Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks

Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks

Tickets: £10 for talk/ £18 talk followed by supper. Phone: 01308 459511 to book now.  Numbers are strictly limited.

No.1 – Pablo Neruda: Thursday 31 January 6pm for 6.30. See below for more information…

No.2 – Geoffrey Chaucer: Wednesday 13 March 6pm for 6.30

No.3 – Byron: Friday 19 April 6pm for 6.30

No.4 – Ovid: May

Renowned broadcaster, educator and speaker Graham Fawcett will be giving a series of seven lectures at Sladers Yard –  the first of which will be Pablo Neruda, followed by Chaucer on 13 March.  Ovid will now be in May. The lectures are part of the acclaimed national tour, which explores seven poets in history whose achievements on the page have made them world-class heroes.

Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks No. 1


Thursday 31 January 6pm for 6.30 – 8pm lecture (including interval) followed by supper. Tickets: £10 for lecture/ £18 lecture and supper (cottage pie/ vegetarian option). Please phone 01308 459511 now to book.

Graham Fawcett neruda

photo: Birgitta Johansson

‘Splendid…’  George Beckmann at Pablo Neruda lecture in London.

‘Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us’ Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Such is the power of cinema that the clearest picture many of us have of Pablo Neruda’s life and work is, thanks to the 1994 film Il Postino: The Postman, that he was on Capri in 1952 living for the first time with Mathilde Urrutia, the woman who would share the last 28 years of his life, and that he understood about love.

Whether in enforced exile, as on Capri and visiting many of the world’s capitals, or as a diplomat in Burma, Ceylon, the Dutch East Indies, Spain during the Civil War (his in memoriam poems for Lorca, a friend, stun eye and ear), France and Mexico, Neruda travelled effortlessly; as a result, his poetry carries the authentic charge of his encounter with dramas of land and sea and the unfolding of history.  The love poetry offers the gloriously double intimacy of an open heart to the beloved and friendship’s confessional to the reader, while his political nerve, exquisitely incisive and moderate, inspires fellow feeling beyond borders.

Nobel Laureate in 1971, Neruda has been hailed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as the greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language.

Graham Fawcett gives courses, seminars, tutorials, lectures, poetry lunches, and other one-day events on reading and writing poetry. He has been a tutor for The Poetry School since 1997, devising and teaching new courses on poetry past and present from around the world. He has written and presented radio programmes about literature and music on BBC Radio 3 for many years. His acclaimed lecture series is on tour throughout 2013.

This is the first talk of seven in praise of: Ovid, Geoffrey Chaucer, Lord Byron, Alexander Pushkin, Charles Baudelaire, Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda, who became and have remained national and international heroes for their uniqueness of voice, intensity of wonder at the world, formidable output, and prowess on the page.

Plan ahead:

GEOFFREY CHAUCER on Wednesday 13 March

LORD BYRON on Friday 19 April

OVID has been postponed until May.

Entertaining broadcaster, writer, educator and translator Graham Fawcett has lectured or led workshops at:

  • the Aldeburgh Festival (Britten the Illuminator – Benjamin Britten’s settings of poetry)
  • the Edward the Confessor Millennial Festival, Islip 2005 (From Beowulf to Bayeux)
  • the British Centre for Literary Translation
  • the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick
  • the Postgraduate Interpreting and Translation Department of European Studies & Modern Languages at the University of Bath
  • the School of English in the Department of Communication and Philosophy at the      University of Cardiff
  • the Dulwich Festival
  • the Peterborough Festival
  • the Benissa campus of the University of Alicante
  • the Feltre campus of the University of Milan
  • the Guild of Psychotherapists in London
  • Middlesex University
  • Westmont College, Santa Barbara (in London and Venice)
  • the Contemporary Poets Tour
  • the Institute of Linguists in Cambridge
  • Metroland (Amersham)
  • the Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery (Bournemouth)
  • the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society (Tunbridge Wells)
  • the Children’s Bookshow
  • the Guild of Pastoral Psychology (London)
  • the Blackheath Poetry Society
  • the National Art Fund


Born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in southern Chile on July 12, 1904, Pablo Neruda led a life charged with poetic and political activity. In 1923 he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, Crepusculario (“Twilight”). He published the volume under the pseudonym “Pablo Neruda” to avoid conflict with his family, who disapproved of his occupation. The following year, he found a publisher for Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair”). The book made a celebrity of Neruda, who gave up his studies at the age of twenty to devote himself to his craft.

In 1927, Neruda began his long career as a diplomat in the Latin American tradition of honoring poets with diplomatic assignments. After serving as honorary consul in Burma, Neruda was named Chilean consul in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1933. While there, he began a friendship with the visiting Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. After transferring to Madrid later that year, Neruda also met Spanish writer Manuel Altolaguirre. Together the two men founded a literary review called Caballo verde para la poesîa in 1935. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 interrupted Neruda’s poetic and political development. He chronicled the horrendous years which included the execution of García Lorca in Espana en el corazon (1937), published from the war front. Neruda’s outspoken sympathy for the loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War led to his recall from Madrid in 1937. He then returned to Europe to help settle republican refugees in the United States.

Neruda returned to Chile in 1938 where he renewed his political activity and wrote prolifically. Named Chilean Consul to Mexico in 1939, Neruda left Chile again for four years. Upon returning to Chile in 1943, he was elected to the Senate and joined the Communist Party. When the Chilean government moved to the right, they declared communism illegal and expelled Neruda from the Senate. He went into hiding. During those years he wrote and published Canto general (1950).

In 1952 the government withdrew the order to arrest leftist writers and political figures, and Neruda returned to Chile and married Matilde Urrutia, his third wife (his first two marriages, to Maria Antonieta Haagenar Vogelzang and Delia del Carril, both ended in divorce). For the next twenty-one years, he continued a career that integrated private and public concerns and became known as the people’s poet. During this time, Neruda received numerous prestigious awards, including the International Peace Prize in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

Diagnosed with cancer while serving a two-year term as ambassador to France, Neruda resigned his position thus ending his diplomatic career. On September 23, 1973, just twelve days after the defeat of Chile’s democratic regime, the man widely regarded as the greatest Latin-American poet since Darío, died of leukemia in Santiago, Chile.

About Sladers Yard

Sladers Yard is an art gallery and cafe in West Bay, Dorset. Our art gallery showcases contemporary British Art, Furniture and Craft whilst the licensed cafe serves fresh, locally produced homecooked food and drinks.
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