ONLINE EVENTS MONDAY - THURSDAY

THE FROGMORE PAPERS AT 100
E2
Jeremy Page presents four poets
TUESDAY  Online
7:00 - 8:00pm      
Free

The Frogmore Papers were founded as the littlest of little magazines nearly forty years ago at the Frogmore Tea-Rooms in Folkestone, once a favourite haunt of H G Wells. Number one appeared in a very limited edition of twenty cyclostyled copies in May 1983. Number one hundred, featuring poems by Simon Armitage, Dean Atta, Christine McNeill, Catherine Smith and dozens more, was published in September. In this event, the story of the Papers will be told by founding editor Jeremy Page, with readings from poets who have contributed to the journal over the last four decades: John Freeman, Janet Sutherland, Michael Swan and Susan Wicks.

HAZEL PRESS
E1
Join Anna Selby from Hazel Press as she introduces 4 recently published poets whose titles centre on collaboration and the environment.
MONDAY   Online
Free
7:00 - 8:00pm      

Through a series of 17 ‘portraits’, poet and artist Maria Isakova Bennett connects us back to the place rivers hold, following the Mersey from Liverpool city centre to the Irish Sea. The poems are written with a fresh-paint aliveness: you could almost stop and stand in them. Maggie Wang reads from her debut pamphlet The Sun on the Tip of a Snail’s Shell (2022) deeply personal and historically and scientifically grounded, these are poems not just about the species we are losing but also about the world we have created and the ways in which it has, in turn, created us. Outfitting (2022) is a free-wheeling collection of lyric essays and poems from Kate Fletcher and Helen Mort that explores fashion, ecology and wild landscapes. Their dialogue ranges from gloves to gritstone, and explores gender, the lives of garments, the imperative of change, the cost of adventure and possibilities for fashion as part of, not separate from, the living world. 

Hazel Press is an independent publisher with a focus on the environment, the realities of climate change, feminism and the arts.

NEW COLLECTIONS ON POLITICS AND ENVIRONMENT FROM THREE US POETS
E3
WEDNESDAY
Online
 
7:00 - 8:00pm  
Free
Jenny Xie
Join these three exciting poets as they discuss their latest collections, from André Naffis-Sahely's reflections on class, race, and nationalism in High Desert, to Jenny Xie's explorations of public secrecies, and the psychic fallout of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in The Rupture Tense and Christopher Soto's uncompromising call for the abolition of policing and human caging in Diaries of a Terrorist.
NEW PERSPECTIVES ON DISABILITY
E4
Four ground-breaking poets
THURSDAY
Online
 
7:00 - 8:00pm  
Free
Join Daniel Sluman, Hannah Hodgson, Karl Knights and Polly Atkin as they read from their ground-breaking, prize-winning work. Sluman’s TS Eliot Prize shortlisted third collection, single window (Nine Arches, 2021) traces a year in his and his wife’s lives as they negotiate the world from the one room accessible to them. Hodgson’s four pamphlets and debut collection 163 Days (Seren, 2022) reflect her experiences as a young person with life-limiting illness. Knight’s debut pamphlet, Kin (Smith Doorstop, 2022), winner of the Poetry Business New Poet’s Prize, explores survival as a queer, neurodivergent disabled man through austerity, and Atkin’s Laurel longlisted second collection Much With Body (Seren 2021) re-examines our relationship to nature through the sick body.
 
FESTIVAL WEEKEND
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY

ARTISTS, LOVERS, GHOSTS and FOOLS 

A lunchtime online reading with Holly Hopkins, Greta Stoddart, Dean Atta, Shazea Quraishi

E5
FRIDAY
Online 
1:00 - 2:00pm
Free

Holly Hopkin’s first collection ‘The English Summer’ confronts the illusions and paradoxes of history in poems that reimagine medieval anchorites and 18th-century follies, zombies and the Megabus. This is a landscape populated by overcrowded urban bedsits and burnt-out country piles, where ghosts of the past are sensed beneath dual carriageways and old gods emerge from rotting bindweed. 'Fool' is Greta Stoddart’s fourth collection. The word ‘fool’ derives from the Latin follis, one of whose meanings is ‘empty-headed person’. There’s a lot that the fool doesn’t know – otherwise they wouldn’t be a fool – but can anyone be trusted to know anything? When knowledge is ours at the tap of a key, what is it we’re accumulating, and is it at the expense of another, more intuitive, kind of knowing? Poems between inner and outer worlds, between the sceptical and wondering mind. ‘There is (still) love here’, the compelling new collection of poetry by Dean Atta, is a personal and powerful exploration of relationships, love and loss, encompassing LGBTQ+ and Black history, Greek Cypriot heritage, pride and identity, dislocation and belonging. Poems as an antidote for challenging times, whether facing prejudice or the challenges of the pandemic, experiencing grief or recovering from heartbreak. Shazea Quraishi’s ‘The Glimmer' is a meditation on the time-span of life illuminated by many voices. In an artists’ colony in Mexico, a taxidermist tends animals in their after-life, contemplating what remains of us after death. Among the artists she encounters are a painter of miniatures, a war photographer, a light artist, a ghazal singer, and dancers from Tanzteater Wuppertal, as they reflect on the impulse to make work and meaning in a world where value is increasingly monetised.

SUFFOLK POETRY SOCIETY AT 70
E6
Elizabeth Cook presents the anthology poets
FRIDAY
Ballroom 
2:30 - 3:30pm 
Free

Suffolk Poetry Society is celebrating its 70th birthday and at this event will launch an anthology of 70 poems chosen by Elizabeth Cook from poems circulated in Twelve Rivers Ripples. This is an online members’ only magazine created initially to provide the Society with regular contact and a means to share poetry and ideas through the pandemic, but which has become a much loved feature of SPS life. A group of poets will read their own and other contributors’ work, introduced by Elizabeth Cook. The poems cover a wide range of themes from nature to politics, from love and loss to the pandemic itself and so much more. There are poems exploring formal verse forms as well as free verse. There are serious and humorous poems. What they all have in common is the high quality. 

Readers will include:

Kate Foley, Ivor Murrell, Ian Griffiths, Elizabeth Soule, Sue Mobbs, Antony Johae, Lizzi Thistlethwayte, Sue Foster, Sue Wallace-Shaddad

FESTIVAL OPENING and EXHIBITION

FRIDAY
Ballroom 
4:00 - 5:00pm
Free

Poetry in Aldeburgh began in 2016. This year we are celebrating the 7th gathering of poets and artists to the town. After four years of festival events spread between the Jubilee Hall and the Peter Pears Gallery, attracting a regular and faithful festival audience, for the festivals of 2020 and 2021 we found ourselves meeting online. Zoom proved highly effective and we were able to come together to enjoy poetry, and widening our audience to across the UK and worldwide. We are delighted to be back on the ground in the newly refurbished PPG - now 'Ballroom Arts' - which is our main venue for the 2022 festival. We are also thrilled to offer you a programme that combines online readings and workshops with a varied and fun-packed weekend programme in our accessible venue close to the beach. We are proud to host two exhibitions: Artist in residence Jessica Jane Charleston will be exhibiting new work in the Courtyard Gallery and local artists from Asylum Studios will be showing a range of new work in the Ballroom. Come celebrate the opening with tea and cake, and make new poetry friends!

‘OUR WHOLE SELVES’ - NEW WORK AND RECENT DEBUTS from five Poets together after two and half years meeting online
E7
5:30 - 6:30pm
£10
FRIDAY
Ballroom

When lockdown came in March 2020 during the first wave of Covid, a group of poets from across the UK, who used to meet poetry writing residential courses, decided to start an online workshop group. They began meeting on Saturday mornings, and the sessions became a lifeline during months of isolation and uncertainty. They continue to meet today but only now at Aldeburgh are they coming together, all in person, to read work written and workshopped during that period – new books, new pamphlets, new inspirations.

In Kathy Pimott’s debut, women’s lives and labour, motherhood and daughterhood are explored and questioned with a discreet passion, as well as the city, the shifting landscape of central London where Pimlott has lived for many years. Gentrification means ‘Money wants no one to belong’, but time and time again these intriguing, imagistic poems evoke belonging, human connection and pleasure in the smallest moments (Hannah Lowe). Ramona Herdman’s 'Glut' is a lush, entertaining, and bittersweet collection of poems about how we live together and find meaning through rules and rituals around food, family, alcohol, work, nature, sex and love. These vividly-realised, nimble poems probe at the delicate balancing acts we – our bodies and our minds – perform in life:  between power and trust, between convention and rebellion, and between what is enough and what is too much. Pam Thompson’s second collection Strange Fashion bursts with strangers and with intimates, with colour and with cool dispassion; these poems travel the world and through history from the Belfast Troubles to slave smuggling in Illinois, from out-of-season Alicante to a croft in the Scottish Highlands, to parachuting from the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Fokkina McDonnell’s Remembering / Disease presents melodic meditations which explore the inner workings of the heart. McDonnell’s poetry reflects on the small details which form larger existential questions and conundrums. Her poems pause, with the elegance and grace of her two great influences Jane Kenyon and Louise Glück, “still waiting for permission to speak”.  Sarah Mnatzaganian’s debut, Lemonade in the Armenian Quarter is a lyrical and memorable celebration of her Anglo Armenian family and won the 2022 Saboteur Award for best poetry pamphlet.  ‘Full of colour and rich, sensory detail, these are warm and often moving poems, utterly unlike anyone else’s.  Such a pleasure.’  Peter Sansom  ‘…she writes so deliciously about food that she makes me hungry. Wendy Cope

AFTER DINNER SOCIAL
E8
Kate Noakes reads new work and hosts Open Mic
FRIDAY
Ballroom 
8:30 - 10:00pm 
£10

Kate Noakes’s seventh and most recent collection is The Filthy Quiet (Parthian, 2019). Real Hay-on-Wye (Seren 2022) was her recent non-fiction debut. Her eight collection, Goldhawk Road, is due with Two Rivers Press in 2023. Kate’s work has been widely published in magazines in the UK, Europe and beyond. She was elected to the Welsh Academy in 2011. She used to live in Paris where she was a regular host of the weekly poetry and spoken word night at Culture Rapide in Belleville. She currently lives in London where she acts as a trustee for writer development organisation Spread the Word.

 SATURDAY EVENTS

5th November

 
BREAKFAST EVENT
E9
with Vanessa Raison
SATURDAY
South Lookout
8:30 - 9:30
£10

How can we use language to write about the smells, the sounds, the taste of the sea? The Breakfast Meeting is a practical workshop exploring poetic techniques while listening to the sounds of the sea over coffee and croissants in the base of the South Lookout Tower surrounded by Regine Bartsch's work. You will be encouraged to write about your experiences in or on the sea and a sea journey you have made. We shall explore existing poems, one by an amateur and others by established poets such as Sylvia Plath and Alice Oswald. Bring a pen and notebook and dress warmly!

MICHAEL LASKEY AND FOUR POETS FROM VITAL INDEPENDENT PRESSES
E10
SATURDAY
Ballroom 
11:30 - 12:45pm
£10
Michael Laskey

Michael Laskey co-edited the poetry journal Smiths Knoll for twenty-one years and co-founded the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, which he directed through its first decade. He works as a poetry tutor and runs The Garlic Press, publishing work mainly by Suffolk poets. Michael reads poems from his just-published book Between Ourselves (Smith Doorstop), a brilliantly crafted collection of warm and eloquent poems that are at once a love letter to the future, and a contemplation of the past. He also introduces four mature, sustaining poets from independent presses. Elizabeth Cook, also a novelist, RLF Fellow at Queen Mary University and St Edmundsbury’s first Writer in Residence, shares work from her luminous and affecting second collection, When I Kiss the Sky. In 2020 Quaker poet Martin Hayden published both a pamphlet, Good Ground Beneath My Feet, celebrating his experiences as a volunteer with the Iona Community, and a wide-ranging and ultimately life-affirming first collection, Green Burial. John Lynch, a recently retired Suffolk Primary School Headteacher, today launches his first collection, These Days – heartening, exactly focused, vivid glimpses of a lifetime’s changing family relations. And D. A. Prince, so well-known to subscribers to many small press magazines for her generous, perceptive reviews and her elegantly crafted, probingly intelligent poems, will launch her third full collection, The Bigger Picture.

E6
LUNCHTIME TALK with Christine Webb
E11
‘THE MISERICORD AND THE TENNIS NET: A MATTER OF FORM’ 
SATURDAY
Ballroom
1:15 - 2:15pm
£10

Poetry began as an art of the ear, spoken or sung to an audience who were not going to go away and read it. It needed all the helps it could summon up, structures of sound and repetition to make it memorable. But in a literate society, does a ‘sound-world’ matter? And does this open up a wider question – of whether strict form is too constraining, even crippling? Or do fixed limits hone and polish creativity? Christine Webb invites you to think about these questions while looking at examples from the work of poets who might disagree about the answers.

‘LIFE AT ITS LIMITS: FOREST, CITY, EARTH, UNIVERSE’ - Join four poets as they contemplate life at its limits in three debut collections and one second.
E12
SATURDAY
Ballroom
3:00 - 4:00pm
£10

Susannah Hart’s debut collection Out of True won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018. A year later she won the National Poetry Competition 2019 with her formally adept poem ‘Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’. Her poems are wry and eclectic, exploring motherhood and childbirth, and playing with nursery rhymes while exploring serious subject matter. Stuart Carswell’s debut collection Earthworks (Indigo Dreams, 2021) connects with historical landscapes to learn how to live. Drawing on locations and historical sites in the West Country, such as the West Kennett long barrow in Wiltshire, Offa’s Dyke in Gloucestershire, and the industrial heritage of the Forest of Dean.

Stav Poleg’s debut collection The City (Carcanet 2022), constructs rooms, buildings, and cities full of bicycles, herons, espresso, smoke, and rain, which she animates, while also describing the process of setting her unruly characters in motion. Scale builds on the considerable achievement of Mina Gorji's first book, Art of Escape (2019). At the volcano's edge, in exilic space, at the bottom of the Arctic Sea, or in the acid clouds of Venus, it traces life at its limits. The poems range across scales of distance, temperature and time, from vast to minute, glacial to volcanic, Pleistocene to present day, constellation to millipede.

SYLVIA PLATH AT 90’
THE NINE ARCHES ANTHOLOGY

After Sylvia at 90: Writing Back to a Legend
E13
SATURDAY
Ballroom
4:30 - 5:30pm
£10

Four leading contemporary poets, Sarah Corbett (co-editor of After Sylvia: Poems and essays in celebration of Sylvia Plath, Nine Arches Press, 2022), Tiffany Atkinson, Rebecca Goss and Sarah Westcott will read from their work, and discuss their poems written in response to Sylvia Plath to celebrate her 90th birthday.  There will also be a showing of the film of Rebecca's Sylvia Plath Prize winning poem, 'when it feels hot, that rage against me', commissioned for the Sylvia Plath Literary Festival. 

THE KINARA COLLECTIVE - POETRY FROM THE SHORELINE
E14
SATURDAY
Ballroom
6:00 - 7:00pm
£10

Kinara, (border, shoreline or edge in Hindi/Urdu), is a collective of women poets with inherited histories of migration and South Asian identities. Sarala Estruch will read from Say (flipped eye 2021) and her forthcoming debut collection After All We Have Travelled, (Nine Arches, 2023), Anita Pati from her debut collection Hiding to Nothing (Pavilion 2022), Gita Ralleigh from A Terrible Thing (Bad Betty 2020), Siren (Broken Sleep 2022) and Rushika Wick from her debut collection Afterlife As Trash, (Verve 2021) as well as new work.

POETRY PERFORMANCE with Arji Manuelpillai  
followed Finished Creatures Showcase
          
E15
SATURDAY
Ballroom
8:30 - 10:30pm
£10

Join Arji Manuelpillai for an evening of poetry performance combining rap, story and poetry into one big celebration of language. “His poems are funny, irreverent, hugely affecting – you’ll rush after him, then find he’s stopped, spun on his heel and you’re face-to-face with his good-natured grin” (Wayne Holloway Smith, T.S Eliot Nominee). His debut collection Improvised Explosive Device (Penned In The Margins) is a PBS recommendation and was published in Oct 2022.

 

The independent poetry magazine Finished Creatures showcases poetry reflecting environmental concerns and the place of human experience within the wider natural world. Edited by Jan Heritage, the magazine is four years old and has published work from over 200 international poets in that time, including experienced and prize-winning poets as well as those at the beginning of their career. Contributors read their poems from previous issues.

 

 SUNDAY EVENTS

6th November

DEBATING THE CRAFT - THE WHO, HOW AND WHY OF REVIEWING POETRY
E18
SUNDAY
Ballroom 
3:00 - 4:00pm
£10

Many of the best contemporary UK poetry magazines contain reviews of new poetry collections written by poets. Reviews supposedly serve a vital function in helping to promote new publications and provide a critical appreciation of the way in which subject matter is being explored. Reviewing poetry is time-consuming but also illuminating. Why as poets should we invest considerable writing time reviewing books and pamphlets, and how should we go about it? How can we learn to review - is there an art? Which aspects of poems deserve most attention? Who is reviewing today and what is being done to broaden the range of reviewers? Are we critical enough or do we sit on the fence – is it a balancing act? What types of reviews are out there? The afternoon panel brings together the perspectives of experienced poetry reviewers, new critics and a poetry magazine that commissions reviews to debate the craft.

UEA POETS - MA CREATING WRITING SHOWCASE
E19
Vanessa Raison introduces
SUNDAY
Ballroom 
4:30 - 5:30pm
Free
Alice Bridgwood

The UEA event showcases the emerging voices of seven of the eighteen students who took the MA in Poetry 2021-2022.

Salma Yusuf from Kenya, the 2021 Global Voices Scholar, uses her poetry to empower communities. Shakiah K Johnson is a black poet, dancer, and actor from Lynchburg, Virginia, and Emily Veal a Birmingham Vinyl DJ who writes about sex and drugs. Vanessa Raison from Aldeburgh, on becoming an adult orphan, has turned to nonsense, while Keralan Malavika S Udayan's themes range from the mundane to the political. Alice Bridgwood, a digital communications strategist who lived in Berlin for eight years, is a part-timer still on the course.

'WRITING WHERE WE ARE’ - FESTIVAL FINALE
E20
Four Poets on Identity and artwork produced at the weekend by festival artist Jessica Jane Charleston
7:00pm  
Free
SUNDAY
Online
 

Four poets think about where we are today in terms of place - Ireland / Britain / Europe (where they live) and in terms of place - in the midst of ecological collapse, post-empire but dealing with its legacy, reckoning with the past while trying to imagine a future. They explore how each of us reckon with the ‘we’ as well as with the ‘I’ – and consider who ‘we’ are together in an ever more polarised and fragmented society, reliant on technology and subject to politics. Four of our most exciting and experimental poets write around queer and non-binary politics, and on post-colonialism, post-conflict and post-Brexit. Are we really beyond them? How can writing poetry help us reconcile tensions and help us move on?

POETRY AND PHYSICS – MAGMA ISSUE 84 LAUNCH READING

E16

Editors Susannah Hart and Stav Poleg present Magma poets

SUNDAY
Ballroom
11:30 - 12:30pm
£10

Launch of Magma 84 on the theme of physics 

 

Join Magma editors Stav Poleg and Susannah Hart in celebrating the launch of Magma 84 on the theme of Physics. Come and listen to poetry that engages with light, time, matter and space and meet some of our brilliant contributors!  Lucy Allsopp, Ian Buchanan, Mike Greenhough, Jan Heritage, Alex Josephy, Kinneson Lalor, John Martin, Isabella Mead and Milena Williamson will all be sharing their poems from the issue. 

LUNCHTIME TALK & DISCUSSION – ‘THE LASCAUX NOTEBOOKS: ICE-AGE POETRY’

E17

with Philip Terry

SUNDAY
Ballroom
1:00 - 2:00pm
£10

The Lascaux cave-paintings were made about 12000 years before Stonehenge, and as everyone knows are almost frighteningly vivid; even to scroll through them on a laptop screen is to feel a genuine connection with real Upper Paleolithic individuals... What Philip Terry’s magnificent, mischievous book posits or imagines is that they also had a tradition of written poetry, and that this tradition is recoverable. (modern poetry in translation review).

This presentation will introduce Jean-Luc Champerret’s experimental translation of Ice Age signs from the caves of Lascaux, where he reads the signs as proto-pictographic script, inserting them into the frequent 3 x 3 grids to be found in the Lascaux caves to recreate Ice Age poetry. The discussion will broaden to discuss this work as a form of speculative fiction.