This week’s poetry highlight:
Lemn Sissay’s lecture, ‘Landmark Poems’ (University of Leicester School of Arts’ 7th annual Creative Writing lecture) last Wednesday evening.
Sissay tempers off-the-cuff hilarity with pauses for thought, rapid fire delivery with white space. His self-deprecating manner belies an impressive biography.
Here’s a selection of quotes from my notebook:
On poems as landmarks:
A poem on a wall
A landmark [poem]is a landmark only when the community decides it is one.
Poetry should be flying off the page onto the walls of our cities.
Beware the local history poem.
Advice for writers:
Poetry is a revolutionary act of connection, whether for wedding or for war.
What is real? The imagination, or the manifestation of it?
Create a whole world that was not there before.
See your career as a writer, as an orbit rather than a ladder.
Creativity is not the monopoly of artists. Writers are part of the wider community of creatives, not apart from it.
Unfortunately, Lemn Sissay’s Radio 4 documentary, Landmark Poetics, is no longer available on iPlayer. However, a podcast of his UoL lecture will shortly be available on via the Centre for New Writing page of their website.
And it wouldn’t be a poetry jolly without a little book shopping, would it?
In other news:
The Interpreter’s House competition results have recently been announced, which means that I now have 8 instead of 7 poems for submission…somewhere (positive spin)!
In a Twitter moment, I had a sneak preview of the cover of All a Cat Can Be, a poetry anthology in support of New Start Cat Rescue. As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I’ve a poem in there, so I’m looking forward to receiving my contributor’s copy.