Culture Matters is delighted to invite you to the second date in our monthly series of online readings. It will take place on Sunday, October the 10th at 7:00 PM. The event is hosted by Fran Lock and features two Culture Matters poets alongside two guest poets from a fellow independent press.
The idea behind this reading series is simple: to build solidarity between small presses and emerging artists. We feel there is far too much emphasis on competition within contemporary poetry, and we want to push back against this trend. Poetry is big enough for all of us, and we are stronger together.
This month we are proud to be hosting Smokestack Books, and our readers are Chris Searle and Catherine Graham from Culture Matters, with Smokestack's Anna Robinson and Alan Morrison.
The books and the poets
Chris Searle was born in Romford in 1944. He has been a teacher all his working life, in East London, Tobago, Canada, Mozambique, Grenada, Sheffield and Manchester. His first book The Forsaken Lover (1972) won the Martin Luther King Award. He has written or edited over 50 books on education, language, literature, cricket and jazz, including six collections of his own poems. For the last 25 years he has been jazz correspondent of the Morning Star, and a member of the editorial advisory committee of the international journal Race and Class for 40 years. His most recent collection of poems, Over Eagle Pond, illustrated by the artist Martin Gollan, is forthcoming from Culture Matters.
Chris will be joined by Martin Gollan, who will say a few words about the process of illustrating Over Eagle Pond. Martin was born in Edinburgh and grew up on one of the postwar housing schemes built on the outskirts of the city. During the 1980s he studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and has worked in a variety of jobs, though he has continued to apply himself to painting, drawing, cartoons for the Morning Star and other publications, and book illustration, including The Folded Lie (Culture Matters, 2019). He now lives in Co. Durham.
Catherine Graham grew up in Newcastle on Tyne where she still lives. Her poetry has been published in the UK, USA and Ireland as well as online. Her awards include the The Jo Cox Poetry Award. Catherine has read her poetry on BBC Radio 4 as well as on local radio. Her latest pamphlet, Like A Fish Out Of Batter is published by Indigo Dreams, and is inspired by the work of artist L. S. Lowry. Catherine says, “I was drawn to Lowry’s work because the people in his paintings could be my own proud working-class family.” Catherine's work features in the recent Culture Matters anthology William Blake at The Bridge Hotel: Ten Newcastle Poets, edited by Paul Summers.
Alan Morrison has authored ten poetry collections including A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (Waterloo, 2009), Keir Hardie Street (Smokestack, 2010), Captive Dragons (Waterloo, 2012), Shadows Waltz Haltingly (Lapwing, 2015), Tan Raptures (Smokestack, 2017), Shabbigentile (Culture Matters, 2019), Gum Arabic (Cyberwit, 2020) and Anxious Corporals (Smokestack, 2021). Poems and monographs in journals such as Culture Matters, The Fortnightly Review, The International Times, The London Magazine, The Morning Star, Stand. Joint winner of the Bread & Roses Poetry Prize 2018. He edits webzines The Recusant and Militant Thistles and is an Assocviate Editor of Culture Matters.
Anna Robinson is a poet, tutor and editor from London. Her pamphlet Songs from the flats (Hearing Eye, 2006), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Her first full collection The Finders of London was published by Enitharmon in 2010, and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre Prize for Poetry in 2011. Her latest collection, Whatsname Street was published by Smokestack earlier this year. Anna has recently been awarded her PhD for the work that features in Whatsname Street: poems that explore working-class history in her part of central London. She also leads poetry workshops as part of Pen to Print in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
You can RSVP the reading through our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1352772331804088/ ....and you can connect to the reading through the link below:
Fran Lock Ph.D. is a writer, activist, and the author of seven poetry collections and numerous chapbooks. She is an Associate Editor of Culture Matters.