Friday 9 July
Workshop with Rosalind Hudis: Alchemy – how to turn science into lyric.
2pm – 4pm, Barrett Browning Institute, £20, Tickets here
Poetry and Science are often seen as opposed. Yet there is a long history of poets who had, or have, a vocation in science, natural history or medicine (think Keats) and an equally long history of poets taking inspiration from the methods, mess, magic and matter of science in all its disciplines.
In this workshop we shall explore, through conversations around selected examples, some of the ways poets meld the language and meaning-making of science into the language and meaning- making of poetry. You will then have an opportunity to choose a short scientific text, tip it into the cauldron of your own memories and meanings, and transform it into the first draft of a lyric poem. All you need is paper and pen. No previous scientific knowledge required!
Young Writers Collective in the Walled Garden (outdoors/bad weather inside)
2pm – 3pm
An opportunity to hear and witness a selection of young people’s poetry written in supported workshops with practitioner Toni Cook as part of the Festival’s Community Programme. Feedback from previous years: “This is important poetry from people who might not ordinarily be showcased”, expect raw, direct and beautifully crafted language conveying life as it is.
Angela France and Penelope Shuttle
6pm – 7pm, Barrett Browning Institute and live-streamed on Zoom, £5
Penelope Shuttle launches her new collection Lyonesse. The submerged land of Lyonesse was once part of Cornwall, according to myth and the oral tradition, standing for a lost paradise in Arthurian legend, but now an emblem of human frailty in the face of climate change. ‘Penelope Shuttle, as both thinker and poet, seems to me exemplary in her use of the intuitive faculty’ (John Burnside).
How do we negotiate a world where capitalism and greed are threatening a fragile earth? where connections through technology can increase isolation? where finding solace in nature reminds us that the seasons can no longer be trusted? The lyrical poems in Angela France’s new collection Terminarchy try to find a way through and look for hope.
Nick Flynn and Eileen Myles (they/them), hosted by Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson-Pearce
8pm – 9pm, Zoom, £5, Tickets here
One of the most important and beloved radical icons of American letters, Eileen Myles has been described as ‘one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature’ and the ‘rock star of modern poetry’. ‘New York City’s revered queer punk poet’ has published twenty books of poetry, art journalism, fiction, plays and libretti. Serpent’s Tail in the UK publish Eileen Myles’s cult classic Chelsea Girls, their groundbreaking and candid novel-in-real-time, as well as I Must Be Living Twice: new and selected poems 1975-2014.
Nick Flynn has published twelve books, including three memoirs, most famously Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which was made into a film, Being Flynn, with Paul Dano playing Flynn, Robert De Niro as his father and Julianne Moore his mother. His five poetry collections are Some Ether, Blind Huber, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, My Feelings and I Will Destroy You.
Neil Astley is the editor of Bloodaxe Books which he founded in 1978. His books include many anthologies, most notably those in the Staying Alive series: Staying Alive, Being Alive, Being Human and Staying Human, along with three collaborations with Pamela Robertson-Pearce, Soul Food and the DVD-books In Person: 30 Poets and In Person: World Poets.
Pamela Robertson-Pearce is an artist, filmmaker and translator. Her films include IMAGO Meret Oppenheim (1988/1996), on the artist who made the fur-lined teacup; Benjamin Zephaniah: To Do Wid Me; and films of over 100 Bloodaxe poets, many included in In Person: 30 Poets and In Person: World Poets. Her residencies have included a two-year fellowship at FAWC in Provincetown, Cape Cod, where she met Nick Flynn and Eileen Myles on a number of occasions.