Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks
Tickets: £10 for talk/ £18 talk followed by a Romantic supper…
“Byron lived fast and died young. Graham Fawcett brings the poet to life again for one extraordinary evening of poetry, politics and adventure. It’s wonderful.” (Lucy Moy-Thomas)
“I awoke one morning and found myself famous”, said the 24-year-old George Gordon (Lord) Byron of the instant success of the first two cantos of his poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, 196 breathtakingly rhymed nine-line stanzas of stunning verse travel narrative as his enigmatic hero bestrides Europe decompressing his melancholy into reverie at everything he sees.
That Byron could have doubled this poem’s length, writing better and better as he went on, is wonderful enough; all the more extraordinary, then, that he could follow it with an even more commanding, incisively satirical, in fact very funny masterpiece, Don Juan, left, at his death, unfinished and still going wondrously strong at more than sixteen thousand lines in which he charismatically turns the tables on the macho misogynist Don Juan of legend and makes the world his acceptably tastier oyster. These two tours de force together with some lyrically succulent shorter poems will help illustrate Graham Fawcett’s Byron Night.
“There are but two sentiments to which I am constant”, Byron said the year before he died at the age of 36, “a strong love of liberty and a detestation of cant”. By then he had drunk both principles to the dregs, tantalising so many who met and read him with the spectacle of a bull-in-a-china-shop private life high on edgy gloom and emotional caprice careering alongside an unstoppably hungry philosophy of existence and of art finely tuned to one of the greatest poetic ears English literature has ever heard.
Renowned broadcaster, educator and speaker Graham Fawcett is giving a series of seven lectures at Sladers Yard – the first of which were Pablo Neruda and Geoffrey Chaucer. To follow Byron we have Ovid (Thursday 16 May), Aleksandr Pushkin (Thursday 13 June), Emily Dickinson (Thursday 18 July) & Charles Baudelaire (Thursday 5 September), 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. We also look forward to: Read the Japanese Lunch on Tuesday 10 September and Cavafy on Saturday 5 October.
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.
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
Phone 01308 459511 to book your tickets now!