This week our Friday Poem is a new work by Katherine Stansfield, ‘Telling the bees’.
‘Telling the bees’ is a touching memorial to Christian Brown OBE, co-founder of the Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival. The poem weaves together memories with the imagery of a garden in which ‘everything has bloomed’: a legacy of colour and life, conjured by Christian even after his passing.
Christian was the driving force behind the first Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival in 2018 and as we approach 2019’s festival we are reminded of his extraordinary energy and vision. Cornerstone’s Poet in Residence, Katherine Stansfield will be opening the festival alongside Kim Moore and Emily Blewitt in the Opening Buffet event: tickets available now. All That Was Wood, a pamphlet of poems written during Katherine’s residency, will be published to coincide with the festival.
This weekend we co-hosted Cardiff’s first weekend-long poetry festival in the beautiful Cornerstone building, and were thrilled to see so many people enjoying the programme of events.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors: Tidal Lagoon Power, the Rhys Davies Trust, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff. Thanks are also due for all at Cornerstone, who hosted us in their beautiful venue, to our official festival photographer David Hurn, and to the talented line-up of artists and authors who took part: Jonathan Edwards, Paul Henry, Brian Briggs, Philip Gross, Cyril Jones, Damian Walford Davies, Rhian Edwards, Gillian Clarke, Gwyneth Lewis, Richard Gwyn, Clare E. Potter, Susie Wild, Emily Blewitt, Katherine Stansfield, Stephen Payne, David Foster-Morgan, The Spoke, Little Rêd, Robert Minhinnick.
The mix of events combined spectacular poetry readings, beautiful music and thought-provoking film. Take a look at the slideshow below, where we have brought together photographs taken by the wonderful David Hurn, by Cornerstone photographer Chas Breton and by Seren’s Marketing Officer Rosie Johns.
What about next year, we hear you ask? Will the festival return? Well, we’re pleased to say that we are already thinking about it…
Good morning poetry lovers! Today’s the day we launch our inaugural poetry festival in the beautiful Cornerstone building on Charles Street, Cardiff.
So what can you look forward to, and how can you get tickets? All the important information is below…
7:00pm: Jonathan Edwards, Welcome Buffet
Jonathan Edwards will open the festival with the Welcome Buffet event – listen to readings from Edwards’ Costa Prize-winning collection My Family and Other Superheroes plus new material while you enjoy a selection of food from the on-site Pantry Café. £7 – For tickets contact Lucy King: 07445 816617
8:30pm: ‘The Glass Aisle’: Paul Henry & Brian Briggs Poet Paul Henry and singer/songwriter Brian Briggs perform their remarkable poetry & music collaboration at 8:30pm, with songs inspired by a stretch of the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal. This event also launches Henry’s book of the same name. £10 – For tickets contact Lucy King: 07445 816617 (booking recommended)
Masculine Happiness is a provocative yet subtle collection which explores the author’s ambivalence towards models of masculinity handed out to us by the media and modern society. There is also a considerable amount of humour here, along with astute satire and insightful character poems. Foster-Morgan’s work repays the careful attention of thoughtful readers.
My Family and Other Superheroesis a vibrant, joyful and celebratory collection of quirky family portraits, working-class Welshness, pop culture and surrealism. Winner of the Costa Poetry Prize 2014, Edwards’ quirky and confessional poems harbour a motley crew: Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun and a recalcitrant hippo all leap from these pages and jostle for position, alongside valleys mams, dads and bamps, all described with great warmth.
You can hear Jonathan read on Friday 16 February at Cornerstone, Cardiff, as part of the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival. Tickets for the event are £7 and include a buffet of food from the Pantry café. Book now.