Silver Street Poetry is going on its holidays during the month of August, and will return on Friday 6th September, hungry for more poetry.

David BW 2_opt

Our special guest that day will be local poet and pedagogue, David Briggs, who will be reading from his most recent collection, Cracked Skull Cinema.

We shall also be running our friendly open mic, so do bring a poem along to share – either yours or someone else’s – and your own refreshments if needed, as our venue doesn’t have its own cafe (though there are lots nearby).

Doors open at midday, and the session runs until 1.30pm. Entry is £3. We look forward to seeing you there.

Guest readers at Silver Street over the coming months include:

Friday 4th October – Deborah Harvey, reading from her fourth poetry collection, The Shadow Factory

Friday 1st November – Chaucer Cameron of Elephant’s Footprint and Poetry Film Live

Friday 6th December – Rachael Clyne, reading from her pamphlet, Girl Golem

Friday 3rd January – Dawn Gorman, reading from her new collection, Instead, Let Us Say

Friday 7th February 2020 – Sue Sims, reading from her collection, Splitting Sunlight

Friday 6th March – Chrissie Gittins

Friday 3rd April – Ross Cogan, Creative Director of Cheltenham Poetry, reading from his collection, Bragr 

Friday 1st May – Wells poet, Ama Bolton



Bob Dylan

The celebrated American photographer Barry Feinstein’s famous photograph of Bob Dylan standing on the jetty at Aust in May 1965, along with a visit to the same spot earlier this year, was the inspiration for our Deb to write a poem about this small moment in rock history, and the subsequent changes to this spot in the intervening years.

‘Bob Dylan waits for the ferry at Aust’ was the result, and the Leaping Word is thrilled to announce that it has just been awarded fourth place in the 2019 Welsh Poetry Competition.

Congratulations to the writers of the winning poems, and all those on the short-list or with special mentions.



We’re delighted to announce that Silver Street Poetry has held its first open mic session at Hours in Colston Yard, and that we have settled very happily into our new home.

Hours is situated in Colston Yard, off Colston Street. The room we are using is on the ground floor and is fully accessible, as is the WC.

The full address is 10 Colston Yard, Bristol, BS1 5BD, and the nearest affordable car parks are at Trenchard Street (0.2 miles) and the Galleries in Broadmead (0.5 miles). It is 0.4 miles from the bus station.

Our sessions are held on the first Friday of each month, from 12 to 1.30pm.


If you aren’t sure of the exact location of Colston’s Yard is, fear not: here is a map.

Hours space map

The entrance to the Yard is pictured below.

Colston Yard



We’re delighted that the first collection of poems by Leaping Word poetry group member Dominic Fisher has now been published by The Blue Nib, price £10.

Dominic will be giving readings from The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead around the country over the coming months.





So pleased here at the Leaping Word that ‘Oystercatchers’, a poem by our very own Deborah Harvey, has just come home with a shiny penny in its pocket, having been awarded first prize in the 2018 Plough Prize Short Poem Competition.

Of the competition, Judge Pascale Petit says: ‘I love short poems, but I know how hard they are to write, so it was with trepidation that I read this longlist. I need not have worried – the under-ten-liner is in good health. The challenge is to go as far as in a long poem, without the length! It’s all about compression and impact, making words as elastic as possible.

‘Oystercatchers’ does just that – every word is weighted. In ten short lines I see a figure like Leonora Carrington’s ‘The Giantess’, a powerful and spare enigma of a woman, oystercatchers, (with their red bills and legs), and blood cells. Although nothing is explicit, something important is being enacted, and the epigraph by Camus adds an anchor, so that we guess his are the words being taken to the sea and released from the heart. I kept coming back to this and getting more from it.’

The Leaping Word would like to extend its congratulations to the other winners in both categories of the 2018 competition, the Open and the Short Poem, and to all the short- and long-listed poets. 

‘Oystercatchers’ will be included in Deborah’s forthcoming collection, The Shadow Factory, to be published by Indigo Dreams Publishing later this summer.


And to prove we like to practise what we preach at the Leaping Word, here’s Colin with his certificate for winning the individual prize in the City of Bristol College Creative Writing Competition, with a poetic-prose piece called MIAOWWW!

Colin says: ‘Black cats evoke magic, mystery, music, night-time and a cool lyric! I played around with these elements and Miaowww! gradually appeared… magical realism, Filton style.’




We are waiting for news of our funding application for our intermediate and starter writing groups. Groups will have an emphasis on writing for mental well-being. If this might be of interest to you, please check back in due course for further details.




We’re delighted to announce that Leaping Word poetry group member Dominic Fisher has followed his success in the 2018 Bristol Poetry Prize by securing a publishing contract with The Blue Nib for his forthcoming collection, The Ladies and Gentleman of the Dead. Well done, Dominic!

our hare reversed



Good poets reinvent the language, taking the given of ordinary speech and pushing it beyond itself, making in effect a translation from one sense of reality to another.

Jay Parini