Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows take over the Jerwood Arts channels

Staff Reporter (04 September, 2020)

The Fellows will be presenting new work, testing fresh ideas and formats for presenting poetry online as well as engaging in critical conversations about what poetry can be, and is, today.

38764Hafsah Bashir, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2019-20. Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England. Image Mirren Kessling,

Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows Hafsah Aneela BashirAnthony Joseph and Yomi Sode, are celebrating the end of a year of mentorship, reflection and development through the fellowship programme with this new digital programme of online events, content and social media takeovers. Through the programme they will be presenting new work, testing fresh ideas and formats for presenting poetry online as well as engaging in critical conversations about what poetry can be, and is, today.

The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships offer a significant new development opportunity for poets, supporting individuals whose practice encompasses poetry in the broadest artistic sense. The Jerwood Compton Fellowships are designed and managed by Jerwood Arts, with support from Arts Council England and including funds from the Joseph Compton bequest.

Anthony Joseph: Image Mirren Kesslin

Programme highlights include First Five, broadcast on Thursday 17 September at 7.30pm, where Yomi will interview his fellow Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows about first albums and guilty pleasures. This popular and insightful series has reached tens of thousands via Instagram live in recent months. On Wednesday 23 September at 1pm through YouTube, Anthony, Hasfah and Yomi will discuss the art that kept them going during 2020 – from music and film, to Netflix and poetry – in The Poetry Table: How the Arts Saved Lockdown.

On Monday 28 September, on YouTube from 6pm, Yomi will present a new work titled On Uniformity, developed in collaboration with photographer Gioncarlo Valentine. Through pictures and words, this project explores the experiences of Black British school children on race, identity and most importantly, expectations set by society. This will be followed as a conversation between both artists regarding the process of the multi-disciplinary project.

Yomi Sode by Mirren Kessling

In October, the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows will hold another Poetry Table: Politics of Poetic Craft, which will be streamed on YouTube from 1pm on Wednesday 13 October. They will explore the rich artistic space between art’s politics and its poetic form through the lens of their own writing, followed by a discussion facilitated by the programme’s Project Manager – Nathalie Teitler. Following this on Saturday 19 October at 6pm through Zoom, in Sonnets for Albert, Anthony will perform a selection of tridecasyllabic (13 syllable line) sonnets influenced by the calypso form, to commemorate and interrogate his complex relationship with his late father, which examine the wider edges of Caribbean masculinity and fatherhood. The performance features an improvised jazz soundscape with Jason Yarde on saxophones and Rod Youngs, drums, followed by a conversation between Anthony and Jason discussing poetic craft, inspiration, improvisation and recording during lockdown.

To round off the programme, Hasfah presents For the Love of Poetry – 76 Days on Wednesday 23 October, streamed from 1pm through YouTube. For 76 days during lockdown, she gave a lunchtime reading live of poems on social media marking the highs and lows of this time, and will be speaking to Nathalie Teitler about how she found poems to inspire, celebrate and comfort her audience, allowing poetry to reach out to new audiences at a time when it was so needed. She will be reading some of her all-time favourites and some of the UK’s best poets will be dropping in live to read their own work.

Registration for these free events is via Eventbrite to receive the links for the events straight into the email inbox, here.

Main image: Hafsah Bashir by Mirren Kessling


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