Nevada Street Poets – Five Voices

On Tuesday evening, September 5th, a live and a virtual audience were treated to some moving, amusing, profound and stimulating poetry by five members of the Nevada Street Poets group.

Apart from a few issues with the audio experienced by some members of the Zoom audience (a mystery for me why it happened this time, and to some and not others…), the evening was a thorough success. Jocelyn Page, Graham High, Sarah Westcott, Richard Meier and Lorraine Mariner read from their published collections and some poems that haven’t yet been published, touching on themes such as sport, parenting, ageing, death, children, nature and the environment – and as with all poetry, the themes didn’t mean that you could pigeonhole each poem into a particular category.

We also heard two poignant tributes marking two significant losses. Lorraine Mariner ended the first set by reading ‘The Otter’ by Seamus Heaney and Jocelyn Page ended the second set reading the poem ‘A Story about Water’ by the young award winning poet Gboyega Odubanjo, who lost his life tragically just over a week ago.

A big thank you to poet Wendy French who managed the Zoom side of things with grace and patience despite the sound problems. And as always a big thank you to Debra and staff at the wonderful West Greenwich Library for being so helpful, flexible and generous.

The event was recorded and it’s available for private perusal. Please email me irena@in-words.co.uk for the link.

And here is how you can buy their books:

Sarah Westcott: https://sarahwestcott.co.uk/contact

Lorraine Mariner: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/lorraine-mariner/5624 and https://www.candlestickpress.co.uk/biography/mariner-lorraine/ 

Richard Meier: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/richard-meier/misadventure/9781447208464 and https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/richard-meier/search-party/9781509851980

Graham High: www.grahamhighartist.com

Jocelyn Page: http://www.jocelyn-page.com

And here are short bios of the poets in alphabetical order…

Graham High is a widely published poet with eight chapbooks and collections to date. He is also involved with other forms of writing, including haiku and haibun and was President of the British Haiku Society for four years. Graham is also a painter and sculptor with exhibitions and commissions both in the UK and abroad, an Animatronic Model Designer in the Film Industry working on the effects of over 40 feature films since 1981 including ‘Aliens’, ‘The Golden Compass’, Labyrinth, Babe, The English Patient and the ‘Harry Potter’ series.  He now shares his time between London and Norfolk where his sculpture studio is.

Lorraine Mariner lives in London and works at the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. She has published two collections with Picador, Furniture (2009) and There Will Be No More Nonsense (2014) and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize twice, for Best Single Poem and Best First Collection, and for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize. Her most recent publication is the poetry chapbook, Anchorage with Grey Suit Editions (2020).

Richard Meier won the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize in 2010. He has published two collections with Picador: Search Party (2019) and Misadventure (2012), which was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Prize. 

Jocelyn Page, a poet from Connecticut living in London, has published in various journals including The Spectator, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg, South Carolina Review and Poetry Review. Her debut pamphlet, smithereens, was published in 2010 by tall lighthouse press and her 2016 You’ve Got to Wait Till the Man You Trust Says Go was the winner of the Goldsmiths’ Writer Centre’s inaugural Poetry Pamphlet award. She has held residencies at The Reach Climbing Centre in Woolwich and the 999 Club homeless centre. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College and the University of London Worldwide. http://www.jocelyn-page.com

Sarah Westcott’s first collection Slant Light (Pavilion Poetry), was highly commended in the Forward Prize. Her second collection, Bloom, also with Pavilion Poetry, was longlisted in the 2022 Laurel Prize for ecopoetry. Sarah was a journalist for twenty years and now works as a freelance writer, editor and tutor. Work has appeared on beermats, billboards and buses, baked into sourdough bread and installed in a nature reserve, triggered by footsteps. She is shortly starting a PhD in zoopoetics at the University of Birmingham.

Events

Tuesday March 5 at West Greenwich Library, 7-8.30pm

The Birth of a Book: Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety plus A Taste of 154 – readings of some of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, and modern responses to them

Local author and scholar Neville Grant will talk about the writing of his new book, Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange, 2023), about what inspired him to delve into this well-explored subject and to succeed in finding a plethora of unknown, intriguing (and some amusing) facts about the Bard, and many parallels with goings on in the 21st Century.

154 is a poetry collection published by Live Canon. Each one of 154 modern poets was asked to respond to one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets (not counting the ones inside his plays). We shall hear some of these inspired pairings, by and with Nick Eisen, Gillie Robic, Lorraine Mariner, NJ Hynes, Rosie Johnston and Doreen Hinchliffe.

Unmissable….

Free as always, with plenty of refreshments – and food for thought!

Neville Grant, best known locally as former editor of the Westcombe News, is a professional author who has published many textbooks on language and literature used in countries around the world. His  latest book, Shakespeare in an Age  of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange 2023), written for the general reader, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio – the collection of his plays published seven years after his death. The book looks at how a grammar school boy made it in London’s theatreland, how he survived Tudor politics, and gives an appreciation of each of his works in the order in which they were written, so one can trace his development as a writer.