LUTON POETRY SOCIETY - "Bringing Poetry To Life"

Founder - Mary Emeji (Luton Poet Laureate)

PAST EVENTS in 2012, plus photos!!



Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm



Poetry readings of poems reflecting the new year, as well as other themes. Discussion of our projects for new the year and upcoming special events. Light refreshments.

Attendance: 22

Performing Poets: 9

Myrna Loy, Mary Emeji (also performing Shakespeare), Tonny Sammy, Edewede Oriwoh, Alan Rainer, J.S. Watts, Lee Nelson, John White (also performed one of Mary's poems), and Hamza Ismail.













Luton Central Library (Empress Cafe), Time: 2.00pm


                Love is in the Air!

A wonderful celebration of LOVE. Poetry readings of various forms and occasions of love, including general discussion on what love indeed means! Quite an interesting day, as love seems to be the most frequently discussed topic on planet earth!

Light refreshments at the Cafe.


Attendance: 14



Performing Poets: 8

J.S Watts, Tonny Sammy, Maguerite, Alan Rainer, Edewede Oriwoh, Kaleem Raja, Adolphus Burke, and John White. (Mary Emeji's poems were performed by John White and Edewede Oriwoh, as Mary had just had a baby girl)













Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm



Poetry readings of nature poems to usher-in the season of spring! Lots of daffodils in the air, as that word was mentioned in a few poems! Some poems were on the season of Lent, since the Holy Week was round the corner. A special poem 'The Soft Touch Of Water' performed by Alan Rainer made us all realise just how much the entire humanity and nature depend on 'Water'. 

Attendance: 14

Performing Poets: 8

Alan Rainer, Mary Emeji (also performing Shakespeare), Tonny Sammy, Theresa Rhodes, Bernice Gayle, Kaleem Raja, Patricia J. Morris and Adolphus Burke.



 (Our newest, youngest member - Mary's daughter Elizabeth)









Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm



Poetry readings of Shakespearean sonnets and poems. Our poets read in various styles which made the sonnets come alive; a very happy celebration indeed!

Mary Emeji read a special sonnet to William Shakespeare (written in Shakespearean English) titled 'Timeless Love' in which she portrays a special friendship between her and William, spanning through centuries. Of course this is as far as poetry goes :-) 

We all shared a box of chocolate, thinking of the great poet!


Attendance: 27

Performing Poets: 6

J.S. Watts, Mary Emeji, Kaleem Raja, Edewede Oriwoh, Craig Donohoe and Mary Phillips.











Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm


MARK NIEL - Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes    

Poetry reading with special guest poet Mark Niel who marvelously performed his poems, as well as played some guitar music. Mark both inspired and motivated the audience with his powerful, rhythmic, lyrical and comical poetry. He indeed brought the words to life! Our poets also read some of their poems on the day. We also had a discussion session with the great poet which was very beneficial to all.

Read more of Mark's poems on his website or his Blog

Attendance: 17

Performing Poets: 5

Mark Niel, Mary Emeji, Alan Rainer, Kaleem Raja, and Adolphus Burke.



Mark Niel


We all looked exhilarated after chanting a line from Mark's poem - "Eggs on beans on cheese on toast!"


 .....And of course Mark managed to inspire Mary's son to play the guitar! :-)








Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm


"The Diamond Queen" 


A celebration of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Meeting commenced with singing of the National Anthem, plus waving of flags. Members had each written a special poem for the Queen, and these were performed live. We also got to read our other poems during the latter half of the meeting. All shared a box of chocolates, thinking of Her Majesty. God save the Queen!


Attendance: 13


Performing Poets: 6

Bernice Gayle, Mary Emeji, Tonny Sammy, J.S. Watts, Alan Rainer, Gillian Pestell, and Theresa Rhodes .

 (Did we make the Queen proud? I think so!!! :)









Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm


(Comedy Poet Laureate, and Resident Poet at Keats' House, London)

It was an honour to have such a great poet in our midst! John performed various poems from his books and some music on his guitar, and had the entire audience both amazed and amused! His poetry collections are available via his website

Our poets also got to read their poems during the second half of the meeting. Poems read were on a variety of themes, with spotlight on the London Olympics 2012 which officially began the previous day (27/7/12). 


Attendance: 20

Performing Poets: 8

John Hegley, Bernice Gayle, J.S. Watts, Alan Rainer, Theresa Rhodes, Mary Emeji (also performing Shakespeare), and Edewede Oriwoh.



Mary and Alan presenting their book "Royal Luminosity" as a gift to John Hegley (who ofcourse loves making faces)!! 


Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm


"Be A Poet - History Comes Alive"

Our poets became famous poets from the 15th - 19th Century and performed their poems live!  The aim of this event was to encourage our poets to not just be writers, but also readers of traditional/ modern poetry. We all learnt a lot from each other. Each poet gave an introduction on the life/ work of their chosen poet, and then performed/explained a few of their poems. You will see from the photos below that we did strive to dress like them too! :-)

Attendance: 14


Performing Poets: 9

1.    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 - 1616) – Tonny Sammy

2.    CHRISTINA ROSSETTI (1830 – 1894) – Mary Emeji

3.    EMILY DICKINSON (1830 - 1886) – J.S. Watts

4.    QUEEN ELIZABETH I (1533 - 1603) – Sue Blain

5.    PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792 - 1822) – Neil Rowland

6.    SAMUEL COLERIDGE (1772 - 1834) – Alan Rainer

7.    ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806 - 1861) – Isabel Casey

8.   JOHN BETJEMAN (1906 - 1984) – Theresa Rhodes

9.   MAYA ANGELOU (1928 - present ) – Bernice Gayle



 {A duet of 'Love's Philosophy' by Percy Bysshe Shelley, performed by Mary and Neil} 









Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm

 Luton Poetry Festival 2012

Special Guest of Honour - Mayor of Luton Cllr. Syd Knight
Our poets performed their all-time favourite poems, with their published books on display. We had some lovely guitar music by the well-acclaimed Singer/ Song-writer Amy Simpson. The Mayor was so thrilled by our performance that at first, he was 'speechless'....and then he made a beautiful speech commending us all and encouraging us to continue the good work of promoting poetry in Luton. He appointed Mary as Poet Laureate of Luton, in recognition of all her efforts in organising poetry events each month! We all enjoyed having the Mayor in our midst. All in all, a very successful festival indeed!
Attendance: 19
Performing Poets: 9
J.S. Watts, Tonny Sammy, Mary Emeji, Alan Rainer, Sue Blain, John Ellis, Theresa Rhodes, Antoinette Morris, and John Ayodeji.










University of Bedfordshire (Mezzanine Bar/ Cafe), Time: 7.00pm

"It's A Poetry Affair!"

 Luton Poetry Society meets University of Bedfordshire Poetry Performance Society

This was Luton's biggest ever poetry night, with poets, poets...and more poets! A variety of talents performing their favourite poems, with published books on display. A very nice vicinity with the evening lighting that brought the stars to us, as it's National Poetry month. This was a marvelous poetry collaboration by two great teams...and we hope to do it all again next year!!


Attendance: 21
Performing Poets: 10
Mary Emeji, Lydia Lovett Odularu, Alan Rainer, Patricia J. Morris, Adolphus Burke, J.S. Watts, Abigail Animwa, Bernice Gayle, Christian Aka, and Carlene.



(Group photo - our youngest poet still trying to demonstrate a few lines :-)




 (Signifying the collaboration between Luton Poetry Society and University of Bedfordshire Poetry Performance Society) 









Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm

 National Poetry Day 2012!

A celebration of "Stars" - the theme for this year! Our poets performed their star poems which we previously displayed at the Central Library for the first week of October. Beautiful, luminous and dazzling performances....even with a special star wand used to co-ordinate the meeting! 
To read our poems, please click on the page "Poems" and then choose "Stars poems".
Attendance: 14
Performing Poets: 9
Sue Blain, Theresa Rhodes, Mary Emeji, J.S. Watts, Tonny Sammy, Sylvia Jeffers, Aina Taurina, and Adolphus Burke.
 {Star poems display at the Central Library}



{Our youngest poet Tonny gets to hold the Star wand!}











Luton Central Library (Conference Room), Time: 2.00pm

 Winter Poetry Reading

Chilly, windy, wet, snowed-in or ice-clogged...all these came alive in our winter poems! It wasn't a coincidence that it rained that afternoon!
More plans for our upcoming Christmas party. Bring on Santa....very soon! :-)
Attendance: 12
Performing Poets: 5
Mary Emeji, Aina Taurina, Barry Cooper, Teraina E. Hird, and Anna Booth.







Luton Central Library (First Floor), Time: 2.00pm

 Christmas Poetry Party!!!

Festive fun with poetry readings, singing of Christmas carols, yummy cakes and mince pies, and a beautiful classical rendition by the award-winning Viola - Tim Ridout! Our special Guest of Honour - Mayor of Luton Cllr. Syd Knight was again wooed by our creativity and performances! He gave us the very best of encouragement.
So why not join our happy family next year and be part of the thrill of poetry shared? All are welcome!
Attendance: 20
Performing Poets:10
Aina Taurina, Tonny Sammy, Hilda Morley, Mary Emeji, Teraina E. Hird, John Ayodeji, Samantha Newbury, Adolphus Burke, Theresa Rhodes, and Neil Rowland.


Mary and Aina with Mayor of Luton - who is so pleased with our group!

It's Carols time!!!


Bedford Poet Hilda Morley - with Mayor of Luton!



Classical Mary and Viola Tim Ridout.