Graham Burchell at Exeter Poetry Festival 2012

It is my pleasure to be able to formally confirm that Exeter Poetry Festival will be taking place this year from 4th-6th October at a variety of venues across the city. This year, Cyprus Well is working in partnership with ExCite Poetry Stanza and Apples and Snakes to produce the third annual festival. This year’s primary funder is Arts Council England, with additional support from the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation. Exeter University’s Andy Brown is also due a mention, both in his capacity as organiser for the PhD poets event, and as a poet in his own right. More detail on the full programme will be provided imminently.

In the meantime, I wanted to announce that we’ll be hosting a special book launch for South West Poet, Graham Burchell. His collection The Chongololo Club is of particular interest to us, given the fact that Graham was awarded a TLC Free Read from Cyprus Well, and we are proud to say we played a small part in helping him develop as a writer. The hard work was down to him though, and we’re delighted to see the fruits of his labours in this exciting new collection.

The Chongololo Club is a compelling recreation of the poet’s time in Zambia in the early 1980’s; a series of vivid snapshots that captures the people, the wildlife, the politics with colours ‘brash enough’ for this ‘dark continent’ as we slide down it alongside him – ‘glass in hand, whisky gone, just a melting ice-cube cold’ against our teeth.

‘These poems have the virtues of close observation and personal engagement in their accounts of living and teaching in Africa. Flora, fauna, people, loneliness, culture-shock, compassion and humour all contribute to making this collection haunting and coherent. The poet sustains triumphantly the demands of his particular subject material.’

–       Penelope Shuttle

‘Graham Burchell’s ‘The Chongololo Club’ is a wonderful book. Full of the sights and sounds of Africa he clearly loved, he is not blind to its occasional horror; nevertheless he convinces us of its beauties through his careful observation, his ear for its many languages and his eye for telling detail. His style of writing serves his subject matter, but he is not afraid of demanding forms such as the pantoum. If you want your poetry to be pleasurable, you will enjoy this book.’

–       Ian Duhig

Join us for South West launch of Graham’s book on Saturday 6th October in Exeter Central Library at 2pm.

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Posted on August 14, 2012, in Andy Brown, Book Launch, ExCite Poetry, Exeter Central Library, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter University, Festival News, The Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Graham Burchell at Exeter Poetry Festival 2012.

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