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9th Festival of Suffolk Poetry – live! Saturday, 13 May Afternoon + Evening


Saturday, 13 May 2023 sees us live at the John Peel Centre. The afternoon brings us Poetry Cafés from Suffolk, plus some new delights, starting at 13:15.

  • Mina Gorji – headlines the afternoon with a reading
  • Dave Tonge – Storyteller, promises to enchant and intrigue with the spoken word
  • Richard Whiting – provides a close reading of a poem dear to him
  • Derek Adams will also give a close reading
  • Joanna Ingham – gives a close reading and a reading of her own work
  • Suffolk Poetry CafésPoetry Aloud, Felixstowe Café Poets and Waveney Poets reveal all
  • Open Mic – your chance to shine (Register to read on entry. Available slots are limited).
Mina Gorji
Mina Gorji
Mina Gorji was born in Iran and lives in Cambridge, where she is Associate Professor at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge and a fellow of Pembroke college. Her debut, Art of Escape (Carcanet, 2020), a Telegraph ‘Book of the Month’, has been described as a collection of "exquisite miniatures that suggest worlds" (FiveBooks, 2020), "intricate, considered poems which encourage us to democratise our attention and empathy" (Guardian). She has published poems in Poetry Review, Magma, London Magazine, bath magg, bad lilies and the Forward Book of Poetry amongst others. She has also written a study of John Clare's poetry, and essays on weeds, rudeness, little things and listening; a lyric-critical essay, Listening for Stars, was published in Poetry Review (2021).

Being back live at the John Peel Centre means that we can bring you special delights in the evening. The evening will begin at 18:45 with readings from two Suffolk Poetry Society poets, Sue Mobbs and Roger West.

We will then have a commemoration of Dr Ronald Blythe CBE, who was SPS's oldest member, being 100 when he died on 15 January 2023.
This remarkable essayist and poet was best known for Akenfield, but had a much broader reach than that.

The evening will close with our invited guest poets Helen Ivory and Martin Figura, who will perform together.

Helen Ivory
Helen Ivory Photo: Dave Gutteridge

Helen Ivory is a poet and visual artist. Her fifth Bloodaxe collection is  The Anatomical Venus (2019). She edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears and teaches creative writing online for the UEA/NCW. A book of mixed media poems Hear What the Moon Told Me is published by KFS, and chapbook Maps of the Abandoned City by SurVision.  She also has had work translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Spanish and Croatian as part of the Versopolis project. Wunderkammer: New and Selected Poems (2023) is published in the US by MadHat Press. She is currently working on her next collection for Bloodaxe How to Construct a Witch which will appear in 2024.

Martin Figura’s collection and show Whistle were shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and won the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show.  Shed (Gatehouse Press) and Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine (Cinnamon Press) were both published in 2016.  The Spoken Word Show Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine was shortlisted for the Saboteur Award.  The show of Shed was cancelled due to Covid and is to be revived for 2024.  In 2021, he was Salisbury NHS Writer in Residence, with a pamphlet My Name is Mercy from Fair Acre Press. A second pamphlet commissioned by care charities from Fair Acre Press Sixteen Sonnets for Care came out in October 2022. Land of Opportunity is due out with Cinnamon Press in 2024.

Martin Figura
Martin Figura Photo: Dave Gutteridge

Café Green will be serving lunch before the afternoon, from 12:00, and tea/supper during the early evening break. All food is vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options. Please indicate if you intend to eat with them to help them plan the catering.
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  • John Peel Centre
  • Church Walk
  • Stowmarket
  • Suffolk
  • UK

Event Schedule Details

  • 13 May 2023 1:15 pm   -   9:30 pm
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