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‘Wat if I present as a crowd?’: A Reading and Conversation with Caroline Bergvall, 30 April 2020

Walk aloud think aloud dream aloud
believe in the lines that form and grow into clusters of beings
the walk that crosses the mind is a long line of light
of thinking aloud breathing aloud
picking up what stumbles down the line
picking you up where you fall down
picking you up when you fall

—From Alisoun Sings by Caroline Bergvall

Originally scheduled to take place on 26 March 2020 at Queen Mary but disrupted by the quarantine, Bergvall instead appeared live online on 30 April 2020 and read from Alisoun Sings and other of her texts relevant for our moment. She then took questions and engaged in conversation with Susan Rudy and members of the audience. A recording of the Facebook livestream is available here.

How Poetry Matters: An RSA Performing Arts Network Ideas Event

RSA Ideas events enable RSA Fellows to pitch ideas and early-stage projects to an audience, drawing on the expertise of our network to help ideas turn into action. The poetic twist for this event was that the Centre for Poetry paired each Fellow with a poet in advance. At the event itself, the poets then performed poems that encapsulated, evoked, or otherwise illustrated an important theme from each idea shared. This unique event combined ideas, art, and action. Find out more about the confirmed pitchers and poets here.

Writing Retreat: Norwich, 28 February – 2 March 2020

Just before the pandemic hit Britain, four members of the Centre’s Queer Poetics Research Network met in Norwich for our first Writing Retreat. Caroline Gonda, Natasha Tanna, and Tam Blaxter drove from Cambridge to stay with Susan Rudy at her home in Norwich. In the words of Tam Blaxter, ‘An advantage of working together as queer people is that we can assume some shared experience of hardship, some shared thinking about identity, and so can more quickly arrive at the intimacy required to truly explore work which touches on the painful, the personal, and the true.’

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5 October 2015: Poetry Competition announced

2 October 2015: The Centre for Poetry is pleased to announce that our partners the Idea Store have nearly finalized the programme of events for their upcoming event, the Write Idea Festival, taking place at the Idea Store, Whitechapel this November. For more information see their website:

14 September 2015: The Globe Road festival programme is almost ready to go to press.  As we finalise plans for the weekend, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of two outstanding poets: M. NourbeSe Philip and Caroline Bergvall.  M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet, writer and lawyer who was born in Tobago and now lives in the City of Toronto. Her books of poetry include Thorns (1980), Salmon Courage (1983), She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks (1988) and Zong! (2008). She has also published several novels, and collections of essays including Frontiers: Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture (1992), Showing Grit: Showboating North of the 44th Parallel (1993), and Genealogy of Resistance and Other Essays (1997). She is the recipient of Guggenheim and McDowell Fellowships and numerous Canada Council awards.

Caroline Bergvall is an artist, writer and performer who works across artforms, media and languages. The recipient of many awards and commissions, her work frequently develops through exploring material traces, literary documents and linguistic detail, language and literary history, sites and histories, hidden or forgotten knowledges. Her sparse textual, spatial and audio works often expose hidden or difficult historical/political events. Her projects alternate between books and printed matter, audio pieces, collaborative performances, site-specific installations. Her most recent work, DRIFT (2013-2015) explores narratives and mappings of travel, migrancy and disappearance, and toured the UK in 2014.  Drift was published by Nightboat Books in 2014.  Other publications include Meddle English: New and Selected Texts (Nightboat Books, 2011), Middling English (John Hansard Publications, 2010), and a DVD of installations, Ghost Pieces: five language-based installations (John Hansard Publications, 2011).  She has participated in solo and group shows at the Whitney Biennial (NY), Fondation Vuitton (Paris), Tate Modern (London), Khoj Art Centre (New Delhi), MCA (Denver), The Power Plant Gallery (Toronto), Norrlandsoperan (Sweden), Actoral Festival (Marseille), Shorelines Festival (Southend), Fundacio Tapiès (Barcelona), Hammer Museum (LA), KUMU (Tallinn), MOMA (NY), Samtidsmuseet (Oslo), and Villa Bernasconi (Geneva).  In 2014-15 she was Visiting Professor at the School of Art and Design in Geneva (2014-2015):

3 September 2015: We look forward to confirming our programme in the next week.  Meanwhile, exciting news that Kaiser Haq, Bangladesh’s premier English-language poet, will be joining the bill, thanks to our friends at Wasafiri.  Kaiser Haq is a Bangladeshi poet, essayist and translator whose books include Published in the Streets of Dhaka: Collected Poems, Pariah and Other Poems and, just out, The Triumph of the Snake Goddess. He is professor of English at Dhaka University and the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.  Globe Road has teamed up with Wasafiri to bring Kaiser to the UK as part of the magazine’s special autumn issue, which focusses on writing from Bangladesh.

6 July 2015: Myung Mi Kim joins the line-up for Globe Road.  Kim is a distinguished poet, critic and educator who teaches at the State University of New York in Buffalo.  Born in Seoul, Kim emigrated to the USA as a child.  Her work, which includes Under Flag (1991), The Bounty (1996), Dura (1999), Commons (2002), and Penury (2009)  explores translingualism, embodiment, the page space, form, hybridity and cultural displacement.

22 June 2015: We are very excited to announce that Linton Kwesi Johnson will be performing and participating in a discussion of contemporary poetry at our inaugural event on the evening of Friday 13th November. Johnson’s work as a poet, activist and community organiser have been an inspiration for Globe Road, and his presence at the festival will highlight the revolutionary role poetry can play.

10 June 2015: The Globe Road Festival has been granted £10,386 by Arts Council England.  This support will help to extend the festival, enrich our activities and bring other international poets to London to perform at Globe Road.

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