25th January 2018, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
7:30pm - 10:00pm.
Come and join us at Bradford on Avon's popular reading series, Words & Ears. Bring a poem, story or song to share, or just bring yourself. All performers and listeners welcome: open mic slots always available. £4 on the door.
Tonight's event is a bit different in that one of our guest poets, Angela France, is bringing her multi-media presentation based on poems from her new poetry collection, The Hill. The book, published by Nine Arches Press, is her fourth collection, and is a psychogeography of a hill she has walked for 50 years, blending her own experience with the rich and layered human history of the place.
Angela says: "I present the poems as part of a multi-media show which includes pictorial references as well as recordings giving voice to the local people who have worked and played on the hill. Thirty years before Kinder Scout, a quarry owner closed the hill to local people and this led to riots; the ringleaders were working men, clay-diggers and labourers, and the court case papers in the county archives have provided source material which have been recorded by a voice actor as part of the show."
This is not versified history; the poems are contemporary and innovative, acknowledging the influence of past events while engaging with the hill and its life now.
While the book and show are tightly focussed on a local place, the poems, and the voices in the show, raise questions about land and who can own it, who can walk on it and who can be denied it. Audiences from elsewhere are finding resonances in its themes of protecting green spaces, particularly with contemporary concerns about fracking, building on green belts, and the threat of parks closing.
Our second guest poet for this event is Robert Walton, who will echo the multi-media theme by playing us a bit of music to give texture to his reading from his latest collection, Sax Burglar Blues, from Seren.