Posted on July 15, 2009 by rosiegold
Fred D'Aguiar at London Literature Festival
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – we want your poems please! Here at London Literature Festival we love and adore poetry (and all literature ofcourse) and here’s your opportunity: we are asking you to send us your poems! We’ll be starting up a very special poetry season soon – watch this site (literally!) but to kick-start the proceedings we have an exclusive poem written for us by the US poet, Fred D’ Aguiar, one of our favourite participants here at London Literature Festival. Feel inspired? Hope so!
FRED D’AGUIAR’S ‘LIT FEST’.
Southbank rave on the riverbed
Boom boxes skipping Grime
Across the river
Tide back in
Party moves indoors
Halls and rooms rocking
When rain, cold, or breeze
Switch off the waterfall rooms
Writers turn on
Sun, moon and starlight talk
So the beat runs through July
And the people keep coming
And the party keeps going
Onward ever, backward never.
(c) Fred D’Aguiar
Filed under: Global Poetry System, London Literature Festival 2009 | Tagged: Fred D'Aguiar, Global Poetry System, Poetry | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 13, 2009 by rosiegold
Fred D'Aguiar and son Nicholas
Posted on behalf of Fred D’Aguiar by Rosie Goldsmith
I attended Benjamin’s reading with my 7 year-old, Nicholas who laughed at the rude bits and kept his eyes on the dance and bob and weave on Ben’s stage presence and personality. He kept a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall laughing and clapping and at the end roaring and stamping for an encore. Ben obliged with his signature poem about poetry after paying homage to the late Adrian Mitchell and quoting his pithy, ‘most people ignore most poetry, because, most poetry ignores most people.’ The 3-liner from Mitchell declares Ben’s poetics and lifelong success as a poet, a direct voice, a straightforward diction and syntax and a subject matter, outwardly political but inwardly tuned to the obsessions of daily living.
A surprising number of poems employ humour to tackle difficult subject matter such as police brutality, racism, and nationalism. His private politics and twin practice of veganism and martial arts for physical and spiritual well-being result in some very funny poems with a political edge to them.
Ben’s talk in between his poems do not simply set up the subjects he is about to chant but enhance them as well, adding new perspectives to his ‘global outlook’ as Lemn Sissay reminded us in his stirring introduction of the bard. I say, Bard, with utter seriousness since it is clear that Ben’s rock star reception at Queen Elizabeth is nothing short of poetry’s most astute attention to people so that people are in tune with it. My son said he would like to see Ben again and the moment he woke up wanted to U-Tube Ben for more chants and reggae rhythms.
Filed under: London Literature Festival 2009 | Tagged: Benjamin Zephaniah, Fred D'Aguiar, Lemn Sissay | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 3, 2009 by paulblezard
“The game’s afoot” as the Bard once wrote and certainly the game opened last night with much fanfare.
At the launch party, South Bank’s “empressaria” Jude Kelly gave the opening speech, explaining that the South Bank’s remit is to “push back the membrane” to the point that there is “no-one on the outside.” Now that’s a properly inclusive approach to creativity, artistry and expression, a rousing, modern version of ‘Cry “God for Harry, England and Saint George”’ as the Bard went on to say.
Receiving the microphone Rachel Holmes gave thanks to those people who make such a festival happen not least ,in this case, the quiet guru of the London Literature Festival, Martin Colthorpe, who Holmes described as ‘forensic’. If any of you are/were fans of the TV show NCIS then Colthorpe is the Jethro Gibbs character. He’s that good at what he does, but without the head slapping so favoured by his TV avatar. I so like the idea of Holmes describing her Watson as ‘forensic”, it has a marvellous resonance that I just can’t quite place!
Fred D’Aguiar, could be found mingling as, briefly, could Arundhati Roy before being whisked off for her sound check. You’ll have read about her event in Jayga’s excellent post below. Also spotted was Kamila Shamsie, one of this year’s Orange Prize contenders, Time Out’s Paul Burston whose new novel sounds like a hit-in-waiting, Lisa Dwan who is performing Beckett’s “Not I” on Tuesday and Wednesday (you really should treat yourselves to this event, it’s going to be something really rather special) and some of publishing’s ‘golden ones’, those very people who find the people that write the books that we so love reading.
All in all a great start. I’ve got to dash… or as William S. put it, and so much better, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
Filed under: London Literature Festival 2009 | Tagged: Fred D'Aguiar, Jude Kelly, Kamila Shamsie, Martin Colthorpe, Orange Prize, Paul Burston, William Shakespeare | Leave a Comment »