Announcing the 2022 Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reading

Author photo of Denise Riley smiling warmly

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reading will be delivered by Denise Riley in the Wills Memorial Building, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ, at 6PM on Friday 16th December 2022

Book your free ticket here.

Over the last five decades, Denise Riley has steadily acquired the reputation of being, in the words of Simon Armitage, ‘one of the best poets around’. Sarah Perry, writer of The Essex Serepent, and Max Porter, writer of Grief is a Thing With Feathers, each called her 2016 volume, Say Something Back ‘the best thing I’ve read in ages’, while Robert Macfarlane declared the book’s ‘heart-piercing elegy to her son Jacob, “A Part Song”: the most powerful contemporary poem I’ve read in years’. 2022 sees the much anticipated publication of its successor, Lurex. The evening promises to be enjoyable, thought provoking and moving.

Denise Riley lives in London. Her prose books are War in the Nursery: Theories of the Child and Mother [1983], ‘Am I That Name?’ Feminism and the Category of ‘Women’ in History [1988], The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony (2000), The Force of Language (with Jean-Jacques Lecercle; 2004), Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect (2005) and Time Lived, Without Its Flow [2012].  Poetry collections include Marxism for Infants (1977), Dry Air (1985), Mop Mop Georgette (1993), Penguin Modern Poets series 2, vol 10 (with Douglas Oliver and Iain Sinclair; 1996), Selected Poems (2000, 2019), Say Something Back (2016), Penguin Modern Poets series 3, vol 6 [with Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine; 2017], Lurex [2022].

Admissions to the 2022 Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reading are free but booking will be essential.

Ways of Reading: Bernadette Mayer and the New York School

image from Rosemary Mayer's Ways of Attaching Exhibition

Join the Bristol Poetry Institute and Spike Island for a conversation and a collaborative writing session dedicated to the New York School poets and the works of Bernadette Mayer.

Date and time
Location
Spike Island 133 Cumberland Road Bristol BS1 6UX

Book your free place here

Bernadette Mayer is an influential avant-garde writer associated with the New York School poets of the mid-20th century. Like her artist sister Rosemary Mayer, she garnered visibility during the second-wave feminist movement in the US. Mayer is known for her experimental poetic forms and narrative structures akin to streams of consciousness, which examine the complexities of gender and sexuality within the intimate interactions and attachments of family life.

A conversation between Dr Rebecca Kosick, Co-Director of the Bristol Poetry Institute, and Dr Rosa Campbell, Associate Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of St Andrews, is followed by the collective reading of selected texts by Bernadette Mayer.

Ways of Reading is organised in collaboration with Spike Island and hosted on the occasion of Rosemary Mayer’s solo exhibition Ways of Attaching.

ANNE CARSON’S EURIPIDES Eight Takes on Trojan Women (2021) and H of H (2021)

The Bristol Poetry Institute is looking forward to this online event organized by Laura Jansen (Bristol), Mario Telò (UC Berkeley), andSarah Nooter (UChicago)

Friday, April 29th, 2022 (9am Pacific Time/ 11am Central Time/ 5pm UK Time)

Click here to book your place

Following her innovative translations of Euripides in Grief Lessons (2006) and her creative play with book form in Nox (2010) and Float (2016), Anne Carson’s recent dialogue with Euripides is amongst her boldest. Trojan Women (2021), a graphic ‘comics poem’, and H of H (2021), an ‘explosion of thought’ in the shape of a playbook with illustrations (by Rosanna Bruno) and notes, are a feast to the imagination for readers of Euripides and Carson. The event will present eight takes on the two works by poets, artists, essayists, and scholars. We aim to consider the books in relation to matters of tragedy and materiality, hybrid translation practices, the forms of the book, chimeric approaches to art, and myth and justice. The event will include a table discussion, together with an appreciation of the contribution that Anne Carson has made to the reception of Euripides in textual and visual form.

Participants

Kay Gabriel (Mount Holyoke College); Phoebe Giannisi (University of Thessaly); Laura Jansen (University of Bristol); Rebecca Kosick (University of Bristol); Sarah Nooter (The University of Chicago); Ian Rae (King’s College at Western University); Patrice Rankine (The University of Chicago); Mario Telò (University of California, Berkeley)

20 Minute Poetry: The Bristol Poetry Institute Zoom Readings (May 2022)

This spring, the BPI returns with another series of short Zoom readings. Take a poetry break with us Tuesday evenings and enjoy an opportunity to hear Tjawangwa Dema, Nathaniel Farrell, and William Thompson share their recent work.

6pm BST Tues May 3      Tjawangwa Dema

6pm BST Tues May 10    Nathaniel Farrell

6pm BST Tues May 17    William Thompson

Register in advance for these events via Zoom. Free and open to all.

Our Readers

Author photo of Tjawangwa Dema

Tjawangwa Dema is author of The Careless Seamstress, winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Her chapbook Mandible was published as part of the New-Generation African Poets box set. She has received fellowships and residencies from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, Northwestern University’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and the Danish International Visiting Artist program, amongst others. Tjawangwa has given readings/facilitated workshops in over twenty countries and her poetry and essays on poetic pedagogies have been featured in various publications, most recently New Daughters of Africa, Botswana Women Write and the MLA’s Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media. Tjawangwa sits on a number of poetry festival and institute boards and is an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. Her poetry has been translated into several languages. In addition to two book translations, her collection, an/other pastoral, was published by No Bindings in April 2022. Photo credit Petra Rolinec.

Author photo of Nathaniel Farrell

Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, Nathaniel Farrell is a poet, collage artist, and educator. His first two books of poetry — Newcomer (2014) and Lost Horizon (2019) — are published by Ugly Duckling Presse. He holds a PhD in English Literature from Columbia University, where he studied Modernist American poetry, and currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri where he teaches composition at Washington University. His collages have been included in exhibitions in New York and Missouri and, like his poetry, engage problems of American national identity, including settler colonial fantasies, consumer culture, and environmental degradation.

Author photo of William Thompson

William Thompson is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol. Born in Cambridgeshire in 1991, his work has appeared in Poetry Wales, Wild Court, The Honest Ulsterman, One Hand Clapping, Ink Sweat & Tears and The Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-21 (Eyewear).

 

 

Bristol Poetry Institute at Lyra Festival (April)

The Bristol Poetry Institute is pleased to once again partner with Lyra, the Bristol Poetry Festival for a series of exciting events this spring. We’d love to see you for any of the below events. All are free and open to the public.

 

April is the cruellest month | The Waste Land Lecture

Date: Friday 1st April 2022

Time: 17:30

Tickets: From £0.00

Venue: Bristol Central Library

To mark this year’s 100th anniversary of The Waste Land, Jim McCue will consider why we are still reading T. S. Eliot’s poem, how our understanding of it has changed, and what was meant by “editing” it as part of a 2,000-page scholarly edition of the poetry.

 

Radical Translation | with Girasol Press

Date: Saturday 9th April 2022

Time: 17:00

Tickets: From £0.00

Venue: Wills Memorial Building (G25), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1QE

Radical Translation explores politically and artistically “radical” approaches to poetry in translation, featuring poets and translators published by or connected with Bristol-based small publisher Girasol Press. We’ll hear from Say, Spirit, Sheffield-based poet Alex Cocker’s experimental translations of Michelangelo’s sonnets, which tease out questions of androgyny, queer desire and the “trans” in translation. There will be readings of new work from Latinx poet and translator Juana Adcock, whose poetry explores living between languages and the violence of present-day Mexico, and from the writer and translator Jessica Sequeira, whose fiercely hybrid texts transgress boundaries of language and genre. Lastly, the afternoon will feature video contributions in Ch’ol and Tsotsil, as well as Spanish and English, from three Mexican poets (Canario de la Cruz, Edgar Darinel García, and Miriam Esperanza Hernández Vázquez) included in Jukub: Poems from Chiapas for the Reverse Conquest. Jukub, the Ch’ol word for canoe, alludes to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation’s maritime delegation, which in 2021 sailed to Europe to mark 500 years since the “conquest” of Mexico in 1521. As a publisher, Girasol Press is interested in experimental approaches to translation and in the tactility and radical slowness of book-arts and antiquated print technologies, such as their trusty Adana 8×5!

 

Diana Bellessi | To Love A Woman/Amar a una mujer

Date: Saturday 9th April 2022

Time: 18:30

Tickets: From £0.00

Venue: Wills Memorial Building (G25), Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1QE

Join Argentinian poet Diana Bellessi and translator Leo Boix to celebrate the publication of To Love A Woman. With support from Polish multilingual poet Bohdan Piasecki. Presented in partnership with the Poetry Translation Centre. Bellessi is a groundbreaking writer who has been credited as the godmother of LGBTQI+ poetry in Latin America. Over the decades she has championed feminist and queer issues and themes, and has exerted a strong influence on prominent poets and writers from the 1980’s through to the present day. Bellessi’s direct, simple aesthetic style was adopted, in part, to speak directly to ordinary people of Argentina over the literary intelligentsia, part of her deep commitment to highlighting the social condition of the working class in Latin America, alongside progressive politics and ecological conservation. A prolific writer, Bellessi has published 25 books and this selection draws from the whole range, charting the progression and evolution of her poetry. Largely untranslated until now, The Poetry Translation Centre is proud to be publishing this collection, many of the poems appearing in English for the first time. Bellessi and Boix will be reading from To Love A Woman in the original Spanish with English translations, and discussing her life and work. While the BPI has not organised this event, we are excited that it continues our engagement with Bellessi and Boix, following a PTC and BPI-hosted translation workshop led by Boix last spring.

 

Poetry Aloud | Featuring Daljit Nagra

Date: Sunday 10th April 2022

Time: 14:00

Tickets: From £0.00

Venue: St. George’s Bristol, Great George St, Bristol BS1 5RR

A free, fun and inspiring afternoon for children, young people and families with top poets and musicians. Children and young people from schools in Bristol and the surrounding areas will perform their chosen poems, old and new, and poems they have written themselves. This event is presented in partnership with Poetry By Heart. Children and young people, aged 7-18, can sign up to perform a poem of their choice by contacting info@poetrybyheart.org.uk. The event will feature special performances from former BPI Annual Reader Daljit Nagra and clare potter, and a poetry and music collaboration by Bob Walton and JOW.

Announcing the 2021 Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reader: Roger Robinson

Headshot of Roger Robinson

Thu, 25 November 2021

18:30 – 19:30 GMT

Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building

Queen’s Road, Clifton Triangle

Bristol, BS8 1RJ

 

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance

 

We are very pleased to present Roger Robinson as this year’s Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reader. The event will last one hour and comprise of a poetry reading and a question and answer session. A 20-minute book signing with the poet will follow the reading.

Roger Robinson is a writer who has performed worldwide. He is the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2019, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2020, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the Black-British writing canon. His latest collection ‘A Portable Paradise’ was a New Statesman book of the year. He is an alumnus of The Complete Works and was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize, The Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize, commended by the Forward Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry 2020.

He has received commissions from The National Trust, London Open House, BBC, The National Portrait Gallery, V&A, INIVA, MK Gallery and Theatre Royal Stratford East where he also was associate artist.

He is an experienced workshop leader and has toured extensively with the British Council. His workshops have been part of a shortlist for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries and were also a part of the Webby Award winning Barbican’s Can I Have A Word. He is co-founder of both Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for King Midas Sound and has also recorded solo albums with Jahtari Records.

Audio Recording of La gran nàusea Booklaunch 25/10/21

On Monday 25 October, 2021, the Bristol Poetry Institute was delighted to host our first in-person event in over a year, featuring a bilingual Catalan/English reading and discussion of La gran nàusea, by Xavier Mas Craviotto. For those not able to attend, we hope you will enjoy this audio recording of the event, introduced by Miguel García Lopez.

Panel Discussion: Spoken Word in the UK

The Bristol Poetry Institute would be delighted if you could join us for a panel discussion of Spoken Word in the UK.

Tue, 23 November 2021 | 19:30 – 20:45 GMT

Free and open to all, booking required

Book and attend via Zoom

Spoken Word in the UK, edited by Dr Lucy English and Dr Jack McGowan,  is a comprehensive and in-depth introduction to spoken word performance in the UK – its origins and development. Drawing together a wide range of scholars, critics and practitioners each chapter gives a new perspective on performance poetics. This is a crucial and ground-breaking book for those studying or teaching performance or poetry and opens up the discussion about widening participation in UK poetry.

In this event three of the authors will discuss their chapters and what the publication of this book means for contemporary poetry: Peter Bearder, Helen Johnson and Jacob Sam-La Rose. The event will be chaired by one of the book’s editors,  Dr Lucy English Professor of Creative Enterprise and The Spoken Word from Bath Spa University.

Pete Bearder is a spoken word poet, comic and musician whose work has been featured on BBC radio 4, The World Service and Newsnight. He is the former National Poetry Slam Champion and has performed around the world with organisations such as the British Council. His groundbreaking book, ‘Stage Invasion: Poetry and the Spoken Word Renaissance’ explored the history and practice of spoken word. ‘This is the book we have all been waiting for as we live through an unprecedented growth in the popularity and vitality of the poetry that revitalises the air we breathe.’ Ian McMillan.

© Pete Jones pete@pjproductions.co.ukHelen Johnson is a principal psychology lecturer at the University of Brighton and Co-Director for the University’s “Centre for Arts and Wellbeing.” She has been composing poetry since before she could hold a pen, and writing/performing spoken word since her twenties.  A social scientist by (academic) training, she began researching poets and poetry during her Masters.  Her PhD research focused on poetry slam communities in the U.S. and U.K.  Towards the end of her doctorate, she took over the management and curation of the Poetry&Words stage at Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, which she continues to manage to this day. Helen is a leading voice in spoken word/poetry slam scholarship and an expert in arts-based and creative research methods. She is particularly interested in the intersections between arts-based research, participatory research and social justice, and has developed the collaborative poetics method framed by these concerns.

by Amaal SaidJacob Sam-La Rose is a poet, educator and editor, deeply invested in supporting emerging poets and writers. He’s been responsible for Barbican Young Poets, the Spoken Word Education programme and Shake the Dust (youth slam and poetry-in-education CPD). His work has been translated into Portuguese, Latvian, French and Dutch, and his collection ‘Breaking Silence’ is studied at A’ level.

Book Launch: La gran nàusea, by Xavier Mas Craviotto

The Bristol Poetry Institute looks forward to hosting poet Xavier Mas Craviotto for a launch of his new book La gran nàusea. Join us for a reading and conversation with the poet facilitated by James Hawkey and introduced by Joanna Crow.

Mon, 25 October 2021 | 18:00 – 19:00 BST

Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building

Free and open to all, booking required

La gran nàusea is a book of poems that delves into a process of exhaustion and weariness. An erosion that consumes the bonds between consciousness and reality, and inevitably leads not only to a feeling of tedium, but also to a hyperconsciousness of unreality and an invasion of strangeness. Taking as its starting point the symbol of the nausea that can be found in Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous novel and also in some of Nietzsche’s works, together with other authors like Lars Svendsen, Peter Handke, Byung-Chul Han or filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman, the poems of this book rummage in the apathy raised in a world of demolished senses and wasted meanings, in the deep malaise that we have inside when we feel close the presence of an invasive, compact and solid void. La gran nàusea is a book about the (capital-V) Void. A Void that, like from the nausea to the vomit, starts being an inner and intangible discomfort and ends up being an outer and material reality; a deified Void that we liturgically venerate; a Void that goes from the individual to the community; a Void that in the beginning of the book pulls down a house and at the end of the book devours a whole city.

La gran nàusea is divided in three parts —repleció, antiperistalsi and èmesi—whose titles correspond to the three phases of vomit. In these poems, the reader will embark on a poetic journey with an I and a You that struggle to understand not only each other but also a world that fades away right before their eyes. A world in which anything makes sense because words have been worn away and have lost their capability of evoking and attributing meanings and identities.

 

Xavier Mas Craviotto (Navàs, Catalonia, 1996) is currently the Catalan lector at the University of Bristol. He studied Catalan Philology in Universitat de Barcelona and a postgraduate degree in Language Consultancy and Publishing Services at the same university. He also collaborated for two years with The Research Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication (CUSC-UB). He is one of the founders of Com ho diria, an online platform focused on the use of slang amongst young Catalan speakers. When he was 17, he was finalist in the Jordi Sierra i Fabra Literary Award in Spain and Latin America, and from then on he has won around twenty literary awards of narrative and poetry. He has published the novel La mort lenta (‘The slow death’, 2019), with which he won the Documenta Award 2018, and the book of poems Renills de cavall negre (‘Black horses’ neighs’, 2019), awarded with Certamen Art Jove Salvador Iborra Prize. He has participated in several poetry readings and in some collective books of short stories along with other Catalan authors.

Joanna Crow is Associate Professor in Latin American Studies. She has worked at the University of Bristol since 2006 and is currently Head of Subject for the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on Latin American cultural and intellectual history. She is particularly interested in histories of race, racism, and anti-racism. Her forthcoming book with Palgrave Macmillan is a study of transnational networks and debates about indigenous rights in early twentieth century Chile and Peru.

James Hawkey is Catalan Studies Coordinator at the University of Bristol. His research is focused on Catalan Linguistics and Cultural Studies. He has worked at the University of Bristol since 2014, prior to which he held positions at the Sorbonne University in Paris, as well as the Centre for Catalan Studies at Queen Mary, University of London.

 

 

Researching Change Through Poetry Translation

Join the Bristol Poetry Institute for this interactive workshop and discover more about the relationship between moments of cultural (ex)change and upheaval. With the help of poet and co-director of the Bristol Poetry Institute Rebecca Kosick and Jonny Elling from the University of Bristol’s Department of Modern Languages, try your hand at producing translations of German and Spanish poetry, – no prior knowledge of the languages is required.

This event is co-hosted with Futures: European Researchers’ Night. Head over to their site for more information and a link to book.