Manley Festival/Ilkley Festival/Burns’ Musical – Poetry News Roundup July 24th

Today in our poetry roundup, we take a look at this year’s Gerard Manley Festival. We also have an article and about the Ilkley Literature Festival and Robert Burns the Musical.

Gerard Manley Hopkins Festival

The town of Monasterevin in Ireland is getting ready for the two-day Gerard Manley Hopkins Festival this weekend. Attendees of the festival will be treated to two days of lectures, music and poetry in a full and very varied programme that will begin on Friday.

Hopkins travelled to Ireland in 1884, when he came to take up the position of professor of Classics at University College, Dublin. He remained there for 5 years until he died in 1889. He was a frequent visitor to the home of the Cassidy family at Monasterevin House. Both the townspeople and the “delicious bog air” as he described it, became an inspiration in his poems.

The weekend will begin with a concert on Friday night. There will also be an art exhibition that will begin on Friday as well; this will include works by both national and local artists.

The lecture series will begin on Saturday with “Tom and Gerard: The Inverse Lives of TS Eliot and GM Hopkins”. During the lecture, the differences and similarities between the 2 great poets will be explored.

Ilkley Literature Festival 2019

The line-up for this year’s Ilkley Festival – which will take place in October -has been announced, and the new poet laureate Simon Armitage will be on hand to open the festival.

David Suchet, the actor, cookery writer Prue Leith and BBC presenter Clare Balding have all been confirmed as guests.

The festival takes place over the course of 17 days and will offer a wide and very diverse group of speakers to attendees.

Clare Balding will be headlining the children’s festival and will be announcing the latest of her children’s pony tales.

The full programme for the festival has not yet been finalised, but is expected to be announced on 14th August. Tickets will be available to purchase from 27th August

The Great Poet Burns Bid Farewell by Scottish Composer

21st July marked the anniversary of the death of Robert Burns the renowned Scottish poet. It is normally the poet’s birth that we mark; every year on 25th January with Burns Night. However, a Scottish Composer has decided to mark his demise with the creation of a musical “Robert Burns the Musical”.

Under the guidance of David Gest, Tish Tindall, or TT as she is often known, has based the play on an idea he and Michael Jackson (yes THE Michael Jackson) came up with. The result is a play that is harrowing, hilarious and at the same time heart-warming. It explores the idea of Burns being alive and well and living in modern times.

In addition to the musical, Tish will also be releasing a song “Robert’s Farewell” in advance of her album which will be titled “Piano Fifty” the song will look at the life and death of the poet.

The musical will be playing during August at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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