Henry Woolf (1930-2021) – Jeremy Page remembers

Henry Woolf, occasional contributor to The Frogmore Papers and generous benefactor to the Frogmore Press over many years, died in November in Saskatoon, Canada, at the age of 91.

Henry Woolf (1930-2021)

Henry was best known as an actor and as the lifelong friend of Harold Pinter, but he was also a poet, a teacher and a playwright in his own right. He was an extraordinarily modest man despite his many claims to fame: he commissioned, directed and performed in Pinter’s first play, The Room, in a converted squash court at the University of Bristol in 1957; appeared in Peter Brook’s historic staging of Marat/Sade in 1964; played alongside Laurence Olivier in Ionesco’s Rhinoceros at the Royal Court in 1960; and starred as Toulouse-Lautrec in the musical Bordello at the Queen’s Theatre in London in 1974, and as Tony Hancock in Heathcote Williams’ Hancock’s Last Half Hour.

He also made significant TV appearances, notably in Doctor Who, Steptoe & Son and Rutland Weekend Television, and appeared in films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Gorky Park. His publications include Poems (np, 1966), In The Mousetrap (Greville Press, 2003) and the autobiographical Barcelona is in Trouble (Greville Press, 2017). He lived in Canada from 1983, retiring as Head of Drama at the University of Saskatchewan in 1997.

I first met Henry in the mid-70s when we were both living in Folkestone. He ran memorable weekend theatre workshops at the New Metropole Arts Centre, in which I was an enthusiastic participant. Our paths crossed again when he came to the University of Warwick, where I was a student, to perform Hancock’s Last Half Hour. And after that we stayed in touch, though our meetings were necessarily infrequent, especially in recent years.

We last met when Henry, on a visit to London, came to a poetry reading I gave at the Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town in 2014. We met again for coffee the next day, shortly before his return to Canada, and, as we said our farewells, I remember wondering if we would have the chance to meet again. Sadly, we would not. His loss is keenly felt and I shall miss the arrival of envelopes from across the Atlantic with my name and address in Henry’s distinctive handwriting, but I am comforted by my memories of a man who made the world a better place with his wit, his kindness, his generosity and his multifarious talents.

Read his obituary in The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/nov/24/henry-woolf-obituary

Jeremy Page, Editor of The Frogmore Papers

Join us at free book launch event for Neil Gower, Jeremy Page, and Marion Tracy – Wednesday, 6 October, 7pm, Lewes

On 6 October 2021, the eve of National Poetry Day, three new titles from The Frogmore Press will be launched upstairs at the Elephant & Castle pub in Lewes. These are Neil Gower’s debut poetry collection Meet Me in Palermo, Jeremy Page’s The Naming and Marion Tracy’s Evidence of LoveAll are welcome and admission is free but space is limited, so if you’d like to come please reserve a place by contacting frogmorepress@gmail.comDoors 7.00 pm and readings from 7.30.

Elephant & Castle Pub, White Hill, Lewes BN7 2DJ

These titles will all be available for purchase on the night and can also be obtained from Skylark in the Needlemakers, Lewes, Much Ado Books in Alfriston, or direct (and post free) from The Frogmore Press.Email: frogmorepress@gmail.com

Meet Me in Palermo and The Naming are £10.00, Evidence of Love is £5.00.

Payment can be made in the old fashioned way by cheque, payable to The Frogmore Press (at 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ), by PayPal to Alexbythesea@hotmail.com or by BACS to:
Account name: The Frogmore Press Account number: 01436686 Sort code: 40-14-28
If paying by PayPal or BACS please confirm purchase by contacting frogmorepress@gmail.com with your postal address.

Three new Frogmore Press collections out now: Neil Gower, Jeremy Page, Marion Tracy

Three new collections of poetry are published by the Frogmore Press today (Monday 6 September).

Renowned graphic artist Neil Gower’s first collection, Meet Me in Palermo, has a long-distance love affair at its heart, but a whole life, full of fear and hope, pressed between its pages.

Jeremy Page’s The Naming revisits some familiar subjects from his last collection (Closing Time from Pindrop Press, 2014), but has been described as his darkest, most lyrical work to date.

And Marion Tracy’s pamphlet, Evidence of Love, provides evidence of all kinds – personal, political, mythical. Earthy and literary, in poems that embrace uncertainty from the beginning.

The Naming by Jeremy Page (£10.00)

Meet Me in Palermo by Neil Gower (£10.00)

Evidence of Love by Marion Tracy (£5.00)

You can order post-free directly from The Frogmore Press. Copies available at Skylark Shop, Lewes. There will be a combined launch event in Lewes in early October. Details soon.

Frogmore’s sad farewell to Viva Lewes magazine

This lovely set of photos was taken just pre-lockdown by local photographer and student Ruby Craig, who’d come into the Viva office on a work placement. She was fabulous, and photographed a number of features for the April issue of the long-running local listings and features magazine – an issue which, sadly, was never to see the light of day. History, and Covid, took over – and now Viva Lewes and Viva Brighton have both, permanently, had to close their doors. 

So Frogmore has kindly offered to host these photos. The subject is Needlewriters poets (though this is not the whole collective) and we four are all also Frogmore poets and  reviewers. (I – Charlotte Gann – also happened to be the outgoing editor of Viva Lewes!). Needlewriters – a cooperative of local writers – continues to host quarterly reading events in Lewes, or at least we hope to again, from January 2021.

For the planned feature we also asked each poet: ‘What is a word you love, and why?’ Here were their – our – responses.

Robin Houghton: “Box’: short, punchy, practical and a bit funny.’

Robin Houghton, photographed by Ruby Craig, 2020

Janet Sutherland: ‘My word is ‘penultimate’, because there’s something magical in being able to pin down the last-but-one.’

Janet Sutherland, photographed by Ruby Craig, 2020

Jeremy Page: “Crepuscular’, because it so perfectly evokes my favourite times of day.’

Jeremy Page, photographed by Ruby Craig, 2020

Charlotte Gann: “Elbow’. It looks great (in many typefaces), sounds good – and combines five of my favourite letters.’

Charlotte Gann, photographed by Ruby Craig, 2020

Ruby Craig can be found on Instagram @rubystyling

CG

 

‘Pale Fire – the Moon in Poetry and Art’ at the New Venture Theatre in Brighton on 29 November 2019

If you missed the launch of Pale Fire – New Writing on the Moon earlier this year, here is your second chance to hear from some of the contributors, at a very special venue.
The Moon has inspired lovers, poets and artists since time began and was in fact our first timekeeper. This year it has been 50 years since humans first set foot on the Moon. Join us for an evening of lunar poetry hosted in collaboration with the The New Venture Theatre in Brighton.

Writer and editor Alexandra Loske will introduce new and classic writing on the Moon, composed, chosen and read by contemporary poets and NVT members.

Poets performing will be: Jeremy Page, Maria Jastrzębska, John O’Donoghue, Chris Sykes, Stephen Plaice, Chris McDermott, Seema Kapila, Claire Booker, Zel Norwood, Neil Gower and Janet Sutherland.

Friday 29th November 7.45pm (doors open at 7pm)
New Venture Theatre
Bedford Place
Brighton
BN1 2PT

London Calling – from the faraway towns

London Calling and other stories by Frogmore Papers editor Jeremy Page will be launched at two events this month.

On Wednesday 17 October he will be reading at Waterstones in Brighton with Cultured Llama stablemates Vanessa Gebbie and Louise Tondeur.

Tickets are available in advance from:
https://www.waterstones.com/events/cultured-llama-an-evening-with-louise-tondeur-jeremy-page-and-vanessa-gebbie/brighton

On Wednesday 24 October he will be reading upstairs at the Elephant and Castle in Lewes (White Hill, Lewes BN7 2DJ), with fellow Frogmore writers Clare Best and Kay Syrad. Clare will be reading from her memoir The Missing List while Kay will read from her new collection of poems Inland. This is a free event. All welcome. Doors at 7.00 pm, readings from 7.30:
http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/events/jeremy-page-launches-london-calling-in-lewes

London Calling is available direct from Cultured Llama or can be ordered through your local bookshop. In Lewes it is available from Skylark in the Needlemakers.