Oliver James Lomax online poetry reading with Working Class Movement Library

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Oliver James Lomax.
Poet Oliver James Lomax.

The Dandelion Clock - an evening of poems with Oliver James Lomax, online, 14 January 2021, free entry - Visit now

Head to the Working Class Movement Library – virtually, of course – for an evening of poems as former poet-in-residence Oliver James Lomax reads from his new collection, The Dandelion Clock.

Oliver James Lomax first came to WCML’s attention when he visited the library’s reading room to read the first-hand accounts of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 held in the collection. The result was his poem ‘Peterloo’, which the library now reproduces on the anniversary of that fateful day. As a result, Lomax has become a great friend to the Library, reading on the hall stairs as part of Museums At Night and helping put together the Bones of Paine skeleton for the 200th anniversary of Peterloo, resulting in his piece ‘The Bones Of Thomas Paine’.

Some of his Peterloo poems have been performed by Maxine Peake at the Radical Readings commemorative event and when he supported Billy Bragg at Manchester Central Library.

Some of his Peterloo poems have been performed by Maxine Peake at the Radical Readings commemorative event and when he supported Billy Bragg at Manchester Central Library. He has also performed these poems at Manchester’s Albert Hall accompanied by Stalybridge Brass Band. Says WCML manager Lynette Cawthra: “Oliver made poetry real for us by writing an astonishing poem about Peterloo. We’ve kept tabs on him ever since. Believe us, he’s worth keeping an eye on.”

Out on Cityscape Records, The Dandelion Clock follows the Bolton-born poet’s 18 Poems, illustrated by the artist Dan Llewellyn Hall and published in 2017, which garnered praise from the likes of Mike Garry and even Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music. Poet Natalie Ann Holborrow called it a “fantastically punchy debut”, going on to say: “Expressed with a deft musicality of language, and with lines that wouldn’t look out of place nestled inside the sleeve of a Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave album, an exciting introduction to a poet who is making huge strides in the literary scene.”

As well as at the Working Class Movement Library, Lomax has been poet-in-residence with Dylan’s Book Bus at The Laugharne Weekend, Latitude Festival, Do Not Go Gentle and The Goodlife Experience and was poet-in-residence at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, where he also performed alongside Simon Armitage and Daljit Nagra. He was commissioned to write a poem about the 53 trees of the Western Road in Sheffield, part of the Draw the Living War Memorial project led by Dan Llewellyn Hall, which featured on The One Show, and the Nationwide Christmas advert. He has been working on a poetry theatre piece and editing a poetry anthology in collaboration with The Royal Exchange and last year he was commissioned by writer and DJ Dave Haslam and Manchester Mind to write a poem marking forty years since the death of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis.

This event will be livestreamed – sign-up details will be available on the day via the WCML website (follow link). The event is free but Oliver has suggested that attendees might like to make a donation to the Library.

The Dandelion Clock cover
The Dandelion Clock cover

The Dandelion Clock - an evening of poems with Oliver James Lomax, online

14 January 2021 7:30 pm
Free entry