Top Grasmere literary series celebrates the great range and diversity of contemporary poetry

The Westmorland Gazette: Simon Armitage, whose annual Grasmere reading at St Oswald’s Church (July 1, 7.30pm) is one of the highlights of the Wordsworth Trust calendar Simon Armitage, whose annual Grasmere reading at St Oswald’s Church (July 1, 7.30pm) is one of the highlights of the Wordsworth Trust calendar

THE Wordsworth Trust season of poetry readings is regarded as one of the best around.

The Grasmere series celebrates the range and diversity of contemporary poetry with a mix of internationally-renowned poets and up and coming names.

Most readings feature two poets.

The first of the 2014 series staged on Tuesday, May 6 (7.30pm) at the Daffodil Hotel, is the popular pairing of Fleur Adcock and Neil Curry.

Fleur’s a series favourite. Her poems are wry, ironic and witty, and her readings are memorable occasions. Her new collection Glass Wings continues to explore childhood and family history, as well as delving more deeply into our relationships with nature and place.

As for Neil, his poems speak in a variety of voices from a range of times and places, but always with elegance and a sense of literary and historical tradition. This reading marks the launch of Some Letters Never Sent: a series of verse letters, both serious and whimsical, addressed to people who have been important to him from Angela Carter to the Venerable Bede.

Following on is a insight into Brazilian literature on Tuesday, May 20 (6pm), featuring featuring Anjelica Freitas and Hilary Kaplan, and chaired by Sasha Dugdale.

Poet Anjelica Freitas and acclaimed translator Hilary Kaplan will take the audience on a journey of discovery, from small presses and magazines to novels spanning the worlds of Sao Paulo's rich kids and dispossessed Guarani Indians.

The event - which is followed at 7.30pm by a poetry reading by Anjélica Freitas and Scottish poet Thomas A Clark - launches Twisted Angels, the spring 2014 issue of the Modern Poetry in Translation magazine, which is devoted to the best of contemporary Brazilian poetry.

Other wordsmiths featured in the trust’s Discover Contemporary Poetry series which runs until September 23 include one of the nation’s favourite scribes, Simon Armitage, whose annual Grasmere reading at St Oswald’s Church (July 1, 7.30pm) is one of the highlights of the trust’s calendar.

One of our most popular poets, his readings are unforgettable for the way in which he transforms ordinary experience through everyday language. This year Simon celebrates the 25th anniversary of his first collection Zoom, and Faber is marking the occasion by publishing a new selection of his work, Paper Aeroplane: Poems 1989–2014.

Billed for Tuesday, August 12 (7.30pm) at the Daffodil Hotel, is the welcome return of two former trust poets in residence.

Combining wry humour with a strong sense of rhyming form, Paul Farley pops back to Grasmere to mark the publication of his new book, Selected Poems. His poems often take their starting point from memory, particularly memories of growing up in his native Liverpool, but they expand to consider the big themes, such as history and our place in it.

Sharing the spotlight will be Owen Sheers - poet, novelist, playwright, non-fiction writer and documentary presenter. Much of his recent work has focused on war and its effects and he will read from Pink Mist, a verse drama commissioned by Radio 4. Drawing on interviews with soldiers and their families, it tells the story of three young soldiers who are deployed to Afghanistan.

Another highlight include Liz Berry and Kei Miller at the Daffodil on Tuesday, August 26 (7.30pm). Born in Jamaica but now living in Glasgow where he teaches, Kei is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the best readers of poetry in the country. Meanwhile, Liz, who grew up in the Black Country, is one the UK’s best young poet-performers.

For full details of the poetry series telephone 015394-35544 or visit www.wordsworth.org.uk.

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