Fleur Adcock, Robert Minhinnick, Vidyan Ravinthiran and Mir Mahfuz Ali
Fleur Adcock writes about men and women, childhood, identity, roots and rootlessness, memory and loss, animals and dreams, as well as our interactions with nature and place. Her poised, ironic poems are remarkable for their wry wit, conversational tone and psychological insight, unmasking the deceptions of love or unravelling family lives. She received an OBE in 1996, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2006 for Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe, 2000).
All her collections were then published by Oxford University Press until they shut down their poetry list in 1999, after which Bloodaxe published her collected poems Poems 1960-2000 (2000), followed by Dragon Talk (2010) and Glass Wings (2013). Poems 1960-2000 is a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation and Glass Wings is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
“Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered like a razor blade in a peach.” Carol Ann Duffy, Guardian
Described by the Sunday Times as “the best Welsh poet of his generation.”He is indeed a beautiful poet, not least of nature and of people. He has published nine collections of poetry, including The Adulterer’s Tongue, translations of works by six Welsh poets. He has been the winner of a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award and has twice won the Forward Prize for best individual poem. His books of essays have twice won the Wales Book of the Year Prize. His first novel, Sea Holly, was published by Seren in 2007. Robert Minhinnick edited Poetry Wales magazine from 1997 to 2008. He co-founded Friends of the Earth (Cymru) and Sustainable Wales, and is an advisor to Sustainable Wales.
Born in Leeds to Sri Lankan parents, Vidyan Ravinthiran is a poet and critic and was formerly poetry editor of the Oxonian Review. He reviews frequently (in Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, The Times Literary Supplement and other magazines), and is currently working on a novel, as well as a book about Elizabeth Bishop. His pamphlet At Home or Nowhere was published by Tall-Lighthouse in 2008. His first book-length collection, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
Mir Mahfuz Ali
Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1958, moved to the UK in the 1970s. He has worked as a male model, a tandoori chef and as a dancer and actor. He is renowned for his extraordinary voice: a rich, throaty whisper brought about by a Bangladeshi policeman trying to silence the singing of anthems during a public anti-war demonstration. He has given readings and performances at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in other theatres in Britain and elsewhere; on BBC Newsnight Review, Radio 4, and the World Service as well as speaking at a number of conferences and festivals, including addressing the Home Office on integration policy. His poetry has appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Poetry Review and PN Review. Midnight, Dhaka, published this year, is his first collection.
Part of the Bristol Poetry Festival 2014 (10 – 21 September 2104), which is organised by Poetry Can.