For the past week or so I’ve been revisiting work by the poets who’ll be reading in Oxford three weeks today on Sunday 5th October (doors open 6.30 for 7pm start; £5/£4 concs; The Jericho Tavern, Walton St, Oxford).
We have a fantastic mix of readers and poetic traditions. Here’s a quick overview:
Andrea Brady is co-founder of Barque Press, curator of Archive of the Now and one of the most vibrant and innovative poets writing in English today. Her collection Cut from the Rushes left me stunned, wowed and moved in equal measure (further thoughts here).
Sarah Howe is editor of Prac Crit magazine and an undisputed rising star of UK poetry. Her pamphlet A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia was one of the high points in tall-lighthouse’s pilot series. Since then her work has just kept getting better, much of it exploring the creative boundaries between innovative and more ‘mainstream’ writing.
Claire Trévien was one of the stars of last year’s Jericho Tavern reading and (among many other creative roles in the UK poetry world) is my co-conspirator for Other Countries. Her collection The Shipwrecked House (reviewed here before we knew one another) is still one of the freshest books I’ve read this decade, and I’m delighted that a couple of changes in the running order (see below) mean we’ll have the opportunity to hear her read in Oxford again.
Sasha Dugdale is the inspirational editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and a first-rate poet in her own right. Her collection Red House is one of those rarities that keeps getting better each time you return to it, and hearing her read in Woodstock last year was one of my poetry highlights of 2013.
Poet and winemaker Matthew Stewart has published two remarkable pamphlets with Happenstance (including Tasting Notes, reviewed here) that bubble with a rare and unshowy brilliance. He’s also gaining a reputation as one of the best readers currently in circulation, so I can’t wait to hear him in-person.
In a change to the previous running order, Dominic Hand and Andrew McNeillie will now be reading at a future event (likely to be in the first half of next year – watch this space). On the plus side, this gives us the chance to hear Claire again, and I’ve also had my arm twisted to read some of my own recently-published and forthcoming stuff (including a couple of pieces that will be getting their first public outing).
It should be a great evening. Doors open 6.30 for 7pm (and last year pretty much every chair in the venue was filled, so I’d advise getting there early).