I’m always humbled by so many things at my events: the poets’ or authors’ generosity, their depth of knowledge and skill. Few times I’ve felt more humbled than on this event, held on zoom on the evening of February 25, when a large audience heard the words of seven poets reading their own works and those of a European poet of their choice.
I wish to quote a comment received from a member of the audience, which puts my thoughts in a much better way than I ever could: “I cannot explain how I feel when I hear pieces where the writer shares a deep experience of a place or of a piece of art, which isn’t directly part of their life, but they have extended their world to encompass it.”
The idea for the event came while perusing the fabulous ‘Poems and Pictures’ Blog, edited by Gill Stoker on the Mary Evans Picture Library website www.maryevans.com. Over 100 poets have been inspired by images held by the Library to write original works, and the Blog shows this pairing. Many images were of European artworks or of other subjects with a European connection – and I decided I wanted to devote a whole evening to Europe in images and verse.
The poets who agreed to participate were also asked to choose a European poet from any period, and to bring one work by them in translation, and if possible in the original. Images and texts were displayed throughout thanks to Gill Stoker’s mastery of Powerpoint (and her patience while dealing with a pleathora of tweaks).
So, what can I say about this special evening? First a big thank you to Sarah Lawson, Fiona Moore, Gabriel Moreno, John McCullough (unfortunately unwell, but some of his work was read by others), Emma Page, Jacqueline Saphra and Richard Westcott and of course to Gill Stoker.
The poets brought us vastly diverse aspects of Europe – many unexpected ones, and many showing the darker heritage that still resonates, or still exists in its heart and at its periphery.
I wished to post this quickly and so for the moment, while I am still digesting the complex, profound works I heard last night, I shall stop here.
I will add more soon and, if you’ve read so far, please feel free to email me your comments about the event at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall post them here (anonymously if you prefer).
In the meantime , if you wish to find out more about the poets and/or purchase their books and pamphlets, here are some links for you. Thank you!
Jacqueline Saphra: https://www.herculeseditions.com/product-page/veritas-poems-after-artemisia
John McCullough: Penned in the Margins | Reckless Paper Birds
Richard Westcott: https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/richard-westcott/4594230918
Sarah Lawson: email@example.com
Gabriel Moreno: www.gabrielmoreno.com