poet in residence

Poet, critic and jazz musician, John Mole has been a recipient of the Gregory and Cholmondeley Awards for Poetry, and the Signal Award for his poems for children. As a broadcaster he has presented BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please and Time for Verse and, for Radio 3 he has compiled and presented Poetry Now as well as feature programmes about Robert Graves and Charles Hamilton Sorley. For many years, with Peter Scupham, he ran The Mandeville Press, and his most recent collections are 'The Other Day' and, for younger readers, 'This is the Blackbird' ( both from Peterloo Poets ). He is currently working on the libretto for a community opera 'Alban' to be given its first performances in St. Albans Abbey next year.

The following poem by John Mole was read by the poet at our 'Poetry in the Built Environment' event in early 2008.

Dreaming of walls and spires and splendour rising
With the music of pure thought, the architect
Has heard their height and breadth call out
Above the traffic’s clamour. They sing
With the hope of all that a fresh beginning
Will make of his plan, their weight
Become a welcome built securely into light
And a future in which each stone takes wing.
He wakes to the business of responsibility
Which cannot let him rest. He has begun
To realise his gift in every line he traces
And his vision follows it, a harmony
To echo what in the promise of that dream was sung
Until it rises from the city’s vacant spaces.