Sunday, 30 November 2014

Local Poets

The local "Cambridge News" has recently published 2 features -

  • In late summer I went to a poetry workshop in Cambridge. Just 7 of us and 2 tutors. One of the tutors (Emily Berry) was later announced as a Next Generation Poet, and one of the "pupils", Natalya Anderson, later won the Bridport out of the blue (though she's just completed an MA in creative writing). Clear Recent History is the article about her that appeared in the paper. See the bio and judge's report at the Bridport site.
  • I've known Diana Brodie for years. The 29th Nov edition of the newspaper has nearly a page about her. The headline is - "I write about people who lose their way". My interview with her is Diana Brodie: an interview. She's also been interviewed by Cambridge 105's booknight - listen to the podcast

On 25th Nov I went to a "Cambridge Poets" poetry event at Corpus Christi attended by at least 50 people and introduced by Richard Berengarten (formerly Richard Burns, though I only realised that today!). He pointed out that Cambridge poetry is internationalist and varied. 10 poets read - 1 lecturer, 6 pgrads (2 doing Beckett, 1 doing Olson, 1 doing architecture, 1 doing education, and another doing Assyrian/Neo-Aramaic). There were 2 performers (a winner of SLAMbassadors UK, and a slam champion of Macedonia + neighbouring countries). Another's doing a Writing MA at Royal Holloway. Several had been published, but the only publishers' names I recognised were "Knives, Forks and spoons", "Emma Press", "Magma", "Rialto" and "Poetry Wales".

Yes, there was variety. There were poems about nothing much, and a poem about a college porter who'd died. One poem was for 2 simultaneous voices. Another was some Google suggestions for search target completions. There was also some Oulipo (which I think is more suited to page than stage).

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