(Image by kind consent of The Poetry Pharmacy, Bishops Castle)
Yes, this does have a City Voices connection, I promise you. Just before the latest Covid lockdown, and when my town and Bishops Castle (BC) were both in Tier One, I managed a weekend away in a lovely hotel in BC. Sadly most of our outdoor plans were scuppered by the weather, so with the agreement of my husband (who had to stay silent for 2 hours) I thought I might as well join the City Voices Zoom meeting. So with laptop and portable Wi-Fi at the ready – internet signal being a bit dodgy in BC – it was business as usual, readings and critiques, and a writing workshop on the theme ‘The End’.
After the meeting, I abandoned my husband and trotted off to the High Street to the fabulous and original Poetry Pharmacy. www.poetrypharmacy.co.uk
The business is owned and run by two published poets, James Sheard and Deborah Alma, and is one of the loveliest, most eccentric places I know, in a good way! To quote their website
‘We (the Poetry Pharmacy) have been dispensing poetry for over 7 years as Emergency Poet from the back of our vintage ambulance at festivals, conferences, hospitals and care settings, libraries and schools, with a poetry pharmacy of poems-in-pills under the attached awning.’
Now the same thing happens at the shop, and in normal times there is also a tea-room (highly recommended) plus live poetry events. The latter currently operates via Zoom. Prior to lockdown v.2 the shop was open for sales of poetry books, poetry ‘pills’ and lots of other little treasures to make life feel happier. All are for sale on-line too so please have a look.
It was great to see James and Deb again, albeit very socially distanced and from behind masks, have a giggle and a chat and come away with a bulging (re-usable) tote bag of books and goodies. The Poetry Pharmacy is a warm and generous space. I urge you to visit, it will make you feel good inside.
Oh, and BC is a great place, with lots to see and great walks, good pubs and yummy food. Despite the rain, it was a very welcome break.