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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Latinx voices are becoming increasingly audible in international poetry and Ada Limón is among the most exciting of them. Her best-known poems include takes on feminism in animalistic form and a perspective on being ‘othered’ so that organisations...
 

Ada Limón: The Images of Poetry

Tuesday 23 August 17:30 - 18:30

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National Book Critics Circle Award winner Ada Limón joins us to present a powerful new poetry collection, The Hurting Kind. Limón charts the interconnectedness between humans and non-humans, the living and their ancestors. Her work constructs joyfully...
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Ted Hughes Award-winning poet Hollie McNish’s irreverent book, Slug, brings a focus on diverse topics including grief, the body and anti-masturbation pants. Joelle Taylor’s C+nto & Othered Poems won the 2021 T S Eliot Prize for its examination of...
 

Ellen Renton: Within Sight

Wednesday 24 August 16:30 - 17:30

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She’s ‘an inspiration’ and ‘so brave’ and so tired of hearing about it. The protagonist in the one-woman poetry performance Within Sight is a disabled athlete who has narrowly missed out on making the GB Paralympics team. This is the...
 

Colm Tóibín: Man Imagines Mann

Wednesday 24 August 20:30 - 21:30

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It’s been a year of recognition for Colm Tóibín. First the writer was announced as the new Irish Laureate for Fiction and then he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime of achievement. He’s also published a first book of poetry, Vinegar...
 

Liz Lochhead: 50 Years of a Pioneering Poet

Thursday 25 August 11:30 - 12:30

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Think of the people who’ve shaped Scotland’s cultural confidence and Liz Lochhead’s name will be near the top of the list. For 50 years, she’s given us glistening poetry and theatre to reflect the shifting times. Her seminal debut collection,...
 

Hannah Lavery: Scotland, You’re No’ Mine

Friday 26 August 12:15 - 13:15

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Hannah Lavery has had such a seismic effect on Scotland’s literary culture that it’s hard to believe her new book, Blood Salt Spring, is her debut collection. A thrilling writer on the stage as well as on the page, her plays The Drift and Lament for...
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Novelist Jessica Au and poet Stephanie Sy-Quia consider relationships across the generations and the possibilities of language in two spellbinding works of art. Winner of the 2020 Novel Prize, Au’s debut novella, Cold Enough for Snow, meditates on the...
 

Lola Olufemi: Be the Change

Saturday 27 August 14:15 - 15:15

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Reading Lola Olufemi is, according to the Guardian, ‘to believe that another world is possible’. Olufemi’s Experiments in Imagining Otherwise is a rallying cry for political change informed by Black feminism and activism. It’s a torrent of...
 

Ocean Vuong: I'm Here to Stay

Saturday 27 August 19:00 - 20:00

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Ocean Vuong’s reckoning with the death of his mother – and the grief, trauma and love that attends such a loss – lies at the heart of his new poetry collection, Time is a Mother. Vuong’s work is infused with stories of migration, identity and...