The artists

Robyn Bolam 2

Robyn Bolam – Poet

Robyn Bolam is a poet and librettist who grew up in Northumberland. Robyn was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Southampton University (2009-2013) and a RLF Lector on the Isle of Wight (2014-16), where she set up a Reading Round at Freshwater Bay.

Her three poetry collections, published by Bloodaxe, include, New Wings: Poems 1977-2007, which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. A new poetry collection, Hyem, is forthcoming in October 2017 from Bloodaxe Books. Her study of Shakespeare and Renaissance dramatists was reissued in paperback in 2009 by Cambridge University Press. She is the editor of Eliza’s Babes: four centuries of women’s poetry in English, c.1500-1900 (Bloodaxe, 2005) and five plays. Her libretto, Beyond Men and Dreams (composer, Bennett Hogg) was performed as part of the Royal Opera House Garden Venture. Robyn has given poetry readings throughout Britain and across the world.

Since moving to Hampshire in 2010, she has led  writing workshops in the community, at a primary school, in universities, and for the National Association of Writers in Education. Some of her work is included in a sound recording piece, Voices Returning, for the Bloodaxe ‘Poetics of the Archive Project’, a celebration of women poets with north-east connections by Bernadette McAloon and Wendy Smith and she features in two podcasts for the Royal Literary Fund’s Writers Aloud series at:

For Ferry Tales, Robyn (with Dominic) will lead six poetry and song-writing workshops at the Coates Centre, Lymington, for those whose lives have been impacted by illness, and their carers. She will also create poems on the ferries for the exhibitions and take part in events to launch them and the Ferry Tales Project.


lydia2Lydia Fullylove – Poet

Lydia Fulleylove lives on the Isle of Wight where her love of the sea and landscape has provided a rich creative resource. Originally a teacher, she has since worked extensively in the community, collaborating with other artists and leading many combined arts projects in healthcare, as writer in residence in prison and with young people.

Lydia’s first collection, Notes on Sea and Land was published by HappenStance Press in 2011.  Her poem Night Drive was shortlisted for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize in 2011. Her second collection Estuary, in collaboration with artist Colin Riches, was published by Two Ravens Press in 2014.

For Ferry Tales Lydia will lead four Writing for Well Being workshops with people who have  experienced mental ill health.  These will be inspired by their own memories of ferry journeys to and from the Island, photographs commissioned for the project and an exploration of the themes of arrivals and departures in their lives.
Lydia will also create poems on the ferries for the exhibition and take part in events to launch these and the Ferry Tales project.

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JC Grimshaw – Singer-songwriter

JC jcgrimshawGrimshaw is a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist based on the
Isle of Wight.  His interest in music is hugely diverse. He has played
in numerous bands making a name for himself in many different arenas:

blues,  vintage jazz, gypsy, country, folk and pop.   JCs songwriting
draws from and reflects many of these musical styles.  As a lyricist,
JC has always enjoyed the challenge of writing songs that can be
thought provoking,  sensitive, humorous or straight down the line
storytelling.  With this Ferry Tales project, he looks forward to
bringing together all of these elements  into a collection of songs
with the underlying theme of journeys, travelling, arrivals and

JC enjoys performing under his own banner, as well as
collaborating with other musicians, locally and internationally, and
has played at most major festivals in the UK and further afield. These
include Glastonbury, Edinburgh fringe,  Cambridge folk festival, Womad
(UK and Helsinki),  and of course the Isle of Wight festival and

Alongside his performing career JC lectures in songwriting
and performance at Platform One School of music on the Isle of Wight.
He also runs guitar, ukulele and song writing workshops on the Isle of
Wight and around the UK.

To date JC has released 4 solo albums of his own
compositions. He has received airplay and album features on major radio
stations around Europe and the UK including numerous BBC regionals and
radio 3’s Late Junction.

JC is looking forward to working with the Ferry Tales team,
and with members of the public, to produce a fine collection of poetry,
spoken word and song. He also looks forward to the recording and
performance elements of this exciting and thought-provoking project.

PhilipHoare_210px_2_jpg_210x210_q85Philip Hoare – Writer

Philip Hoare was born and brought up in Southampton where he now lives.He is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including The Sea Inside in 2013 and Leviathan or, The Whale, which won the BBC Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction in 2009. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton.

Philip is an extremely engaging, inspiring and energetic speaker with a wide following. He will be a guest reader/performer at an event to launch the Ferry Tales exhibition at Dimbola Museum & Galleries on the Isle of Wight, where he will share writings inspired by his own Solent journeys, including Solent swims, and the theme of arrivals and departures in his own life.

twitter@philipwhale web

Mark Lanigan 2Mark Lanigan – Photographer

After a career in advertising and interactive media, Mark  returned to photography. He was awarded his LRPS by the Royal Photographic Society in June 2015 and has exhibited at local exhibitions and national competitions. He has also undertaken photographic commissions for local charities and community organisations including hospitals and civic groups. Mark will be working with the Ferry Tales poets and song writers to provide photographs for the exhibitions and as stimuli in workshops. He will travel on the ferries at different times of day and throughout the seasons to create photographs aboard and onshore. These will relate to the theme of ‘arrivals and departures’ and will highlight that while the physical journey is the same for every person the reasons for making the journies are vastly different. After moving from London to Lymington Mark’s photography changed to reflect the countryside and water that now surrounds him. This project will show connections between mainland and island communities and their shared landscapes rps  web

dom-Prag at milverton folk clubDominic Prag – Songwriter

Dominic Prag is a young singer-songwriter based in Brighton and Southampton. His first EP was launched in December 2015 and has been featured twice on the radio since then. He  performs regularly in Brighton at venues like Marwood Café, The Fiddler’s Elbow, The Greys and the White Rabbit. He  appeared at Birmingham BE festival in 2013, Noztock Festival in 2014 and in 2015 enjoyed playing at folk clubs in Lymington,Winchester, Twickenham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Croydon and  Milverton in Somerset. Dominic has set poems to music (Keats, Larkin) and has performed these works in folk club settings. He has an interest in working with poets and is currently setting some of Robyn Bolam’s work. His own songs start as poems and then undergo a transition into songs as the music is composed. Dominic studied classical guitar and music and influences on his composing include Beethoven, Schubert, Shostakovich and Britten. Dominic lives within sight of the IOW. He will travel the various ferry routes at different times of day and in each season and will write songs especially for Ferry Tales’s theme of ‘arrivals and departures’ which he will also record and perform. He will collaborate with poets on the project to explore the possibility of composing music for poems written as part of the project and will take part in workshops in Lymington at the Coates Centre. facebook soundcloud             reverbnation-logo

maggie2Maggie Sawkins – Writer

Maggie Sawkins has an MA with distinction in Creative Writing and lives and works in Southsea. She is a founder member and events organiser of Tongues & Grooves, Portsmouth’s poetry and music club, established in 2003. Maggie has provided creative writing workshops for Portsmouth Users’ Self Help Group, St James’ Hospital, The Poetry School, MIND, and poetry and performance workshops at The New Theatre Royal and the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth. She has also delivered projects such as The Lost Hour at the D-Day Museum, Poetry for Emotional Well being at Portsmouth City Girls School, Poetry Challenge at Leigh Park Learning Centre and Hooked on Words at Cranstoun Community Drug Action. Her poetry collections are Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack, 2003), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press, 2007) and a third volume, Zones of Avoidance, published by Cinnamon Press in 2015, which includes a sequence of poems that won the Poetry Society’s Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2013.  For Ferry Tales, Maggie will lead two half day poetry workshops with a community group in Portsmouth, exploring their own ferry tales. The workshops will also be inspired by the project’s commissioned photographs. In addition ,Maggie will be a guest reader at the Lymington Arts Festival exhibition launch event in 2017. web