Edward Thomas Fellowship
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News and Events
Here is the Edward Thomas Fellowship's programme of events for 2017.

Here too are details of a magnificent illustrated edition of Edward Thomas's poems and a CD of readings of his poetry and prose, available from the Fellowship.

Birthday Walk
Study Day
Autumn Walk

Arras Revisited
Words into Wood

Fast Beat My Heart


The Edward Thomas Fellowship
Poetry Competition 2017

The response to the competition took us by surprise, but was a great pleasure. There were 170 individual poems submitted from 63 entrants. The poet Jenny Lewis judged from a long-list of 50 that had been selected by three committee members (after much discussion). Jenny's report is below.

The Winners
1st prize - Romola Parish  for 'Eidolon'
Joint 2nd prize - Stephanie van Driel and Diane Tang
Highly Commended - Neville Beal, Keith Chandler, Andrew Darling, Samantha Newbury, Matthew Oates, AF Paterson.

Judge's Report
Judging the Edward Thomas Competition has been a challenging task owing to the exceptionally high quality of the entries. So many of the poems impressed with their resourcefulness and variety of approaches that I had to read and re-read them many times before a clear winner emerged; and this was ‘Eidolon’. Beginning with an observation on the way language roots us to places, as well as to the mental and emotional landscapes that ghost just below the surface of our lives, this poem unfolds at a sure pace without putting a (poetic) foot wrong, leaving the reader with a memorable sense of unity and completion.

Two fine but very different poems tied for second place: ‘Whatever is forever’ and ‘Deer Walking’.  ‘Whatever is forever’ is an accomplished sonnet closely reflecting the powerful legacy Edward Thomas has left us as a war poet. This poem particularly impressed me for its clarity and skilled craftsmanship.  ‘Deer Walking’ is a looser, more capacious poem alive with rich imagery and a wonderfully fresh and compelling use of language.

Congratulations to the winning and highly commended poets and thanks to everyone who submitted their poems. Judging this competition has been a great pleasure and privilege.
Jenny Lewis
Oxford, February 2017

Edward Thomas at Steep
 Edward Thomas at Steep, 1914.
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The Edward Thomas Birthday Walk:
Sunday 5th March

Each year, on the Sunday nearest to Edward Thomas's birthday (3rd March), the Fellowship organises a walk in the countryside near his home at Steep, near Petersfield in Hampshire. This event is the main annual gathering for Fellowship members.

As in recent years, there will be two walks during the day, and everyone is welcome to join either or both of them. Both walks will start at the car park of Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, GU32 2DG, where parking and toilets will be available throughout the day.

The walk sheet can be downloaded here. Printed copies of it will also be available on the day.

Those coming on the morning walk should meet in the car park between 10.00 and 10.15 am. This walk will include a visit to The Bee House and to the memorial stone on Shoulder of Mutton Hill.

The afternoon walk will start at 2.15 pm from the car park of Bedales School, and will be a 3-mile circular route around Ridge Hanger. It will include a visit to 2 Yew Tree Cottages, the Thomases’ third and final home in Steep.

Members of the Fellowship will read appropriate poems and prose during the walks and at the end of the lunch break.

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear (walking boots or wellingtons) for both walks. All those participating in the walks do so at their own risk.

We shall end the day at Steep Church around 4.00 pm, where tea will be available at a modest cost. This will be followed by the Fellowship’s short AGM and the Birthday Tribute. In this centennial year, the theme will be: ‘Edward Thomas in France: in the trenches and on the front line’.

For further information about this event, please contact the organiser, Mike Cope.

Everyone is welcome to attend all or part of the day's activities. No prior booking is required.


Study Day and Inauguration of
the Edward Thomas Study Centre
Saturday 10th June
St Peter's Church, Petersfield, Hampshire

The lectures will be Edna Longley on 'Edward Thomas and Early Twentieth-Century Print Culture', Guy Cuthbertson on 'Edward Thomas and the Arts & Crafts Movement', Richard Emeny on Edward Thomas and Steep' and Matthew Hollis on 'Thomas's Path to Poetry; Frost, Steep, and his Path to War'. There will also be readings from Thomas's poetry and prose, given by Edward Petherbridge, Michelle Magorian, Tom Durham and Michael Longley. The afternoon will conclude with the inauguration of the Edward Thomas Study Centre at Petersfield Museum, after which attendees will have the opportunity to inspect the collection and facilities there.

The full programme for the Study Day can be downloaded here.

Early booking for this event is strongly advised. The cost of attendance, including lunch, other refreshements and admission to Petersfield Museum, is £20 for members of the Edward Thomas Fellowship, £25 for non-members and £15 for students and people aged 18-25. There is a £5 reduction if lunch is not required. Booking should be made using this form.


Autmnn Walk
Sunday 8th October
Hawkley Inn and the Shoulder of Mutton Hill,
near Petersfield, Hampshire

This year's Autumn Walk will take a circular route of 6-7 miles, beginning and ending at Hawkley Inn (GU33 6NE) and including the Shoulder of Mutton. It will be an informal and "low-key" event, but the tradition of poetry readings along the way will be maintained.

No prior booking is required. Assemble at Hawkley Inn around 10.15 a.m. for a prompt start at 10.30. Please bring a picnic lunch. The walk will finish at approximately 4.00 p.m. Suitable footwear should be worn. Please contact the walk's leader, Mike Cope, if you have any questions about this event.


Centenary Visit to Arras

Ian Mellor reports on his visit to northern France with the Edward Thomas Fellowship.

As part of their journey to honour the life and death of Edward Thomas on April 9th, 1917, members and friends of the Fellowship consider their memories and impressions as they visit the scenes of the poet’s last days around the battlegrounds of Arras and his final resting place at the military cemetery of Agny.

Read the full report


Word into Wood

Edward Thomas: Words into Wood

The Edward Thomas Fellowship has published a fine-art limited-edition book featuring eighteen poems by Edward Thomas, illustrated by specially commissioned wood engravings by contemporary artists. Find out more.


CD cover for  "The Fast Beat My Heart - Edward Thomas and Family at Steep"

CD of poetry and prose by Edward Thomas

Fast Beat My Heart: Edward Thomas and Family at Steep is an hour-long CD featuring readings by Alastair Danson and Harriet Grasby of the Spoken Word company, specialists in literary and poetry events and programmes. The CD includes the voice of Myfanwy Thomas with a few extracts from her book One of These Fine Days. This is an audio-anthology compiled, recorded and produced for the Edward Thomas Fellowship by Chris Brown.The programme is divided into four segments: 'Openings' / 'Steep - Season by Season' / 'Home - at the crest and the feet of the hill' / 'Towards an Ending'. The content is taken from Edward Thomas's poetry and prose, as well as extracts from his letters, together with sections from his wife Helen's letters and prose and from his daughter Myfanwy's writing.The cover (shown here) has specially commissioned artwork depicting species of plants and creatures local to the village of Steep and with a central motif of a thrush and the plant Lad's Love (or Old Man), both of which are focal points in the poetry of Edward Thomas.

This CD costs £10.00 including post and packing. Cheques should be payable to 'The Edward Thomas Fellowship'. Orders (with a return address clearly stated, please) should be sent to: Richard Emeny, Edward Thomas CD, Melrose House, 4 High Street, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset,TA6 6NQ.


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