Battle of the Somme project for King’s Lynn poet

Sue Burge
Sue Burge
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Lynn poet and tutor Sue Burge is embarking on a new project – looking back to the First World War. She has been selected by the Poetry School, based in London, as one of the ten poets working with Simon Barraclough to respond to the 1916 documentary of the Battle of the Somme.

Sue says in her December blog: “The ten of us will be reading the poetry we’ve written in a collaborative performance before a screening of the film on Saturday, February 4, at The Cinema Museum in Lambeth. This will be a ticketed public performance so I do hope you can come along and share the experience. Tickets should be available soon via The Cinema Museum website.

“Before that, there’s the final part of the Lumiere project, a big celebratory “Inspired by Film” open mic event on Monday, January 30, in the bar in the Picturehouse Cinema, Cambridge.

“The Picturehouse chain, and the Cambridge cinema in particular, have been hugely supportive of the whole project and I’m delighted that we can hold the final event there. I wanted a space that would be inclusive and the bar will be open to cinemagoers that night (although I think we will pretty well fill it!) with a performance space at the back - it would be great if we could convert even more people to the joys of poetry!

“The event is open to everyone and there’ll be plenty of open mic slots, so even if you didn’t enter the competition or have never written a poem about film in your life, it doesn’t matter - come along and read a poem on any theme or just come along and listen! More details are on my website. The competition winners will be announced in January and I hope they will be able to come along and read their winning entries.”

In 2016 Sue received an Arts Council grant part of which included writing poetry which responded to films set in Paris and broadening participation in film and poetry by combining the two into the Lumiere project.

Looking ahead, Sue has a few new courses running, including one in Ingoldisthorpe and a pop-up at the Fitzwilliam Museum where the focus will be on three of the painting galleries.

There is a creative writing day school “Tales of the City” on Saturday, January 21 (11am-5pm) at the Friends’ Meeting House in Bridge Street, Lynn. The fee is £30 and this will be a day exploring the multi-faceted theme of cities – characters, buildings, history and personal memories. Film clips, photographs and artwork will be used as prompts to stimulate fresh and original flash fiction and poetry.

The creative writing course at Ingoldisthorpe will run for six Thursday mornings starting on February 23 (10.30am-12.30pm). Suitable for all levels – poetry, fiction and memoir – there will be regular homework and feedback, plus inspiring exercises to stimulate your creativity. The course fee is £52 and the venue will be given on application.

A pop-up poetry workshop will be held at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on Wednesday, April 5 (2-4pm), to create three very different poems inspired by the Impressionist, Portrait and Religious Art galleries at the museum; fee £15.

Fen Speak, the successful monthly open-mic event which takes place in Ely and Wisbech, visits Lynn on tour twice a year and the first is on Friday, April 28, (7.30pm start) at the Friends’ Meeting House, Bridge Street. There is the opportunity to read your own poetry, prose or monologues in a friendly and supportive atmosphere and to develop your performance skills along the way. Each performer is given around three minutes to read their work and there are a limited number of open-mic slots, just e-mail Sue to book your slot.

For further details of the courses and events, visit