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Library Talks | Sea Sound: Poetry

June 5 @ 14:00 - 15:00

On Wednesday 5th June at 2pm an “uprising of women poets” will be performing poetry inspired by Cornwall and the sea in the Reading Room at The Morrab Library. The afternoon will  an invitation to “dip your toes into the big blue” and hear their rhythmic words” and, in Morag Smith’s, words “Feel a drumbeat maybe a heart maybe a fist it comes from the core”. 

Ella Walsworth-Bell will introduce the poems with a description of the projects that she set up to find out more about women’s sea swimming and surfing. Ella arrived in Cornwall in the seventies on a sailing boat with her family after crossing the Atlantic. Salt-drenched, she’s written about the ocean ever since. Her poetry has been published in Morphrog, Magic Circle, Public Sector Poetry and the Leon Literary Review. She’s appeared on BBC Spotlight sharing her poetry on a clifftop and she came second in the Perito Prize short story competition in 2022. Her day job is working as a children’s speech therapist for the NHS and she swims as often as she can. She leads Mor Poets and has published two poetry anthologies: Morvoren and Mordardh, with support from Arts Council England.

The afternoon will feature poetry performances from a group of poets, including:

Kate Barden has lived in West Cornwall all her life, and is embarrassed to confess that she has only tried surfing twice. Her poetry is published online, in a book for The Compassionate Friends, and as part of Morvoren; a collaboration of poems about women who swim in the sea. She has co-written, directed and acted in various pieces of theatre with local companies, taking one piece to the Edinburgh Fringe. Kate has played at The Minack Theatre, Penlee Park and The Acorn. She also took part in Henry VI with the Hall for Cornwall and the RSC, and enjoys writing, performing and watching spoken word. Kate occasionally sings in an 80s cover band, collects tattoos, swims in the sea and rides pillion on a Harley. Since starting Mordardh, she has decided to give surfing a proper go, dreckly.

Hannah Temme is a spoken-word performer, dancer and producer, based in Newquay. She works to create community spaces for the development of local poets and the platforming of professional artists, helping to cultivate an artistic scene on the North Cornish coast. Living in the surf capital of the UK, and a surfer herself, Hannah has used Mordardh to explore how surfing is integrated into everyday life in Newquay; to some it is as necessary as breathing.

Fi Read grew up in Australia, but she caught her first wave in Cornwall. As a surf-taxi mum, she figured she might as well join in, so she bought herself a secondhand surfboard for her fortieth birthday. Seventeen years later, despite three of her four kids being surf instructors, she still surfs like a kook. Fi works as a nurse, bar staff, life model, singer and writer, cycles everywhere, and can back-flip into water.

Kerry Vincent is a mother of nine from Constantine, a small village between Helston and Falmouth. She has written rhyming, rhythmic verse since childhood, but her real love is performing spoken word. She has written a pantomime, plays, and had a collection of poetry published in 2009, as well as contributing to anthologies

Tickets for our Library Talks are allocated by a ballot system. Please email enquiries@morrablibrary.org.uk or call 01736 364474 to be entered into the ballot for a ticket. The ballot closes on Monday 27th May.

Entry to this event is free but donations are welcomed to help support The Morrab Library (suggested £5). Refreshments will be provided after the talk.


June 5
14:00 - 15:00


Morrab Library


Morrab Library