Wilton's

presented by Poet in the City

23rd April . 7:30pm .
£10 - £16 full price, £8 - £14 concessions

Get to know the poet who forged a new language for sexuality and war politics for generations to come: Adrienne Rich.

For Adrienne Rich, poetry was not intended to massage an egotistical dream of the aesthetic. She wrote to bring change into being, to break taboos and to challenge perceived truth. Hear from some of the voices who have been deeply inspired by Rich, the revolutionary poet still considered today as one of the most poignant voices behind the 1960’s anti-war, feminist and LGBT rights movements.

Featuring writer and academic Joanna Bourke, poet Mary Jean Chan, poet and academic Mark Ford, and poet and writer Aoife Mannix.


Joanna Bourke will be providing a context overview to the life and work of Rich.
Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College and is a Fellow of the British Academy. Over the years, her books have ranged from the social and economic history of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to social histories of the British working classes between 1860 and 1960s, to cultural histories of military conflict between the Anglo-Boer war and the present. She has worked on the history of the emotions, particularly fear and hatred, and the history of sexual violence. Joanna is also the author of Pain and Poetics: Forty Years of Adrienne Rich.

Mary Jean Chan will be exploring how Rich has both paved the way for a new generation of female and LGBTQ activists and how she has been a personal inspiration.
Chan is a poet, editor and academic from Hong Kong. Her work has appeared in The 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, Ambit Magazine, The Rialto, The London Magazine, Oxford Poetry, Callaloo Journal, The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Magma, The Scores, Tongue and English: Journal of the English Association. Her debut pamphlet, A Hurry of English, was published by ignitionpress (Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre), and was recently selected as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. She is a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic and an editor of Oxford Poetry. Her debut collection will be published by Faber & Faber in July 2019. 

Mark Ford will be speaking about Adrienne's involvement in the anti-war movement, and also about the importance of her work in the American cannon.
Ford was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and earned both his BA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. His collections of poetry include Landlocked (1991), Soft Sift (2001), Six Children (2011), and Selected Poems (2014). He is the author of a biography, Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams (2000), and a parallel text translation of Roussel’s last poem, Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique (New Impressions of Africa) (2011), which was the runner-up for a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation from the PEN American Center. Ford’s criticism and essays have appeared widely in journals such as the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. He has published two collections of criticism, A Driftwood Altar (2005) and Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays (2011), and edited the anthology London: A History in Verse (2012). His honors and awards include a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard University and a visiting lectureship at the University of Kyoto. Ford lives in London and teaches at University College, London.

Aoife Mannix will be performing Rich's poetry.
Mannix is a poet, writer, and educator. She has published four collections of poetry and a novel. She has been poet in residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company and BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live. She has toured internationally with the British Council including most recently Mexico, Vietnam and Nigeria. She has a PhD in creative writing from Goldsmiths, University of London.


Part of The Dream of a Common Language: The Women Poets Who Changed 1968 series. 
From the anti-war and civil rights movements to feminist and LGBT activism, this series puts focus on the women poets who played a crucial role in the seismic social and political change of 1968, 50 years on.



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