Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Mercian Lit Festival Frenzy

The Bard, maybe...

Just heard from Katy Evans-Bush that there's a reading this Wednesday in the Shakespeare Centre, as part of the Stratford Poetry Festival. There'll be four published poets, Katy among them, as well as the opportunity to read out your favourite poem, if you get there early enough to sign up. It's for Oxfam, so the £10 ticket goes to a good place.

Also on the bill later in the festival is a special double bill hosted by David Morley. (Not the Bear Hunt event for under 5s, though I wouldn't be surprised if he'd had a hand in that too.)

Thursday 14 May, 6.00pm & 7.30pm
in The Studio, The CAPITAL Centre


A unique showcase of poetry from the bright young things of the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham, East Anglia and Northampton - taught by the poets who take the platform later this evening. FREE ADMISSION.


The poet David Morley introduces three major poets: GEORGE SZIRTES, ZOE BRIGLEY, LUKE KENNARD

George Szirtes won the prestigious TS Eliot Award for Reel. His New and Collected Poems were recently published by Bloodaxe. Zoe Brigley won a Gregory Award; her first collection The Secret was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and long-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Luke Kennard was, at 26, the youngest poet to be shortlisted for the Forward Prize with his second collection The Harbour Beyond the Movie. Tickets: £7, Students: £2. Ticket price includes a free glass of wine or juice at the interval.

The Bored, possibly...

And if lit-fests weren't already ten-a-penny, also in May is the Third Coventry International Festival of Literature. Events too numerous to list here, but in particular is Iain Sinclair's visit:

Saturday 9th May, 12:00pm, Waterstones, Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre:

Book signing by Iain Sinclair.

2:00pm, Central Library:

Poetry reading by Iain Sinclair. Sinclair has lived in (and written about) Hackney, East London, since 1969. His novels include Downriver (Winner of the James Tait Black Prize & the Encore Prize for the Year’s Best Second Novel), Radon Daughters, Landor’s Tower and, most recently, Dining on Stones (which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize). Non-fiction books include Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and Edge of the Orison. In the ’90s, Iain wrote and presented a number of films for BBC2’s Late Show and has, subsequently, co-directed with Chris Petit four documentaries for Channel 4; one of which, Asylum, won the short film prize at the Montreal Festival. He edited London, City of Disappearances, which was published in October 2006. His most recent book is Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, published in February 2009. “ORBITAL will be read 50 years from now. This account of his walk around the M25 is on one level a journey into the heart of darkness, that terrain of golf courses, retail parks and industrial estates which is Blair’s Britain. It’s a fascinating snapshot of who we are, lit by Sinclair’s vivid prose, and on another level a warning that the mythological England of village greens and cycling aunts has been buried under the rush of a million radial tyres” — J. G. Ballard. FREE.

The main festival takes place from 13th-16th May, at the Belgrade Theatre, including Anthony Owen's book launch on the 14th which I'm going to pass up in favour of the G-Z-L event (and I'm going to keep referring to it as that, because it makes them sound like an off-shoot of the Wu-tang) at Warwick.

There'll be fringe events with local writers through the two weeks before that weekend, though, including an earlier event with David Dabydeen and Warwickshire's Green Man, Barry Paterson, along with two other Heaventree poets, including Anthony Owen and Martin Brown.

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