Monday, June 09, 2014

Voices of Poetry 2014

The annual Voices of Poetry evening, one of the highlights of each year's weekend events, took place on the evening of Sunday 25th May, again expertly marshalled and presented by Mr Swift. 

The first reading, in English, was by Eleanor Moffitt, of Ifueko Bello-Asemota's poem 'Chibok', about the recent kidnappings in Nigeria, followed by Ugo Onwurah's excellent rendition of a pidgin English poem from the same country. We then zoomed over to Scandinavia with pieces from Louvisa Karlsson-Smthye (Swedish) and Nora Langguth (Norwegian) and continued on the Northern European theme with our staff visitor from the Netherlands Daan Dirksen, and a poem in German by Goethe, 'The Stolen Child', from Alanna Kerr (who leaves us this term). From the English Department, Ms Duggan went for Frank O'Hara's 'Animals'.

Some exotic locations followed: Ukraine (Anton Lysenko), Russia (Roman Sharykin) and Armenia (Kristina Danielyan), followed by a first - Farsi read by MJ McMullough.  The originator of the whole concept, our former Head of English John Fanagan, then gave a brief account of the reasons he had started Voices of Poetry many moons ago after experiencing a similar event at the University of Exeter International Summer School and read Seamus Heaney's fine sestina (which you can hear the poet himself reading at the following link) 'Two Lorries'. More English followed: Nyla Jamieson with her Junior Poetry Prize winner 'The Tear', and James O'Connor with the poem he recited at this year's Poetry Aloud competition, Robert Frost's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'.

We moved back into non-English languages then, with Siobhan Brady (Irish), Nicholas Russell (Italian), French (Valentina Ascensio Munoz), Catalan (Laia Casas Abella), Indonesian (Aisha Burke), Korean (Sun Woo Park) and Cantonese (Tim Cheng).

The final group consisted of four leavers: our retiring Head of Geography, 'Ted' Sherwood, with Yeats's 'The Fisherman', a poem which, he said, has pursued him throughout his years in education, the Senior Prefect Alex Owens (Carol Ann Duffy's 'Valentine'), the winner of the Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry (Sadhbh Sheeran, for the third year in a row, with 'The Blight of Sunday Mass') and lastly Mantak Suen, with a memorable impact in Mandarin.

Many thanks to Mr Swift and all the readers for another lovely evening.

No comments: