Poetry

From my Poetry Bookshelf – John Agard – Alternative Anthem

Happy World Poetry Day! A good day to ask whether poetry is still relevant, whether it can actually achieve anything apart from providing an outlet for creative expression. In these current times of misinformation and misdirection, where here in the UK, as elsewhere, the government is becoming increasingly authoritarian, what can poetry do? A good day for this poem by John Agard. Flag What’s that fluttering in a breeze?It’s just a piece of cloththat brings…

Continue reading

Poetry

From my Poetry Bookshelf – Vahni Capildeo

I was introduced to Vahni Capildeo by Maria Jastrzebska, (a superb poet who I shall write about in the future), when I was organising one of several annual Poetry of Exile events for Tongues & Grooves, back in the autumn of 2009. I’d set up a poetry film project that was shown on the BBC big screens in Portsmouth and Dover, and made contact with Maria, as part of this. The Tongues & Grooves event…

Continue reading

Poetry

From my Poetry Bookshelf – Brian Turner – Here, Bullet

Brian Turner served for seven years in the US Army. This included a year spent as an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq from November 2003. Here, Bullet comes from that experience on the front-line in the Iraq war and subsequent occupation. I first encountered Turner’s poetry at a Tongues & Grooves reading in the Florence Arms pub in Southsea. Here, Bullet had recently been published in the UK by Bloodaxe, and Brian…

Continue reading

Poetry

Of Tongues & Grooves

I have mentioned Tongues and Grooves in a couple of previous posts. The original T&G was founded in 2006, and had two main strands, one running and promoting monthly music and poetry events, the other “community” strand running workshops. As of 2020 Tongues and Grooves in the Community is a not-for-profit body using poetry to promote motivation, well-being and social inclusion. The monthly events are no more, though T&G do still run special / one…

Continue reading

Poetry

Snow Q – Reimagining the Snow Queen

Last week I was at a world premiere (not something I get to say very often!), held at the Square Tower in Portsmouth . Three Polish-connected artists, namely poet Maria JastrzÄ™bska, fine artist Dagmara Rudkin and composer Peter Copley came together to collaborate on a project inspired by The Snow Queen story by Hans Christian Andersen. Held at the Square Tower, in conjunction with Tongues and Grooves, I thought it was excellent. I didn’t understand…

Continue reading