Image Credit: Amanda Thomas for Oh Magazine

Live at events

Welcome guests to your wedding, conference, festival or community event with Beth’s refreshing poetry experience. How many events do you know with their own Poet in Residence?

Beth will ask your guests some gentle questions and weave their words into a typewritten poem to take away with them. Just follow the clatter of her vintage typewriter and look out for the machine’s bright yellow umbrella, flagpole and bubble engine…

Image Credit: Lee Hawley

Weddings & Celebrations

A poetry photo-booth that shines into your hearts & minds, so you can feel the depth of those emotions for the rest of your life.

The Poetry Machine adds magic to transitional moments in the wedding day. Beth welcomes your guests into a harbour of pause, reflection and connection in the midst of an emotional whirlwind.

Beth will draw out family members’ and friends’ stories of your relationship, to create a collection of poems about your journey together, through the eyes of loved ones. They take home their copy as a precious wedding favour. If you wish, Beth can then recreate each poem for a wedding scrapbook alongside polaroid photos of each person or group.

Image Credit: Kieran O’Shea

Conferences & Away Days

Typewritten poems to take home, a guided writing activity to refresh guests, and a key-note poem to bring your message home.

If you hope to leave a lasting legacy and inspire guests to think creatively and make change into the future, you’ll need to connect with them on an emotional level.

Beth is an expert in helping people to express their views, feel heard, and connect with their creativity. 

As well as co-creating personal poems, Beth weaves together words of resonance from the whole event, and shares this live-in-the-moment poem with guests as the final note of their adventure together.

You can send this poem to guests as a thank you message afterwards and share it on social media to bring home the messages of your event. This poem is a powerful time-capsule that guests can return to whenever they want to re-experience the inspiration they felt on the day.

Image Credit: Paul Blakemore

Wellbeing & Place-making

From community consultations to National Trust places to arts & health festivals, Beth’s machine is always popular with guests.  

The Poetry Machine brings curiosity, emotion and delight to the faces of people of all ages, from volunteers and visitors at National Trust places, to families at community gatherings, to patients, relatives and staff members in hospital foyers. The process of conversation, typewriting, reading aloud, revising, stamping and tucking the poem into the envelope leaves participants feeling deeply listened to.

As well as being a creative wellbeing experience, the Poetry Machine can transform into an imaginative place-making consultation method that gathers community members’ thoughts, feelings and ideas, while nurturing them with a meaningful moment of mutual listening and their own poem to take home.

Personal Poems

Surprise someone important in your life with a typewritten poem woven from your own words. Beth will co-create a significant gift, communicate a complex message, make a memorable speech, or compose your wedding vows with you. The poem is truly personal, not based on a template, and gets to the heart of what you want to say. Even if you feel you struggle with words, Beth will show you the poetry in your voice.

Contact Beth to order a gift card, arrange a poem or book a Poetry Party (£150 plus P&P).

Personal Poems

Depending on your preference, Beth will meet you by Zoom, phone call or email you some questions. She will weave your words together and offer it to you for changes…

Once you’re happy with the poem, Beth will typewrite it beautifully on A4 parchment paper with or without the Poetry Machine emblem. You can frame it yourself or Beth can pop it in a simple frame for you. If you wish, Beth can help to build your confidence in reading the poem aloud, or she can attend your event and read it on your behalf.

Poetry Parties

Invite your family members or friends to an online meet-up where you can sip drinks, eat snacks and enjoy a guided hour of connection. If you’d prefer to meet in person, this can be arranged.

This experience is perfectly suited to a couple or group of people who are in different places at the moment, but are looking for a meaningful way to connect. Beth will host a conversation to gently draw out the thoughts and feelings you’d like to express to one another. Towards the end of the conversation, Beth will reflect back your words as poetry and ask if you would like to add or change anything. She will then weave your words into a final version. You’ll receive a typewritten copy of your poem to keep. Further typewritten copies can be arranged.

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

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

Cheryl, Wedding party

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

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

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

Aoife, Poetry Machine 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

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

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

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

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