Sunday, December 21, 2014

Next Buzzwords, Sunday 4th January 2015

Next Buzzwords - Sunday, 4th January
Workshop, led by Jenny Lewis 7pm
Guest readings and open mic 8pm
Guest poet:
Jenny Lewis

Upstairs at The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, Cheltenham
 £5 waged, £3 unwaged

Jenny Lewis is a poet, playwright and songwriter who specialises in cross-arts collaborations combining poetry with visual art, music and dance. Her first collection, When I Became an Amazon (Iron Press, 1996/ Bilingua, Russia, 2002) was dramatized, widely toured and broadcast on BBC Woman’s Hour. Her recent collections are Fathom (2007) and Taking Mesopotamia (2014) published by Oxford Poets/ Carcanet, and two pamphlets in English and Arabic, with the Iraqi Poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh, Now as Then: Mesopotamia-Iraq (2013) and Singing for Inanna, (2014) both published by Mulfran Press. Jenny has also had seven plays and poetry cycles produced at major UK theatres including After Gilgamesh a verse drama for Pegasus Theatre, Oxford and a major Arts Council-funded programme of new writing, workshops and performances at the British Museum, Iraqi Cultural Centre, Keats House and other venues. Jenny teaches poetry at Oxford University, is a Core Writing Tutor at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford and a Tutor for the Poetry School. In 2012 she was awarded a prestigious Hawthornden Fellowship.

Five of the excellent reviews Taking Mesopotamia has received to date:

[Taking Mesopotamia] is compulsory reading, even for those who don’t normally read poetry: an eloquent rejoinder to those who say poetry can’t, or shouldn’t, concern itself with public matters.”   Bernard O’Donoghue.

“Taking Mesopotamia is a stunning collection, one that sticks to you like a burr after you’ve read it. It is as if in writing it, Jenny Lewis has stumbled across one of the marvels contained within the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of its groves of jewels – and laid it out across the page for us to look at.” Laura Scott, The North

“Jenny Lewis’ Taking Mesopotamia is a brilliantly conceived and executed, very moving book…This is a modernist route – we will see more poetry collections built on these lines.” Dilys Wood, Artemis Poetry

“[Taking Mesopotamia] is a lyrical collection of poetry, witness statements, interviews, diary entries and reports that have been meticulously researched…Lewis will take many on the search with her, such is the overwhelming poignancy of the work, which is testimony that there is a place for poetry in politics.” Jane Fraser, New Welsh Review

Taking Mesopotamia by Jenny Lewis (Carcanet) is a stunning collection interweaving myth, history and poignant biography. The story of Lewis's father (a Welsh officer in the Mesopotamia campaign in WW1) is offset against past and present wars in Iraq, the history of Lewis's mining ancestors, and the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh. Beautiful, intricate and humane.” The Poetry Society


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