Mungrisdale Writers Group

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Posted on March 15, 2016 at 1:35 PM

This year's term dates for 2016 are now available, please visit the Meetings page for the full list of dates.


Posted on July 13, 2015 at 7:55 PM


I have received the very sad news of the death of Vi Taylor, a highly esteemed and valued member of Mungrisdale Writers Group. I had the great pleasure of working with Vi for many years before the foundation of the group. From the beginning her work was marked by her talent, sharp wit, amazing memory and storytelling abilities. She was a very fine writer who really deserved a much wider audience, bringing humour and a deep wisdom to all she wrote. A founder member of Mungrisdale Writers, she was always an important influence, giving generous support over the years. Almost all of the group’s publications were enlivened by her wry, insightful and witty poetry and prose.

I have many very happy memories of working with her – in 2000 she was part of the British/American Writers Retreat which I co-led on Iona, and was hugely popular with the group, even finding a distant cousin amongst the American contingent! She was a long-term visitor to Iona, where she drew deep inspiration for her own religious life. My Keswick group published Miracle 2000, an original and sideways look at the Nativity Story, and I vividly remember her coming into the studio at Radio Cumbria in Carlisle, and delivering her particular part with such brio and acting skills. The play was broadcast on Christmas Day, and proved hugely popular. Much more recently, Mungrisdale Writers’ iconic publication Dating at 60 and other Tribulations brought us to the attention of the national media, including Woman’s Hour and the World Service, and Vi’s work was broadcast on the airwaves across continents, leading to interviews and wide media interest! Until recent years she often appeared at Mungrisdale having fought her way up her lane in her car through ice and snow. Latterly, she had problems with eyesight and hearing, but it never dimmed in any way the fresh, sometimes acid, always humorous and wise contributions that she made in the group. Well into her hundreds, she left us all standing with her sparkling pieces.

My lasting memory will be of an extraordinary artist and writer, whose rich heritage and imagination will be very sadly missed. It isn’t often that I have the chance to work with a woman of such talent, whose great-grandmother washed Wordsworth’s small clothes! Vi always used to say that you got to know someone very well if you did their laundry. I will feel her loss hugely in my group, and feel immensely privileged to have worked with her as a writer. I doubt we will ever see her like again, and she will be sorely missed by everyone.


Angela Locke: Mungrisdale Writers’ tutor.

July 2015





Posted on June 6, 2014 at 8:55 PM

 Our resident tutor Angela Locke received a Highly Commended for her poem Sanctuary of Aphrodite

Sanctuary of Aphrodite


Almost closing time, the fag-end of a winter's day.
‘The Goddess has left, but her Sanctuary’s still here!’
The young curator smiles. There’s an imprint on his chin,
discus-shaped, as though at birth a god
had placed a thumb to mark him.
Copper pots, stone heads, a great clay urn,
stone baths for ritual washing.
Naked virgins parade unbidden in my head.
We got lost getting here, had a row.
I told him I was leaving. Now, sulking
in the village square, he reads his maps.

The curator’s black 4x4 goes past.
He waves. ‘Don't worry. I won't lock you in!’
I'm alone. Fallen olives lie on stony ground;
Sparrows rustle among dead leaves.
How lonely to be abandoned by your worshippers;
A beautiful goddess one minute, then cast aside
for the next best thing.
Among these fallen columns,
olive trees in a ruined sanctuary,
there are shadows, sky bruised after a storm,
always the sea, undimmed.

Perhaps the Goddess still waits in the grove
for Love, libations from the two-headed cup,
sacrifices; great kings landing in their black ships,
bees to nectar, along the golden sea-path.
From me, sprigs of rosemary, picked this morning
in the amphitheatre of Kourion, laid on this flat stone,
are small gifts for what may be an altar, still.

We are also in the process of preparing another booklet based on members entries for the Mirehouse Competition. This will be published later this year.

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