Tag Archives: Christopher Reid

Jubilee Lines

17 Jun

There’s much to enjoy in Faber and Faber’s new anthology, Jubilee Lines – 60 Poets for 60 Years, edited by Carol Ann Duffy.  Each of the last 60 years is represented by one poem and one poet, many of them very familiar names. Just four poems in, for 1956 there’s Class Photograph from Douglas Dunn, looking back at “pensioners in disguise”. And the roll call from StAnza 2012 just past includes Grace Nichols (1965), Christopher Reid offering “The Clearing for 1969, followed by John Burnside (1981), Robert Crawford (1984), Lachlan Mackinnon (1988), Michael Symmons Roberts (1996), Don Paterson (1997), Jackie Kay (1999) and Lavinia Greenlaw (2001).  

To accompany the book, Faber and Faber have collaborated with  Somethin’ Else and The Space to produce a groundbreaking interactive digital platform, which brings together actors’ readings, sound-based generative design and archive footage to create an exciting new way to experience poetry. At its heart are audio readings of the poems in Jubilee Lines, read evocatively by distinguished actors Dan Stevens, Samantha Bond, Lyndsey Marshal and Alex Lanipekun. Graphic designer Stefanie Posavec has produced visualisations of the audio readings using generative design techniques. Derived from characteristics such as the length of the recording and its decibel level, she has created unique artworks for each of the 60 poems.

The twenty poems that most vividly evoke our collective memory are enhanced with rich archive material, including film footage and audio uncovered in the BBC and British Movietone archives, as well as newspapers, adverts and photographs. It includes many items transferred from telecine for the first time, with material that ranges from the iconic (Michael Fish’s weather report in 1987), to the unseen (Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova preparing for her first space flight in 1963), and from the jubilant (children eagerly awaiting the end of sweet rationing in 1953) to the turbulent (miners clashing with police during the strike in 1984).

We are invited to navigate the poems by year, by poet, through archive or by theme (eg. remembrance, identity, vigilance), plotting your own path through 60 years of history, by going to their website at  www.jubileelines.com

(NB  at the time of posting this the link doesn’t seem to be working, we have let them know.)

Lavinia Greenlaw wins the Ted Hughes Award

29 Mar

Congratulations to Lavinia Greenlaw who won the Ted Hughes Award for her sound work, Audio Obscura. Lavinia was StAnza’s Poet-in-Residence this year.

Judges Edmund de Waal, Sarah Maguire and Michael Symmons Roberts presented the award, which was founded by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and is run by the Poetry Society.

Taking place at Manchester’s Piccadilly station in July 2011 and at London’s St Pancras International station in September / October 2011, Audio Obscura is a sound work in which the listener enters interior lives and discovers, somewhere between what is heard and what is seen, what cannot be said. Audio Obscura was commissioned and produced by Artangel and Manchester International Festival, and Lavinia collaborated with sound designer Tim Barker to produce the work.

The judges  described Audio Obscura as ‘a groundbreaking work that fully captured the spirit of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. The judges felt this was a particularly outstanding year with six stellar entries on the shortlist’.

Nice to note here that two other members of that shortlist were at StAnza: Christopher Reid and Robert Crawford.

Read more about the award here

Chrissy and Swithun put Icing on the Poetry Cake

10 Mar

Guest Bloggers, Chrissy Williams and Swithun Cooper are bringing their toothsome Poetry Digest to StAnza next week. Read on, and try not to feel hungry. We can’t wait.

When you’re wandering around StAnza’s weekend events, keep an eye out for Poetry Digest – an edible poetry magazine printed in “small cake” format, or small biscuit format as need arises. We’ll be handing out empire biscuits produced by Stuart’s of Buckhaven bearing poems by Isobel Dixon, Lavinia Greenlaw, Matthew Hollis, Christopher Reid and Jackie Kay. (As one contributor pointed out to us, this will really be a Jackie Cake.)

Poetry Digest was set up by Chrissy Williams and Swithun Cooper. If you visit the website you’ll see that we created it while working as revolutionary bakers as a way to fight Communism in an unnamed Eastern European country. That’s a lie, unfortunately. Really we work at the Poetry Library in London, and we thought it up as something to do on National Poetry Day: putting an e.e. cummings poem on cakes for our colleagues, so they could carry it in their stomachs.

After this photograph of it got round Twitter, we were asked to produce a few for other poetry events – including ‘Feast on Words’ by Poet in the City, a workshop group at the Southbank Centre, and a “reading and eating” for young members of The Poetry Society . Since then, it’s turned into a cake-based events series, which we’ve subsequently developed into a magazine. Our aim is to give people an entertaining (and tasty) alternative to the sometimes gruelling business of submitting poems to magazines – sending them off, waiting for months, and finally having a poem printed somewhere. Putting a poem on a cake seems a more light-hearted way of getting your work appreciated, and the large amounts of sugar and frosting in every poem keeps our readings sociable and high-spirited.

We’ve now made three issues of Poetry Digest – ‘Raisin D’Etre’, ‘The Big Apple’ and ‘Berried Alive’ – and poems by the likes of Tom Chivers, Tim Wells, Claire Trévien, Jacqueline Saphra and Simon Barraclough have all appeared on foodstuffs we’ve produced. We’ve done readings with Liz Berry and Victoria Bean, and we ran a competition (‘The Limelight’) for the Young Poets Network .

During StAnza you’ll mostly find us at the Poets Market, where we’ll also have some fruit available for those who prefer their sugar unrefined, but we can also be found at a few other events, including the Saturday and Sunday Poetry Breakfasts and the Festival Finale.

We invite you to join us in eating the poets’ words.

Our thanks to Swithun and Chrissy. Chrissy’s own blog is at chrissywilliams.blogspot.com

StAnza tickets on sale today: book early!

11 Jan

Tickets for StAnza go on sale today! As well as the big centre stage readings with Jackie Kay, Kathleen Jamie, Christopher Reid and Michael Symmons Roberts  – to name just some of the top poets on the bill, now’s your chance to book early for those other in-demand events, such as our intimate round table events and interactive workshops with leading poets. And don’t forget to check out our  discounts. Booking details are here

We have been blogging recently about the programme, so have a look at our posts and the programme is available online too. Recent additions include a special performance of Denise Mina’s play A Drunk Woman Looks at a Thistle, with Karen Dunbar (pictured below). And we are pleased to announce that the actor David Hayman will be joining us on our launch night, with the Dave Batchelor Quintet and poet/musician Don Paterson, to celebrate Philip Larkin’s poetry and love of jazz.

StAnza takes place at the Byre Theatre, and other venues in St Andrews, from 14-18 March. It is part of the Year of Creative Scotland.

Make plans for StAnza 2012: programme now online

22 Dec

With the Christmas and Hogmanay offering  us all the chance for a well-earned break, when better than to browse through the StAnza 2012 events programme? It’s now available online here

As well as the list of events already confirmed (and watch out for extra ones to be announced shortly), you can find out more about the poets, writers, artists, film makers and musicians who are taking part.  To whet your appetite, we have provided some biogs, sample poems, links and clips.

The Dave Batchelor Quintet will be celebrating jazz and Larkin

Headlining poets include Jackie Kay (pictured), Kathleen Jamie, Christopher Reid, Lavinia Greenlaw, Joe Dunthorne and Michael Symmons Roberts; from the USA, Chase Twichell and Kwame Dawes, plus international voices from Germany, South Africa, Poland, Macedonia and Sweden.

Meet Jackie Kay at StAnza 2012

The festival’s themes are The Image and Poetry by Degrees. Expect a wide range of events – exhibitions, a book launch and breakfast discussions – linking poetry with visual art and photography, TV and film. Check out StAnza’s celebration of poetry in education with an expanded range of workshops, inspire sessions and discussions.

Lively performances, drama and music are also a key aspect of the festival. Highlights include Karen Dunbar’s hilarious A Drunk Woman Looks at a Thistle and Kind of Larkin, a tribute to Philip Larkin’s love of jazz with the Dave Batchelor Quintet (pictured) – whose line-up, please notice, includes poet/musician Don Paterson.

Tickets will be on sale in January, so enjoy savouring the prospect of what’s to come.

%d bloggers like this: