poetry library

Proletarian Poetry at the Poetry Library

IMG_0279On Wednesday 6th April, Proletarian Poetry took over the Poetry Library as part of their Special Editions series. With the poets, Mona Arshi, Rishi Dastidar, Fran Lock, Clare Pollard, Richard Skinner, and Laila Sumpton, this was always going to attract a full house. For those unfortunate enough to miss the event, there is a link to a recording of all six poets readings below, and introductions from myself (I have included in the latter the time in the recording the poet started reading and a link to the original poem featured on the site). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The link to the whole recording of the evening is here: https://soundcloud.com/the-poetry-library/proletarian-poetry

Proletarian Poetry at the Poetry Library

Thank you everybody for coming this evening and to the library staff who have been so helpful in setting up the event. (more…)

Directions (after Billy Collins) by Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams Pic

Inua Ellams

The two poems featured here by the multi-talented Inua Ellams take us through London streets at night. Directions (after Billy Collins’ poem. Please read this before you read Inua’s) is a hand-on-our-shoulder poem, talking to us as a friend familiar with the poet’s home (‘you know the wild bush at the back of the flat/the one that scrapes the kitchen window’).

The poem was written in response to Billy Collins’, closely following his structure, tone, line breaks and mirroring his epiphany. Where Collins’ Directions takes us into the beauty of nature: high up ‘you will eventually come to a long stone/ridge with a border of pine trees/which is as high as you can go’, Inua’s is rooted in a deep urban setting where your journey takes you ‘to a rough rise/of stairs that reach without railings/the run-down roof’. Nature is there but it ‘struggles for soil and water/and fails where the train tracks scar the ground?’ (more…)