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Take 15 poets, 2 actors, 1 lutist and shake…

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Much like a modern artist’s response to a classical masterpiece, a range of critically-acclaimed contemporary poets have been inspired by some of England’s most beloved wordsmiths, before responding with new and celebrated works of their own. Actors and musicians will bring both the traditional canon and the contemporary replies to life.

Following the success of last year’s Winter’s Tales, in which actors read aloud stirring short stories under the glorious candlelight of the Playhouse, this series brings a melting pot of classic and contemporary poetry to the stage in what is bound to be a memorable and evocative evening.

Saturday 29 August, 8.00pm

John Donne: The Voice and the Echo

Performers:
Tim Pigott-Smith
Miranda Raison
Richard MacKenzie (lute)

With new poems and existing poems by Simone Belcampo, Will Burns, Nick Drake, Paul Farley, John Greening, Alan Jenkins, Zaffar Kunial, Glyn Maxwell, Anne Michaels, Abegail Morley, Paul Muldoon, Sean O’Brien, Peter Oswald, Craig Raine and Jack Underwood.

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Poet-in-residence – is this for you?

I’m currently Poet-in-Residence for the National Trust at Scotney Castle. I decided to do this after my last collection as a way of exploring something new and also to shift the direction of my writing. I’ve spent a lot of time there, either on my own or with friends – it’s a good way of getting extra ideas, especially from friends who ask a lot of (difficult) questions. I’ve chatted to volunteers, employees and pounced on visitors. My work focuses on the ruins, the moat in particular. I recently read about Jacques Benveniste and his theory about water (which later became known as the “memory of water”).

It’s known as the “memory of water”.
When you add a substance to water and then dilute
the water to the point where there are no more
molecules of the added substance left in the
water, you can still measure effects of the water
as if the originally diluted substance were still present.

Jacques Benveniste

As part of the residency I am collaborating with poet and artist, Karen Dennison who is working on photographs based on my poems. We’ll be exhibiting both in the ruins this summer. Oh yes and then there’s the pamphlet which I am currently working on and today I’m thinking about readings by the moat on hot summer evenings (yes, they will come), a glass of wine, the gentle breeze in the trees … A residency can be what you make it.

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Alyson Hallett has just taken up the post at The Charles Causley Trust and Zaffar Kunial has been announced as The Wordsworth Trust’s new resident poet. Caroline Carver has been poet-in-residence with the Marine Institute, Plymouth University, since early 2013, and the University will shortly be publishing her fifth collection, Fish Eaters. Jo Bell has had commissions and residencies with the Canal and River Trust and the National Trust. Heidi Williamson did a residency at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre for a couple of years and is currently poet-in-residence for John Jarrold Printing Museum. I asked her how she got these opportunities and she told me that she simply wrote and asked! That’s one way. Alternatively keep an eye out for opportunities like these (there are lots more around):

Wordsworth Trust
Gladstone’s Library
Jane Austen’s House Museum
The Charles Causley Trust
Ilkley Literature Festival
New Diorama Theatre
Black Country Living Museum

 

 poetryschool @poetryschool

Interesting thoughts from @AbegailMorley about poetry residencies, including the advice ’just write and ask’: http://abegailmorley.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/poet-in-residence-is-this-for-you/