A new poetry venue at the London Buddhist Centre showcasing the work of well-known contemporary poets, exploring the relationship between poetry and spiritual life.

Marilyn Hacker

posted 2 Apr 2014 13:37 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 3 Apr 2014 11:38 ]

Saturday 10th May 2014, 7.30pm.  Tickets £9, book here  

Marilyn Hacker is an American poet, translator and critic. She has won numerous awards including the National Book Award, the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation
, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from the Paris Review, the John Masefield Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. 

Her 1995 collection Winter Numbers, which details the loss of many of her friends to AIDS and her own struggle with breast cancer, garnered a Lambda Literary Award and The Nation's Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her Selected Poems 1965-1990 received the 1996 Poets' Prize, and Squares and Courtyards won the 2001 Audre Lorde Award. More recent collections include Desesperanto in 2003, Essays on Departure in 2006 and Names in 2010.

She received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004, and won the Argana International Poetry Prize from the Beit as-Shir/House of Poetry in Morocco 2011. In 2008, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Paris.

‘a major poet…exciting and true’ George Szirtes.

Poetry and Meditation Retreat

posted 25 Feb 2014 12:52 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 25 Feb 2014 12:56 ]

7th to 11th July 2014.  More information and booking available here  

This retreat is designed to help newcomers to meditation deepen and enrich their writing by deepening and enriching their mind. Mindfulness and meditation can help writers become more truly creative. This retreat is for poets who want to explore meditation as a way of enhancing their work.

The mornings will consist of meditation tuition and practice led by Maitreyabandhu. The afternoons are given over to writing workshops: ‘Explorations in Form’ with Mimi Khalvati and ‘Principles of Composition and Translation’ with David Constantine.

In the evening they’ll be Poetry East events as part of the Ledbury Festival – with Maitreyabandhu in conversation with Mimi Khalvati, David Constantine, and our special guest the American poet, Robert Hass.

The retreat will be held at Adhisthana Retreat Centre, just outside of Ledbury. No interest in Buddhism is assumed. All food will be vegetarian. The retreat will include periods of silence.

Mimi Khalvati.  
Mimi’s most recent collection The Meanest Flower was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, was a Financial Times Book of the Year, and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her new pamphlet Earthshine is a PBS Choice. Child: New and Selected Poems is a PBS Special Commendation.

David Constantine
has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize and has won the Propescu Prize for translation. His book of short stories, Tea at the Midland won the BBC National Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

His first collection The Crumb Road is a PBS Recommendation. He lives and works at the London Buddhist Centre, is the founder of Poetry East and been ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order for 23 years.

Guest: Robert Hass won the National Book Award in 2007 and shared the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. He was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995-97.

Cost:  £325 (full), £250 (full-time student, registered unemployed).

Book online here or telephone 01531 634156.

Michael Symmons Roberts

posted 28 Jan 2014 10:29 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 3 Apr 2014 11:39 ]

Saturday 29th March 2014, 7.30pm.  Tickets £9, book here  

Poet, novelist and documentary filmmaker, Michael Symmons Roberts has won the Whitbread Poetry Award
and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. His new collection Drysalter won the Forward Prize, the Costa Award (2013) and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. 

He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and operas for the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera. Their WNO commission – ‘The Sacrifice’ – won the RPS Award for opera, and their Royal Opera House / Scottish Opera commission, 'Clemency', was nominated for an Olivier Award. His broadcast work includes ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ for Radio 4, which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and ‘Last Words’ commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11. Edgelands written with Paul Farley was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction in 2010. He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Maurice Riordan

posted 11 Dec 2013 13:25 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 4 Feb 2014 10:46 ]

Saturday 25th January 2014, 7.30pm.  
Maurice Riordan’s first collection A Word from the Loki (1995) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for TS Eliot Prize. His second collection Floods (2000) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize. His third collection Holy Land won the Michael Hartnett Award and was Book of the Year in both the Sunday Times and Irish Times. His most recent collection, The Water Stealer is shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Maurice is a prolific editor and his anthologies include Poems about Science (2000), a collaboration with Jon Turney, an anthology of ecological poems Wild Reckoning (2004) edited with John Burnside, and Dark Matter (2008) edited with astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell. He is currently editor of Poetry Review.

Theatre East with Peter Oswald

posted 10 Nov 2013 08:23 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 11 Dec 2013 13:09 ]

Saturday December 7th, 7.30pm  

Peter Oswald was Writer-in-Residence at Shakespeare’s Globe from 1998 to 2005. Three of his plays, in verse, were performed there. His plays have been performed at the National Theatre, in the West End, on Broadway and around the world. His own company, The Abyss, is bringing his play Lucifer Saved to the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town, in 2014, with the writer playing one of the main parts. The Abyss is the resident company at the South Devon Arts Centre, Totnes. Peter Oswald frequently performs with his wife the poet Alice Oswald, most recently at the Sharpham Natural Burial site on All Soul’s night. That performance (without Alice) will form part of his performance at Theatre East, accompanied by musician Tim Hemming.

posted 12 Aug 2013 10:35 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 17 Nov 2013 07:29 ]

Saturday November 9th 7.30pm  

Glyn Maxwell is a poet, playwright, novelist and librettist. He has won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The Somerset Maugham Prize, the
E.M. Forster Prize (American Academy of Arts and Letters) and has been shortlisted three times for both the T.S Eliot and Forward Prizes. His first novel, Blue Burneau (1994), was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Prize. He won British Theatre Guide's 'Best Play on the Fringe', for The Lifeblood, performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004. 

Maxwell has also written libretto – his most recent for an opera based on Philip Pullman's The Firework Maker's Daughter. He has taught at Amherst College, Columbia University, Princeton University, New York University and The New School in New York City. His book On Poetry was described by Simon Armitage as ‘The most compelling, original, charismatic and poetic guide to poetry that I can remember.’ His One Thousand Years and Counting: Selected Poems, was published in 2011. He most recent collection, Pluto has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.

‘Glyn Maxwell covers a greater distance in a single line than most people do in a poem’ Joseph Brodsky


Glyn Maxwell at Poetry East

posted 3 Jul 2013 13:56 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 12 Aug 2013 10:38 ]

Saturday July 27th 7.30pm   

Christopher Reid has won numerous awards and prizes including the Eric Gregory Award, the Hawthornden Prize, the Signal Poetry Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Cholmondeley and the Michael Braude Award (American Academy of Arts and Letters). His collection A Scattering won the Costa Book of the Year Award for 2009, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize and the TS Eliot Prize. His long poem, The Song of Lunch was made into a BBC 2 film staring Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.  His Selected Poems was published by Faber in 2011.

‘Reid once again shows himself the most human of poets.’ Aingeal Clare, The Guardian


posted 25 Apr 2013 14:01 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 3 Jul 2013 13:49 ]

Thursday 27 June, 7.30pm.  

Neil Astley is the editor of Bloodaxe Books. He edited
Staying Alive, a landmark in the history of literary publishing, selling over 250,000 copies in Britain and America. He has published two novels, including The End of My Tether, shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. He received an honorary D.Litt from Newcastle University

Maitreyabandhu has won the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and the Basil Bunting Award. His first pamphlet, The Bond was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award, his second, Vita Brevis is a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. He will launch his debut collection, The Crumb Road – a Poetry Book Society Recommendation (Bloodaxe).

‘Maitreyabandhu is a poet of journeys great and small - and the reader is privileged to be his companion.’ Carol Rumens.

posted 10 Feb 2013 03:49 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 24 May 2013 07:55 ]

Saturday 13 April, 7.30pm  

Fiona Sampson is returning to Poetry East to launch her new collection ‘Coleshill’ – a PBS Recommendation (spring 2013). She has published nineteen books, most recently
Beyond the Lyric: A Map of Contemporary British Poetry (Chatto, 2011) and Shelley – part of the Faber ‘Poet to Poet’ series.

She has won the Newdigate Prize, and been short-listed for both the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prize. She received writers’ awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales, and a Cholmondeley Award.  She is published in more than thirty languages, and her ten books in translation include Patuvachki Dnevnik, awarded the Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia).

Having started life as a violinist, she collaborates regularly with composers as well as visual artists. Fiona gave the Newcastle Poetry Lectures under the title Music Lessons, and was the editor of Poetry Review for seven years. She is a regular broadsheet reviewer and a Distinguished Writer at the University of Kingston.

 'A major poet’ Tim Liardet, PN Review

Alice Oswald

posted 15 Nov 2012 04:17 by Anthony Wright   [ updated 24 May 2013 07:56 ]

Saturday 9 March, 7.30pm  

Alice Oswald’s first collection of poetry, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection) in 1996, and was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize in 1997. Her second collection Dart won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2002. In 2004, Alice Oswald was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's 'Next Generation' poets and her next collection, Woods etc. was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2007, her poem 'Dunt' won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem). Weeds and Wild Flowers, illustrated by Jessica Greenman, was shortlisted for the 2009 T. S. Eliot Prize and won the inaugural Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. A Sleepwalk on the Severn, a poem for several voices, was published in 2009. Her latest collection Memorial was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

The wonderful Alice Oswald who, by rights, should be winning every prize going this year. Carol Anne Duffy

If you never read poetry, make an exception for this. Jane Wheatley on Dart, The Times

Click here to listen to Alice discuss her work with Maitreyabandhu.

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