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Poetry Saturday at Hay Studio, Wadebridge on Saturday 7th February 2015 with Fiona Benson

Fiona Benson

BODMIN MOOR POETRY FESTIVAL

POETRY SATURDAY AT HAY STUDIO 7 FEBRUARY 2015

WORKSHOP & READING

Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival is pleased to announce our second ‘Poetry Saturday’, hosted by Hay Studio near Wadebridge, on Saturday 7th February, 1- 5pm.

Our featured poet will be FIONA BENSON, one of Britain’s most exciting and original younger poets. Fiona was an Eric Gregory and Faber New Poets Award winner in 2006, a runner-up in the Manchester Poetry Prize in 2012, and published her first full collection Bright Travellers (Cape) in 2014, for which she was shortlisted for both the Forward and T.S Eliot Poetry Prizes.

In The Guardian Ben Wilkinson says: Fiona Benson is as much drawn to the metaphysical as to the mystical, treating the poem as a kind of secular prayer. ..she rarely trades in simple anecdotes. Instead, her poems make a bid for what Michael Donaghy called the “alchemical payoff”, mixing solemn scrutiny, intoxicating lyricism and a dark imagination in pursuit of the strangeness beneath the habitual. …. “Love-Letter to Vincent”, though, is the book’s most sustained achievement. In these dramatic monologues Benson ventriloquises the prostitute-lover of the tortured Van Gogh, taking the titles of his canvases as a stepping-off point and framing device to paint portraits as intelligent and touching as they are visceral and grim.

Bright Travellers

In The Observer Kate Kellaway says: One of the attractive things about the collection is the way personal poems (about family) and more impersonal poems (about landscape) sit together so well and sometimes merge. In ‘Poem for James’ (to her husband), what is especially charming is that she claims he has forgotten the scene she records. She places him as a figure in a landscape:

…But there you were, waist-deep in saffron,
your long arms folded and every hair on them
glowing like bronze, your red hair on fire
and your dark eyes attentive, though you don’t remember,
which is why I’m writing it down, from the goldenrod in bloom
to your nimbus of insects lit by the sun.

The final poem, ‘Daughter Song’, does this too. Nature again plays its part, no better behaved than hitherto, even allowing a drowned fox to float to the surface. It is one of the collection’s most beautiful pieces …a free and enraptured ballad, at once elegiac and forward-looking. And the absence of punctuation and especially of a final full stop is fitting to its love-without-end subject.

Further details of the day, and how to book:

BMPF POETRY SATURDAY AT HAY STUDIO, SATURDAY 7TH FEBRUARY 2015:

1pm – 3-15pm Poetry Workshop with Fiona Benson‘Stepping Into the Picture’ –

How do contemporary poets use the work of visual artists as inspiration? Is it possible to find a new freedom to say the things that our poems need to say when we step into the picture? What voices are released? This workshop will take contemporary poems inspired by visual art as luminaries for our own art-inspired poems. Workshop attendees may bring an image or two of artworks they are particularly drawn to for work in the session, but images will also be provided. Suitable for beginners and more experienced poets.

3-15pm – 4pmTea and chat

4pm – 5pmPoetry Reading with Fiona and Ann Gray, co-director of BMPF, and award-winning poet. Ann has published four collections of poetry, and won the E10,000 Ballymaloe Poetry Prize in 2014. She also cares for people with dementia.

The workshop is limited to a maximum of 16 places so please book beforehand.

Tea and cakes, and the poetry reading will be included in the fee for the day which is ONLY £15 !!! Bookings please via Hay Studio – details below.

Anyone wishing to come just for the reading will be charged £3 on the door.

Hay Studio, Trenewth. Tel – 01208 832574 www.haystudiocornwall.com

susan@haystudio.co.uk Bookings can be made by telephone or on the website. Full directions to Hay are also on the website.

www.haystudiocornwall.com and www.bodminmoorpoetryfestival.co.uk

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** BMPF acknowledges the financial assistance of Arts Council England Arts for All National Lottery Funding for this event **

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Exeter Poetry Festival Programme 2014

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Tickets for events can be purchased:

– Online, using the links below or by browsing upcoming events

– By phone, 01392 667080

– In person in advance from Exeter Phoenix Box Office, Gandy Street, Exeter,

– In person at the venue on the night

Guidance on using the box office to purchase tickets. 

Quick links to event ticket purchase:

– 30/09 ‘Beyond Borders’ at Exeter University with Victor Rodriguez Nunez, Harry Guest, Martin Sorrell and Andy Brown

– 01/10 ‘The Retold Ramayana’ at Exeter University with Daljit Nagra

– 02/10 ‘National Poetry Day Reading’ at Exeter Central Library with Gillian Clarke and Adam Horovitz

– 04/10 ‘The Forgotten of World War One’ at Exeter Central Library

– 04/10 Fiona Benson and Carrie Etter at Exeter Central Library

– 05/10 Workshop with Carrie Etter at Exeter Central Library

Monday 29th September

THE BROADSHEET

Simon Williams and Susan Taylor

Venue: City Gate Hotel, Cellar bar, Exeter

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: FREE

After great success last year, we again kick-start the Festival with the launch of a collector’s edition of The Broadsheet, featuring poems from Festival guests alongside work from some of the most talented poets resident in the South West

Tuesday 30th September

NEXT GENERATION

Venue: Queen’s Building, Exeter University, Prince of Wales Road, EX4 45B

Time: 6pm – 7pm

Tickets: Donations to Festival appreciated

Four of Exeter University’s brightest lights read for us as a poetic prelude to the Festival’s signature lecture…

BEYOND BORDERS:

With Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Harry Guest and Martin Sorrell

Venue: Old Library, Exeter University

Time: 7.30pm – 9pm

Tickets: £9, students £5

For one night only we’re lucky to bring together experts in poetry translation to read their work and discuss the joys and challenges of translation in practice. Introduced and facilitated by Dr. Andy Brown, Director of the Centre for Creative Writing at Exeter University, we bring you multi-award winning Cuban poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez; poet, editor and specialist in Japanese and French translation, Harry Guest; and esteemed academic, BBC playwright and translator Martin Sorrell, for a stimulating and multi-cultural evening of readings and debate.

Wednesday 1st October

THE RETOLD RAMAYANA

With Daljit Nagra

Venue: Roborough Studios, Exeter University, Prince of Wales Road, EX4 45B

Time: 7pm – 9pm A two hour performance including interval.

Tickets: £12 / Students £8 /children 11+ £6

We are thrilled to have the critically acclaimed Daljit Nagra amongst our line up this year, for a visually stunning retelling of the Ramayana.

Daljt’s technicolour and multi-cultural version of the tale follows Rama’s quest to rescue his wife Sita from her abduction by Raavana, Lord of the Underworld.

Ahead of the event (6pm – 6:30pm) is a free lecture by Dr. Jerri Daboo, Senior Lecturer in Drama at Exeter University: “Exiling heroes and burning demons: examining two productions of ‘The Ramayana’ in Britain”.

Thursday 2nd October

NATIONAL POETRY DAY

With Gillian Clarke and Adam Horovitz

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Tickets: £12

The Festival’s signature reading this year brings National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke and upcoming poet and performer Adam Horovitz, described by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘the real deal’ to the Exeter stage.

Friday 3rd October

KATE TEMPEST

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Tickets are now SOLD OUT! For other events at Exeter Poetry Festival, 30th September to 5th October, buy your tickets here.

Critically acclaimed rapper and spoken word artist Kate Tempest comes to Exeter for one night only.

Her epic narrative poem Brand New Ancients won the Ted Hughes Prize and she has just completed a sell out run in the UK and New York. Everybody Down, her debut solo album, came out earlier this year on Big Dada Records, also to vast acclaim. Her first full collection, ‘Hold Your Own’, will be published by Picador on October 9th 2014. Early booking advised.

Saturday 4th October – Daytime

THE FORGOTTEN OF WW1

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Tickets: £6

The Untold story of Ivor Gurney

A special screening of Redcliffe Film’s widely praised biopic of Ivor Gurney, the WW1 soldier, poet and composer.

Women Poets of WW1

Some well known female writers based in Devon and Cornwall read and respond to poems written by women living and working during the Great War including Charlotte Mew and May Sinclair. With Ann Gray, Rachel McCarthy, Helen Evans and Chrissy Banks.

FREE EVENT – Voices and Memory

Time: 3.30pm – 5pm

ExLibris launches a pamphlet of poems based on WW1 objects held in Exeter Library’s archive.

Saturday 4th October – Evening

THE RONALD DUNCAN READING

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FIONA BENSON & CARRIE ETTER

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Tickets: £10

Our final reading brings Fiona Benson, fresh from reading at the Forward Prize for Best First Collection for her widely acclaimed Bright Travellers, together with American poet Carrie Etter, whose latest work, Imagined Sons, was described by Bernard O’Donoghue as simply “of the utmost importance.”

Sunday 5th October – Daytime

WORKSHOP : CARRIE ETTER   – Adventures in Prose Poetry

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 11am – 1pm

Tickets: £14

Join award-winning poet and lecturer Carrie Etter to delve into the intricacies of the prose poem. For both those new to and those familiar with the form, this workshop offers fresh adventures in prose poetry, in reading and discussing wonderful works as well as composing our own.

Sunday 5th October – Daytime

THE FIFTH EXETER SLAM

Venue: Bikeshed Theatre

Time: 7.30pm –

Tickets: £5

To apply to take part, please email: slam@speakinsong.co.uk

15 contestants, 3 rounds, 1 winner, much kudos.

There will be a prize of £50 cash and a further £50 paid slot at Spokes Amaze! for the winner.

Judges for the event are last year’s winner, Saskia Tomlinson, current Bard of Exeter Daniel Haynes and celebrated local poet Graham Burchell.

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Exeter Poetry Festival 2014 Programme

Good luck to Fiona Benson, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for First Collection awarded 30th September, reading at Exeter Poetry Festival 4th October 2014

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Forward Prize Shortlists

Saturday 4th October – Evening

THE RONALD DUNCAN READING

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FIONA BENSON & CARRIE ETTER

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Tickets: £10

Our final reading brings Fiona Benson, fresh from reading at the Forward Prize for Best First Collection for her widely acclaimed Bright Travellers, together with American poet Carrie Etter, whose latest work, Imagined Sons, was described by Bernard O’Donoghue as simply “of the utmost importance.”

Fiona Benson reading at Exeter Central Library on Saturday 4th October 2014

Fiona Benson

Fiona Benson completed an MLitt in Creative Writing at St Andrews University in 2003 and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2006. Her pamphlet was published as part of the Faber New Poets series in 2009, and her first full-length collection Bright Travellers was published by Cape in May of this year. Bright Travellers is shortlisted for the Forward Felix Dennis Prize for first collection and for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. She lives near Exeter with her husband James Meredith and their daughters, Isla and Rose.

Bright Travellers

Almond Blossom

This morning, love, I’m tired and grave.
I can barely hear the wintered bird’s small song
over the hum of the central heating.
It’s hard to believe,

but spring will be a green havoc
as the trees burst their slums
and the dirt breaks open to admit
crocus-spear and cyclamen;

and though you can’t yet feel it
earth’s already begun
her slow incline, inch by ruined inch,
easing you back from the brink.

Saturday 4th October – Evening

THE RONALD DUNCAN READING

RDLF Logo

FIONA BENSON & CARRIE ETTER

Venue: Exeter Central Library

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Tickets: £10

Our final reading brings Fiona Benson, fresh from reading at theForward Prize for Best First Collection for her widely acclaimed Bright Travellers, together with American poet Carrie Etter, whose latest work, Imagined Sons, was described by Bernard O’Donoghue as simply “of the utmost importance.”