Celebrating National Poetry Day:
Poets Matthew Welton and Henry Normal perform
with special guest Ruth Fainlight
Thursday 6th October, 7.30pm
Lakeside Arts Centre
An evening of live readings and performances from three of Nottingham’s most renowned poets will mark National Poetry Day and kick off the official build-up to the UNESCO City of Literature’s inaugural Festival of Literature in November.
Poets Matthew Welton and Henry Normal will both be performing pieces from their new publications and special guest Ruth Fainlight will reflect on work from her extensive and award-winning collection of poetry and prose.
Matthew Welton, who is also Chair of the Nottingham Festival of Literature says:
“Not only will this be a fantastic celebration of National Poetry Day, it will be a kind of taster menu for how this city will be during the week of the Festival.”
Matthew takes a playful approach to language, writing ‘musical, maddening, irresistible poems’ (Guardian). The Number Poems (Carcanet) is his third collection. Born in Nottingham in 1969, he received the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for The Book of Matthew (Carcanet, 2003), which was a Guardian Book of the Year. Matthew collaborates regularly with the composer Larry Goves, with whom he was awarded a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in 2008. He is also a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham.
Henry Normal is best known as co-writer of award winning TV shows and films such as The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show, The Parole Officer, Coogan’s Run, Paul Calf and producer of the Oscar nominated Philomena, Gavin and Stacey, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge.
Returning to his first love – poetry, Henry will be performing from Staring Directly at the Eclipse – his first collection of poetry for over twenty years. It features poems from his acclaimed BBC Radio 4 production A Normal Family, together with new and selected poetry, comic and thoughtful. As well as plenty of laughs, the collection encompasses the themes of death, loneliness, loss, human frailty and other classic conversation stoppers. Just what you would expect from ‘the Alan Bennett of poetry’ (Scotsman).
The grand dame of poetry, American born Ruth Fainlight has lived in England since she was 15. Her first poetry collection, Cages, was published in 1966. She has now published 12 collections, including her most recent New and Collected Poems (Bloodaxe). She is also the creator of short stories, opera libretti and works in translation. Her poetry is ‘sensuous and observant’ (TLS). Ruth is an honorary lecturer at the University of Nottingham and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007.