Poems for Grenfell Tower was launched in April. Contributions have come from all over the UK, as well as from Germany. The Oxford reading will be on Friday 4th May. The book is available from Onslaught Press. Here is a brief extract lifted from the foreword by David Lammy MP: The poems are able to express the scale of loss, in a way that prose is not able to do — from the empty school chair invoked in Michael Rosen’s piece, to Rachel Burns’ ‘In a Hotel Room, A Father Sits Alone’. Unlike countless newspaper articles and reports in the media, poetry goes some of the way in allowing the reader to understand what is really missing — a child in a schoolroom, a much-loved daughter. Poems for Grenfell Tower brings together many different poets, whose voices are joined together in elegy. Ricky Nuttall, a Red Watch ﬁreﬁghter who attended Grenfell, offers a heart-wrenching account of coming to terms with what happened. His heroism is reinforced by Christine Barton’s ‘Red Watch’, which pays a moving tribute to the work of ﬁreﬁghters. Poems such as these are able go beyond the limits of prose in expressing the impact of the tragedy. In doing so, they offer an important way in which the voices of Grenfell are heard.
Dates for readings from Poems for Grenfell Tower are as follows: Cape of Good Hope, Oxford May 4 Artefact Café, Birmingham June 8 RMT Education Centre, Doncaster June 14 Dolman Theatre, Newport June 14 Scottish Poetry Lib, Edinburgh June 23 Newcastle - venue TBA June 27 Bradford Literary Festival July 7 Poetry Library, South Bank September 5 You can buy the anthology here- and for every £10 spent, £5 will go to the Grenfell Foundation.
Derby Poetry Society has invited me back. I shall be reading on Friday June 8th at:
Friends Meeting House St. Helen's Street Derby DE1 3GY ...and very likely taking my bicycle with me, because there's some fabulous cycling to be had around them there hills. For further details, phone Gina Clarke on 01773 825215 or email email@example.comAll readings start at 7:30 pm.
Songs for the Unsung, edited by Joy Howard, is another anthology I'm very proud to be part of. Published towards the end of last year, the reading is one of many that have been programmed to celebrate this publication. Catch a selection of us reading from it on Wednesday 20th June at: Kenilworth Books 12 Talisman Close Kenilworth CV8 1JB
"...when you read the generous and eloquent poems in this anthology, they are no longer unsung." Alison Brackenbury
Last year, Oxford Stanza II met up with Bonn's Dada war alles gut to celebrate Oxford and Bonn's 70 year old Partnerstadt. Together, we were part of Diana Bell's public installation The Big Question Mark. Since then, many of us have been swapping poems as well as workshopping them and even, in some cases, translating them. Our fingers are crossed for an exchange visit in October.