Author Archives: anna

Stag Night at the Poetry Room

PLEASE NOTE WE ARE MEETING ON THE SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH IN APRIL (9/4/13) TO ALLOW FOR THE EASTER BREAK.

This month at the Poetry Room, we will be looking at the American poet Sharon Olds‘s TS Eliot prize-winning book Stag’s Leap.   The collection, which takes its title from the writer’s favourite wine, tells of the break-up of a long marriage and the fall-out and healing process that ensue.  Olds’s distinctive voice, startling imagery and choice of controversial subject-matter have helped to make her that rarest of creatures:  a popular poet, who also attracts critical acclaim.  Come and find out why.

The poems we will be looking at in particular are:

While He Told Me

Material Ode

Last Look

Stag’s Leap

Poem for the Breasts

The Healers

The Easel

Tiny Siren

Attempted Banquet

Bruise Ghazal

Running into You

Years Later

We will be meeting on Tuesday 9 April from 6pm-8pm in our usual spot:  level three of City Library, Newcastle – turn right out of the lift and keep walking until you see us in circle of chairs by the back wall.   It would be great to see you there.

 

A book of two halves at the Poetry Room

This March at the Poetry Room, we are looking at Jane Duran’s sublime poetry collection Coastal (Enitharmon. 2005).  The book comprises of two beautifully balanced sequences: the first tells of a daughter’s struggle to come to terms with her mother’s dementia and death; the second describes the same daughter’s experience of becoming a mother, specifically through adoption.   The poems, which are full of images of water, tell of lives and identities in flux.  Subtly executed, Duran’s writing is deeply moving in its evocation of love and loss.

We will be looking at the following poems:

Coastal

Coat

Blueberry Picking

Rug From The Atlas Mountains

The Mat

Petit Pan

Water

What Is Written

Sabbat

Courtyard

Zagharit

 

Come and join us on Tuesday 5 March at 6pm-8pm in Newcastle’s City Library, third floor.  Turn right out of the lifts and keep walking until you find us in a semi-circle of chairs.  Everyone is extremely welcome – regulars and first timers alike!  Looking forward to seeing you then. ( A quick note on next month:  just to say we will be meeting on the second Tuesday in April (9th), as the first Tuesday follows the Easter bank holiday.)

 

Late lunch at the Poetry Room

This month at the Poetry Room we are entering sixties Manhattan through the playful, provocative poetry of Frank O’ Hara.  His book Lunch Poems (City Lights,1964) is infamously titled after the poet’s ability to write poems in his lunch hour and shaped a generation of poetry writers and readers.  Portable enough to slide into a pocket, Lunch Poems has been called a map of New York.  Its tone, like its title, is deliberately and delightfully anti-poetic.

We will be looking at the following poems in particular:

The Day Lady Died

Personal Poem

How To Get There

Steps

Ave Maria

St. Paul and All That

Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)

On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday (Quick! a last poem before I go)

Cambridge

A Step Away from Them

Mary Desti’s Ass

 

Come and enjoy a little retro New York in Newcastle.  As ever, we’ll be meeting on the first Tuesday of the month (5 February) from 6pm-8pm at City Library, Newcastle.   Find us on the third floor – turn right out of the lifts and keep walking.  If you’ve never been before, make this the month!

 

Poetry Please

It’s over to you for the last Poetry Room of 2012. This month we’re asking you to bring along a poem that you love. It can be anything from a tanka to a sonnet to free verse, it might have been written this year or last century: the only rule is that it should not be written by you. Please bring along ten photocopies of your chosen poem as well.

We’re meeting, as ever, on the first Tuesday of the month – Tuesday 3 December – from 6pm-8pm. Come and find us at Newcastle City Library on Level Three, head past the children’s section and keep going until you find us in a semi-circle of chairs by the back wall.

Come and join us (whether you’re a newcomer or an old hand) and make this the season of all things poetry!

Travelling and Tangoing at the Poetry Room

Bulgarian-born poet, novelist and travel-writer Kapka Kassabova brings us a riot of voices and cultures in her arresting poetry collection Geography For The Lost (Bloodaxe, 2007).  This month at the Poetry Room, we will be discussing this distinctive book which is concerned with issues of loss, identity, language and love. We will be talking about the following poems in particular:
I want to be a tourist
Lying with the Ghosts of Berlin
Postcard from Paradise
Steve’s Last Summer
Love in the Dark Country
Happiness on the North Sea
Self-portrait of Anastassia in 12 random snaps
Come along and join us on (whether you’ve been before or are a newcomer) on Tuesday 6 November from 6pm-8pm in Newcastle City Library, Level Three – turn right out the lift and keep walking until you find us in a circle of chairs by the back wall.
This month’s session is by way of a warm-up for Kapka’s appearance at Café Culture, Dance City on Monday, 3 December at 6.30.  In this free event, held in conjunction with New Writing North, Kapka will be talking to Caroline Beck about her latest project:  Twelve Minutes of Love:  A Tango Story which will be followed by a tango demonstration.  No need to book, just turn up and tap your foot.
So, two free poetry dancey events to warm your cockles on these November evenings:  shake a tail feather and hope to see you at one or both!

Read Right…Read Regional

The new season at the Poetry Room beckons and this September we’ve got company!  Two fantastic poets, Christy Ducker and Anne Ryland, will be joining us to read from and discuss their latest collections.

Christy Ducker’s debut collection Armour (Smith/Doorstop 2011) was a winner in the Poetry Business Competition, judged by Simon Armitage, and was also singled out as a Poetry Book Society Choice.  Her writing is arresting, playful and with a great sense of form.  She is often concerned with the stuff of life including love, motherhood and her native Northumberland.  Among the poems we will be looking at are Deer, A Lesson in Quickstep for Strangers and Armour.

Berwick-based Anne Ryland’s second collection is The Unmothering Class (Arrowhead Press, 2011).  Her debut, Autumnologist, was shortlisted for the prestigious Forward Prize for Best First Collection.  Divided into three parts, The Unmothering Class includes beautifully told, haunting sequences on the poet’s female ancestry as well as considerations of place, myth, fertility and genetic inheritance implied by the book’s title.  We will be focusing on the poems The Ruin Withholds its Secrets, Thrashing the Holy Linens and The Twins’ Heads in particular.

Both Anne and Christy are taking part in this year’s Read Regional campaign run by New Writing North.  The project, run in conjunction with over 20 libraries across the North of England, supports and promotes new books by writers based in the North-East, Yorkshire and Humberside.  For more, see www.readregional.com

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday 4 September from 6pm-8pm at Newcastle City Library.   We meet on the third floor:  turn right out of the lift and  keep walking, you’ll find us in a circle of chairs by the back wall.  If you can’t get hold of the books in advance, don’t worry as there will also be some copies available to buy on the night.

Any old (or new) poems this July

PLEASE NOTE WE ARE MEETING ON THE SECOND TUESDAY THIS MONTH (10 JULY)

This month at the Poetry Room, you decide! We would like you to bring along a poem: ancient or contemporary, rhyming or not, tanka or sonnet…whatever you like. There are only two rules:

1) It should be a poem you love
2) It should not written by you

If you can bring along ten photocopies of your chosen poem, even better!

This is our final session of the season and it is always a goodie. It would be great to see you there (even, and especially, if this is your first time!)

Come along and join us on Tuesday 10 July from 6pm-8pm. We meet on the third floor of Newcastle City Library – turn right out of the lifts and keep walking…

Love, landscape and Rich Teas

We’re kicking off May at the Poetry Room with the wonderful Little Gods by Jacob Polley (Picador, 2006). The book is Cumbrian-born Polley’s second collection: a writer who, although young in poet-years, is also an award-winning novelist, film-maker and has been discussed in the media as a future poet laureate.
Little Gods meditates on love, loss, the natural world and the passage of time in poems that are subtle, technically adept and surprising. Polley borrows from the gothic while also evoking a grounded contemporary world of bananas, plastic dog shit and cheese spread. The poems we will be looking at in particular are:

The Owls
You
Greenwich
Telephone
Mirror
Morning
Sally Somewhere
Decree
City in Winter

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday 1 May at 6pm-8pm on 3rd Floor of the City Library, Newcastle. (Turn right out of the lift and head towards the circle of chairs next to the back wall! ) If you have never been before, make this the month and get May off to a poetic start!

Boilers, Birds and Banking

The piercing, beautiful and witty Profit and Loss by Leontia Flynn (Cape, 2011) is our poetry book of choice for this month.  Although still in her thirties (and as the poet says in Letter To Friends ‘these days we’re classed as youth/till 44) this is Flynn’s third collection:  her first book won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and her second the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Divided into three sequences, Profit and Loss opens with meditations on past rooms and lives, before moving into a long poem that explores the sociological and technological changes of the last decade through the filter of a flat-clearing.  The collection ends with poems of filial grief coupled with the consolations of motherhood. 

We will be looking at the following poems in particular.

‘The Notorious Case of Robert the Painter’

The Day We Discovered Pornography in the Mail

The Help-Line

The Superser

Colette

There’s Birds in My Story

Letter To Friends (Part I)

A Plane

Bubbles

 See you in Newcastle City Library next Tuesday (3 April) at 6pm-8pm.  We’ll be in the usual place which is level three, turn right out of the lifts and head for the circle of seats next to the back wall!  Do come.  And if you’ve never been before, Spring is a good time to try something new.

Larkin at the Library

This April is Philip Larkin month at the Poetry Room.  Come and celebrate this much-loved poet responsible for such  brilliant, and eminently quotable, writing as ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad’ (adapted by Adrian Mitchell to ‘They tuck you up, your mum and dad’) to ‘What will survive of us is love’.

We’ll be looking at Larkin’s book The Whitsun Weddings and concentrating on the following poems:

Mr Bleaney

The Whitsun Weddings

An Arundel Tomb

Love Songs in Age

MCMXIV

A Study of Reading Habits

Sunny Prestatyn

Broadcast

Join us on Tuesday 5 April from 6pm-8pm at City Library, Newcastle .  From this month we’ll be meeting on Floor 3 (at the back among the Fiction!)  As ever, new faces as well as familiar ones are warmly welcome.