Image Credit: Thom Bartley

Performances

From intimate events to audiences of thousands, Beth reaches out to each person and draws them into the tender power of her performance. Beth performs solo and as part of a duo, House of Figs, with musician Beth Roberts. Supported by Arts Council England, Beth spent a year training with improvised performance coaches and learned to verbally improvise poetry with audience members.

Image Credit: Thom Bartley

Guest poet for your event

Beth is a responsive poet who illuminates themes and feelings as they evolve. She will light up your audience, no matter how spacious or intimate the venue.

Beth writes widely about the weird and wonderful things we do when trying to express ourselves. She will design a poetry set with your event themes in mind and adjust her set on the day to pick up on threads of themes in the room. She can even perform a new improvised piece, woven live at your event from the words of your guests and fellow speakers – the perfect final note to send everyone home. From cosy WI meetings and spoken word events to spacious theatres and conference halls, Beth will draw your listeners close.

You can read her artist bio here.

Image Credit: Olivia Moon Photography

Wedding performances

Not sure how to say what you’re trying to say? In conversation with you, Beth will create poetry for your vows, first dance, or any occasion.

Beth works with couples, family members, friends and individuals, tapping into the truth of their hearts to create poems for moments that last a lifetime. Beth can help to build your confidence to read the poem yourself or she can perform it for you at the event.

First dance: Beth collaborates with a beautiful vocalist who can sing your first dance song in the moments after Beth has read your first dance poem, bringing both music and memories into the room as you dance together.

Image Credit: Michael Wright

Radio, Theatre & Video

Beth loves to share and co-create poetry, live on air. She enjoys writing & performing for programmes with a focus on connection and care.

Beth’s writing has featured on BBC Radio 4 as part of a programme celebrating the NHS at 75. She has improvised poetry with listeners live on BBC Radio 5 for National Poetry Day 2020, Valentines Day 2021 and Teen23. Her debut theatre show, developed with musician Beth Roberts, intersperses the duo’s own experiences of friendship with original songs and a tapestry of voices talking about talking to people. Beth has written for wide-reaching video and audio projects, including This Mum Run’s #RunnerFullStop campaign and Our National Health Stories. She has also featured on ITV West Country, sharing work from her Dial-a-Poet collaboration with Wyldwood Arts.

Workshops

From community outreach to team-building days to mentoring sessions, Beth designs experiences that are thoughtfully tailored for each group. People have described her workshops as “uplifting”, “inspiring”, “easy to participate in” and “extremely useful.” Beth is mental health first aid trained and is completing an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes.

Image Credit: Paul Blakemore

Community Workshops

If you have a group or multiple groups that you’d like to bring together through poetry, Beth can help.

Beth works with local councils, charities, groups and place-makers to offer poetry meet-ups that articulate connections between community members, illuminate their individual voices and bring creative joy to people through a choice of group/one-to-one writing and conversation based approaches.

Image Credit: Super Funky Penguin Photography

Workplace Workshops

Beth guides people within the workplace to express what matters to them most at work and in their personal lives… 

…from lunchtime Poetry Spas with Sky, to mid-conference refresher sessions with Hearst and WACL, to eco-poems with Osborne Clarke, to nourishing team poems with NHS staff. Poetry can help co-workers to grow their confidence, pause and reflect, think creatively, express their feelings towards each other, and celebrate the meaningfulness of their work while honouring worklife balance.

Image Credit: Lizzie Ahn

Student Workshops

Beth works with universities, schools and youth groups to help learners grow their voice through poetry.

The Poetry Machine grew out of a university project so its origin story is fuelled by student energy! Beth loves working with university students across the country, from Bournemouth to Bristol, Leeds to Dundee. She also visits schools and youth groups to help young ones write poems for special events or themes, such as National Poetry Day celebrations, writing about outdoor places, or the Ford Sewing Machinist’s Strike of 1968! 

Talks

Beth can visit your event and inspire your community group or audience with interactive tales of her poetry adventures. Her key talking points include the complexities of smiling, friendship, collaboration, becoming a poet, being an NHS Poet in Residence, and the power of poetry at work.

Image Credit: Thom Bartley

Community Talks

Does your WI group need a bit of poetry with their jam? Is your community group ready for some inspiration?

Beth hosts interactive talks on the power of poetry and human connection, with a particular focus on smiling (her debut collection was titled Brave Faces & Other Smiles), friendship (her debut theatre show was titled Is It Just Me? The Awkward Guide to Friendship), becoming a poet and being an NHS Poet in Residence.

Image Credit: Tedx Salisbury

Workplace Talks

Every conference or team away day needs some creative relief. Book Beth as your event’s Poet in Residence for the day. 

Picture this: live co-created poems typewritten for guests during the coffee breaks, micro writing workshops, an inspiring talk interpersed with mind-refreshing poetry, culminating in a bespoke key note poem that weaves the day’s threads into a tapestry of words from guests and speakers.

Beth advocates for balance and creative expression as part of a meaningful worklife. Her TEDx Talk, Poetry at Work, was described as “beautiful and wise”. You can watch it here.

Image Credit: Lizzie Ahn

Education & Mentoring

Beth helps university and school students, youth groups and creative individuals to feel their dreams are possible. 

Growing up, Beth was socially anxious, easily distracted, and used to write poetry during maths lessons… but never thought she could be a real poet. She spent hours on homework and achieved top grades through school and university thanks to a combo of perfectionism and hyper-focus, but it was at a cost to her wellbeing. She went into the workplace and struggled with burnout before taking the leap to be a full-time poet. Beth was supported by the Prince’s Trust when she launched her practice and went on to collaborate with the Trust to help inspire more young people through poetry. Beth is now completing a part-time MSc alongside her freelance poetry practice, still grappling with focus. For her, being self-employed and doing a job that she loves is the only way she can channel her energy. She loves guiding learners and creatives of all ages to write their dreams and self-belief into existence.

Watch my TEDx talk “Poetry at Work”

In my 20 years of working here I don’t think I’ve ever had more positive feedback on an event. You challenged the students, but in a safe, supported environment. They realised that they had a lot to give, as well as a lot to gain.

Tess, University of Leeds

It is very special to be able to bring Beth to the Poetry House in Ledbury so that she can offer her Poetry Machine experience to locals and tourists. Everyone who participated found the experience to be delightful, moving, enriching, stimulating and special.

Chloe, Ledbury Poetry Festival

Your poetry is beautiful, inspiring, optimistic and reaches deep to bring out the best of people, and I really wanted to have your input into the project to help lift and direct it to new places.

Paul, People of the Hop Harvest

You listen with such welcome invitation and calm. And you write so beautifully, as though you are reading my mind and making it make sense! So eloquent to articulate that feeling on the page – what a gift. A little bit of poetry magic.

Laura, Poetry Machine guest

The response from staff been above and beyond my expectations. I was particularly impressed by your ability to work with staff who may feel very hesitant about being involved in a poetry project and feel it’s not for them. It’s a great skill to make people feel confident about expressing their views.

Ruth, Oxford Hospitals Charity

It broadened my horizons as to what people with severe aphasia can do in a group, given the right support. It was inspiring.

Barbara, Bristol After Stroke

It meant everything! Reinforced my love of poetry. Gave me such pride to have unique entertainment at my wedding. Delighted!

Cheryl, Wedding party

I am 8. I love coming to Hay. Beth’s poems are beautiful. I want to be a poet.

Aoife, Poetry Machine guest

It meant the world to me to be able to be with my friends and to talk about how much our friendships meant to us, and have that captured in a beautiful poem that we can treasure forever.

Kate, Poetry Party guest

The format was excellent, connecting our delegates to the messages of the day and to their creative selves. Beth, you are magical.

Bella, Sky

A poet whose presence, way of reaching out to every member of her audience, and most of all her smile, create smiles all around her. Her leaps of imagination take the breath away. Her recurring imagery draws a safety-net of light around her listeners and readers.

Stuart, Verve Poetry Press

Beth has the innate ability to capture a feeling and make you feel safe within it. If poetry could hold your hand, this is what it would feel like.

Malaika Kegode, award-winning writer

Beth Calverley is a distinctive and necessary voice. Her subject is happiness – not the cliched version but the hard won and realistic sort with all its difficulties visible.

Tom Sastry, 2016 Laureate’s Choice poet

My niece still carries the poem Beth wrote for her everyday. She was going through a hard time at school and the words have given her strength to power through it all.

Beatrice, Poetry Machine guest