Sunday 11 July

Sunday 11 July 2021

Dog Poems! with Matt Black

11am – 12noon (with a 20 minute interval for walks and peeing on lampposts), Market House, £5, Tickets here

Astute observations, speculative imaginings, a peppering of real science, all on the theme of dogs. Sniffing Lamp-posts by Moonlight, by Matt Black, is bursting with doggy inspired poetic wonderfulness. Come and worship at the altar of DOG!

Dogs welcome! Bring fave doggy poems by yourself or someone else and join in the fun!

Workshop with Jamie Thrasivoulou: Exiting the safe space and moving away from the I

12.30pm – 2.30pm, Barrett Browning Institute, £20, Tickets here

This workshop will explore how we can use different perspectives to share personal stories and reflections through our poetry. Award-winning writer, poet, and educator Jamie Thrasivoulou will guide you through this process with a number of exercises grounded by the study of relevant texts and methodologies. This workshop is suitable for both seasoned and inexperienced writers looking for new ways to approach their craft.

Julia Copus and Robert Selby, reading and in conversation with Jonathan Davidson

1pm – 2pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), £5, Tickets here

Julia Copus returns to Ledbury with a phenomenal new collection, Girlhood, her first in seven years. There are autobiographical pieces, poems of history and imagination and, in The Great Unburned, there are witches overhead. ‘Her technical dexterity and way of seeing the past afresh reap rich dividends’ (The Guardian).

Robert Selby’s first collection The Coming-Down Time ‘has a large reach, but makes its themes feel intimate by catching them in language that is at once simple and capable of wonder. It’s a striking achievement: moving and intelligent and memorable’ (Andrew Motion).

Jonathan Davidson, Founder and Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, is a poet, writer and literature activist. His latest poetry collection is A Commonplace – Apples, Bricks & Other People’s Poems.

Bohdan Piasecki and Rhian Edwards

3pm – 4pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), £5, Tickets here

Bohdan Piasecki is a poet from Poland based in Birmingham. A committed performer, he has taken his poems from the upstairs room in an Eastbourne pub to the main stage of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, from underground Tokyo clubs to tramways in Paris, from a bookshop in Beijing to an airfield in Germany, from niche podcasts to BBC Radio. Bohdan Piasecki is also a facilitator, host, producer, translator and academic.

The Estate Agent’s Daughter is Rhian Edwards’ eagerly awaited follow-up to her multi-prizewinning debut Clueless Dogs. Her voice is both powerfully personal, local to her Bridgend birthplace, and performative, born to be read aloud. ‘Brilliant, visceral poems. Reading them feels like being led through beautiful rooms by an estate agent who always takes care to show you what’s hidden beneath the floorboards’ (Joe Dunthorne).

One to ones with Robert Selby

3pm – 4.30pm, Barrett Browning Institute, £20 for a half hour session, Tickets here

Develop your writing and receive constructive and detailed feedback through an individual half-hour session with poet Robert Selby.

Robert Selby is a freelance writer and edits King’s College London’s online poetry journal, Wild Court. His recent collection is The Coming-Down Time and he co-edited Mick Imlah: Selected Prose.

Ruth Stacey and Jamie Thrasivoulou, reading and in conversation with Jonathan Davidson

5pm- 6pm, St Michael’s and All Angels Church Courtyard (outdoors/bad weather inside), £5, Tickets here

I, Ursula is a sumptuous new collection from Ruth Stacey, which ‘animates the raw truths of emotional fragility and various forms of haunting through a staggering range of voices and ghostly imaginings’ (Carolyn Jess Cooke).

Our Man, by Jamie Thrasivoulou, combines strong imagery, wordplay and a distinct Midlands vernacular – ‘by far one of the most exciting, arresting and socially charged voices to emerge from out the current wave of British poetry’ (Anthony Anaxagorou).

Juliet Stevenson present Stevie Smith, a film made by Dead Poets Live, followed by a live Q&A, hosted by James Lever

7pm – 9pm, Zoom, £5, Tickets here

Filmed at the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, watch Olivier award-winning actress Juliet Stevenson read one of the most original poets of the 20th century, Stevie Smith. Released to mark the 50th anniversary of Smith’s death, Juliet Stevenson brings the British poet to life in a new film that draws on her letters and prose, and includes Smith’s own illustrations. ‘Death, loneliness, God, and the Devil’ – is how Stevie Smith described the ‘main business’ of her life and poetry, and she faced them with the same unsparing, often hilarious honesty. Admired by Seamus Heaney, mistaken for Virginia Woolf and asked out for lunch by Sylvia Plath, her often-underestimated poems were as strange and timeless in the 1930s as they are today.

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