23rd Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 4–6 November 2011

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Posted: 22 September 2011

Mixing famous names, international talent and intriguing new or overlooked voices, the 2011 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival welcomes 25 poets - from Albania, America, Australia, The Bahamas, Ireland, Jordan, New Zealand and all over the UK - to the inspirational East Suffolk coast for a packed two-and-a-half day celebration of contemporary poetry.

Recent US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan believes that good poetry ‘puts more oxygen into the atmosphere: it just makes it easier to breathe' - and she'll be making her UK debut at Aldeburgh alongside another former US Laureate Robert Hass who's not read in the UK since the seventies. Hass will join forces with former UK Laureate Andrew Motion to address their joint preoccupation with war and poetry's capacity to tackle the subject in the 21st century. ‘What makes a 21st Century Poem?' is the question running throughout the weekend, first addressed by an international quartet of poets: Fleur Adcock (New Zealand), Christian Campbell (Bahamas, winner of the 2010 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize), Robert Hass (USA) and Luljeta Lleshanaku (Albania, also making her UK debut).

Further Festival highlights:

  • Aldeburgh's first nonagenarian poet Fergus Allen, defying the dying of the light and reading from his scintillating new 5th collection (Before Troy, CB Editions)
  • new talent showcase: Emily Berry (30), Hannah Lowe (34), Sam Riviere (30)
  • performance of Incoming - Andrew Motion's first stage play about the domestic impact back home of the war in Afghanistan, and commissioned by HighTide Theatre Festival and The Poetry Trust ‘...hauntingly expresses the confusion and misery we imagine.' The Times
  • events to mark the centenary of the birth of two giants of 20th century poetry - Poland's Czeslaw Milosz and Scotland's Sorley Maclean
  • the one and only Roger McGough - at the opening event for young poets and families, in conversation about his writing life, and performing solo to test-drive new poems

Director of The Poetry Trust, Naomi Jaffa says:

"Aldeburgh Poetry Festival is famous for the quality, intensity and independence of its programme and the attentiveness and size of the audiences (we recorded 4,200 ‘bums on seats' last year). Despite the shock of losing our secure Arts Council funding for the future, we're concentrating on pulling out all the stops to make sure that this year's Festival is simply brilliant."

The full Festival programme of 52 events (14 free), held in venues across Aldeburgh's seaside town setting, is at www.thepoetrytrust.org Tickets range from £3 - £14 and can be booked online at www.aldeburgh.co.uk (follow link to Aldeburgh Poetry Festival) or phone 01728 687110.

Podcasts of Festival highlights and behind-the-scenes conversations will be available to download from The Poetry Trust's Poetry Channel and are available for syndication:

Source: http://www.thepoetrytrust.org

Categories: Poetry News

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