Listings for forthcoming readings and events featuring Longbarrow Press poets.
Sheaf Poetry Festival
Online (via Zoom and YouTube)
19-23 November 2020
Following the inaugural festival in 2019 (and a Mini Digital Festival in May 2020), Sheaf Poetry Festival returns in digital form in late November, with two appearances from J.R. Carpenter, both of which will draw on her recent Longbarrow collection This is a Picture of Wind. On Friday 20 November, she leads Writing the Wind, a process-oriented workshop in which participants will be invited to explore approaches to writing about climate change and the ‘invisible force’ of the wind. On Saturday 21 November, she appears as part of Playful Hybrid Forms, an event with poet Abi Palmer, who, like Carpenter, works across genre and with interactive media. Click here for details of the festival programme and to book tickets.
Wealden: Screening and Q&A
Online (via Zoom and YouTube)
Thursday 3 December | 6pm
Admission free (register here)
Prevented from performing Wealden by the pandemic, Nancy Gaffield and The Drift have instead created a film to accompany it. The film is inspired by the same Kentish landscape as the poetry and music, and is designed to enhance the listening experience. The 28-minute film will be followed by a Q&A with the group, with questions from Professor David Herd (University of Kent). The first part of the Q&A will be pre-recorded, and accessed with the film via a YouTube link. The second part of the Q&A will be live and will take place via a separate Zoom link. This is designed to allow the audience to ask questions and participate more interactively. This event is held in association with the Creative Writing Reading Series at the University of Kent. Registration is required and links will be sent out by email on the day. You can register for the event here.
Wealden was conceived as a collaboration between Canterbury-based poet Nancy Gaffield and musical group The Drift. Nancy had previously published Meridian, a long poem that articulates an exploratory journey along the Greenwich Meridian line across Eastern England. Meanwhile, The Drift had been creating semi-improvised music inspired by the landscape around them – the marshes and the dense woodlands of rural Kent. They agreed to collaborate on a new work, where Nancy would explore this extraordinary Kentish landscape, walking from the High Weald down to the sea at Dungeness. A lot of the land she traversed is only a few hundred years old, formed by shingle and silt thrown up by storms. This same landscape may only last for another few hundred years, as the sea level continues to rise. Wealden deals with the strata – geological, cultural and historical – that have been laid down over the course of one brief millennium, and considers the imminence of the sea reclaiming it all. The history of the Weald and the marshes is microcosmic of global patterns of human history and of climate change. The music and the poetry were composed in tandem – the music re-worked to underscore the evolving verse, the poetry revised in response to the atmospheres and rhythm of the music.
The Drift are an unconventional group, comprising Darren Pilcher, Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher. (Rob and Amelia also perform as The Catenary Wires.) Bass guitar provides the anchor, while harmoniums, melodicas and violin deliver the melodies. Underneath it all, textures and rhythms are derived from loops of sounds sampled from the local environment – the soft rattle of sea shingle, the delicate crackle of dried reeds and the smooth rush of ferns.
We hope to resume a programme of walks, readings, and performances in spring 2021 (pending guidance re. public gatherings in the wake of COVID-19). Please check back for details.