by Sydney Whiteside
The second day of the 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival opened on Saturday morning with the New Poetry Showcase, a spectacle of new poetry from authors with recently published or forthcoming collections. Featuring five writers, both debut poets and those on their second or third collection, the showcase was a brilliant start to a dazzling Saturday of poetry in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace.
Cardiff poet Roberto Pastore was the first to read, sharing poems from his new collection Hey Bert, out now with Parthian. Pastore’s poems burst with energy and humour, highlighting the beauty in the everyday and reminding us of our ‘all too humanness’. Among the poems read was ‘Heart Poem’, a beautiful look into memory and the often impossible expectations we place on ourselves.
Kittie Belltree, who was born in south London and now lives in Wales, followed with readings from her debut collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks, also out now with Parthian. Her poems explore domestic trauma, history, and mother-daughter relationships with paralyzing detail and wit. Belltree closed her reading with ‘Magician’s Daughter’, a beautifully haunting piece about sexual abuse that makes whimsical diction dangerous and twists words into unexpected and wonderful combinations.
We've been cooking up some exciting plans for the beginning of the festive season... For the first time, Canton, Cardiff, is going to have it's own Book Festival, with adult and children's events running throughout the weekend at Chapter, St Canna's and Canton Library. The programme includes a whole host of our finest local writers and artists, and is taking place as part of this year's 'Canton at Christmas'. Even more excitingly - all these lovely events will be free to attend. Featuring South-Wales gems such as Hanan Issa, Richard Gwyn and Eric Ngalle Charles, this line-up has got us...
Steve Whitaker has written a lovely long and considered Yorkshire Times review for Home on the Move, our new poetry in translation anthology recently launched at Ledbury Poetry Festival: "What is fascinating about the premise of this short, interwoven, collection of poems and images is that it does not demand an actual journey; this homage to place is linear only in the sense of a formal progression from one poetic impression to the next. Home on the Move commences with poems about two notional odysseys across Europe – one in the East, one West – conceived, respectively, by Rafal Gawin and...