Annie Freud, Penelope Shuttle, Roddy Lumsden: poetry performance…
with new talent Elaine Beckett, Maya Pieris and Lisa Storm-Olsen
Saturday 23 March 2013 6.30pm
Tickets: £8 for poetry. Phone 01308 459511. Book a table for food and fun later. Numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.
A young poet visits an older poet who has enjoyed fame and success.
In the street, a plum tree has scattered its golden fruit all over the pavement.
When it’s over, she’ll come back and fill her pockets with these Mirabelles.
She leaves the older poet’s house; night has fallen; she has forgotten
the plums. But the thought of them, lying so sweet all over the pavement,
comes back to her and she remembers them every day for the rest of her life.
Annie Freud was born in London in 1948. She is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud, maternal grand-daughter of sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein, and the great-grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud. Freud was educated at the Lycee Francais de Londres and then studied English and European Literature at Warwick University. Since 1975, she has worked intermittently as a tapestry artist and embroiderer, exhibiting work and undertaking commissions from people such as Anthony D’Offay, Jon Snow and Graham Norton. She taught the Advanced Class of the Poetry Writing Course at City University, London. Her first full collection from Picador, The Best Man Who Ever Was, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation in 2007, and went on to receive the Glen Dimplex New Writers’ Award in the same year. Her latest collection, The Mirabelles, was published by Picador in 2010 and was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize in 2011. She lives in Dorset with her husband.
By Penelope Shuttle
I used to wake early, and weep.
Now I wake just as early,
calm as a cloud
in the moony sky outside.
Even thinking about unpaid bills
doesn’t make me weep,
though I used to weep and weep.
4.30 a.m. No way of getting back
to sleep so I listen in
to the silence of a world dark and at rest.
I know other women
wider-awake than me.
I hear the silence beyond their weeping,
streetlamps outside their windows
won’t blank out for hours and hours yet.
I used to wake early, etc …
Now I let my old friend Sleep
go his own sweet way,
listen to whoever is wide-awake in me,
running the flats of her hands
over the rough walls of the world,
looking for what?
A way in? A way out?
You tell me.
From Unsent: New & Selected Poems 1980-2012 by Penelope Shuttle (Bloodaxe, £12).
Penelope Shuttle was born near London but has lived in Cornwall since 1970. She is the widow of Peter Redgrove (1932-2003). A biography of Redgrove, A LUCID DREAMER, authored by Neil Roberts, was published alongside Peter’s COLLECTED POEMS in January 2012 (both volumes from Jonathan Cape). Penny Shuttle’s 2010 collection, SANDGRAIN AND HOURGLASS, appeared from Bloodaxe Books in October 2010, and was a Recommendation of The Poetry Book Society, and a Poetry Book of the Year in The Financial Times. Ben Wilkinson (in The Guardian) described it as ‘a moving and abundant book’.
UNSENT: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1980 – 2012 was published in October 2012 (Bloodaxe Books). Since 1980 Shuttle has published nine collections, plus an earlier Selected Poems (Oxford University Press, 1998). In 2007 she was awarded a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry. REDGROVE’S WIFE ( Bloodaxe Books 2006) was short-listed for the Forward Prize, and for the T S Eliot Award. It was described as a book of ‘lament and celebration.’ John Greening, writing on REDGROVE’S WIFE in the Times Literary Supplement, notes the author’s ‘elegiac authority’, and says that ‘Penelope Shuttle’s great strength is her natural myth-making lyricism.’ Penelope Shuttle is a Hawthornden Fellow.
She has been a judge for the Arvon Poetry Competition, for the Arts Council Awards, for the Eric Gregory Awards, and the National Poetry Competition, among many others. She is current Chair of the Falmouth Poetry Group founded in 1972 by Peter Redgrove. She has given numerous public readings at festivals such as Aldeburgh, King’s Lynn, Poetry-on-the-Lake, Poetry-next-the-Sea, Ways with Words, L
edbury, etc, and at many other venues including The Wordsworth Trust. Her work can
be heard at the Poetry Archive Website, and is available from The Poetry Archive on cd. She was a contributor to the BBC Radio 4 documentary, THE MALE MUSE. Her work is included on the cd LifeLines, produced by Oxfam.
Her work appears in numerous anthologies, including THE FIREBOX, SIXTY WOMEN POETS, THE PENGUIN BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY POETRY (edited by Andrew Motion and Blake Morrison), and the 2011 Bloodaxe Anthology, STAYING HUMAN. She is widely published in many magazines including The Poetry Review, The Manhattan Review, P N Review, The Rialto, The Wolf, Magma, The Yellow Nib, and The Times Literary Supplement.
THE WISE WOUND (1978, 1986, 1994, 1999). The WISE WOUND has been published in America and translated into German, Dutch and Croat. Shuttle has featured in a number of television documentaries on the themes of The Wise Wound, most recently in MOON INSIDE YOU, for Spanish TV.
For Bloodaxe Books website click here.
Roddy Lumsden has published seven collections, most recently Terrific Melancholy (Bloodaxe) and The Bells of Hope (Penned in the
Margins). He is Poetry Editor for Salt and Series Editor of The Best British Poetry. He lives in London where teaches privately and for Poetry School, for whom he is currently developing an MA course in poetry. He organises the monthly reading series BroadCast.
Roddy Lumsden’s first book Yeah Yeah Yeah (1997) was shortlisted for Forward and Saltire prizes. His second collection The Book of Love (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His latest collections are Third Wish Wasted (2009) and Terrific Melancholy (2011). His anthology Identity Parade: new British and Irish poets was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2010. He is a freelance writer, specialising in quizzes and word puzzles, and has held several residencies, including ones with the City of Aberdeen, St Andrews Bay Hotel, and as “poet-in-residence” to the music industry when he co-wrote The Message, a book on poetry and pop music (Poetry Society, 1999). His other books include Vitamin Q: a temple of trivia, lists and curious words (Chambers Harrap, 2004). Born in St Andrews, he lived in Edinburgh before moving to London.
‘There is a level of talent that will ransom any project in any school. On the one hand, it will be interesting to see where Lumsden goes next; on the other, he’s so good that it hardly matters’ – D.H. Tracy, Poetry.
‘One of the best poets writing in English on the planet today’ – Don Share, Squandermania.
‘Although the verse is hopping with linguistic antics, the foci of the language are music and rhetoric and, whip-smart as these poems are, they tend to resist chin-stroking analysis…the rhymes, the larks, the brutal punch-lines tug Lumsden’s poems off the page and into the living context they describe’ – Matthew Smith, Verse.
Lisa Storm-Olsen was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2012. She has read poems on Bridport Radio and performed at The Cattistock Poets’ Events with headline poets Ahren Warner, Rachael Boast, David Briggs, as a member of Annie Freud’s Cattistock Poets. Before moving to Bridport she was a member of the Geneva Writer’s Group. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University where her tutors are Tim Liardet and Neil Rollinson (who read at Sladers Yard in 2007). She is working on her first collection of poetry, to be called Vermilion and will be part of a creative work exhibition at The Museum of Bath at Work in June 2013.
For a while, my brother collected stamps. Never using tweezers,
he casually poked them into see-through pockets, or slid them
under glassine sheets, preserving them in their own microclimate.
When he tired of them, he passed them on to me.
I was content to run my finger along their selvedge,
intuning the anthem each stamp sang. Magyar’s soft tones,
Fiji’s turtle choir, Denmark’s lyrical sommerfugl.
Each rectangular petit-beurre evidence of the nuance
and living colour of world outside that attic room.
And to you, sister, I stuck, like a limpet. One day,
you licked yourself and stuck yourself firmly
to your husband-to-be. When you tired of us,
you posted yourselves to South Australia, dropping
into that inverted void, a distant continent of wallabies,
top-loader washing machines, insect infestations.
Six months would pass before the looked-for collectible came.
You had found other shells, became the etranger, adopting
new sounds, sights and smells with abandonment. I don’t
attach myself to precious things anymore; the collection sold.
It had seemed to me that I was your smaller Matryoshka.
But with a twist came darkness and silence, and there was
no familiar shape to fit inside.