Launch of John Barnie’s poetry collections, with Cinnamon Press

Last night a truly international audience of poetry lovers shared the experience of hearing John Barnie’s exceptional reading of poems from two of his collections published by Cinnamon Press. Cinnamon’s Jan Fortune introduced John and his poetry, and conducted the proceedings in her customary engaging and profound manner. It is a credit to her and to John that the reading was followed by a series of interesting and insightful questions and comments, which enlightened us further on John’s journey into poetry and language, his Welshness and many other interesting topics.

In Afterlives John responds to Welsh paintings in Peter Lord’s collection, with economical, often tongue-in-cheek and socially argute words, masterfully read. As a member of the audience has since commented, we were offered ‘…a kind of tridimensionality – the sitter’s, the artist’s and the poet’s, with his interpretation, in many cases, of the sitter’s possible thoughts.’

A Report to Alpha Centauri is dark, at time despairing and alway urgent, a vison of the slippery slope to humanity’s ultimate self destruction and the destruction of nature. John’s skill with, and love of, words from languages from different eras and places come across in the poems’ musical and rhythmic qualities, enhanced again by his extraordinary reading voice.

Both books, and all the volumes on Cinnamon’s exhaustive list can be purchased from cinnamonpress.com

Use the code AUTUMN20 to get a 20% discount on all books in any one basket.

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.