Brighton Festival/A-Z Of Poetry/Atwood’s Reading List – Poetry News Roundup March 19th

Today’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the Brighton Festival, the Poet Laureates A-Z of poetry and finally Margaret Atwood’s reading list for self-isolation.

Fringe Postponed and Brighton Festival Cancelled

Founded 53 years ago, the Brighton Festival has been cancelled for the first time ever in its history. The Fringe Festival has also been postponed. The festival, which was due to begin in May and run until the 24th of the month is just one of the many victims of the Coronavirus. The advice from the government regarding distancing measures together with predictions that the virus could hit its peak at the beginning of May have made the decision somewhat inevitable.

The organisers are however in discussions with the council about the possibility of setting a new date for the festival later in the year.

The Brighton Festival is the largest festival that takes place on an annual basis and is dedicated to multi-arts. It had been scheduled to have over 120 cultural events on-site whilst the Fringe would have seen 1035 events spread out over 100’s of venues.

The guest director of this year’s festival is Lemm Sissay who had the vision to create an “Imagine Nation”. He wanted to create an atmosphere of creativity, imagination and strength within the literary community. He and the committee are now looking at the possibility of the artists and festival creating something that they can share.

It is hoped that the festival will now be able to take place in September or October depending on the progress of the virus and medical advice nearer to the time.

Refunds will be offered to all customers however the Festival is a registered charity and approximately two-thirds of the costs of organising it were to have been covered by ticket sales. The organisers are hoping that people will donate their tickets instead of taking a refund in order to help cover some of these costs.

Redditch Library Screening for Simon Armitage

Courtesy of the magic of the large screen, Simon Armitage, the UK poet laureate will be appearing at Redditch Library.

The poet is collating his own A-Z of poetry, reading from a selection of libraries from all over the UK. He will begin with the British Library where he will do his first reading, this will then be screened all over the country at a number of libraries including Redditch.

The screening is being created as part of The Living Knowledge Network which a partnership of public and national libraries

Reading in Self Isolation – Recommendations of a Poet

The poet and author Margaret Atwood has taken to Twitter to encourage people to turn to books during their period of self-isolation. As more countries join in the social distancing and self-isolation measures, Atwood has been asking what type of recommendations people would like through Twitter.

Her suggestions include In the Lateness of the World y Carolyn Forche which is a poetry collection.

When asked for a suggestion of a book about the plague by Mia Farrow, Atwood recommended The Plague by Albert Camus and for those people who prefer films, The Seventh Seal staring Ingmar Bergman.

Other suggestions included works by Jane Austen and anything by Agatha Christie.

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