Readings and Events

4 September 2017 – ‘The killing of Federico Garcia Lorca in the Spanish Civil War in 1936’ – a talk (with poems from Yoke and Arrows).  The Discovery Centre, Sheffield Manor Lodge, Manor Lane, Sheffield S2 1UJ.  7.00pm, £6 (£5 for Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge.  Places limited – please book in advance ( / 0114 276 2828 option 1).


11 April 2017 – Reading with Char March, Sticky Bun Club, The Bath, Sheffield.  Reading from Yoke and Arrows and work-in-progress The Grail Roads.  7.45pm, Free.

6 March 2017 – ‘Spence Broughton and the English Terror’ – a talk to Bradfield Historical Society.  Bradfield Village Hall, Low Bradfield S6 6LB.  £2.50 to non-members.

13 September 2016 – Guest poet at Sticky Bun Club, The Bath, Sheffield.  Reading from Yoke and Arrows and work-in-progress The Grail Roads.  7.45pm, Free.

9 – 10 July 2016 – The inaugural Hillsfest, a free festival of art and music in Hillsborough Park in Sheffield, includes a great line-up of poets, writers and performers, including Rommi Smith, Ray Hearne, Chris Jones, James Caruth, Fay Musselwhite, River Wolton, Matt Clegg, Elizabeth Barrett and Sally Goldsmith.  I’m reading on Sunday afternoon, with poems of the locale from Some Histories of the Sheffield Flood and The Footing.  Further details of Spoken Word events here, with general information about the festival at

18 June 2016 – Reading from The Footing, Yoke and Arrows and Neurosurgery in Iraq.  2 – 3pm, The Turret House, Sheffield Manor Lodge.  Free.  More details here.

24 October 2015 – I’m leading a workshop, ‘Bringing History Alive in Poetry’, as part of a day of events at Walkley Library in Sheffield called ‘Be a Writer, See a Writer, Hear a Writer’ – in this year’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words.  3pm – 5pm; £3 on the door.  Further details at the Off the Shelf website.

23 October 2015 – Spence Broughton: A Savage Story for Savage Times.  A performance of the newly re-issued Longbarrow pamphlet, with Ray Hearne.  Further details: Spence Broughton in Walkley. 7.30pm, Walkley Community Centre, Fir Street, Walkley, Shefffield; £4 (on the door only).  Part of Sheffield Off the Shelf Festival of Words.

7 October 2015 – I’m reading at the next YPaC concert in support of the Alzheimers Society.  More details here.  8pm – 11pm; Free.

20 May 2015 – Spence Broughton: a new reading with Ray Hearne.  The poem sequence will be ‘illustrated’ by a contextual introduction, including many of the ephemeral poems included in the 2009 Longbarrow publication.  The reading will take place in the atmospheric amphitheatre at Boston Castle in Rotherham.
7pm to 9pm; £4 (on the door only).  Part of the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival.

29 April 2014 – The Animal Gaze: launch of an anthology of poems responding to ‘The Animal Gaze’ audio-visual exhibition at Sheffield Hallam University in 2013.  Published / hosted by The Poetry Business.  7.30pm, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield.

23 February 2014 – launch of Yoke and Arrows (Smokestack Books): a dramatic reading with music by Rikki Thomas-Martinez, followed by questions / discussion.  Tickets £6 / £4 from or Box Office 0114 255 1776.  7.30pm, The Lantern Theatre, Kenwood Park Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1NF.

25 November – launch of The Footing anthology of walking poems, offering  unique presentations of the work in the book, featuring short films, readings, audio works and discussions.  With contributions from Angelina Ayers, Jim Caruth,  Rob Hindle, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite.  See Longbarrow Press for more details.  (7.30pm, The Shakespeare, 146-148 Gibraltar Street, Sheffield S3 8UB; admission free.)

27 October – ‘Street Haunting: An Evening of Narrative Poetry’ along with Matt Clegg and Fay Musselwhite. 7.30pm, The Fat Cat, Sheffield. Part of the Sheffield Off the Shelf Festival.

13 March – Reading in Rotherham, somewhere on Corporation Street!

29 September – Reading with Helen Mort, Agi Lehoczky and Carolyn Waudby at a wordsurge event, as part of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind (4.30pm, Fusion Cafe, Butcher Works, Arundel St, Sheffield).

24 – 27 October – Longbarrow Press: Scale, a collaboration between artists Paul Evans, Becky Bowley and Hondartza Fraga and poets Jim Caruth, Matthew Clegg, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite, exploring connections between the micro and the macro.  Part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival (Exhibition 12 – 6pm every day; Artists’ talks 25 October 7.30pm; Readings 26 October 7.30pm; Workshops 25 / 27 Oct; Bloc Projects, Eyre Lane, Sheffield – further details and booking at Longbarrow Press).

28 October – This Awful Gloom: The Purging of Spence Broughton – reading of my sequence (reissued for the event by Longbarrow Press) as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival (6.30pm, Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield £3 in advance / £4 door – booking direct on 0114 232 2714 /

13 April – Great to hear Jim Caruth reading from his forthcoming pamphlet Marking the Lambs (Smith/Doorstop) at last night’s Sheffield Poetry Prize event held at the Sheffield Assay Office.  The Prize is awarded to the best poem entered by a Sheffield Poet to the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, this year won by Leah Fleetwood.  Jim was invited to read as last year’s winner.  The pamphlet will be launched at the Lyric Festival in Sheffield in May.

Smokestack Books will be publishing Yoke and Arrows early in 2014.  Fantastic!  I’m particularly pleased to be contributing to such an eclectic, politically committed list.

Yoke and Arrows is a dramatic sequence in three acts focusing on the oppression and terror in Granada in the early weeks of the Spanish Civil War, when hundreds of Republicans and left sympathisers were rounded up and executed – among them the poet Federico Garcia Lorca.


18 July, 1936

The guardia props a radio on the window-ledge
and the men settle under it.  They look at the dust
around their boots, the gaunt hides and bones
of the sierra stretched into the morning.

Going out to the fields there are storks
across the empty river.  The young have fledged
and are bigger than their mothers, but they tread
as if mines lie buried in the rush beds.

The feast-bells sound across the vega.
It is the day of San Federico, the church filled with flowers
and the scent of flowers; and the talk is of Morocco,
Franco, the army on the streets of Sevilla.


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