Well! Brighton on 26th March it will their regular monthly poetry and open mic night. On 7th April it will be time to put your hands together and whoop with joy, for Mimi Khalvati and Jackie Wills in conversation.
Michaela Ridgway has managed to arrange two outstanding poetry evenings.
Where are these events? Well it has to be at the Red Roaster Coffee House, home of wonderful coffee and great Piggy/Red Hen poetry nights.
Mimi Khalvati has published many poetry books. She was born in Tehran in 1944 and grew up in the Isle of Wight. She is co-ordinator of the Poetry School and a tutor for the Arvon Foundation, and has been Poet in Residence to the Royal Mail.
Her latest book ‘Child’ offers new poems as well as sections from five Carcanet volumes. She tells stories of her childhood and early adulthood, motherhood, meditations on light, love and art. In the ‘The Meanest Flower’ she is a schoolgirl on the Isle of Wight, then in half-remembered later years living with her grandmother in Tehran.
Mimi is the leading exponent of a poetic form called the ghazal. Images are produced in pairs, the poem being shaped in couplets. I only discovered ghazals last week at a Jackie Wills ‘Read around at Fabrica’ for me as a comparatively late start poet, better late than never!
Jackie Wills is an influential Brighton writer, poet and tutor. Her latest collection ‘Woman’s Head as Jug’ has a range of poems about women’s experiences of work, the city, menopause and ancestry. I love Jackie’s poem about the funeral and the waiting horses. Others are about a seamstress and other craftspeople, the poems in this book are funny, political and lyrical.
On the 26th we have Vanessa Gebbie, Rob Hamberger popular for poetry broadcasts on Radio 4 and Caroline Davies whose latest collection called ‘Convoy’ was published by Cinnamon. Of cours there will still be space for a few open micers.
Vanessa is a novelist, poet, tutor and mentor. She was published by Pighog Press and won the 2013 Troubadour International Poetry prize with ‘Immensi tremor oceani’.
I last saw her reading in a dark corridor, part of an event at the RA called ‘A Sense of Space’ with Catherine Smith (local poet) reading curled up in sort of box like installation, all of which was interesting and great fun.
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