Listening in on the Oscars for Poetry, T S Eliot Prize

10 poets read as shortlisted for the annual T S Eliot prize - audio recording on Youtube videos

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What freedom is… Nina Simone

This is one of the best films available on Netflix. I’m reposting, as a friend of mine saw it recently and was just as profoundly shaken and stirred by it. Totally absorbing.

Comma And

Last night I more or less idly began watching a documentary on Netflix about Nina Simone – and was right from the start transfixed by her words: “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me – no fear!”

From those opening comments in “What happened to you Miss Simone?” I was glued to the screen.  One of the words most used by the singer herself is “compelling” – and it fits her appearances.

Musically, she is electrifying: confident, powerful, emotional, unpredictable, distinctive.  Like all great artists in any genre (and this is something someone needs to tell warbly teenage wannabe popstars)

  • she inherited powerful art skills through her family (literature words and performance as her mother was a Bible preacher)
  • has invested depth into her art by years of studying and acquiring classical technique (classical piano study),
  • responding to her times and national culture (Civil Rights),
  • bringing in her most personal…

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New/old music in Manchester

A new piece of classical music is to premiere in Manchester Cathedral on 8th June as part of Manchester Cameratas' "The Playoff".  The piece was written partly to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach's Cello Suites - written in happier times before the recent explosion.  Colin Riley is the composer, and his two soloist cellos …

30 mins hanging out with Native American poet

Came across this small, independent film recently, of Jim Northrup.  In the film, he takes us the viewer through his experience of living from nature, the seasons, and we sit in the audience as he story tells through poems.  Engaging, intriguing, entertaining - and enlivened by questions and answers. http://www.folkstreams.net/film,239 "Jim Northrup with reservations"  Film by …

“take poetry to where the people would be” – El Gruer

Intriguing blog interview with poet El Gruer - who published her first book of poetry "Paper Sky" - particularly interesting for poets starting out and looking for more interactive ways to get their work known, rather than instantly self-publishing. As well as competing in poetry slams, El wanted poetry to be very accessible, and made it happen …