Read & Share

Huge thanks to committee member Tanya Laing who was this term’s Read and Share facilitator this morning. 
Twenty-six sparkling pieces of writing were shared and celebrated. As a relative newcomer to Mungrisdale Writers I am often stunned and deeply moved by the breadth, quality and variety of the works shared. 
For those who requested the details – the beautiful piece of music Tanya chose to lead us ‘Into the Mood’ was Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel from the album of the same name, available at Amazon UK here.
Epitaph for a Tree by Argentinian poet Silvina Ocampo is part of a collection, available at Amazon UK here
Grateful thanks, too, to those who kindly sent apologies and greetings for today. And to the bakers!
Summer Term first meeting on the 11th May. AwayDay on the 25th May. Next Read and Share billed for the 27th July, 10.30-1.30. All 2017 dates here.


End of term – keep in touch

Photo at Pixabay

Absolutely super last day of term at Mungrisdale Writers today. Christmas Lunch after the session. Huge thanks to Angela Locke and the behind the scenes team who generously facilitate the community of writers we love so well. Fond farewells were expressed until we gather again on the 23rd February, together with hopes for keeping in touch between now and then.


i) keep an eye on – noting next term’s dates, 23 February, 9 March,  23 March, and 6 April 2017 at 10.30-1.30pm

ii) drop a note to – even if you just want a natter 

iii) write daily about anything and everything (in the journal you’re going to buy yourself tomorrow – if you haven’t already done so)

iv) buy and enjoy Angela’s recommendation The Unkindness of Ravens – a book of collective nouns 

v) talk to anyone and everyone about mungrisdale writers in the coming weeks and drop Simon a note at if you’d like some more bookmarks to share hither and thither

vi) enjoy the ‘homework’ pieces that will be published here in the coming days

vii) send any finished works you’d like to be considered for publication on this members’ blog to

Keep in touch!

Going to the funeral

Photo at Pixabay

I first caught sight of you in my wing mirror
half way up the Sma’ Glen; high place, grey rock
smoothed and polished by four clean winds,
bog myrtle, sphagnum moss, bent over bushes
stunted, blunted down the years.
You were parked up in a layby,
about to get back in your old silver hatchback,
your kilt aswirl in the breeze.
Who knew we were going to the same place?
And when you stood later by the grave,
you and your fellow pipers resplendent
in black and red, the silver pins on your plaid shawls
glistening, the sharp point of Schiehallion poking the heavens behind,
I knew you’d filled your pipes with mountain air
for you blew all the wild wonder of the glen
into your pibroch lament.

Kirsty Hollings

Many congratulations to Kit who won 3rd prize at the 2016 Maryport LitFest – ‘Wild’ – for this evocative poem

– M&P

Literary treasure

Photo 2CRG

Snow topped Fells. Frosted fields. Winter sharpens ancient definition in glorious Lakeland scenery. And every year, noting steaming breath, I marvel at sheep knees and noses withstanding intense cold.

At the Maryport Literary Festival, hosted at the Senhouse Roman Museum where picture windows frame the Solway Firth, I enjoyed a tour de force from Steve Matthews (‘polymath and raconteur’) whose book Lap of Horror tells of early travellers to Borrowdale and Derwentwater.

The genius of the Brontë family came alive in Angela Locke’s illuminating conversation with renowned authority Juliet Barker. Each of Patrick Brontë’s children was shy. Writing became their means to articulate rich inner lives.

A personal and poignant reading by Grevel Lindop, the timbre of whose voice hums in his stanzas before he speaks, brought poetry’s moving power to search depths centre stage.

Echoes of Roman soldiers on the mileforts. Time-travel to walk with early Lakeland tourists. Encouragement to the shy. A great poet’s inspiring to aim high. Solway Firth’s sea and sky. Treasure of a way to spend a winter’s day.

– M&P

Light behind letters


Here is light behind letters that turn into words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters and stories. Expressions of my life – or of yours.

That’s why I write. That’s what brings writers back to blank pages every day – the pursuit of illumination beneath letters.

Light behind letters speaks to me of Creation herself. Darkness and light. Something of light inscribed upon dark. Something dark frames light. One does not exist without the other.

As music needs silence to sound its aliveness, so the writer paints dark upon light or light upon dark and knows that there is a knowing.

Life behind the letters.

– M&P