Readings, Workshops and other Events

A  Poetry Walk with Flowers, Butterflies & Lichens & Stuff – led by Sylvia Davidson (naturalist) & Jonathan Davidson (poet)

Saturday 29th April 2023, 11am – 3pm, Free (but booking required)

Stanmer Park, Lewes Road, Brighton, East Sussex (start and finish at the entrance to the Park (see map downloadable from here – scroll down a little)

Stanmer Park is a fine example of an 18th-century country estate, with a variety of woodland and grassland habitats and home to rare and common species of birds, animals, insects and plants. The wildflowers of the downlands nurture abundant butterflies and moths, including the brilliant and rare Adonis Blue. It has great Bluebells, wood anemones, an ancient Yew in the churchyard, an old apple orchard (which should be in blossom) and many large old trees. It is a wonderful and inspiring place to observe the natural world at close quarter, and to enjoy some fine poetry. Join sister and brother, Sylvia Davidson and Jonathan Davidson, in this walk (around 3 miles/ 5 kilometres).  

On our walk we will stop now and then to share readings of short poems suitable to the location. Jonathan will do some of the reading, but would be pleased for others to read aloud (poems can be provided in advance). There will also be opportunities to do a little bit of poetry writing as we go, with Jonathan providing creative writing prompts, although this element is entirely voluntary. In addition, Sylvia will help us see and identify the wonderful flora and fauna of this area. As well as orchids and bluebells, we’ll be looking out for butterflies and observing closely the majestic world of lichen – the small but extraordinary stuff!

The walk is free to attend and part of a series of Poetry Walks Jonathan has organised in various corners of the country, simply for the pleasure of good company. Please note that this walk will require stout shoes or boots and rainwear in the unlikely event of precipitation. Participants should be happy to tackle downland paths which might well be muddy. We will make a stop for a picnic lunch so please do bring along your choice of miniature pork/vegan-pork pies and suchlike! When we return we may repair to a café to eat large slices of cake. Commemorative Badges may be issued (if Jonathan get’s his act together).

Stanmer Park is easily reached by bicycle from Brighton; a range of contemporary buses are available and the joy that is Southern Trains will whisk you to Falmer Railway Station from where it is a few minutes’ walk to the Park entrance. There is a carpark.

Sylvia Davidson is a naturalist based in East Sussex. She has spent many years enjoying and studying the environment of this part of the world. She has a particular interest in lichen, flowers and butterflies and has knowledge of the Stanmer Park in all seasons.

Jonathan Davidson is a poet, memoirist and workshop leader. His most recent book is A Commonplace – Bricks, Apples & Other People’s Poems, which prompted his interest in sharing poetry with others in the open air. 

Booking link

Booking deadline: Saturday 22nd April 2023

Past Events and Recordings

Launch of A Commonplace, 2 August 2020

Jonathan was joined for the launch of A Commonplace: Apples, Bricks and other People’s Poems‘ by the poets Sue Brown, Gregory Leadbetter and Jo Bell and by his editor, Peter Sansom. In what turned out to be a not unpleasant 90 minutes, Jonathan and his guests talked widely about poetry and read a few poems. The event also featured audio recordings of two of Jonathan’s poems read by Zoë Chapman and by Mollie Davidson. Jo Bell compared with wit and ruthless timekeeping, the WiFi became upon occasion unstable but Jonathan didn’t, and as far as we know everyone got home safely.

Ó Bhéal Poetry Reading Series Cork, Ireland, July 13, 2020

A virtual event featuring Daragh Breen and Jonathan Davidson

The event will be hosted on Zoom and is limited to 100 people. The session will also live-stream on Ó Bhéal’s facebook page. The link to join the session will be posted on their facebook and twitter pages, no later than 8.15pm on the Monday evening. The session is expected to run for approximately 3 hours.

Nine Arches Press Lunchtime In Conversation, July 6, 2020

Jonathan Davidson talks with Jane Commane about A Commonplace on the Nine Arches YouTube channel.

The Swindon Spring Festival of the Arts and Literature, May 10, 2020

What is your stepping off point into poetry? Do you want to experience poems as truly lived art-forms? Would you like to explore a little more?

Having spent a lifetime seeking ways to release poetry into the wild, by making poetry-theatre performances for the stage and radio, by publishing poetry books and pamphlets, by working with poets in India, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Central America, and by curating festivals, Jonathan Davidson has had a go.

Now, in his latest book, A Commonplace: Bricks, Apples & Other People’s Poems, he takes this quest a step further. 

Sheaf Mini Digital Poetry Festival Sheffield, May 17, 2020

You might remember that we were planning a poetry festival this weekend…and we’re still going to bring you some amazing poems by some wonderful poets!

On Sunday 17 May, we launched our Sheaf Mini Digital Poetry Festival, sharing a poem every half an hour. 

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