Plymouth Language Club 16th May 2017 with Damian Furniss
At Plymouth Language Club on Tuesday 16th May 2017 in the Lecture Theatre at Plymouth College of Art, commencing at 7.15 pm there will be five readers: Damian Furniss (who will provide an extended set), Julian Isaacs, Dee Marshall, Patrick Holden and Marieluise Niehus.
Damian Furniss from Exeter, has published two collections of poetry with Shearsman Books, Chocolate Che (2010) and The Best of all Possible Worlds (2015). His first collection, The Duchess of Kalighat, was published by Tears in the Fence in 1995. He has also edited two anthologies from Seren, The Captain’s Tower (2011) and Newspaper Taxis (2013). He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics with David Cameron although he came to quite different political conclusions! His poetry, prose and reviews have been widely published and he has read at festivals and art centres around the country. He works in health and social care, a career inspired by working with dying destitutes in Kolkata.
His poetry is varied in its subject matter although his latest book, The Best of all Possible Worlds, takes a long hard look at the last hundred years’ history of bloodshed and loss. In the words of Ann Gray, the book “gives us the big figures of the last century, men and women we thought we knew, exquisitely present in chilling detail”. She goes on to claim that “from the scatological romp of ‘The Black and Tans”, through ‘Stalin’s Moustache’ to the tanka-like transparency of ‘Blooming Time’, Furniss ably registers both our prurient fascination with bodily remains (‘Rasputin’s Penis’) and our more haunted reckonings with the dead (‘The Unreturned’)”. Mixing mordant humour with deep compassion, it is a book to be reckoned with as well as enjoyed.
Julian Isaacs is a Plymouth-based musician and poet whose work in both fields combines an interest in the intellectual with a more popular outlook. His chapbook the breathless thrush of unevensong (2016) is inspired by titles from The Great American Songbook and mixes melancholy with crime and high protein content with rhyme. It’s not surprising, given the nature and formal dexterity of these poems, to realise that Julian is also a songwriter. He is an entertaining reader of his work and we look forward to seeing more of his poetry in published form.
It’s good to see the return of Dee Marshall to the local scene. Dee was a long-term attendee at Language Club and Poetry Exchange Events and was published in the anthology In The Presence of Sharks – New Poetry from Plymouth in 2006. Her work has also featured in magazines, including the fabled Terrible Work. Her work mixes aspects of mythology with more modernist techniques, including the cut-up and she is a great live reader. Dee lives in Ivybridge.
Patrick Holden is a lecturer at Plymouth University and has also become a regular on the Plymouth Poetry Circuit, having featured in events at The China House as well as The Language Club. His work is often funny yet sharply political and is always entertaining even when there is a hidden kick.
Marieluise Niehus is a native German who has lived in Plymouth since 2011. She has written poetry in German and English from the age of seventeen. It has been said that her work is coloured by spiritual, political and humanist matters and causes. She has been published in magazines in Germany, USA and the UK including Acumen, The Blotter Magazine and Haunted Summer (online). She has taken part in readings at Cross Country Writers and The Word as well as the Language Club.
The organisers of The Language Club are planning two further events in the autumn, details to follow. It’s always worth checking the Plymouth Language Club Facebook page for details. Although they don’t currently levy an entry charge we receive no corporate or state funding for these events and rely on contributions to maintain future readings.