Calling all local writers, poets, authors, publishers and illustrators... The first ever Kings Heath Writer's Market will take place at on Saturday 6th April at the Kings Heath Baptist Church (80 High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ).
Please join us for the Birmingham launch of Isabel Galleymore's debut collection, Significant Other, with an evening of celebratory readings from Isabel, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Richard O'Brien. Copies of the book will be available to buy. Please let us know you can make it by reserving a free Eventbrite ticket.
In her first book of poems, Isabel Galleymore takes a sustained look at the ‘eight million differently constructed hearts’ of species currently said to inhabit Earth. These are part of the significant other of her title; so too are the intimacies – loving, fraught, stalked by loss and extinction – that make up a life. The habit of foisting human agendas on non-human worlds is challenged. Must we still describe willows as weeping? In the twenty-first century, is it possible to be ‘at one’ with nature? The poems reflect on our desire to locate likeness, empathy and kinship with our environments, whilst embracing inevitable difference. As the narratives belonging to animal fables, Doomsday Preppers and climate change deniers are adapted, new metaphors are found that speak of both estrangement and entanglement. Drawing at times from her residency in the Amazon rainforest, Galleymore delves into a world of pink-toed tarantulas, the erotic lives of barnacles, and caged owls that behave like their keepers. The human world revises its own measure in the light of these poems.
Isabel Galleymore’s debut pamphlet, Dazzle Ship, was published by Worple Press in 2014. Her work has featured in magazines including Poetry, the London Review of Books and in New Poetries VII. In 2016 she was a poet-in-residence at the Tambopata Research Centre in the Amazon rainforest. In 2017 she received an Eric Gregory Award. She teaches at the University of Birmingham.
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a UK poet and academic who curates ecopoetics exhibitions. She is the author of a collection on wild swimming, swims (Penned in the Margins, 2017), and the forthcoming Dictionary of the Soil.
Richard O’Brien is the Birmingham Poet Laureate. He is the author of three poetry pamphlets and a playwright, as well as teaching Fellow in Shakespeare and Creativity at the University of Birmingham, where he also studied for an MA and PhD with the Shakespeare Institute.
The Perseverance is the remarkable debut book by British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus.
Ranging across history and continents, these poems operate in the spaces in between; their haunting lyrics creating new, hybrid territories. The Perseverance is a book of loss, contested language and praise, where elegies for the poet's father sit alongside meditations on the d/Deaf experience.
This event will be BSL interpreted.
'His monologues are stunning studies of voice and substance, and his lyric poems are graceful and finely crafted.' Kwame Dawes
From bingo halls and council estates to hand-built homes in the Calais Jungle, Matt Abbott brings us a personal and political spoken word show exploring the chaos behind Brexit.
Around the time of the referendum which saw his native Wakefield vote 66% Leave, Matt was volunteering at a refugee camp just 22 miles from Dover. Reflecting on the deep-rooted reasons behind the vote, whilst recounting his eye-opening experiences at the Jungle, the show is sewn together with kitchen-sink realism, and a fictionalised story of Maria.
Humorous, harrowing, celebratory and confrontational: a vital poetry journey of our times.
Matt recently shared the stage with Jeremy Corbyn, Paul Weller, Sara Pascoe, Ken Loach and Sleaford Mods and is rapidly establishing himself as a leading political poet.
This special event hosted by Verve Poetry Press at Waterstones Birmingham during National Poetry Day Week kicks off Matt's 22 date Autumn tour of this excellent show. It also marks the launch of the book of the show, published by Verv,e which features a selection of additional poems written by Matt during the same period as the writing of Two Little Ducks.
This will be a powerful 'must-see' event. Two supporting poets to be announced once confirmed.
What does it mean to fight for a ‘mother country’ that refuses to accept you as one of its own? Britain’s First World War poets changed the way we view military conflict and had a deep impact on the national psyche. Yet the stories of the 15,600 Caribbean volunteers who signed up to the British West Indian Regiment remain largely unknown. Sadly, these citizens of the empire were not embraced as compatriots on an equal footing. Instead they faced prejudice, injustice and discrimination while being confined to menial and auxiliary work, regardless of rank or status.
Co-commissioned by BBC – Contains Strong Language, 14-18 NOW – WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and the British Council, Unwritten invited contemporary Caribbean diaspora poets to write into that vexed space.
Exploring the nature of war and humanity – as it exists now – and at a time when Britain's colonial ambitions were still at a peak.
Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War is a result of that provocation.
Joining us this evening to share their poetry from this new collection are Jay Bernard,Malika Booker, Kat Francois, Jay T. John, Ishion Hutchinson, Charnell Lucien, Vladimir Lucien and Tanya Shirley. The event will be hosted by Karen McCarthy Woolf.
Unwritten Poems is co-commissioned by BBC – Contains Strong Language, 14-18 NOW – WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, and the British Council.
Tickets: £15 (includes a copy of the book)
Welcome to the October 2018 Birmingham Literature Festival!
@BhamLitFest are delighted to present 10 days of inspiring, thought-provoking and entertaining events in venues across Birmingham city centre, which not only showcase great books and writers from the UK and abroad, but also create space to bring people together for great conversation and ideas.
Our programme is packed with events celebrating words, books and ideas in many forms. We've sought out the most exciting up-and-coming writers alongside well-established names, with events including panel discussions, author talks and new book launches, writing workshops, nature walks and a trip on-board a narrowboat. Performance also plays a huge part in this year’s festival, with shows that fuse theatre, music and storytelling, and others that combine poetry and even live cooking on stage.
As part of this year’s festival, it has also been a joy to work with journalist and writer Sathnam Sanghera who has curated some very special events with key writers from the West Midlands, about which you can see more below.
We hope you feel as excited by this programme as we are, and we look forward to seeing you in October.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH NOTTINGHAM POETRY SOCIETY, BEESTON POETS AND FIVE LEAVES BOOKSHOP
Join us to celebrate international poetry in a reading featuring translated works from original languages including Farsi, Greek, Russian, and Irish. Members of Nottingham Poetry Society and Beeston Poets will share their favourite poetic voices from around the world, and special guest poet Maura Dooley will talk about her experience of translating the work of Iranian refugee Azita Ghahreman , collected in her new book of Ghahremea’s poetry, Negatives of a Group Photograph.
Please note this event will take place at Beeston Library, tel: 0115 925 5168
Help Verve Poetry Press launch its first Autumn collection of poems at this up-tempo launch event for Rupinder Kaur's glorious debut Rooh. Featuring guest reading spots from VPP poet Nafeesa Hamid and Poetry Jam Anthology poet Nadia Khazan, followed by an extended reading by Rupinder!
After the reading, Rupinder will sign copies of her new book for all who want one, or two, or three! It really is a wonderful collection!
Tickets are £5 but are refundable against a purchase of the book.
Waterstones Birmingham are delighted to present the upcoming launch of Helen Calcutt's debut poetry collection 'Unable Mother', published with V.Press.
Join Helen, and two of her favourite women poets, Claire Walker (V.Press) and Izzy Galleymore (Carcaent) for an unforgettable evening of poetry, celebrating themes of womanhood, transformation, and new life.
Book signings will follow the reading. Along with refreshments of wine, beers, coffees, teas, and cake.
About 'Unable Mother'
"It's getting predictable to say that V.Press clearly know what they're doing when it comes to producing beautiful and important poetry books, but this debut collection from Helen Calcutt is something very special even by their standards." Mike Davies
“This work challenges our abstract and cosy notions of motherhood with a brutal and vulnerable delve into the psyche. Calcutt grapples, sometimes violently, sometimes with aching tenderness, each hard-won line “like squeezing/flesh and fruit from the bone,/this terrible love”. This is an intimate book, the kind that comes in close to your ear to whisper dark secrets and unavoidable truths. These poems are spare, careful, insistent – and devastatingly good.” Robert Peake author of The Knowledge.
‘Helen Calcutt’s poems are full of surprising and intricate moments – they unfold like origami, deftly packing and unpacking themselves into new forms and presenting the reader with confidences, secrets and insight, the tender words for the things that are hard to say. In their explorations of motherhood, loss and discovery, Calcutt’s poetry is steeled with precise language, always finding clarity forged in the heart of experience. These are intimate poems which are felt in the body, and written with a keen physicality – “love is meant to live on in the body” writes Calcutt, “My flesh making heaven of it.” In their makings and re-makings, each poem here reveals this to be a remarkable and potent debut. ‘ Jane Commane editor at Nine Arches Press.
Sample poem 'The Listening Tree'
Copies are now available to pre-order: https://www.poetrybooks.co.uk/products/unable-mother-helen-calcutt
Helen's website: www.helencalcutt.org
Help Verve Poetry Press launch its next two collections at this magnificent launch event for Leon Priestnall's Bennetts Hill Blues and Nafeesa Hamid's Besharam. Featuring guest readings from Jack Crowe, Mina Mekic, Yasmina Silva, Bethany Slinn, Scarlett Ward and Zeddie, all of whom have single poems featured in the collections.
In the second half, Leon and Nafeesa will deliver extended sets of poems taken from their wonderful new books, and afterwards will sign copies for any who are sensible enough to want one. Be first to grab hold of either or both of these wonderful debut collections!
This event will be hosted most capably by Verve Poetry Press Co-founder, poet and TV star, Amerah Saleh!
Tickets are £5 but are refundable against a purchase of either book.