Lyrical: Open Mic & More

Age guide: 14+

August 01, 2019 @ 6:00 PM

Trowbridge Town Hall
Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQ
Price: £3
Company: Diana Durham

If you’re a poet or a lover of poetry and all things lyrical, this is for you. Our aim is to blend the Open Mic + guest poet format with conversation and also expand the slot to include talks, book launches and workshops. Each evening will have a theme, announced beforehand, which poets are free to explore or ignore.

Poems can still be shared when there is a scheduled speaker/event, but please be aware that the time allotted will be shorter, and themed poems may have to be included next time round.

Poet and writer Diana Durham is author of three poetry collections, a novel ‘The Curve of the Land’ from Skylight Press and the nonfiction ‘The Return of King Arthur: completing the quest for wholeness’ from Tarcher/Penguin.
Diana has recently moved to Trowbridge, and is excited to host a place for writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction with visionary thinking and a lyric sensibility—meaning what is deep, in rhythm, intuitive and wise.

 “…the visionary dimension is not something internal or even obscure—a private language or mythology—but actually happening around us in ways we don’t recognise unless we learn to see with a kind of bi-focal vision which is at
once literal and symbolic.”    From my friend Jay Ramsay’s Preface to his poetry collection ‘Monuments'

Please join us to read, listen and converse...

Book now


7 February: Kick-off session, Diana Durham will introduce her work and give
an overview of the vision for Lyrical. Optional theme for Open Mic: Lyrical

7 March: This month will feature the poetry of Jay Ramsay, author of ‘Monuments’ (Waterloo Press); ‘Kingdom of the Edge’ (Element) among many more, editor of six anthologies of poetry, including the most recent ‘Diamond Cutters’ from Tayen Lane, co-edited by Andrew Harvey; as well as two prose books about alchemy and some classic Chinese translations. Jay passed away in late December of 2018, and many in the poetry scene of the UK are still getting used to the idea that he is no longer with us, so influential was his presence and work. Please feel free to bring your own poems, as usual, and also particularly any poems of Jay’s that are favourites. The optional theme is: Vision.

4 April: Visionary novelist Lindsay Clarke, winner of the Whitbread Award, will speak about his new collection of essays ‘Green Man Dreaming’ from Awen Press. Optional theme for Open Mic: Inside/Outside

2 May: Writer, story-teller, editor and translator Anthony Nanson will speak about his new translation of a collection of short stories
By the Edge of the Sea by Nicolas Kurtovitch, one of the leading literary lights of New Caledonia, published by Awen.
Optional theme for Open Mic: The Exotic and the Other

Anthony met Nicolas Kurtovitch during a research trip to the islands in 2016. Kurtovitch’s stories were published originally
in French as Forêt, terre et tabac and Anthony found it ‘a great privilege to translate Nicolas’ gorgeous lyrical prose into English.’

Anthony has a background in natural sciences, education, and publishing. A love of nature, authenticity, and the spirit of place
informs all his work. His books include Deep Time – a prehistoric lost-world romance; Words of Re-enchantment:
writings on storytelling, myth, and ecological desire and three collections of stories. Anthony has worked widely as
a storyteller both on his own and with the group Fire Springs. He lectures in creative writing at Bath Spa University;

6 June: British eco-poet Helen Moore will speak about and read from her new collection of poems.
The Mother Country published by Awen.
Optional theme for Open Mic: Belonging

Helen's first two poetry collections are Hedge Fund, and Other Living Margins (Shearsman Books, 2012) and ECOZOA (Permanent, 2015), acclaimed by the Australian poet John Kinsella as 'a milestone in the journey of ecopoetics’. Her new poetry collection explores British colonial history and themes of personal, social, and ecological dispossession.

4 July: ’Making Sense’ a short documentary film on the work of Dr Iain McGilchrist, author of 'The Master & His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World' introduced by director Jonathan Guilbert with Lyrical host and writer Diana Durham.
Optional theme for Open Mic: Escape from the grid

About Iain McGilchrist: Three times elected a Fellow of All Souls College, psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist taught English at Oxford before studying medicine there.  His work on the brain is shaped by an interest in the role of literature and music, which activate the right brain. McGilchrist's thesis in his renowned book McGilchrist is that modern culture reflects an imbalance in brain function.

About 'The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World': According to McGilchrist, culture flowers when the two hemispheres of our brain find their correct hierarchy. At the moment they don’t and it shows. Orthodoxy says the left hemisphere, with its speech centres, is the dominant one, while the right hemisphere is ‘dumb’.  McGilchrist challenges this with extensive research and evidence that the reverse is true. The right-brain processes the big picture, recognizes the new and sees things in context.  The left prefers logic, predictability and focuses on detail. While both hemispheres are essential, McGilchrist believes the invention of machines, combined with our talent for mimicry, set off a runaway feedback loop of the left’s narrow certainty, side-lining the right-brain’s perspective, and causing loss of coherence and overview.

About Jonathan Guilbert: Jonathan Guilbert has over twenty-eight years experience directing and producing television and film. He has made over 75 films, over 56 hours of broadcast TV for BBC, ITV, PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, NOVA as well as dozens of commercials for companies and institutions like HIll/Holiday, Volunteers of America, New Hampshire State Tourism, Harley Davidson and many more.

About Diana Durham: Diana is the host of Lyrical, author of three poetry collections, the nonfiction 'The Return of King Arthur' and  novel, 'The Curve of the Land. Her new nonfiction book: 'Coherent Self, Coherent World: a new synthesis of Myth, Metaphysics & Bohm's Implicate Order' is due out 27th September from 'O' Books.
Diana Durham

1 August: We'll present a collective Poetry Performance by Strange Cargo, a group of local women poets, including host of Words & Ears, Dawn Gorman.
The performance piece is titled Walls & Windows, and will explore in both poetry and conversation themes of separation and connection between inner and outer.  Join us to share poems and conversation. Optional theme: Separation & Connection.

Archive @ Trowbridge Town Hall