Still European

STILL EUROPEAN – Thursday 25 February 2021 at 7.30 on Zoom

However you feel about ‘having got brexit done’ (personally, I am gutted…), I want to celebrate the diverse languages, artforms and culture of Europe with an evening of words, images and more words.

In collaboration with the Mary Evans Picture Library in Blackheath and thanks to its Poetry and Pictures Blog, curated by Gill Stoker, we shall hear Sarah Lawson, Fiona Moore, Gabriel Moreno, John McCullough, Emma Page, Jacqueline Saphra and Richard Westcott read their poems on a European theme and show the pictures that inspired them. They will also read their favourite European poem in translation and, wherever possible, in the original.

Free by invitation. Email irena.mh50(at)gmail.com to be sent a zoom link the day before the event.

Sarah Lawson is a poet and translator. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and in her collections Below the Surface and All the Tea in China. She has published three poetry pamphlets with Hearing Eye: Down Where the Willow Is Washing Her Hair, Friends in the Country and Twelve Scenes of Malta and a collection of haiku, The Wisteria’s Children. She has translated works from French, Spanish and Dutch, and is probably the only person to have translated both Christine de Pisan (The Treasure of the City of Ladies, Penguin Classics, 1985) and Jacques Prévert (Selected Poems, Hearing Eye, 2002). She has held a C. Day Lewis Fellowship and was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2005.

Fiona Moore‘s first collection The Distal Point (published by Happenstance) was shortlisted for the 2019 T S Eliot prize and the Seamus Heaney first collection prize.  She is a board member for the poetry magazine Magma and was lead editor for Magma’s 2018 Climate Change issue.  Fiona is based in Greenwich and campaigns locally on environmental issues, e.g. against the Silvertown Tunnel.  She moved to the Outer Hebrides in late 2019 to spend a year there, writing and exploring, but has stayed on for longer because of Covid.  She is learning one of the lesser known European languages – Gaelic – and speaks several others, having lived and worked in Austria, Poland and Greece. 

Gabriel Moreno was born in Gibraltar. He has a degree in Philosophy and Hispanic Studies from the University of Hull and a Doctorate in Hispanic Literature from the University of Barcelona. Published works in Spanish include ‘Londres y el susurro de las amapolas’ (Omicrón 2007). Works in English include ‘The Hollow Tortoise’ (2012); ‘Nights in Mesogeois’ (Annexe 2013), ‘The Moon and the Sparrow’ (2015) and ‘The Passer-by’ (2018). Gabriel has also released three albums as a singer-songwriter. His latest album ‘Whiskey with Angels’ was played on BBC6 by Cerys Mathews.

John McCullough lives in Hove. His latest book of poems, Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins) won the 2020 Hawthornden prize for literature and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. In the Times Literary Supplement, head judge for the Hawthornden, Christopher Reid, described it as ‘a rare literary phenomenon … a frank and militant declaration of joy.’ John has won other awards including the Polari First Book Prize and his collections have been named Books of the Year in The Independent, The Guardian and The Observer as well as his work often appearing in magazines such as Poetry London, Poetry Review and The New Statesman. He teaches creative writing at the University of Brighton and New Writing South.

Emma Page was born in Yorkshire and has lived in south-east London for almost twenty years. She studied English at Oxford in the early nineties and English in Education at King’s College London ten years later, writing her MA dissertation on the out-of-school personal and creative writing practices of secondary school students. She is an experienced English teacher who currently works as an education writer, private tutor and writing coach. Her writing is inspired by many things including her experiences as a woman and mother, the arts and the lives of artists, nature and the environment, and her longstanding interest in juvenilia and the creativity of children. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry London (ed. Colette Bryce) and The Best British Poetry 2011 (ed. Roddy Lumsden), and in the online journals Berfrois and iamb. She is currently working on a novel for children, and towards her first poetry pamphlet.

Jacqueline Saphra’s The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye 2011)was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women (The Emma Press 2014) won the Saboteur Award for Best Collaborative Work. All My Mad Mothers (Nine Arches Press 2017)was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize. Two of her sonnet sequences A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller (2017) and Veritas: Poems After Artemisia (2020) are published by Hercules Editions. Her third collection, Dad, Remember You Are Dead was published by Nine Arches Press in 2019 and her latest book, One Hundred Lockdown Sonnets has just been published by Nine Arches Press. She is a founder member of Poets for the Planet, lives in London, teaches at The Poetry School and is Still European.

Richard Westcott, now retired from a happy and fulfilled lifetime of NHS doctoring, no longer has any excuse for not writing poetry. His poems have appeared in all sorts of places like buses, shop windows and on walls, along with more conventional anthologies and magazines – even winning an occasional prize here and there – and his well-received pamphlet entitled There They Live Much Longer is published by Indigo Dreams.

He blogs at www.richardwestcottspoetry.com

Events

Monday 8 November at 7.30pm on Zoom

Private Memorial Event: ‘A Celebration of the Life and Work of Richard Stoker (1938-2021), British composer’

Many of you will have attended past in-words events held in cooperation with Gill Stoker. I am deeply touched that she has asked me to host a memorial event to remember and celebrate her husband Richard on what would have been his next birthday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stoker

This event is by invitation only.
If you knew Richard, or know his music, and would like to attend, please email gillstoker@btinternet.com for further details.

Thursday 25 November at 7.30 on Zoom

WINDOWS‘ – An evening of poetry with Isabel Bermudez, Maggie Butt, David Cooke and Dino Mahoney.

Why ‘Windows’? Because for an hour or so, we will have the privilege of looking through different windows at views and images, places and atmospheres presented to us by four very different voices. But also to honour The High Window, the online poetry magazine edited by David Cooke.

This is a free event by invitation. Please email irena@in-words.co.uk to receive a zoom link nearer the time.

ISABEL BERMUDEZ is a poet and textile artist living in Orpington, Kent. Her most recent publication is Serenade (Paekakariki Press, 2020), poems evoking Spain and the New World,  with illustrations by Simon Turvey. She performs her poetry widely at readings and festivals and was recently hosted by the Colombian Embassy and the Instituto Cervantes, Manchester in conversation with Welsh poet and translator, Richard Gwyn. In a previous life she lived and worked as a producer/director in television in Sri Lanka and as a documentary filmmaker in Colombia. She has held many jobs, including grape picker in France, shop assistant and special correspondent, and for the past fifteen years has taught French and Spanish privately. More at www.isabel-bermudez.com.

MAGGIE BUTT is a journalist and BBC documentary producer, turned poet and novelist. Her sixth full collection everlove was published by The London Magazine Editions in April 2021 and her novel The Prisoner’s Wife was published around the world in 2020 by Penguin Random House under her maiden name Maggie Brookes. Her poetry appears widely in international magazines and anthologies, and has escaped the page into a mobile phone app, choreography, BBC Radio 4, readings, film-poems and festivals. She has judged a number of international poetry competitions and taught creative writing at Middlesex University for 30 years.

DAVID COOKE was born in Wokingham, although his family comes from the West of Ireland. While still an undergraduate, he won a Gregory Award and since then his poems and reviews have appeared in many journals in the UK, Ireland and beyond: Agenda, Ambit, The Cortland Review, The Interpreter’s House, The Irish Times, The London Magazine, Magma, The Manhattan Review, The Morning Star, The North, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Stand. He has also published eight collections, the latest of which is Sicilian Elephants (Two Rivers Press. 2021).He is the founder and editor of the online poetry journal The High Window.

KONSTANDINOS (DINO) MAHONEY is a London based poet of Greek-Irish-English heritage. He won the 2017 Poetry Society Stanza Competition with his poem, ‘Dr Mirabilis and the Brass Wall That Will Save England,’ which is included in Tutti Frutti, his debut SPM collection.  He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and has poems published in: The High Window, London GripButcher’s Dog, Perverse, Tentacular, Live Canon Anthologies, New European. He performs his poems as songs with Dino & the Diamonds, and teaches creative writing at Hong Kong University.  More info at dinomahoney.co.uk