Poetry for the People

Poetry for the People

‘When we are in trouble collectively we don’t want context and plot. A poem makes the most sense because there is no fluff. It goes right in and gets to what we are all feeling.’ Said Ocean Vuong in a recent interview with the Guardian. And it is this sense of directly speaking to our inner sensibilities that’s echoed in the exquisite poetry collections discussed this August. Whether dealing with grief, lamenting lost love, rejoicing in nature or questioning our place in the world: these poets – masters of their craft – cut to the heart.

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Andrés N Ordorica’s debut collection, At Least This I Know, heralds the arrival of a fully-formed poetic talent onto the Scottish literary scene. Constructed around his identity as a queer, Latinx immigrant to Scotland, Ordorica’s poems offer a...
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Written in Wiradjuri and English, How to Make a Basket won Jazz Money the David Unaipon Award for its exploration of existence under a colonial state and its celebration of queer love. Andrés N Ordorica’s debut collection, At Least This I Know,...
 

Jay Gao & Alycia Pirmohamed: History, Memory, Poetry

Saturday 13 August 18:30 - 19:30

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How does identity shift through generations? Can we ever write free from historical trauma? How do we live in the moment? These are just a few of the questions posed by Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay Gao in their anticipated debut collections, Another Way to...
 

Claire Askew & Salena Godden: Life and Death

Sunday 14 August 14:15 - 15:15

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Meet two writers who are forging their own paths. Claire Askew’s second collection, How to Burn a Woman, is a tale of power and resilience. She’s joined today by poet and writer Salena Godden, whose debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death is a daring,...
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When Lemn Sissay’s The Fire People was published in 1998 it brought a group of talented Black British poets to public attention. 24 years on it is being republished. Kayo Chingonyi’s anthology More Fiya nods to the importance of Sissay’s original...
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Revel in the possibilities of art with Signe Gjessing and Selby Wynn Schwartz. Prize-winning Danish poet Signe Gjessing presents Tractatus Philosophico-Poeticus, reimagining Wittgenstein’s seminal philosophical text of 1922 to make language and...
 

Close Read: Open Book on Poetry

Wednesday 17 August 13:00 - 14:30

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Marjorie Lotfi and Claire Urquhart from Open Book, a charity which organises shared reading and creative writing groups, explore work from the poets who are sharing new collections at this year’s Festival. Expect an open discussion from the start –...
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Ocean Vuong has garnered international critical acclaim for his novel and two poetry collections. Born in Saigon and raised in the USA, Vuong’s writing draws heavily on his experiences of queerness, migration and class, especially in his new...
 

Raymond Antrobus: Drawing Meaning From the Spaces

Friday 19 August 12:15 - 13:15

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  • BSL interpreted
With his highly anticipated second collection All the Names Given, Rathbone Folio Prize and Ted Hughes Award-winner Raymond Antrobus continues to speak to miscommunication, memory and identity, giving voice to the silences between us. Studied on the...
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Award-winning poet Jason Allen-Paisant was raised in central Jamaica and now lives in Leeds. In Thinking with Trees he explores his shifting relationship with the natural world and the way he moves through it. Poet Samuel Tongue’s debut poetry...