Tag Archives: readings and events

New Poetry 2022 at Lewes Live Lit

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March 26, 2022 · 12:50 pm

July 2016 – Performance – Chichester

Priory Park Music Festival

Guildhall Stage

6.30pm | £4

Poetry reading accompanied by David Jordan on double bass.


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July 2016 – Reading – Steep

Friday 22 July

South Downs Poetry Festival

Steep Village Hall

7pm | £12

Poetry Reading with Andrew McMillan, Hugh Dunkerley, Matthew Caley, Paul Deaton.

Music Mike Knee.


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Hampshire Festival of the Mind

Saturday 7 May 2016, Portsmouth Cathedral, Old Portsmouth


A presentation in which I’ll be discussing how writing can help to foster empathy and compassion. Illustrated with poem films from the award-winning live literature production, Zones of Avoidance.

Details of the day’s events can be found here:



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March 2015 – Book Launch – Square Tower

Maggie Sawkins will be launching her new collection, Zones of Avoidance, based on the live literature production that won last year’s Ted Hughes award, in Portsmouth on Saturday 28 March.

Ted Hughes award judge Denise Riley described Zones of Avoidance, which was directed by Mark C Hewitt, as “a challenging, painfully open account of a daughter’s addiction, yet it’s an account which also offers graceful good humour. Beautifully written and uncompromising, it’s a modern story that we felt the writer was compelled to tell; it acts as a vivid witness of harsh experiences which aren’t often described in poetry, and Maggie Sawkins’s illuminating descriptions will prove helpful for others to hear.”

In an interview with Write Out Loud last year, Maggie

said: “The story is very personal.  I’d been gathering draft material on the subject over a period of 20 years. Much of it was in the form of diary entries and some was in the form of unsent letters to my grandson, who’s been estranged from my daughter since the age of three. My motivation was to keep a record for him – when someone close to you is gripped by addiction you’re always expecting the knock on the door. I could have written the story as a memoir and perhaps made a lot of money. However, reading back through the drafts, I realised that the ‘truth’ could be told in relatively few words. I think all of us have the one tale to tell and there are different ways of telling it. Writing in poetry enabled me to tease out the terrible beauty from what, in reality, has been a much darker story.”

The launch of the book, published by Cinnamon Press, is at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth at 7.30pm. Entry is free. More details and Map

Background: ‘The dramatic material provided by living in a battlefield is a gift for any writer’

Music with Bernard MacDonagh and Claire Ward


Zones of Avoidance

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September 2014 – Hampshire Poets Now – Winchester Poetry Festival


5.00pm – 6.30pm

Hampshire Poets Now: Hampshire continues to be a county with a vibrant literary presence. The poets who are reading this evening represent a range of voices that have put, and keep, Hampshire on the poetry map, and that bode well for its future as a lively centre for the art. Come along and listen to some of the different kinds of poetry that make up the contemporary poetry scene in this county with John Haynes, Robyn Bolam, Maggie Sawkins, Stephen Boyce and Julian Stannard. curated by Hampshire Poet 2014 Joan McGavin.

Tickets £7.00

Winchester Discovery Centre

Performance Hall


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Zones of Avoidance – Photos from first performance

Photograph taken by Elliot Cranston (one of the voices)

Photograph taken by Elliot Cranston (one of the voices)

Photo by Francis Lovering

Photo by Francis Lovering

Facing the audience!

Facing the audience!

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November 1, 2013 · 5:17 pm

October 2013 – Performance – Menuhin Room

Maggie-portrait4ZONES OF AVOIDANCE

A multi-media live literature production written and performed by Maggie Sawkins and directed by Mark C Hewitt.

Join the narrator on her quest to discover the lure of psychoactive substances in an attempt to understand her daughter’s descent in to addiction.

Wednesday 30 October – 2pm

Portsmouth Bookfest event with aftershow Q&A.

Menuhin Room, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Square PO1 2DX.

Tickets £4.00

023 92 688 037  www.portsmouthbookfest.co.uk

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September 2013 – T S Eliot on Tour – Portsmouth Grammar School




Poetry lovers will be delighted to hear that Portsmouth will host a visit by a prestigious national tour to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry. Three of the poets who have been shortlisted in recent years will be reading their work. There will then be an opportunity to buy their books and have them signed and dedicated by the authors.

The poets appearing are George Szirtes (2005 winner), Penelope Shuttle and Tim Liardet (both 2006 shortlisted) they will be joined by local poet Maggie Sawkins a founder member of Tongues and Grooves, Portsmouth’s popular poetry and music club. The event is part of a national tour organised by The Poetry Book Society to celebrate 20 years of the prize.

The event is being jointly staged by Portsmouth BookFest and The Portsmouth Festivities and will be held on Tuesday September 17th at The David Russell Theatre in The Portsmouth Grammar School. The pre event drinks reception starts at 7pm and the first reading starts at 7.30pm. Copies of the participating poets work will be on sale for signing during the evening.

Tickets are on sale now from The Hayling Island Bookshop on 02392 466620.

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March 2013 – 20×12 Writers to Watch – The Square Tower, Portsmouth

Readings and Book Launch

20×12 Writers to Watch

As part of the Portsmouth Bookfest 2012, writers from the city and surrounding areas were invited to perform their work in Portsmouth public libraries. This book showcases the work they performed and is an introduction both to well-established and up-and-coming authors.



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