POEM and a Pint’s summer event celebrates the acclaimed literary work of Ulverston poet Neil Curry.

PP's Saturday, June 23, gathering at the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Brogden Street, Ulverston, is the official launch for Neil's new collection On Keeping Company with Mrs Woolf, which was published by Shoestring Press in May.

In the book, Neil and poet, novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf, a writer with as many facets to her work as Neil himself, meet in each other’s time zones, strike up a close friendship and find they have much to talk about.

On Keeping Company with Mrs Woolf, is Neil's sixth collection. All told, the 30th work of an impressive bibliography that includes scripts, translations, literary criticism and collections he has edited.

Though Neil has lived in Ulverston for longer than he can remember, he was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and in subsequent existences taught at the University of Guelph in southern Ontario and in secondary schools in England. His verse translations of Euripides, published by Methuen and the Cambridge University Press, and in the USA by Doubleday, were first produced at the Tower Theatre, Canonbury and the Edinburgh Festival and subsequently performed widely in this country, and in the USA on TV and in theatre. His literary criticism centres chiefly on the 18th Century, an era famous for its promotion of exact diction and vocabulary, and he has published studies of Alexander Pope, Christopher Smart and William Cowper.

His poems have appeared in scores of pamphlets and magazines and in six collections of poetry, one of which Walking to Santiago, a sequence of poems recording his 500 mile walk to Santiago de Compostela, featured in a BBC Kaleidoscope programme.

Much of his work has Cumbrian connections: he edited the Collected Poems of Norman Nicholson, published in 1994, and his 2002 play An Audience with Margaret Fell, performed at Swarthmoor Hall tells of the life of Margaret Fell, the wife of George Fox the founder of the Quaker movement, who is buried in the tiny Quaker burial place on Birkrigg Common.

Readings from Neil's new tome will be complemented by readings by popular and familiar poets from south Cumbria as part of an extended open mic session. Local musician Andy Cook, who first featured at Poem and a Pint last November, returns, and there will floor slots available at the door.

Last, and certainly not least, MC will be Caroline Gilfillan.

Start time is 7.30pm.