Losing things

At our meeting Wednesday 19th May (7pm using Zoom) Valerie Quinlivan is running a workshop on the theme of losing things. This is about the loss of concrete objects rather than the abstract or metaphorical – although your poems may eventually take that route. We’ll be using things we have lost in the past – from childhood teddies to diamond rings – as inspiration and looking at some sample poems.

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Next Mosaic meeting – reading and workshop on the theme of place

At our next Mosaic Zoom meeting, 7pm 18th November, Sue Wallace-Shaddad, Secretary of Suffolk Poetry Society, will read from her new poetry collection. This will be followed by a short workshop run by Sheena. Please find the details below. We hope that you can join us for this meeting on the theme of ‘place’ which should be both interesting and inspiring.

Reading and Q&A from Sue Wallace-Shaddad

From Sue – “I would be delighted if you could come to my Zoom reading, followed by Q & A, at 7pm on 18th November, to mark the publication of my short poetry collection ‘A City Waking Up’. This collection of thirty poems is about the people, language and customs of Sudan. I have been visiting Sudan for over 40 years and am married to a Sudanese academic. My book is available from Dempsey and Windle, and you can hear me read three of the poems on my wordpress site. I look forward to sharing my experiences of Sudan with you!”

Workshop on place by Sheena Clover

This short workshop led by Sheena will explore place as a subject for your writing. You will be asked to consider a place to which you have an emotional attachment but which is not your current home. Please spend a little time choosing a few objects and photographs associated with this place which you can refer to during the workshop. The intention is to give you the stimulus to create notes and drafts which can be used for your future writing.

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Mosaic update – virtual meetings

For the time-being we have been meeting virtually and will continue to do so. We meet using Zoom at 7pm on the third Wednesday of every month. Our next meeting is 21st October where we will be sharing and giving feedback on our poems on the theme of ‘vision’.

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Next meeting – Wednesday 20th November

Mosaic’s next meeting is this Wednesday 20th November and will be a critiquing session. If you have a poem for feedback please bring copies. We meet 7pm in the Firstsite cafe and move to a meeting room 7.30pm.

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Vlog – Curating ‘Beyond Plastic’ Art Exhibition

The ‘Beyond Plastic’ exhibition – featuring poems by Mosaic – has now finished but for anyone who didn’t make it there or to revisit, check out Michele Webber’s vlog.

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Beyond Plastic exhibition featuring poems from Mosaic


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Turning Japanese

Our next meeting will be a workshop – details below. We will meet at the Firstsite café Wednesday19th June at 7pm and the workshop (details below) will start at 7.30pm in one of the meeting rooms.

Turning Japanese

Learn more about the art of Haiku poetry and how to  improve your short form poems.  The workshop will also provide an introduction to haibun, a combination of haiku and prose. This powerful literary form was popularised by the famous Matsuo Basho in ancient Japan.

There will be plenty of opportunities to write haiku in the workshop, and, if time allows, a short haibun.


Dr. Tim Gardiner is a professional ecologist, poet and children’s author from Manningtree. His haiku have been published all over the world (including Japan), translated into 5 languages, and widely anthologised. His first collection of Haiku, On The Edge, was published by Brambly Books in 2017, while his debut haibun collection, The Flintknapper’s Ghost, was released by Alba Publishing in 2018.

Copies will be available for sale.

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McLellan Poetry Competition

“The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival.

Now in its thirteenth year, past judges have included Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford, Jackie Kay, Peter and Ann Sansom, Michael Laskey, Simon Armitage, David Constantine, Maura Dooley and Sinéad Morrissey.

The judge for this year will be Sean O’Brien.”

More details and entry form.


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From Conflict to Reconciliation, a report on the four year poetry project to commemorate the centenary of WW1

WilfredOwenIn the beginning, we focused on Wilfred Owen, his poetry and his death on the Sambre-Oise Canal in Ors on the Western Front in November 1918. This was because we were fortunate to be invited via Art Connexions, Lille, in 2010, to the initial stages of the re-imagining of La Maison Forestiere by the British sculptor, Simon Patterson. This house where Owen and fellow soldiers from the Manchesters’ spent their last night, just outside the village of Ors, is now a celebration of the poet’s life and work. It was the inclusion of an outside performance space in the plans which inspired our thinking about commissioning a poetry project to take advantage of this in the future.

sotoohavethedovesWe were grateful to the Suffolk Branch of the Western Front Association for donating seed funding, Mosaic Stanza, and Poetry Wivenhoe, to whom proceeds would be donated to further community poetry activities. We began by commissioning mainly local poets to submit work on the general theme of ‘Conflict’ and we also invited interested students on the M.A. Fine Art course at Colchester Institute to choose a poem from the final selection and respond with an illustration. The resulting anthology, edited by Stephen Boyce of Winchester Poetry Festival, so too have the doves gone (Jardine Press), was published in 2014 to coincide with the outbreak of hostilities a hundred years previously.

9781527219939To commemorate the ending of the War in 1918, we commissioned a further anthology on the theme of ‘Reconciliation’ from as many of the original poets as possible. Towards the Light was published in 2018 and includes translations of some of the poems into French, German and Italian, in the spirit of reconciliation. This anthology was edited by Vivien Whelpton, an expert in the poetry of the First World War, and author of the acclaimed biography, Richard Aldington, Poet, Soldier and Lover. Proceeds from the sale of Towards the Light are to be donated to Colchester Refugee Action. 

OrrsThe Project was brought to a fitting conclusion at La Maison Forestiere, in the performance space, as we had originally envisaged, by a reading on November 5th from both anthologies by some of the contributing poets, with the support of the editors, as part of a Battle Honours Tour, Wilfred Owen on the Western Front. This reading followed a moving ceremony at Owen’s graveside where a bagpipe lament was played, a German bugle owned by Owen sounded the last post, and there were readings of his poems. This was broadcast live by the B.B.C. on Armistice Day.

A list of events associated with the Project follows. It has been an amazing few years and our grateful thanks go to all those, especially the poets, who made it possible.

A few, too few for drums and yells

May creep back, silent, to village wells . . .

                                       Wilfred Owen, The send-off

Pam Job and Judith Wolton

Project Events



  • Launch of Project at Essex Book Festival of so too have the doves gone with readings from contributing poets together with slides of The Forester’s House, Ors, at The Minories Gallery, Colchester.
  • Launch at Poetry Wivenhoe, sponsor of the first part of the Project
  • Launch at Essex Poetry Festival, The Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford
  • Readings at the Winchester Poetry Festival, The Martello Tower, Jaywick, at Arlingtons Poetry Cafe, Ipswich, and Felixstowe Book Festival.


  • Launch of Towards the light -The Minories Gallery, Colchester
  • Invitation to read at Halstead Library as part of Essex Poetry Festival
  • Readings as part of a Remembrance event at Quay Place, Ipswich
  • A reading at the WW1 Exhibition at the Minories Gallery commemorating the end of WW1

Pam Job’s poem, The Parcel, written for so too have the doves gone, was chosen to be read at Ipswich Remembers, a multi media event held at The Corn Exchange in March to mark the end of the First World War.

This poem has subsequently been set to music, together with poems by Siegfried Sassoon and Carl Sandburg, by the tenor and composer Tom Randle and it will receive its world premiere perfomance by Ipswich Choral Society at Snape Maltings in April 2019.


The following poetry workshops based around the anthologies were held over the 4 years:

  • Suffolk University students
  • Minories, Colchester – artists from the Institute of Fine Arts.
  • Mosaic Stanza, Colchester
  • Two workshops in Parsons Heath Primary School
A few copies of the anthologies are available at a special ‘end of Project’ price. Contact Pam or Judith.
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An interesting year..

We have had an interesting year with some great events and changes of venue.

From January we will continue to meet on the third Wednesday of the month but will be renting a room at Firstsite 7-9pm. This means we will need to contribute £3 each per session to cover our room charges but we will be meeting in a lovely quiet place and in the centre of Colchester’s cultural quarter. The first meeting of the year will be on January 16th and will be a critiquing session so if you have a poem you’d like to share please bring copies. If you have written a poem based on the last workshop led by Sheena and Judith you might like to share this.

Future meeting dates are at https://mosaicpoetry.wordpress.com/about/

Our joint project with RAQs Media Collective (photos below) produced some very high quality poetry and our performance as part of the Theory Opera on December 8th was well attended and appreciated. Many thanks to Karen and Dave for producing a pamphlet and programme of the event. I felt very proud of our contribution and the effort and commitment of all who took part. Firstsite have invited us to respond to any future exhibitions and would host a presentation.

All good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Sheena Clover

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