Poets & Players has a new home as we edge deeper into autumn, bringing its fabulous free afternoons of words and music townwards along the Oxford Road Corridor and into the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. As always, the event is free and welcomes everyone along to enjoy poetry from both established and emerging guests.
Poets & Players has a new home as we edge into autumn, bringing its fabulous free afternoons of words and music townwards along the Oxford Road Corridor and into the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
The latest event invites Clare Shaw, Kit Fan and Holly Hopkins to the mic, with musicians to be announced, but undoubtedly at home in a room furnished with a grand piano, not to mention a building with a collection of harpsichords knocking about.
Clare Shaw is co-director of the Kendal Poetry Festival, a poetry tutor for Wordsworth Grasmere and the Arvon Foundation, and a mental health educator. Their fourth poetry collection, Towards a General Theory of Love, was published by Bloodaxe in May and was awarded a Northern Writer’s Award. Clare has written and presented poetry, drama and documentaries on Radio 3 and Radio 4, and works in collaboration with artists across genres; this year they wrote the libretto for the opera Daylighting, which premiered at the Royal Academy for Music. In 2019, Clare was a judge for the final Ted Hughes Award, which celebrated new poetic work beyond the conventional realms of poetry, and, in 2021, was the resident poet for Lancashire Wildlife Trust. They continue to use poetry to engage communities with wildlife and ecology, and, as Project Lead for the Royal Literary Fund, they were responsible for setting up writing projects in workplaces across the UK. With a background in mental health and education, Clare is a keen advocate for writing as a tool of social and personal change, and in collaboration with the novelist Winnie M Li, Clare was the recipient of a Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters Award in 2019, creating workshops and a free online resource for survivors of trauma.
Kit Fan is a poet, novelist and critic. His first book of poems, Paper Scissors Stone came out with Hong Kong University Press in 2011 and won the inaugural HKU International Poetry Prize. As Slow As Possible (2018) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and one of the Irish Times Books of the Year. He was shortlisted twice for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, and has won Northern Writers Awards for fiction and for poetry, the Times Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Prize, and a Poetry Editors’ Prize for reviewing. His third collection, The Ink Cloud Reader, will be published by Manchester’s Carcanet Press in April 2023. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his debut novel, Diamond Hill, came out in 2021 by Dialogue.
Manchester-based Holly Hopkins is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection with her debut collection The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) and it was awarded the Poetry Book Society’s Special Commendation. Her debut pamphlet, Soon Every House Will Have One, won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Shortlisted for the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize, Holly has been an assistant editor of The Rialto and she has received an Eric Gregory Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship. Her poems feature in Carcanet New Poetries VIII and have been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The TLS.