Talk by Graham Fawcett
Thursday 12 June 6.30pm
Tickets: £10 or £25 with buffet supper afterwards.
‘I loved Robert Frost for his farmer’s accuracy and his wily down-to-earthness; and Chaucer too for much the same reasons.’ Seamus Heaney in his 1995 Nobel lecture.
Robert Frost is an extraordinary poet of nature and the land but he also knows ‘the door into the dark’. He started writing poetry four years after Emily Dickinson’s death. He was still going strong in 1961, reading a poem at President Kennedy’s inauguration. Frost revealed early on a compelling originality of voice which uses an apparently effortless double gift of metrical rhythms and sudden drama (as does Dickinson) to celebrate nature and country life with a memorably direct simplicity and pathos.
‘No psychology’, Frost told his Paris Review interviewer in 1960, ‘will ever tell you who needs a whip and who needs a spur to win races . . . I look at a poem as a performance. I look on the poet as a man of prowess, just like an athlete. He’s a performer. And the things you can do in a poem are very various. You speak of figures, tones of voice varying all the time. I’m always interested, you know, when I have three or four stanzas, in the way I lay the sentences in them. I’d hate to have the sentences all lie the same in the stanzas. Every poem is like that: some sort of achievement in performance.’
On his death, Kennedy hailed Frost for ‘a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding’. Not only Americans..
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 lectures are poetry performances including reading and background and life history.
Graham Fawcett lectures at Sladers Yard DATES FOR THE DIARY:
Dylan Thomas Wednesday 3 September.
Graham 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!