Graham Fawcett brings the Romans back to life with
OVID Evening: Thursday 16 May
6pm for 6.30pm talk. Supper from 8pm. Tickets: £10 / £18 with supper. Phone 01308 459511 to book.
“I was royally entertained.” (Annie Freud after Chaucer night at Sladers Yard)
“A wonderful lecture last night, both informative and entertaining. I was fascinated to learn about the forgotten female poets who translated him”. (Sally Jenner after Ovid Night in Lewes)
‘Then man was born. Either the Architect of All, the author of the universe, in order to beget a better world, created man from seed divine – or else…’ From Metamorphoses by Ovid (the history of the world in 15 books written 8AD)
Ovid was the consummate showman and stand-up comic and his writing still engages and entertains nearly 2000 years on.
Publius Ovidius Naso was born the year after Caesar’s assassination, was educated in Rome, and started reading his poems in public at the age of 16. His work gives us master-classes in how to write with profound and rollicking delicacy about love and sex, put on a spectacular poetic pageant of transformation myths, and sing with great pathos from direct experience of the heartache of exile.
Ted Hughes’s Tales From Ovid is one of the latest poetry books to attest to Ovid’s powerful influence on English poets and poetry especially through his Metamorphoses, while Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare are among the earliest, Francis Meres declaring that that “the sweet witty soul of Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare”.
But so often the Ovid we admire is the metrical gymnast making us gasp over and over again at the outrageous virtuosity of his mastery of form and content, the parallel bars of a poetry which fine translations reveal as speaking to our own times. So modern does he go on sounding, indeed, that the Italian writer and critic Giuseppe Pontiggia has even described him as a “contemporary of the future”.
‘I really enjoyed Ovid. These lectures are so worth pushing.’ (Stephen Yeo, after Ovid Night in Oxford)
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 and Byron. To follow Ovid we have: 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.
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!