Dark Angels Poetry Showcase at the Bloomsbury Festival

Another date to add to your diary for this year’s Bloomsbury Festival. Our friends (and fellow 26ers) at Dark Angels will be sharing an evening of poetry on Thursday 19th October.

Do you like poetry? To those of you nodding, I hope you’ll also agree that it’s wonderful to hear poets read their work aloud. And isn’t there something special about the hush that descends before a poetry reading begins? It creates an almost sacred space for words to be spoken and shared, for poetry to be celebrated. A very dear friend, sadly no longer with us, once told me that every writer has the power to change the mood in a room. This is especially true of poetry readings: one minute you could be laughing, the next you might struggle to hold back a tear. 

And poetry lovers, don’t you find poetry readings an ideal way to de-stress? I often arrive flustered having rushed away from an early dinner or a hastily finished task, yet, as I settle into my seat, the day’s minutiae slips away and suddenly I’m calm. Generally, I leave feeling energised, soothed, sated, informed and inspired. Yes, poetry can do all this and more!

Which is why I’m very excited about our Dark Angels’ poetry showcase at the 2023 Bloomsbury Festival, where myself, John Simmons, Tim Rich, and friends will be reading poems that respond to the festival theme, Grow. John and Tim are 26 founding members as well as my co-authors of Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets Book One, which was produced by Paekakariki Press in March this year. We had a memorable launch supported by Dark Angels’ alumni, 26 members, and friends of both, at The Art Worker’s Guild where we’ll gather for the Bloomsbury Festival reading on the 19th October. 

Grow is a great theme, one that we’ve freely explored discovering its boundaries are pretty flexible. As you might expect, nature offers a rich seam to mine and has led John to marvel at “the crowning majesty of trees / to feel life’s rhythm, the constant drum of hope.”; and Tim to sowing “wild seeds along each line / as an offering to the earth” in a step’s “pencil-grey crack”; while I’ve studied tulip bulbs that appear “like chicks in the nest /open-mouthed and famished”. We’ve found the theme in memories and in moments where we considered: growing old, anticipatory grief, marriage, time, weather, hope, creativity, as well as some curious off-shoots of the inner mind. From one little word many have flowed and grown exponentially as far as our thoughts have allowed and rewarded us with poetry. 

We’d love to share our Grow poems with you, please join us, details below. 

6:30–7:30pm, 19th October
The Art Workers’ Guild
Gradidge Room

Tickets available here for £8 (£6)

– Therese Kieran

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