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The Words review
By Terry Jones

Writing can be a way of making beautiful objects out of words in the first instance, and in the second about sharing those objects with an audience. Although there are authors who have successfully published in books or magazines, the focus in groups such as Harpenden Writers is the nurturing of work. The group encompasses work in both prose and poetry. In these pages you will find a number of writers in one or other field but also some who are equally adept in both.

An anthology such as this 20th anniversary collection is unlikely to contain work that will please every reader. It couldn’t and it shouldn’t. The purposes of the works and the talents of the authors differ widely. There is some splendid factual writing, reportage of events – usually events of some time ago. There is equally some writing which may well have been written during the past few weeks about incidents that are barely out of the newspapers or digital media, these are usually tinged with an emotional engagement.

Memory, so closely allied to writing, is the sustenance and driving force of much in these pages. All of us as we mature carry a larger and larger knapsack on our back and the contents of that bag are our lives, the things we have witnessed and experienced. Writing explores and illuminates all of that ‘stuff’.

Coming back to those objects of beauty that I mentioned at the beginning - I doubt if beauty is the correct word for the experience of reading, perhaps exploration and illumination come closer to the truth of the matter - who was it who said that the purpose of literature was to help us better to enjoy life or endure it? Expect pleasure in these pages but also some pain. There are sure to be laughs along the way too.

Terry Jones is the Chair of Ver Poets. As a writer he has been commended or long-listed in Open competitions at Ver Poets, Enfield Poets and Barnet, Fosseway Writers, Salopian Poetry Society, Poetry News, Poetry Kit and WCR (Humourous Verse).

He has lectured in Barnet and St Albans on a number of themes: The Sonnet, The Friendship of Wordsworth and Coleridge, John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Robert Frost, Shakespeare the Poet, Renga and ‘A Brief history of Rhyme’. He has also judged a number of Poetry competitions for Hertfordshire Literary Festival, Rennie Grove Hospice, Preston Poets and Ver poets.

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