Many people form fantasy football teams. Some even craft their ideal partner from the oddly disembodied features of naturally beautiful/botox fuelled celebs. For punctuation pedants and word perverts, could there be a more amazing poetry fantasy line-up realised than Simon Armitage, current Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Seamus Heaney?
With Helen Dunmore and Michael Longley they formed a celebratory reading for the Enitharmon Press 45th anniversary last week – and with powerful, often comic and witty performances – it did not disappoint.
Duffy provided insightful, and often delightfully scathing back-stories to her readings of her ‘poems of protest’; including 'Mrs Schofield's GCSE', written in response to the AQA examination board banning her work for (supposedly) glamorising violence. Meanwhile, Armitage treated us to his skillfully crafted, wonderfully paced ‘O come all ye faithful’ and a beautifully honest, heartfelt rendition of ‘An accommodation’.
So, these are the type of events Southbank does – and does well – and even though you might have missed this offering, there’s plenty more going on during the Literature season this spring. Harry Belafonte discusses his extraordinary life in June, and the line up for the World Book Night in April looks exciting, with the likes of Andrea Levy and Jon Ronson.
If you’re a bound-book junkie and are more interested in the lovely bindings to be found at the Enitharmon Press, they’ll be one of the many exhibitors at this year’s London Original Print Fair.