Sunday, September 16, 2007

Salt Margins @ The Whitechapel Gallery, London: this Thursday, September 20th

Salt Margins

Whitechapel Gallery, 80-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
20 September 2007.
Doors at 7pm, first act at 8pm

Featuring poetry from Eleanor Rees, Melanie Challenger and Chris McCabe and music from Songdog.


Poets Eleanor Rees (Andraste's Hair) and Melanie Challenger (Galatea) have both been nominated for this year's Forward Prize for Best First Collection, confirming the fast-growing reputation of Salt Publishing. Like Eleanor, Chris McCabe is a Salt poet and a Liverpudlian. His collection The Hutton Inquiry is a powerful examination of language under pressure. Musical refreshment is provided by Songdog, led by playwright Lyndon Morgan, in another strong lineup from Salt Margins.

Further bios:

Born in Birkenhead in 1978, Eleanor Rees received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002. She lives in Liverpool where she works in the community as a poet. Andraste's Hair bridges the divide between performance, experimental and traditional poetries, drawing on myth, memory, folksong and murder ballad. Many of her poems are set in a mythical Liverpool, a city of metamorphosis and magic where boundaries are crossed in search of knowledge.
'an ambitious, experimental voice, vibrantly charged with the energy of city life': Carol Ann Duffy.

Another recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, Melanie Challenger is current Artist in Residence for the British Antarctic Survey. She has adapted the Anne Frank diaries for an oratorio by James Whitbourn and is engaged in an ongoing collaboration with Bosnian war diarist Zlata Filipovic. In Galatea, Melanie casts a sensitive poet's eye across the hours of a tumultuous century to create startling poems whose voice both celebrates and mourns the tensions of human nature. She divides her time between Penzance and Brooklyn.
'no poetry in English since D.H. Lawrence's matches Challenger's controlled exuberance of form, diction, metric, and vision fused by Eros into authentic splendor': Harold Bloom

Born in Liverpool in 1977, Chris McCabe works in the recently-reopened Poetry Library on London's South Bank. His debut book The Hutton Inquiry pushes the boundaries of British poetry, but with infectious wit and plenty of style. The central sequence concerns itself with the events of Summer 2003, leading up to the invasion of Iraq. The emphasis is on speed, association, guesswork, creating a mosaic from the fragmentation of political divide and rule.
'McCabe writes with the lower-case lightness of Tom Raworth and the northern comic realism of Simon Armitage': Jeremy Noel-Todd, The Guardian

Led by playwright Lyndon Morgan, Songdog write dark, literate songs influenced by the likes of Beckett, Kafka and Leonard Cohen. Their third album The Time of Summer Lightning was released by One Little Indian Records. "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" - the closing lines of Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby - nail the brooding heart of this record perfectly, a dark and poignant collection of songs about dreams gone wrong, loves left behind, new lusts and old obsessions.
'Profound ideas and affecting stories set against the most delicately formed musical backdrops': Uncut

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