PhD poets perform at Exeter Poetry Festival

This year’s Exeter Poetry Festival includes a bumper crop of poets and writers from the University of Exeter’s Creative Writing programme.

Four talented PhD poets, whose work has been published and gained positive recognition, are due to perform their poetry at the Exeter Central Library on Friday 5 October at 4pm.

Eleanor Rees will read from her poems which mythically reinvent her home city Liverpool; James Simpson’s poems focus on nature and ecology; Jaime Robles examines buried histories in poems about Anglo Saxon treasure hoards; and Jacky Tarleton examines personal histories and 'pivotal moments'. 

Dr Andy Brown, Director of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter who is also performing at the Exeter Poetry Festival, will introduce the talented PhD poets at the Exeter Central Library event. He said:  “The first three PhD students have each published several notable collections of poetry, whilst Jacky has won a number of poetry prizes and published her work in national magazines. It's great for them to be reading in the city as a group.”

According to Eleanor Rees, reading at poetry festivals is always a rewarding experience as the audience are enthusiastic and often knowledgeable about contemporary poetry. She said: “It's a great opportunity to hear the work of my peers and also to put new poems in a public context and hear how they sound. I'm always keen to find out how people react to my poetry, so I’m happy to chat with the audience afterwards. Poetry is primarily meant to be heard, so placing it before an audience is the ultimate test and home for the work.”

She adds: “The PhD poets are all in their ways concerned with questions relating to environments and questions of value. I think we also see the art form as crucial to the cultural response and adaptation to these challenges. Poetry isn't just a luxury, but has always been a key component of how human societies imagine and understand themselves in the world.”

On Saturday 6 October, University of Exeter academic and creative writer, Dr Andy Brown, will be reading his own lyric poems with Don Paterson, the UK’s most eminent lyric poet, at the Exeter Phoenix. He is going to read from a new body of work that will hopefully be his next book. It is called EXURBIA, which is the name given to the outermost reaches of the city; the residential areas beyond the suburbs. In this collection, Andy Brown’s poems are characterised by points of departure and change. He draws meticulous attention to the settings in which people make their homes and the tensions inherent within them. The collection sets off through these domestic settings, gardens and allotments. 

The second group of poems are Dr Brown’s first published translations – versions of ten ‘suburban poems’ by Jorge Luis Borges, who originally wrote these poems about the suburbs of Buenos Aires where he lived for many years. In the final group of poems, the audience will be led away from suburban settings and gardens and reach fully ex urbia – out of the city – heading for woods, fields and moors, mountains, rivers and estuaries.

For further information contact the Exeter poetry Festival website.

Date: 3 October 2012