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.

The BPI Alejandra Pizarnik Reading Group

Update: this reading group has been moved to April 2022.

The Bristol Poetry Institute is looking forward to hosting this reading group addressing the works of Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, to take place in September. Please see the poster below for more information or reach out to the organiser, Dr Laura Jansen.

THE ALEJANDRA PIZARNIK READING GROUP Faculty of Arts Organised by Laura Jansen Under the auspices of the Bristol Poetry Institute Fridays 3:30-5pm September 3, 10, 19 and 24, 2021 With the participation of poets Alice Oswald & Phoebe Giannisi ‘There is an aura of almost legendary, classical prestige that surrounds the life and work of Alejandra Pizarnik.’ César Aira (1998) During her short life, Alejandra published eight small books that have earned her a fundamental place in poetry in Spanish. Her forerunners were classical Greek and Roman poets, Arab-Andalusian poets of the Middle Ages [...] Rimbaud and the French surrealists. Eventually, her poetic vocabulary became unique: echoes of [these traditions] can be heard in the background of her writing, but they are never allowed a full presence. Alberto Manguel (2015) Postgraduates and Postdoctoral researchers interested in twentieth-century writers are warmly invited to attend this online interdisciplinary reading group, hosted by Laura Jansen of the Department of Classics and Ancient History in partnership with the Bristol Poetry Institute. Our focus this year is on the oeuvre of Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik (Buenos Aires 1936-72), whose writings include poems, diaries, correspondence and critical essays. We will be exploring a selection of texts from works such as Diana’s Tree/ Árbol de Diana (1962), Works and Nights/ Los trabajos y noches (1965), Extracting the Stone of Madness/ Extracción de la piedra de locura (1968), and A Tradition of Rupture: Selected Critical Writings (2019). The texts will be circulated in English, while readings of short poems during the sessions will be performed in English, as well as in Spanish and French, the two languages in which Pizarnik wrote. Participants are expected to commit to regular online attendance of the four sessions. The group will meet on Fridays, 3:30-5pm, starting on September 3, 2021. It is expected that the reading group will be predominantly for postgraduate and postdoctoral scholars, although senior scholars are also very welcome. All those interested in attending should get in touch with the organiser by July 1, 2021: laura.jansen@bristol.ac.uk

Translation workshop with Leo Boix featuring poetry by Diana Bellessi

Photo of Diana Bellessi

Date and time: 15 and 22 June, 18:30-20:00 BST

Cost: pay what you can

Register: via Eventbrite

In collaboration with the Poetry Translation Centre, we are very proud to present a workshop on Spanish poetry, focussing on the work of Argentine poet Diana Bellessi. A guide translation is provided by the guest translator so there is no need to know the language being translated, simply sign up and bring your love of language.

This online workshop will take place over two 90-minute sessions on Zoom over two consecutive Tuesdays. This format will let us spend time with a single poetic voice. The workshops will be led by translator Leo Boix.

Diana Bellessi is a poet from the province of Santa Fé in Argentina. Born in 1946, she has become one of the foremost voices in Latin America, her many awards include: 1993 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, 1996 Antorchas Foundation fellowship, 2004 Premio Konex, Merit Award, 2007 Fondo Nacional de las Artes, lifetime award in poetry. She is considered to be the godmother of feminist / LGBTQI+ / Lesbian poetry in Argentina and her work demonstrates a deep commitment to progressive politics, ecological conservation and the social condition of the working class in Argentina and Latin America. Her poetry is seen as groundbreaking for its depiction of Lesbian desire and has exerted a strong influence on prominent poets and writers from the 80s and 90s through to the present day.

Leo Boix is a bilingual Latino British poet, translator and journalist based in the UK. He has published two collections in Spanish, Un lugarpropio (2015) and Mar de noche (2017), and was included in many anthologies, such as Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe) and Why Poetry? (Verve Poetry Press). His English poems have appeared widely including in PoetryThe Poetry ReviewModern Poetry in TranslationPNReview and The Rialto. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works Program and co-director of ‘Invisible Presence’, a scheme to nurture new young voices of Latino poets in the UK. His debut collection of English poetry, Ballad of a Happy Immigrant, will be published by Chatto and Windus in 2021.

For more information, head over to Eventbrite.

Bristol by Heart Poetry Recitation Contest: Metre and Memorisation Project

The Metre and Memorisation Project, funded by the Brigstow Institute at the University of Bristol, announces the Bristol by Heart poetry recitation contest in collaboration with Poetry by Heart and the Bristol Poetry Institute.

Details of the Prize

Contestants are required to recite a poem from memory.  Poems chosen should be poems or extracts from poems of between fourteen and forty lines in length and in English.  All poems must be published and not the work of participants. Beyond this, the choice of poems is up to students and their teachers.  Poems can, for instance, be poems that are also being studied as part of regular school work, such as poems required for GCSE.  Alternatively, they can be selected from the wide range of suitable poems on the Poetry by Heart website, or indeed from further afield.  Why not choose poems that reflect Bristol’s diverse population or poems from its rich poetic history? Participants choosing a poem not on the Poetry by Heart website are asked to include a copy of the text of the poem learned along with their entry.

There are four age categories: 7+, 11+, 14+, 16+.  Heats will be held in participating schools. The process of judging these heats will be left up to the individual school: judges can be teachers, the participants’ peer group, or a combination of two.  The best 3-5 performances in each age category will then be uploaded onto the Poetry by Heart website for consideration by the judges.  Students whose school / class is not participating in the competition can enter independently, providing that their entry is approved and uploaded by a teacher or parent/legal guardian.

We would encourage teachers and parents to make learning and performing the poems as enjoyable and inclusive a process as possible and to talk about different methods of memorisation. The judges will be looking for a high quality poetry recital rather than a dramatic interpretation, and we recommend that poems are performed in the reader’s natural accent.  Further Tips on poetry recital can be found on the Poetry by Heart website.  All participating students, whether shortlisted by the schools or not, are invited to fill in a questionnaire about their experience of memorisation.  The data from these forms will be anonymised and used to help the Metre and Memorisation project into its research into the psychological effects of poetry memorisation.  Three of the contestants who complete these forms will be chosen at random to receive a £10 book token.

There are four age categories: 7+, 11+, 14+, 16+

The Deadline for entries to be uploaded is 5pm on Friday, 2nd July.

Winners in each category will receive a £50 book token plus a £25 book token for their school libraries.  The two runners up in each category will receive a £15 book token plus a £10 book token for their school libraries.

The Competition is open to children and young people in Bristol and the Surrounding Area. All schools in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are eligible. If your school is from further afield and would like to take part, please contact the organisers who will make a discretionary decision.

Further details about how enter are available on the Learning Zone at poetrybyheart.org.uk.

20 Minute Poetry: The Bristol Poetry Institute Zoom Readings (May 2021)

In May, the BPI  returns with another series of short Zoom readings. Take a poetry break with us Tuesday evenings and enjoy an opportunity to hear Andrés Anwandter, giovanni singleton, and Samantha Walton share their recent work.

6pm BST Tues May 11            Andrés Anwandter

6pm BST Tues May 18            giovanni singleton

6pm BST Tues May 25            Samantha Walton

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

Our Readers

Andrés Anwandter was born in Valdivia (Chile) in 1974 and is currently based in Bristol (UK). He is a poet and researcher who has published ten volumes of poetry, among them: Especies intencionales (2001 − Premio Municipal de Poesía), Square Poems (2002 − published by Writers Forum, London), Banda sonora (2006 − Premio de la Crítica) and Materia gris (2019 − Premio Mejores Obras Literarias). Selections of his poetry have appeared in numerous literary magazines in Chile, USA, and UK, and have also been included in major anthologies of recent Chilean poetry. He is one half of the sound poetry duo “Motor Nightingale”, along with poet Martin Bakero. As a translator, he has published in Spanish work by Tom Raworth, H.C. Artmann, Rebecca Solnit and David Antin. In 2014, he was awarded the Premio Pablo Neruda for young poets, acknowledging his literary trajectory and contribution to Chilean poetry. His last book of poems Pasados en limpio has just been released in Chile.       

giovanni singleton is the author of Ascension, informed by the life and work of Alice Coltrane, which won the California Book Award Gold Medal and AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper, a collection of visual art and poetry. Her writing has been widely anthologized as well as exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s American Jazz Museum, San Francisco’s first Visual Poetry and Performance Festival, and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In 2018, she received the African American Literature and Culture Society’s Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry. She is founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. For ten years she coordinated the Lunch Poems reading series at the University of California, Berkeley where she also served as the Holloway Lecturer in Poetry and Poetics. singleton was recently awarded an inaugural 2020 c3:Initiative letterpress residency and her dreamography is forthcoming from Noemi Press.

Samantha Walton is a poet and writer based in Bristol. She’s interested in how lyric poetry might be transformed to meet the conditions of ecological and social crisis, a theme explored in her first collection, Self Heal (Boiler House Press, 2018). Her recent pamphlet, Bad Moon (Spam, 2020) is an experiment in ecological gothic, and part of a longer sequence of loosely narrative poems looking at apocalypse and environmental disaster through the lens of popular fiction. Her poetry and fiction has been published in AmbitBath Magg, Chicago Review, Granta, Gutter, and Poetry Review, among other places. She teaches literature at Bath Spa University, co-edits Sad Press, and will publish her first non-fiction book, Everybody Needs Beauty: In Search of the Nature Cure, in July 2021.

 

In Conversation with Sarah Tremlett: The Poetics of Poetry Film

Image of the book cover for The Poetics of Poetry Film

 

Wed, 21 April 2021

18:00 – 19:00 BST

Virtual event via Zoom

The Bristol Poetry Institute and Indisciplinary Poetics Research Cluster are delighted to announce this conversation with Sarah Tremlett (co-director of Liberated Words) and Rebecca Kosick (co-director of the Bristol Poetry Institute). The duo will discuss Sarah’s forthcoming book, The Poetics of Poetry Film: Film Poetry, Videopoetry, Lyric Voice, Reflection. Commissioned by Intellect Books and The University of Chicago Press, The Poetics of Poetry Film is the first book of its kind. With encyclopedic content, it establishes historical context, classifies the different types of poetry film, and sheds light on the fast-growing genre. Whilst Sarah Tremlett’s thinking develops around subjects such as time, lyric voice, subjectivity, the remediation of the page poem, and audio-visual philosophical practice, the book is multi-voiced, including first-hand accounts from numerous poetry filmmakers worldwide. A ground-breaking industry bible for students, academics, poetry film-makers and anyone interested in poetry, digital media, filmmaking, art and creative writing.

This event is free and open to all. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit our Eventbrite page.

Poetry and Reconnection: Discussion and Q&A with Madhu Krishnan and Caleb Parkin

Photos of Madhu Krishnan and Caleb Parkin

Date: Thursday 15th April 2021
Price: Free
Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm
BSL interpreted by Russ Andrews

The Bristol Poetry Institute is pleased to be partnering with Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival to host this virtual conversation between BPI Executive Board member Madhu Krishnan and Bristol City Poet Caleb Parkin. Krishnan and Parkin will discuss the themes of reconnection, nature and poetry. What do we talk about when we talk about nature? Does nature really connect us, or does it also divide? Does “nature” even exist? This conversation will consider the ways in which poetry and nature intersect, and how the human and non-human environment is produced and reproduced, (be)laboured, (de)constructed and performed through language.

Bring a quote or poem of up to fifty words related to these themes and there’ll be chances to feed these into the conversation, keeping things live and lively. This event will be BSL interpreted.

To book your free ticket, head over to the Lyra Festival’s page.

Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Lecture: Nick Groom presents ‘Twenty-First-Century Chatterton’

® Chris Chapman 2018

Date: Wednesday 14th April 2021
Price: Free
Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm

This virtual talk will introduce the poetry of Thomas Chatterton to a contemporary audience. While Chatterton’s obsessive invention of mediaeval Bristol certainly makes his writing unique, it also risks alienating readers. Why should we bother reading him today, unless we have a particular interest in eighteenth-century literature that describes the past? In fact, not only does Chatterton’s phenomenally imaginative recreation of the Middle Ages have striking significance today, it is in any case only one aspect of his writing. Chatterton’s multi-facetted work runs from scathing satire to some of the earliest anti-slavery poetry ever written, and among his extraordinarily diverse writing are moments of insight that can help us think through the challenges and dilemmas of the twenty-first century.

Dr Nick Groom has published on a wide range of literary and cultural topics, from national identities to cultural environmentalism to the Gothic – the latter earning him the sobriquet of the ‘Prof of Goth’ in the media. His environmental writing includes the book The Seasons: A Celebration of the English Year (2013), runner-up for the BBC Countryfile Book of the Year, while his extensive work on the Gothic has helped to redefine the field through books including The Gothic (2012) and editions of The Castle of Otranto, The Monk, The Italian, and Frankenstein (2014-19). The Vampire: A New History, described by the New Yorker as ‘colossally smart’, was first published in 2018 and has been translated into Italian and Spanish. He has also published extensively on Thomas Chatterton in many essays and articles, has edited Chatterton’s poetry for a selected edition, and his book The Forger’s Shadow (2003) focuses on Chatterton’s life and work. Nick Groom is currently Professor in English at the University of Macau, having previously held positions at the universities of Bristol, Chicago, Stanford, and Exeter.

This event is presented in partnership with Lyra the Bristol Poetry Festival, Bristol Ideas, and supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund. It is part of A Poetic City, a multi-partner, city-wide programme that explores the legacy of Thomas Chatterton.

To reserve your free ticket, visit our partners at Lyra.