‘Beyond Words’ Poetry and more ...
The ‘Beyond Words’ poetry venue started the year with a January visit from Christine Webb who read from her collections ‘After Babel’ and ‘Catching your Breath’. Christine’s poetry has been described by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion as both courageous and moving, which indeed it is, though we could also add wry and full of humour and good sense too. The new year also brought a great example of the ‘and more’ that we are trying to promote as playwright Claire Booker brought in her enthusiastic troupe of actors to do a monologue and a 5 minute play Harriet at the Park – with startling results! A bright and diverse beginning to the year.
On March 5th we welcome the London collective Malika’s Kitchen who started over ten years ago, meeting on Friday nights in Malika Booker’s kitchen to learn and develop their craft. This led to their collection ‘Handmade Fire’, and the anthology ‘A Storm Between Fingers’ as well as publications by individual poets, several poetry prize winners amongst them. Malika teaches at The Poetry School in London as well as City Lit and was the very first Poet in Residence at The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Glyn Maxwell will bring us his poetry on April 5th, though he could bring us his plays (numerous), his novels (several), or indeed his music (his libretto for an opera based on Philip Pullman’s The Firework Makers Daughter being premiered at the ROH in April this year). Glyn studied poetry and theatre at Oxford and in Boston and his work flows across the genres creating verse plays and narrative poetry. I wonder what treat he will share with us?
Beyond Words hosts household name John Hegley in May. John presented the BBC radio series Hearing with Hegley and the Border Television series Word of Mouth. His poem Malcolm was voted the second most popular comic poem in a BBC survey. John’s poetry ranges from surreal and humorous to personal and emotional, is occasionally accompanied by a mandolin and often utilises audience participation. Never has the phrase ‘hold on to your seats’ been more apt.