Sunday, 18 April 2010

Poetry: Les Murray, Damian Furniss, Phil Bowen and more at The St Ives Literature Festival May 1st - 8th 2010

Yes, dear reader that is your host looking unusually bearded and brown. In unashamed acts of self-publicity, I'll be using The Blah Blah Blah Show's blog to publicise events around the launch of my new book 'Chocolate Che' starting on Friday 7th May 2010 at 8.30pm in St Ives Arts Club in a double bill with Phil Bowen. What better way to escape the post-election blues (or yellows, or reds - we abide by Ofcom guidance here) than a weekend in the westernmost tip of Cornwall. The St Ives Literature festival is curated and hosted by Bob Devereux, spans the whole week and ends with an appearance by Les Murray on Saturday 8th. Details of both events below.

Damian Furniss and Phil Bowen - Friday 7th May - 8.30 pm - St Ives Arts Club - £6.00
DAMIAN FURNISS reads from his new book CHOCOLATE CHE (Shearsman). The poems in Chocolate Che were written in Cuba in the fiftieth year of the revolution; in India working with dying destitutes and recovering from tuberculosis; travelling up and down the spine of the Americas and into the heart of Europe on the trail of soldiers, artists and monks.Damian Furniss works images into narratives that are both darkly humorous and strangely moving. Using forms as varied as their subjects, with characteristic verbal intensity and a probing wit, he returns to the fixations of his youth in wry but reflective maturity. Along the way, he encounters the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa; visits the houses of Pablo Picasso and Salvador DalĂ­, only to find no one's at home; and collects the stubs of cigars that might once have been smoked by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, but probably weren't.

Praise for his chapbook, The Duchess of Kalighat, several poems from which are included in this, his first full collection:
'Furniss explores India in many varied and astonishing images . . . no poet of promise but a poet of arrival.'- Derrick Woolf, Poetry Quarterly Review.
'The fire in the poetry roars. In this book the subject is hot and so is the language.' - Tim Allen, Terrible Work.
'This has a vitality all of its own.' - Brian Hinton, Tears in the Fence.
'Has strong convictions and a clearly defined sense of purpose. These are moving, transforming poems.' - Emma Neale, Scratch.

By popular demand PHIL BOWEN reads ALL THAT STUFF.
Phil Bowen was born in Liverpool in 1949. His collections of poetry include:
The Professor’s Boots (Westwords) 1994, Variety”s Hammer (Stride) 1997, selected for the Forward Book of Poetry-1998, and Starfly published by Stride in 2004. He has also edited two anthologies Jewels and Binoculars (in which 50 poets celebrate Bob Dylan), and Things We Said Today (Poetry about the Beatles) one biography A Gallery To Play To (The story of the Mersey Poets) reprinted by Liverpool University Press 2008 and Nowhere’s Far (collected poetry published by Salt 2009)
All That Stuff is a twenty minute poem.
'The Wasteland of the Twentieth Century' - Dave Wooley (Dylan Thomas Centre).
'A real tour de force' – Roger McGough.
'Amazing ……Quite incredible' – Mel Scaffold (Apples and Snakes).
'A work of genius' – John Cooper Clarke.

Les Murray - Saturday 8th May - 8.00 pm - St Ives Society Of Artists Crypt Gallery - £10.00
Australia's leading poet and one of the greatest contemporary poets writing in English. His work has been published in ten languages. Les Murray has won many literary awards, including the Grace Leven Prize (1980 and 1990), the Petrarch Prize (1995), and the prestigious TS Eliot Award (1996). In 1999 he was awarded the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry on the recommendation of Ted Hughes.

He will be visiting St Ives as part of a UK tour and will be reading a selection of his work.

For more information and a bibliography visit his website:
  Les Murray

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