Photo of Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, London. Purple alliums are growing in borders, there are a few trees and in the background two statues.

Dark Angels Note 161

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our Friday Note – our weekly collection of writerly thoughts.



Today marks the start of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival.

Established in 2006, the event takes place in October to showcase and celebrate emerging talents in the arts, science and culture of contemporary Bloomsbury.

The festival partners with a diverse range of creative organisations to deliver a programme of dance, music, theatre, exhibitions and walks over 10 days.

This year’s festival includes over 100 events on the theme of Grow, including our own Dark Angels’ poetry evening.



One event that forms part of this year’s festival is a collaboration between writers’ organisation 26 and the Wildlife Trusts. Each writer shares a centena and an image of their assigned native plant.

Read their responses in 26 Plants.



Tune in to Bloomsbury Festival Radio on 17 October at 7pm or 18 October at 5pm to listen to Therese Kieran, John Simmons and Tim Rich talk about the upcoming Poetry’s Circle of Growth event.

Listen live here.



Grow – to increase in size, number, strength or quality. (Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries)

What comes to mind when you think of the word Grow?

Whatever interpretation you have of the word, spend a few minutes exploring that to see what it grows into.

You might even like to try a centena of your own. (A centena is a 100-word poem where the first three and last three words are the same).

We’d love to see what you come up with if you’d like to share.



This week’s Sharing is from Sarah Farley who has written two haiku in response to last week’s writing prompt.


Tiptoeing through woods

Brings endless inspiration

From gifts on the path


Tread softly through woods

In quest of consolation

Greet peace on the path


Keep sending us any poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family. We love to read them.






Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us again for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome – from the Dark Angels community and beyond. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance.


Poetry’s Circle of Growth, 19 October 2023

Dark Angels in association with Bloomsbury Festival 2023 presents an inspiring, uplifting and accessible evening of poetry on 19 October 2023, 18:30 – 19:30 at The Art Worker’s Guild, London. Get your tickets here.


26 Wordstock @ The Bloomsbury Festival, 21 October 2023

A mini-version of 26’s Wordstock created in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts – a three-and-a-half-hour exploration led by Neil Baker and featuring a selection of speakers (from poets and artists to experts on the natural world). Get your tickets here.


A journey into the Sahara, 19-26 November

This is our intrepid journey deep into the Sahara Desert. Jamie Jauncey and Neil Baker will meet you in Marrakech, and take you east into the Atlas mountains, about ten hours later arriving at a stunning desert retreat centre called Cafe Tissardmine. Find out more here.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels