Thursday, 25 February
MayDay Radical Poetry Reading Group
Anyone who has ever written poetry knows it is communal practice: shared experience, collective metaphors, communal transmission of ideas, memories, and forms. Valuable poetry is written by individuals coming out of intense shared spaces of expression and valuable readings of poetry happen when the love and solidarity we feel for each other are directed towards words on a page. Isolation is lethal to poetry; there has never been a great ‘individual lyric poet’ without a massive collective revolt happening somewhere in the background – or in a future into which the poem draws the crowd.
The MayDay monthly reading group will create a social space to talk about work from the full breadth of historical and contemporary dissident, heretical, non-conformist and revolutionary poetries, from Futurists to social realists to feminists to concrete poetry to dialect to dub poetry to the most recent stuff being produced in small press publications outside the networks of corporate coffee table ‘Poetry’. We’ll see where the spirit takes us. At each session we’ll take a couple of poems to read alongside one another, by two different poets, not necessarily contemporaries. A different person each month will choose the works we’re going to read and give a brief presentation about why it’s worth reading them together, followed by a discussion that might lead us to collective conclusions on the work
The sessions will be a social space for anyone who wants to think carefully about the poetry we’re reading, so no prior ‘expertise’ required, and no future expertise expected. All the poems will be circulated beforehand but we’ll also read them together at the beginning of each session.
The first session, which will take place on Thursday 25th February. We’ll look at some poems from William Blake’s Songs of Experience, and some prose poems by Aimé Césaire. If you want to come along, please sign up for the eventbrite, and we will circulate the poems a week before we meet!
Please sign up here