Fans of poetry are unlikely to find themselves lacking inspiration this September, with a number of visiting and local poets set to take to the stage at Jersey Festival of Words 2019.
Visiting poet and painter Frieda Hughes will be performing a selection of her poetry from anthologies Alternative Values and Out of the Ashes and taking an audience Q+A on her work. Hughes, who is the daughter of renowned poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, was The Times poetry columnist between 2006 and 2008, and her poetry has appeared in various magazines including The Spectator and The New Yorker.
Aptly framed by the centenary celebrations of women’s suffrage, writer and anthologist Ana Sampson will be appearing to discuss her recently published anthology She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women, a collection of outstanding poetry for teenagers by a host of women writers, from Maya Angelou to Elizabeth Bishop.
The fifth Jersey Festival of Words sees the return of acclaimed poet Linda Rose Parkes, who will be joined by fellow poets and musicians as she reads from her latest collection, This Close, during an event that promises to be ‘a polyphony of voices.’
American poet and Jersey resident Traci O’Dea will be hosting a Poetry Lunch at the Jersey Opera House, where the audience will be invited to listen to Traci’s poems while dining on dishes inspired by them, and one of which – File Between Leaves & Reams – won third prize in last year’s inaugural Jersey Festival of Words Poetry Competition, now running for for its second year.
Festival chair Jennifer Bridge said that she was delighted with this year’s poetry events. ‘There’s a great love of poetry in Jersey,’ she said, ‘and we are blessed with some wonderfully talented poets who live here. It’s a real pleasure to be able to bring them together in what promises to be a celebration of expression, creativity and words.’
Also featuring in the programme will be local poetry collective La Poèt’tie, who will be hosting a special festival poetry slam. Formed in early 2019 by Stefan Le Marquand and Juliette Hart, the group meet regularly with the aim of providing a platform for up and coming artists to have their work celebrated and heard.