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Listen to Penelope reading and talking about her poetry

Posted July 2016

Poetry reading

The Language Club, Plymouth: 22 September 2016

Reading with John Greening from ‘Heath’

Bristol Poetry Festival, Bristol: Thursday 4 October 2016

Poetry reading

Exeter Poetry Festival, Exeter: Friday 7 October 2016

Reading with Caroline Carver and Katrina Naomi

Waterstones Bookshop, Truro: Tuesday 11 October 2016

Reading with John Greening from ‘Heath’

Toppings Bookshop, Bath: Tuesday 18 October 2016

Poetry Workshop

The Holborne Museum, Bath: Wednesday 19 October 2016

Reading with John Greening from ‘Heath’

Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival, The Falmouth Hotel: Sunday 13 November 2016


Launch of ‘Heath’ at the Ledbury Poetry Festival

Posted July 2016

‘Heath’ is a series of call-and-response poems set on

Hounslow Heath, stretching across time-zones and

histories; Heathrow Airport is also explored.  The

airport now stands where the old heath used to be,

in the days when it was ‘the most dangerous place in

England’, where highwaymen lurked.

Heath | Penelope Shuttle Heath | Penelope Shuttle

‘Heath’ was launched at the Ledbury Poetry Festival on the 8 July 2016 with a special reading

by Penelope and John Greening . To see the recording of this reading please click here.


Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival 2016

Posted July 2016

Exciting news: the second Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival will be taking place in Falmouth on the

weekend of Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November 2016. We’ll be announcing details of the programme soon.

But we’re thrilled to say that it will feature some of the UK’s most celebrated and compelling poets, including:

Alison Brackenbury

Steve Ely   

John Greening

Meirion Jordan

Molly Naylor

Pascale Petit

Penelope Shuttle

Jane Yeh

As well as readings, there’ll be a poetry slam, street

performances, open-mic events and a fabulous array of

workshops – all in the beautiful surroundings of one

of the UK’s liveliest coastal towns. If you would like

further information please click here.

The Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival is an

initiative of Falmouth Poetry Group with the support of

Falmouth University, Arts Council England , and The

Tanner Trust. Falmouth Poetry Group was founded in

1972 by the internationally acclaimed poet Peter Redgrove,

and is one of the oldest poetry groups in the country. It

organises regular readings and workshops by published

poets, and meets each month to read and critique members’


These are poems drawn from the flipside of experience,

undermining and rebuilding syntax in order to precipitate

language, and, in the main, abjuring punctuation. The poems

also engage with inward exploration where both active and

meditative thinking seek a vulnerable equilibrium; poems

more interested in framing questions than arriving at answers.

The volatile and tactile realities and delusions of being in the

world direct much of the language’s traffic here;there’s a

commingling of sadness and wry humour in Shuttle’s travels

through our physical and metaphysical worlds. Pared-back

imagery and lyric purpose are embodied here throughout in

the work of a poet who agrees with Ekbert Faas’s comment:

‘as soon as you have a new syntax, you have a new way of

breathing, and as soon as you have that you have a new


‘Will You Walk a Little Faster?’ is Penelope’s first new book-

length collection since her Bloodaxe retrospective, ‘Unsent:

New & Selected Poems 1980-2012’, and is published to

celebrate her 70th Birthday on 12 May 2017.


Will You Walk a Little Faster?

Posted August 2016

Will You Walk a Little Faster? | Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle’s new collection explores cities (London, Bristol) on foot and via inward exploration,

drawing on architecture, history and personal memory.

Will You Walk a Little Faster? | Penelope Shuttle

The Manhattan Review

Posted 6 September 2016

Founded by New York-based poet Philip Fried, ‘The Manhattan Review’ has won praise for its balance

of American and international poetry. The magazine strives to publish the work of excellent American

poets alongside the best contemporary British poetry of which Penelope’s poems have been featured in

the magazine since the 1980s.

The featured poem, ‘Serving the People of West London’, was

inspired by a slogan Penelope saw on the 290 bus she used at

Staines, which read, 'Abellio buses, serving the people of West

London'.  She says “I like to work from texts taken from outside

the literary point of view, so I used this slogan to imagine

writing poems for the people of West London, as a kind of

unofficial poet-in-residence on the buses”.  

The poem appears in ‘Heath’, Penelope’s collaborative book

of poems (with John Greening) from Nine Arches Press, about

Hounslow Heath, and Heathrow Airport, both of course in

West London. Please click here to read more poems from



On 6th August 2008 poet Victoria Field led a writing and

reflection day for a group of poets at St Clether’s Holy Well,

in The Inney Vale, near Bodmin.  It was a day of significance

and healing for me, and resulted in a sequence of poems

about St Clether and the surrounding landscape.  I tend to

mull over poems for a long while, and so it is only now,

eight years on, that I have published the sequence.

The Valency Valley at Boscastle on the North Coast of

Cornwall is a beautiful place my late husband Peter Redgrove

and I visited every year from 1970 up until Peter was too

unwell to do the walk, in 1999.  It has many dear memories

for me, and our many walks are combined in the poem here.  

It also has many associations with the poet Thomas Hardy,

so it was an added bonus for us, to be walking in his



Online magazine 'The Clearing' features new poems

Posted 22 August 2016

'The Clearing' is an online magazine published by ‘Little Toller Books’ and has recently released a series

of new poems by Penelope. A place for writers and artists to share distinctive visions and make bold

statements about the landscapes we live in.  Here Penelope shares some background to two of her poems.


"Although ‘Hounslow Heath barely exists today’, Penelope Shuttle’s and John Greening’s poems

conjure back its lost acres, returning to roots, treading ‘old desire paths’. Their lines, lilting with

place names, find room for the Clouded Yellow butterfly, for the Red Kite, for market gardens with

raspberries and rhubarb. ‘Heath’ holds highwaymen, the great planes of Heathrow, the small flight of

a bumblebee. Here are poems which dance, which pad beside a traveller, which mimic the shapes of

scarecrows on the page. This is a work of love. But beware the ghost with a briefcase – and the Wolf

of Perry Oaks." - Alison Brackenbury

"What an impressive, well-researched piece of double-imagination this book is, combining the

personal memories of two well-known contemporary poets with a history of the land and townscape

in which they both grew up. Read these poems and you will never tread the proliferating wasteland of

Heathrow Airport without being grateful for this warm, sprightly, thoroughly entertaining introduction

to its rural past." - Anne Stevenson

“Heath: one word, one disappeared world, two poets. Hounslow Heath was a place of mystery, danger,

fear, wildest beauty; now, among other neatened things, it is Heathrow Airport. In this beguiling

collaboration, which finds two significant and ostensibly very different English poets at or near their

best, we are taken back to a place we can never have known – though Greening and Shuttle, who both

grew up in the area, never completely lose sight of its (and our) present concerns either. The poems are

at times lush, at other times stark, and frequently vivid and memorable. This is a substantial book,

but I didn’t want it to end.” - Rory Waterman

Praise for ‘Heath’

Posted August 2016

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Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival

Will be held in Falmouth, from Thursday 22

to Sunday 25 November 2018

Penelope Shuttle has made her home in Cornwall

since 1970 and the county’s mercurial weather and

rich history are continuing sources of inspiration.

About Penelope | Penelope Shuttle
Will You Walk a Little Faster? | Penelope Shuttle

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