What a day!

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the first-ever BOOKS IN THE PARK festival in Beckenham Place Park. Here's a look at some of the things we got up to on that sunny Saturday 13th April 2024.

A huge thank you to all of our authors, artists, chairs, booksellers, sponsors, volunteers and everyone who helped to make the day possible!

Keep your eyes peeled for more photos and videos in the coming weeks.  


Emilia Hart and Jill Johnson

Isabel Losada


Claire Ratinon


Ben Jacob

Gill O'Halloran 

Annie Lyons

Alex Falase-Koya

Alexandra Shepphard 

Natasha Farrant


Story time for under 5s

Scavenger Hunt 

Wild South London walk

Children's book swap  

Sewing school drop in 

Adventure walk and crafts


Poetry-writing workshop participants share their work

Nine eager poets joined Gill's workshop and they've generously agreed to share their work.  Here is their group poem entitled 'You are Always with Me' followed by their individual poems.

You are always with me

by Francesco Argenio Benaroio, Amy Anderson, Vivienne Marshall, Nick Alldridge, Lola, Madeleine, Marianne Mills, Anon, Elaine Clark, Gill O’Halloran

A cool breeze moves the leafless trees.

Let go.

Beauty around us, Spring inside me

reborn, inciting tongue and lung

like branches hung. Now, tamed by the sun

time’s thoughts will heal.


Below the mansion on the hill, footprints

left when forever-rain left twigs threatened 

by leaves left lemon yellow, left the path 

a soft serpent of black damp peat, earthy.

Now tamed by the sun. Now

cherry blossom, blue-headed flowers,

sweet scent of grass, jasmine, wisteria,

 want to share their promise of beginnings.

Let the blossom and the buds bring you here.


Now climbing is easy. You are always with me. 

Let’s go. Let me show you:

Birdsong, water, bluebells, bark.

Birdsong, water, bluebells, bark.


To whom was born 
on 21st March

by Francesco Argenio Benaroio

Beauty around us              
Spring inside me
The new and the old
I am here
writing poetry
I think of you
You are always
with me
You are always my Poetry
You are always


by Elaine Clark

Spring has sprung                                            
   reminds me of when we were young...
....to Beckenham Place Park we'd come
   enjoying some....
....playground fun,
      although I guess mostly in the sun.
Where we'd kick off our shoes and be able to run.
Shouting out - inciting our tongue and each lung...
.....like branches which hung,
      where birds sung....
.....ooh to be young!



Picture this a coloured May, hazy sunshine early day,           
A wispy warming breeze swaying softly through the trees,
On this mound time’s thoughts will heal below the mansion on the hill
Senses sense all nature’s feast, breathing deep the calming seeps.

Birdsong, water, bluebells, bark                  

by Nick Alldridge   

Let us wander where you've never been,           
the boatless dock, trees gathered round.

Let me horrify you with a tale of mites
gestating under human flesh, erupting
like spring tulips, daisies.

Let me show you:
birdsong, water, bluebells, bark.
Birdsong, water, bluebells, bark.



by Marianne Mills

Footholds form someone else’s footprints       
Gouges in the dry, dead earth
On and up the same hill.
I realise they are my footprints, left when forever-rain made the path a soft, slippery serpent
Now, tamed by the sun it shows me where to place my feet
Warm water in my silent mouth. Satisfying and unsatisfying.
Now climbing is easy, because of footprints in the earth
Some of them are yours.
The top is lonely, sunshine sadness


Poem for you

by Vivienne Marshall

No place I'd rather be right now
Shadows touching on the table
Sunshine and birdsong permeate
Through the open window

Walking pathways here, saw cherry blossom
Blue headed flowers, a rushing river
Sweet scent of grass
On this perfectly beautiful
Spring day

Nature surrounds us, doesn't care
Doesn't judge us for who,
Or what, we are
Just giving us peace, quiet and love
Living right here
Right now.


by Amy Anderson

The blossoms and the buds bring you here,           
They want to share
Their promise of beginnings

The sun wants to warm your skin,
The wind to stroke your cheeks,
The branches want to share their song,

But all along
It’s me.

When I run I hear

by Lola

Lullabies overhead
my high matches
the birds I've overheard
tree trunk throttling
with twigs threatened by
leaves left lemon yellow for
less than forever

On tippy toes
hardened hands meet a branch
a forceful pull
their time to fall
let go
my time to chase 
let's go

Are you there?

by Madeleine

The long loose lead allowing me to closely follow, my sounds gravel-crunching.

The tail pure white so straight proudly holding its tuft aloft.

The head carrying brown almond eyes keeps bending back, are you there?

The blossom sticks to feet and soft adventurous gentle paws.

The black damp peat smells earthy and boggy, glues itself to spongy pads.

The water pools providing splash and bowls of appreciated lapping.

The cool breeze moves the leafless trees carrying their own buds of spring.

The logs are jumped, sticks left discarded or even grabbed.

The sounds of sniffing, snorting, snuffling from a smudgy nosey nose.

The friend, I miss, I shared, I grieve, I yearn to follow still …..



where nature, books and people come together

Arts in the Park CIC 15290631

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