Poetry book to celebrate the city in verse

£4m cuts to be made in city budget

The first anthology of poetry devoted to Portsmouth will be launched this weekend.

This Island City: Portsmouth in Poetry features 200 works from poets, some famous, others being published for the first time.

It comprises pieces from 100 writers as diverse as Rudyard Kipling and John Hegley.

The book has been compiled and edited by Dale Gunthorp and her partner Julie Millard from Wimbledon Park Road, Southsea.

Most of the poems are modern and capture the city in all its moods - from seedy to celebratory with everything in between.

Dale said: 'The poems come in different styles and forms, but are always accessible, and the Portsmouth they depict is instantly recognisable.

'Many of the poets are well known - Kipling, W.S. Gilbert, U.A. Fanthorpe among them. Others have never published before.'

The book is the first project from the newly-formed Spinnaker Press, founded by Dale and Julie. They are members of Tongues & Grooves, a group which meets monthly at the Florence Arms, Southsea, to encourage new writers not only to express themselves on paper but also to have the courage to stand up and read their work.

Dale added: About three years ago the group decided to hold a competition and asked the public to write and submit a poem.

'The response was fantastic. We had hundreds of entries so we decided to put the best together and publish what will be the first anthology of poetry about Portsmouth.

'It was really hard to believe that a city with all Portsmouth's heritage and its creative present, has never had a book of poetry devoted to it.'

This Island City - Portsmouth in Poetry will be launched on Saturday at the Groundlings Theatre, Kent Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, from 8pm.


This Island City: Portsmouth in Poetry is available to purchase at The News offices.

They are at The News Centre, Hilsea; Lake Road, Portsmouth; West Street, Fareham; High Street, Gosport; West Street, Havant and Petersfield Post, High Street, Petersfield.

The book is also available at Waterstones, selected newsagents and online at portsmouth.co.uk/newspapersales. Price 8.

We'll be running one of the poems from the book every day in The News from Monday