The New Luciad 2016 – launching soon

The 4th edition of The New Luciad is coming soon. If you are in Leicester on 4th August do come and meet the contributors. Here is the launch poster!

G.S Fraser Prize 2016

Thrilled to find out that I have been awarded the G.S Fraser Prize this year for my poem ‘Matching’. Many thanks to the judges for choosing my poem and to my supervisor Nick Everett for his untiring support and help.

The New Luciad – 4th edition

Watch this space for the the fourth edition of the New Luciad. Editors this year are Robert Ward, Richard Fallon, Chris Harris and myself. The edition is due to come out at the end of June.

Poems published in From The Lighthouse

Exciting to see two of my recent poems published in the second ever issue of From The Lighthouse.

Poems to be published in Cake

Watch this space as Cake are publishing some of my poems in their eighth edition.

The New Luciad – third year

The launch for the third ever TNL went off without a hitch on Friday night. It’s been a great year for TNL – the editorial team were super, the contributors great and printers very helpful with our last minute changes. TNL is now on sale in the bookshop on the University of Leicester campus and you can buy it online from their shop.

Solar eclipse 2015

8.26am this morning saw the start of the solar eclipse. This one is visible from all over the UK but from Cambridge we’ll only see 3/4 of the sun covered. The eclipse will be at its fullest at 9.33am and by 10.43am it will all be over. The Institute of Astronomy are hosting a public event with talks, live video links to places where the eclipse it at its fullest and a chance to view from the observatories. Elspeth, Andres and I are at home trying desperately to see it but sadly there is just too much cloud cover that the moment. It might, we have decided, be a little darker now than it was when we woke up.

Magdalen College – Festival of Sound

Elspeth and I popped into Magdalen College at 5pm today for a music recital: Ensemble Unterwegs performing Winterreise. The recital was the fifth performance in a series of events that are part of the interdisciplinary Magdalene Triennial Festival. This year has been following the theme of sound and there has been a range of conversations, lectures and performances all open to the public.

Henry Moore and Open Air Sculpture at Kettle’s Yard

A fascinating talk at Kettle’s Yard last night ‘Henry Moore and Open Air Sculpture’ by Dr Jennifer Powell the senior curator at Kettle’s Yard. Dr Powell is fresh from curating the newly opened Moore Galleries at Tate Britain and gave us a fascinating insight into the idea that Moore heading up a British school of sculpture. She focused primarily on the exhibitions held in Battersea Park in the post-war era, arguing that Moore’s primacy in these exhibitions was due not least to his own efforts. Moore was on the panel deciding which works should be displayed and where they should be situated. Keen to attract visitors to the exhibitions the organisers highlighted Moore who was by then an international figure and whose sculpture had a prominent place in the art world. His war time sketches of people sheltering in the underground had fostered both his and the public’s interest in the figure, particularly his sculptures of family groups. This choice of subject and his fame lead to him becoming a convenient figurehead for modern sculpture in post-war Britain. Not only did he have work on display at prominent art galleries such as MoMa and The Tate he was championed by critics such as Herbert Read and the film maker John Read.

Dr Powell pointed us towards the first ever film made of Moore’s work which is on the BBC archives website in which you see Moore’s work set in the landscape of his home. This film was shown prior to the Festival of Britain in 1951 and Moore hoped it would show the sculptures in a setting for which they were both made and inspired by. Moore felt very much that his sculptures showed organic forms inspired by organic life in countryside, rock formations and cliff faces and were not in fact as abstract as they might appear. By the 1960s he felt that sculpture should be both made in the environment that it was to be set in and so moved his studio outside in order to facilitate this.

You can of course see Moore’s sculptures at his home in Perry Green but for those of us in Cambridge there is one closer to home in the gardens at Clare College.

Concrete poetry at Kettle’s Yard and the Ruskin Gallery

I’ve just had a busy few days immersing myself in concrete poetry starting with a talk given by Professor Stephen Bann at Kettle’s Yard on Tuesday all about Ian Hamilton Finlay, his combination of art and poetry and his connection to Cambridge. For those of you who have been to Kettle’s Yard you will have seen the large pebble inscriped with the words ‘Kettle’s Yard/Cambridge/England is the/Louvre of the/pebble’ and probably wanted to know more! Now you can. The pebble is on display in Kettle’s Yard’s latest exhibition is entitled ‘Beauty & Revolution: The Poetry and Art of Ian Hamilton Finlay’. It’s next to a book with a whole list of sentences on pebbles that the poet-artist wrote, some of which are really thought provoking.

Professor Bann, who knew Ian Hamilton Finlay and had spent time at his his house Stonypath spoke of the artist’s love of pebbles saying that almost every pebble in Stonypath has an inscription. Finlay’s feeling was that pebbles only really counted for culture when inscribed. This point of view was really quite the opposite of Jim Ede who filled Kettle’s Yard with pebbles but none of them were inscribed. (Not until the 1995 Open House exhibition at Kettle’s Yard when Finlay’s sentence about pebbles was inscribed on one.) Bann remembered Finlay’s interest in the Henry Moore sculpture (Head) in Kettle’s Yard of which he said ‘this time Goliath throws the pebble’ (the head being sculpted from a large pebble).

The exhibition is running until March 1st so there is time to catch it if you want to. If concrete poetry is your bag then you should also pop along to the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University to the exhibition ‘Graphic Constellations: Visual Poetry and the Properties of Space’ which is on until 21st February. You’ll find work by Ian Hamilton Finlay there as well as Liliane Lijn, Hansjorg Mayer, Ann Noel, Edward Wright and Frank J. Malina.