Presenting the 10th Celebration 2010

British Council

via Manzoni 38, Milan

Saturday 8 May, 5.00 p.m.


2010 Competition


James Harpur

Carole Baldock

Kevin Bailey

suggested theme is


Be inspired visiting

poems from all around the Med


The South Bank Show

6th December 2009

ITV Channel One

see scenes from the IX Poetry on the Lake Celebration at Orta San Giulio with Carol Ann Duffy


Festival 2009


Poetry on the Lake Journal two now available. Poems in English and in Italian. Essays.


 Poetry on the Lake Journal one  


now available from us or

was presented at the


   10-12th October  



Poetry on the Lake went to Sacro Monte, Varallo Sesia for the 7th Celebration and Awards : 12th-14th  October 2007. 

Anthologies: Wild     

Lakes - Stranger Hortus Conclusus - Hic et nunc


Haiku Quarterly

Poetry Magazine


is calling for submissions.


send to or contact  

editor Kevin Bailey,


39 Exmouth Street,

Swindon SN1 3PU, UK


© 2007 Gabriel Griffin-Hall

Poetry on the Lake

Isola San Giulio

Poetry On the Lake, based on the Island

 at Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta, north Italy

was created and is organised by Gabriel Griffin


                                                        Patron is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

X Celebration : 1-3 October 2010


Orta Christmas

a booklet (56 pages) of poems by various authors on the theme of winter, illustrated with colour photos of Lake Orta in winter. € 15 or £12.50+ 2.50 p/p  4 copies or more: postage free

Lake Orta is always delightful but in winter the lake and the little town of Orta San Giulio have a very special charm. Winter at the lake is for connoisseurs, for those who appreciate delicate tints and iridescent hues rather than the brilliant and often blinding lights and colours of summer; those who wish to wander the silent banks and the narrow cobbled streets or sit sunning meditatively in a Piazza Motta almost deserted but for a handful of Moscovy ducks and an idle boatman, and sip a heart-warming cappuccino while the island slowly emerges from its veils of mist. Bells sound, ringing silvery from the island and bronze from Sacro Monte, a faint echo of plainchant is blown lightly  over the waters from the nunnery. Noisy cities and the rumble of traffic seem a very long way away from this enchanting world.

AN INVITATION TO WRITERS AND ARTISTS: come and live in Orta! There are many delightful lakeside houses and apartments, often with walled gardens, for sale or rent at reasonable prices. Orta has been long loved by artists and literary figures: Browning, Nietzsche,Balzac, Montale and many, many others, as well as by saints and those who seek inspiration and tranquillity.

Carol Ann Duffy at Isola San Giulio

Memorable was Carol Ann's reading in the Basilica, Isola San Giulio, 13th February 2007, when Carol Ann read from the altar and the Abbess of the Monastero Mater Ecclesiae, Anna Maria Cànopi, read her own compositions from the matroneo, accompanied by music on the cetra played by a Benedictine nun.  

The first of the annual Poetry on the Lake Celebrations, created and organised by Gabriel Griffin (, took place in 2001 on  the antique island of St. Giulio  which lies in the centre of the  most romantic of Italian lakes, Lake Orta.   


Sala Tallone 2007 winnerIsola San Giulio

the seat of Poetry on the Lake



Poetry readings, workshops, discussions, poetry and dance and music now take place all over the lake area: on the island, in the square, on Sacro Monte, in the woods, round the chapels, in the old palaces - poetry has become dynamic!

And now Poetry on the Lake also goes to Varallo Sesia, to the first of the Sacro  Monti, that preferred by Samuel Butler (see his book Ex Voto, which can be downloaded free from Gutenburg, a delightful, informative and amusing read).

Past adjudicators: Al Alvarez, John F. Deane, Carol Ann Duffy, John Hartley Williams, Brian Patten, Jo Shapcott, Penelope Shuttle, D.M.Thomas, Kevin Bailey, Massimo Bocchiola, Alessio Zanelli.

Poets: Daphne Gloag, John Whitworth, Charles Evans, Anne Stewart, Siriol Troup, Mario Petrucci,  Gary Bills, Michael Swan, Kenneth Steven, Chris Preddle, Joan Fry, Grace Ingoldby, Elsa Corbluth, Will Stone, Chris Considine, Pat Borthwick, Christopher North, Caroline Carver et al.


Annual poetry competition: An international competition for the Silver Wyvern and other awards is launched with the New Year and closes late spring. The 2010 competition closes 15th May. The awards  are sponsored by ALESSI .


updated 3rd May  2010