The Poetry Table: Politics of Poetic Craft

I’ve spent a late snowy afternoon online today in the good company of Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Yomi Sode and Anthony Joseph, the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows 2019-20. In a recording from October 2020, available on YouTube, the three poets presented brilliant new works and talked in depth with each other about their contrasting, distinctive artistic processes and the place of the political within these. The session, very well chaired by Nathalie Teitler, manager of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships, is such an engaging, wide-ranging conversation about black lives, the different codes that people live by, family stories of partition and the artists’ varied views about their responsibilities – whether these be, as Hafsah Aneela Bashir describes them, to provide ‘a bridge of empathy’ and bring silent voices to the fore or to speak directly from one’s own experience without an overt intention to educate. A tremendously inspiring hour for writers young and old. Thank you.

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