Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks: Emily Dickinson
Thursday 18 July 6pm for 6.30pm talk. Supper from 8pm.
Tickets: £10 / £18 with supper. Please phone 01308 459511 to book.
“Graham Fawcett has a marvellous knack of opening up a poet’s life and instantly taking you on a colourful voyage through their life and work. Very illuminating indeed..” James Crowden
“I was royally entertained.” (Annie Freud after Byron Night at Sladers Yard)
‘Thank you for another compelling lecture. There is a certain new slant of light in which I now look at Emily Dickinson’s poetry, thanks to your inspired evocation of her as a woman of great strength, even volcanic power.’ (Romée Tilanus, Emily Dickinson Night, London)
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830 – 1886) is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets. Opinions differ as to why she chose reclusion and, from her mid-thirties onwards, never again – except, movingly, once – set foot outside her front door. Already at the age of 25, though lively, funny and good company, she was saying, ‘I don’t go from home unless emergency leads me by the hand’. The trail leads to grief in love and the shadow of her more public than domestic father. It also reads like a triumph of personal choice. The result was a redoubling of her output which built up a total of 1775 poems discovered stitched in neat bundles in a drawer after her death.
An Emily Dickinson poem can be mistaken as the work of very few other poets. George Herbert is one. There is a concentration of language and feeling so crystalline, it can also recall some of the early Chinese lyric poets: the parallel may be the belief in devoting time to a contemplative existence and realising a level of undistractedness which a life of simplicity and the absence of delusion bring.
She writes prismatically, whereby the light of a poem’s meaning is somehow made to bend towards you through the poem. Every time. And so you end up looking for that, wanting it to happen as you might watch for and want a forecast change in the night sky. There is the same ever-present dynamic of suspense and expectation, yet shaped with all the lightness of a song whose poignancy is the sweeter because it is over almost before it has ever begun.
“Thank you again for an incredibly interesting and informative lecture” (Svetlana Calladine, after the Lewes Pushkin Night)
Renowned broadcaster, educator and speaker Graham Fawcett is giving a series of seven lectures at Sladers Yard – the first of which were Pablo Neruda, Geoffrey Chaucer, Byron, Ovid and Aleksandr Pushkin. To follow Emily Dickinson we have Charles Baudelaire (Thursday 5 September), all of whom 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 Tuesday 15 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.
He 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!