The Poetry Archive

Poetry from writers in the Forest of Dean.
All the poems are shared under a Creative Commons Licence. For more information, click HERE

Maggie Clutterbuck

Read more about Maggie and her poems at 'Reading the Forest'

Maggie at 'Reading the Forest'

Jean Cooper Moran

The Dark Lady

The Dark Lady lives in the Forest of Dean
and regularly writes for the Poetry Posts

W H Davies

Roger Drury

These words, the debris of alphabets, nestle mostly in the darkness of pages

so it is a calm but excited voice you will hear sharing things that have happened or thought about.  Born in London near Epping Forest I have been marking paper with words for a long time

In 1970s I first peformed with a rock group 'Graham & his performing Poet' at small community festivals, seeing Grimms a band laden with poets and the Liverpool Scene a spoken word led combo inspired all the possibilities.

Running writers workshops and projects with words- meeting characters of all ages and abilities first in London then in Oxford and since 1986 the Forest and close territories has sustained my adventures and collaborations... including publishing, performing and community radio putting local voices into the air.

For 10 years in partnership with the lamented Forest Bookshop we ran the Coleford Festival of Words which featured many authors and performances which might not have found their way to end up in front of a Forest audience-plus an esteemed cluster of local writers and musicians.

Most recent projects include Community Incomplete Histories, and working with Forest Bard Maggie Clutterbuck and Hybrid shepherd/story teller/shadow salesman Darren Hoskins-whose Dad Les was a very comic writer and a founder member of the Bream Maypole Writers who met weekly in Bream Library for almost 10 years.

Community performances include 'Lend us your ears' the Romans visit the Forest, 'Beside me' Warren James and the Enclosures, 'Time flys' celebrating 800 years of Forest Charter , The Lost Well with Berry Hill school...The Custard Ceili Band exercise with a series of English vegetable dances... As well as two pantomimes.

We gather, usually in Bream Cafe, under the umbrella of 'Oh Crumbs' the only regular spoken word event in the district- currently fortnighly in Space - (Zooming) The somersaults of 2020 'coviditity' included a series of 'Bedtime Stories' our contribution to the bi-annual Wye Valley River Festival- digital/virtual and quite silly.

There is a need to write to hold onto moments and to ask questions. Thanks to Bream Library for the invite back to where many things began.    Roger Drury Dec 2020 .

Tony Furmage

Celia Harper

F W Harvey

Phil Jones

Phil is a member of the Dean Writers Circle


2022-23 Beat Poet Laureate (England)
For more information go to

Jolie Marchant

Jolie enjoys creating poems that reveal her inner voice and enable a change in her thought patterns. From this perspective, she finds dark emotions are purified, negative memories rouse new awareness which entices her to the realm of research and a ‘thesaurus’.  Jolie also writes for children in poetry form and has a diverse medley of characters waiting for their story to be told. She is a member of Dean Writers Circle and lives in the Forest of Dean where nature, history and wildlife excite her imagination.

Charlie Markwick

Six Poems.

John Morgan

Recorded in Bream Library 27 May 2021
Three poems and a story.   

Val Ormrod

Helen Payne

Claudia Robertson

Carol Sheppard

Carol Sheppard is a poet and playwright. She moved to the Forest of Dean twenty five years ago and fell in love with the beautiful landscape and friendly people and has no intention of leaving.

Her poetry has been published in several poetry journals and anthologies and displayed in Biggar poetry Garden.Her plays and monologues have been performed in the UK and as far afield as New Zealand and Hawaii. Her murder mystery play The Drop of a Pin about a poor family who work in the pin Factory in Gloucester in 1850 toured Gloucestershire in 2016.

She is an active member of Dean Writers Circle, PIPS Poetry Group, Gloucester Scriptorium Playwrights and The Gloucestershire Poetry Society.

Simon Armitage 
read by Jay Stephens-Wood

Simon Armitage lives in West Yorkshire.

He has kindly given Bream Community Library permission to recite and record his poem 'Lockdown' for our Poetry Box project. Thank you Simon!​

His poem is read by Jay Stephens-Wood, a volunteer at Bream Community Library.​

There is more information about Simon Armitage on his website where you can download this poem and many others:​   

Paul Stephens-Wood

Paul volunteers at Bream Community Library. Sometimes he writes poems.

Walt Williams