth and meaning. Find out more about the wider Season HERE. As usual, events are afternoon/evening time in Australia & mornings in UK.

First offerings

Coming up

  • More masterclasses
  • Poetry & Mindfulness sessions from November.