THE RED DRESS                                               


My first reaction is: I want it,

can’t wait to squeeze into

a scarlet sheath that promises

breasts round as russet apples,

a waist pinched to a pencil,

hips that know the whole dictionary

of swaying, can’t wait

to saunter down an August street

with every eye upon me.


But the moment I’m zipped in

I can’t breathe and the fabric

hugging my stomach without mercy

pronounces me a frump.

Besides, in the internet café,

where you can phone Tangiers

or Thailand for almost nothing

fourteen pairs of eyes

are absorbed by screens.

No one whistles when I smile

at boxes of tired mangoes

and seedy broccoli heads

outside the Greek superstore.


By now I’m in a fever to undo

the garment and pull it off.

And for all its flaws, for all

that it only boasts one breast,

I’m overjoyed to re-possess

my body. I remember I hate

holding in and shutting away.

What I want is a dress easy

as a plump plum oozing

juice, as a warm afternoon

in late October creeping

its ambers and cinnamons into

leaves, a dress that reasssures

there’s no need to pretend,

a dress that’s as capacious

as generosity, a dress that willingly

unbuttons and whispers in the ear:

be alive every minute of your life.

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Should I read poems written in the first person by women? I don't know. The rule I follow is that if I feel comfortable about reading it, then I read it. I don't read some female poets, such as Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath.

Myra Schneider


(Circling The Core  Enitharmon Press 2008)

Join A Thriving Community of Poets.

If you want to find a place to meet and develop your own poetry in Enfield then the best place to start is with the Enfield Poets. 

They run regular monthly poetry readings and writing at the Dugdale centre.

To find out more information, you can visit their website here

Here is an extract from their website belwo and an image of the Dugdale centre sources from their website Enfield Poets



Whether you want to capture some memorable experience, come to terms with a difficult one, or make a name for yourself as a published, prize-winning author, writing poetry can be very rewarding. It doesn’t call for divine inspiration. Nor do you need some unique gift or special talent. Writing poetry is a craft that can be learned. All that’s required is a little encouragement and expert guidance.

That’s why Enfield Poets have launched a new creative writing class for poets. The class will be suitable both for beginners and for more experienced poets who want to develop their technique or take their writing to the next level. Unlike many other poetry classes which only offer sketchy feedback on work already produced, these classes will offer a carefully structured introduction to all aspects of the writing process. Each session will involve a short presentation by the tutor on a particular topic, followed by discussion, analysis of examples, and opportunities to put into practice the techniques covered in the class. At the end of each session, students will be encouraged to produce a poem for the next session in which they develop these techniques still further, and will receive feedback on their work from the tutor.

Topics covered will include:

Thinking like a poet; Developing your creativity; Creating the right working conditions; Choosing your subject matter; Getting started; Producing first drafts; Using models; Revising and editing your poem; Developing your own voice; Modes of writing: free vs formal verse; Poetic forms (the sonnet etc); The music of poetry: sound and sense; Rhyme and rhythm; Preparing for a reading; How to get published; Success in competitions; Raising your profile as a writer.

The classes are at 7.30pmevery other Wednesday, at the Dugdale Theatre. Each session costs just £5 and will be taught by Alan Murray, a former university lecturer, prize-winning poet, and freelance writer and teacher (see below). If you would like to attend these classes, contact Alan Murray at

Enfield’s Poem-A-Thon Raising funds For Refugees

Enfield’s Poem-A-Thon Raising funds For Refugees

Enfield’s poem-a-thon successfully raised funds at the Dugdale Centre, for the Enfield Refugee Welcome, the first Community Sponsorship group in the country to offer an opportunity of a new life to a family of refugees through the vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme. Packed full of poets and an appreciative audience, the event had already surpassed its target of £9000 before it had even finished and cakes helped to fuel both poets and the audience.