Sunday, 22 May 2011


Grab your knitting and get to Brid, there’s poetry in the air

POET Laureate Carol Ann Duffy faces some stiff – well, rather more floppy – competition at her forthcoming gig since she’ll be up against the world’s largest knitted poem.

Yes, you read that right: the world’s largest knitted poem.

The poem in question is ‘In My Craft or Sullen Art’ by Dylan Thomas and it is to be unfurled at the second Bridlington Poetry Festival next month, where Duffy is to appear as the headline guest.

The knitted rendition was created to mark the Poetry Society’s centennial year and was rolled out at the British Library, London, in 2009. At 13 x 9 metres it could certainly make a fair few scarves and woolly hats, but the people – more than 1,000 from across the world – might be a little miffed to see their efforts undone. They each turned individual letters of Thomas’s poem into colourful 12-inch squares.

Duffy is to lead the Bridlington Poetry Festival with two special events, with one aimed at children and the other for adults. On the second day of the festival she will perform her long children’s poem, ‘The Princess’ Blankets’ presented with music from John Sampson.

The same evening, she will read from some of her latest, as yet unpublished, work and from her many published collections, including ‘Rapture’, ‘Mean Time’, ‘Selling Manhattan’, and ‘The World’s Wife’.

All told, the Yorkshire seaside resort’s poetry fest will feature 29 events over the three days, set in the surroundings of Sewerby Hall, with its views of the wild North Sea.

Other forthcoming highlights include readings by Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan along with his son, Andrew, said to be something of a rising star in the poetry scene.

Other big name showings include: Christopher Reid, Sean O’Brien, and Scottish poet Douglas Dunn who will present the results of the East Riding Open Poetry Competition. There will also be poetry workshops, talks, seminars and an open mic poetry evening.

It may be only the second Bridlington Poetry Festival, but the event will take the time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sheffield’s The Poetry Business and the 50th edition of London-based Magma poetry magazine.

“This is a natural extension of last year’s wonderful festival in the beautiful surroundings of Sewerby Hall,” said festival director John Wedgwood Clarke. “As a mark of that success we have the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy adding her warm and generous presence to this extraordinary and diverse line up of poets. If you love poetry you’re in for a treat and if you’re uncertain about poetry join us to find out just how much you can love this most ancient and accessible of art forms.”

Bridlington Poetry Festival 2011

Friday 10 June to Sunday 12 June

Sewerby Hall, YO15 1EA.

Category: EVENTS, Writing Life



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