Category Archives: General


Membership of Cross Border Poets has reached bursting point. Regrettably, from January 2017 onwards, we are unable to accept new members but will review the situation in six months time.




Website Changes

I have made some changes to the website. Members should have received an email from me.

1. I have moved the Members menu from the top of the page into the right hand column.

2. You no longer need to use the special password the-real-stanza to access the Members page. You need to be logged in to view the page – you will be directed to the login page if you aren’t.

3. I have added a StaPoWriMo menu below the Members menu. This will take you to a page containing a link for each day of the month. You need to be logged in to view the page – you will be directed to the login page if you aren’t.

4. When you login you will be taken to the home page, not the dashboard. You can access the dashboard from the black WordPress menu bar at the top of the page.

5. To add a poem to StaPoWriMo you should login and add your poem as normal. But instead of assigning category ‘workshop’ you should choose the category with the date where you want the poem to appear (there is one for each day oct 1, oct 2 etc).

Remember, if you forget your password you can request another from the login page. Your username is, with one or two exceptions, your first name followed by space followed by your last name.

Any problems contact me.

Happy StaPoWriMo. Do it, you know you can!

Grist To The Mill

A bit of flippancy…

On reading my emails this morning (I know, I shouldn’t until I’ve done at least 1000 words), some bright spark reminded me that it was 100 days until Christmas.  (I think it’s a bit longer but never mind).  After an initial Grrr, I thought about how I could turn this to my advantage..

What if I wrote 1000 words a day?  That’s a book, or a lot of poems!

What if I lost 1lb a week, 14 weeks, that’s a stone!

What if I walked 5 miles a day, that’s 500 miles, though I may end up too far away to come to Stanza meetings?

So far, I’m still at the ‘What if’ stage……

Thanks to Keith for setting this up and for tackling all the teething troubles!

Sarah (Lewis)


I’m gearing up for StaPoWriMo, Cross Border Poets’ version of NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month, which takes place every April.  The object is to write a poem a day and to post it onto the poet’s blog. Or not. One can simply keep them private. Either way, at the end of the month participating poets will have written 30 poems. Blooming marvellous.

Cross Border Poets’ StaPoWriMo, Stanza Poetry Writing Month, is scheduled for October.  With any luck there will be writing prompts every day, one from me and others from anyone else who’d like to join in. Posted on the General category these will be visible to anyone visiting the site.  However, when it comes to posting our poems, the place to do it will be in the Members part of the website. This will ensure that poems won’t be visible to the world at large which means they can be submitted subsequently to competitions / magazines etc.


Our webpage is a Good Thing


I’m a Facebook fan…. I check in several times a day to see what chums are up to, poetry chums in the main. Yesterday, for example, Facebook was full of Heaney poems posted by sad poets mourning his loss. Facebook, used wisely, is a good thing. Not, perhaps, an opinion shared by all of you. However…

Our Stanza webpage could be as informative as Facebook and less of a hot potato. All we need do (and I’m including myself in this good-talking-to) is check in every day, make comments when moved to, and keep each other informed of poetic thoughts, words and deeds.

That’s all. For now. The now that is 09.09  31 August 2013.


Robbie Burton

A few feedback guidelines

The purpose of giving feedback is to provide constructive criticism to enable the poet to produce a final draft.  Making sure that feedback is constructive not only benefits another poet but also helps us to become more thoughtful readers. Treating other people’s work with the respect we’d like our own to receive is always a good starting point for making the feedback workshop a constructive exercise.

Things to consider:

– What do you like about this poem?

– Describe parts of poem that work really well. 
(Consider imagery, originality, rhythm, title, language use)

– Technical matters – have you any advice re. line lengths, stanza/line breaks, suitability of form, consistency etc?

– Are there any areas that are a little unclear, or could be tightened up?