A programme of specially commissioned new poetry about bees, featuring new work from the distinguished poets David Harsent, Luke Heeley, Fiona Sampson, Jo Shapcott and Matthew Welton. Poems commissioned by the Festival, supported by Gresham College.
This is a part of the series of events which were held in collaboration with the 2010 City of London Festival.
Other lectures include:
The Songs of Summer by Chris Watson
Portuguese 'Ancient Music' in 18th Century London by Dr Owen Rees
Sir Hans Sloane: 350 years of preserving history by Dr Robert Huxley
Portugal and England, 1386-2010 by Professor Thomas Earle
A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey by Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres
David Harsent has published nine collections of poetry. The most recent, Legion, won the Forward Prize for best collection 2005 and was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize.
His Selected Poems appeared from Faber in June 2007, and were shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize.
His work in music theatre has involved collaborations with a number of composers, but most often with Harrison Birtwistle, and has been performed at the Royal Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Proms and on Channel 4 TV. A new opera, The Minotaur (also with Birtwistle) opened to spectacular reviews at the Royal Opera House in April 2008. Work in progress includes a novel, The Wormhole.
David’s latest collection, Night, is due for release on January 20th. Night is Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring 2011, and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Fiona Sampson was born in London in 1968. After a brief career as a concert violinist, she studied at Oxford University, where she won the Newdigate Prize. She has a PhD in the philosophy of language from Nijmegen University.
Her collections of poetry include Folding the Real (2001); The Distance Between Us (2005); and Common Prayer (2007), short-listed for the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize. She was short-listed for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem) in 2006.
She has written and edited several books on the theory of creative writing, including The Self on the Page: Theory and Practive of Creative Writing in Self Development (1998); The Healing World (1999); Creative Writing in Health and Social Care (2004); and Writing: Self and Reflexivity (2005). Her book Writing Poetry was published in 2009. A selection of critical essays, On Listening, was published in 2007.
Her books of translation include Evening Brings Everything Back by Jaan Kaplinski (2004). She was co-editor of A Fine Line (2004), an anthology of new poetry from Eastern and Central Europe, and founder-editor of Orient Express, a journal of contemporary writing from the EU enlargement countries (2002-05). From 1995-2000, she directed Aberystwyth International Poetry Festival. Seven of her own books are published in translation. Patuvacki Dnevnik (Macedonia) received the 2004 Zlaten Prsten prize.
She is also known for her pioneering work involving creative writing and health care, and undertook long-term residencies in this field throughout the 1990s.
She collaborates with visual artists on commissions: with printmaker Meg Campbell on the artists' book Birth Chart (1993) and the exhibition My Grandmother, My Mother, Myself (1994); with stone-carver Alec Peever on public art work in Swindon (1993), High Wycombe (1995) and Slough (2008). The Memory Ship was commissioned by Ledbury Poetry Festival for a textile hanging in Ledbury Hospital (2002). She has also collaborated with Wanda Mihuleac and Jacques Rancourt on an artists' book, Attitudes de priere (Transignum, Paris, 2008) and with the Coull Quartet (2008).
From 2002-2005 she was the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University; for 2007-2008 she is Fellow in Creativity at the University of Warwick. Since 2005, she has been the editor of Poetry Review. She contriubtes regularly to radio and to a number of publications, including The Guardian, the Irish Times and The Liberal.
Fiona Sampson received a Cholmondeley Award in 2009. Her latest collection of poetry, Rough Music (2010) was shortlisted for the 2010 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and the 2010 T. S. Eliot Prize.
Poet Jo Shapcott was born in London in 1953. She was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where she teaches on the MA in Creative Writing. She is the current President of The Poetry Society.
Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 (2000), consists of a selection of poetry from her three earlier collections: Electroplating the Baby (1988), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, Phrase Book (1992), and My Life Asleep (1998), which won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). She has also won the National Poetry Competition twice. Together with Matthew Sweeney she edited an anthology of contemporary poetry in English, but gathered from around the world, entitled Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (1996).
Jo Shapcott has worked with a number of musicians on collaborative projects. She has written lyrics for, or had poems set to music by, composers such as John McCabe, Detlev Glamert, Nigel Osborne, Alec Roth, Erollyn Wallen, Peter Wiegold and John Woolrich. Her poems were set to music by composer Stephen Montague in The Creatures Indoors, premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in London in 1997. From 2001-2003, during the BBC Proms season, she presented the weekly 'Poetry Proms' on Radio 3.
Her book Tender Taxes, a collection of versions of Rainer Maria Rilke's poems in French, was published in 2002. The Transformers, due for publication in 2010, is a collection of public lectures given by Jo Shapcott as part of her Professorship at Newcastle, and she is co-editor (with Linda Anderson) of a collection of essays about Elizabeth Bishop. Her translation, with Narguess Farzad, of Poems by Farzaneh Khojandi was published in 2008.
Her latest book of poems is Of Mutability, published in 2010 and shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year).
Matthew Welton was born in Nottingham in 1969 and lives in Manchester. He received the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for The Book of Matthew (Carcanet, 2003), which was a Guardian Book of the Year. He was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2004. Matthew collaborates regularly with the composer Larry Goves, with whom he was awarded a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in 2008. He lectures in creative writing at the University of Bolton.