5 New Poets

5 New Poets  Hosted by Bernardine Evaristo five exceptional new poets read from their latest work in this special event to celebrate the new Bloodaxe anthology TEN. Bernardine explained the background to the project and her concern for the lack of poets of colour as mainstream published poets. This project was intent on changing the balance.

The theatre was packed for five new poets (ten in the published book) Each one had something new and original to say.  I loved Seni Seneviratne, with L’inconnue de la Seine, a gentle exploration of suicide from a completely new angle.  Shazea Quraishi with Tamabulasena brings a courtesan’s voice alive after centuries of silence. Rowyda Amin with Frost Fair brought the history of the Thames alive at the time it was frozen over. As a Londoner now living in Brighton I really enjoyed it. Mir Mahfuz Ali’s poem about her experience of still birth was dreadfully poignant, beautiful and brave. Karen McCarthy Woolf and her White Butterflies a particular favourite.

The question and answer session directed by Bernardine brought us so many insights into the motivations and journey each poet had made, with insights too into the role of their mentors.  Each one had a different story to tell. A really compelling evening. No way could I leave without buying the book. Ten New Poets Spread the Word.

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