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Activism in Poetry and Poetry & Spoken Word Group AGM

18 May @ 15:00 - 15:45 BST

Following the Poetry & Spoken Word Group AGM at 2pm, all are welcome to join the online panel discussion on how we can become activists within poetry in the world we live in today. Poets Khairani Barokka, Clare Pollard and Jacqueline Saphra will discuss the role of activism in poetry in a panel chaired by Will Forrester of English PEN.

The panel will discuss:

  • Is all poetry political?
  • Poetry and the environment: ecology as poetic resource; poetry and climate action.
  • Relationships between resistance and peace.
  • Language activism / linguistic rights.
  • What does poetry borrow from activist action, and vice versa?
  • How do we make the poetry world more inclusive?
  • Do we need to reform the poetry sector – what action does there need to be internally?

 If you would like to send questions in advance, email Nadia Bonini with ‘Activism in Poetry – Question’ in the subject header.


Poetry & Spoken Word Group: Annual General Meeting

The Poetry & Spoken Word Group (PSWG) AGM will take place ahead of the Activism in Poetry panel discussion at 2pm. The AGM will consist of a report on PSWG activities within the last year, and plans for the Group for the year ahead. If you have any issues that you would like the Committee to raise, please email Nadia Bonini.


The line-up

Khairani Barokka is an Indonesian writer, poet and artist in London whose work has been presented extensively in 15 countries. She is Modern Poetry in Translation’s Inaugural Poet in Residence. Her books are Rope (Nine Arches) and Indigenous Species (Titled Axis).

Clare Pollard Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 and now lives in London.  Her first collection of poetry, The Heavy-Petting Zoo (1998) was written whilst she was still at school, and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2000.  It was followed by Bedtime (2002) and Look, Clare! Look! (2005), which was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. Her fourth collection Changeling (2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and her latest is Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017).  Her pamphlet The Lives of the Female Poets is published by Bad Betty Press (2019).

Jacqueline Saphra’s collection All My Mad Mothers from Nine Arches Press was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot prize. In the same year A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller was published by Hercules Editions. Dad, Remember You Are Dead was published by Nine Arches Press in September 2019 and Veritas: Poems after Artemisia Gentileschi will be out from Hercules Editions in May 2020Jacqueline is a founder member of Poets for the Planet. She lives in London and teaches at The Poetry School.

Will Forrester runs the Writers in Translation programme at English PEN, managing PEN Translates, PEN Transmissions, International Translation Day and the World Bookshelf. Previously, he worked for Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, and at Shalini Ganendra Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has a BA in English and an MSt in World Literatures from the University of Oxford. Elsewhere, he is Assistant Editor at Review 31, and nurses a fraught relationship with the writing of J. M. Coetzee.



18 May
15:00 - 15:45 BST
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Sophia A Jackson