Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ekphrasis at the British Library

Below is a video recording of an event, "Alice/Ekphrasis: An Evening of Poetry Inspired by 'Alice in Wonderland'", held at The British Library in March of this year. A reading of specially commissioned poetry inspired by the Library's exhibition "Alice in Wonderland", the event commemorated the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's famous book. (The exhibition, which ran from November 20, 2015, to April 17, 2016, featured Carroll's original manuscript with hand-drawn illustrations and editions by Mervyn Peake, Ralph Steadman, Leonard Weisgard, Arthur Rackham, and Salvador Dali, among others. View selections of exhibition images, articles, reviews, and related literature.)

The reading, 55:28 minutes long, is a treat of wonderful Alice-inspired poems. Among the commissioned contemporary poets who participated in the reading are Mona Arshi, Ian Duhig, Sasha Dugdale, Emer Gillespie, Helen Mort, Chris McCabe, Hollie McNish, Abegail Morley, Clare Pollard, Amali Rodrigo, Robert Seatter, Catherine Smith, and Luke Wright

In addition to commissioning the group of poets listed above, the Library invited poets from across the United Kingdom to submit an Alice poem. More than 30 poets' contributions were published in an anthology, Alice - Ekphrasis at the British Library (Joy Lane Publishing), edited by Abegail Morley, Catherine Smith, and Emer Gillespie; a copy was given to every event attendee. (More information about the anthology, which was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award, is available at The Poetry Shed. Also see "Spotlight on the Best Anthology Shortlist" at Sabotage Review.)

The British Library on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

My own Alice poem, "Upon Seeing Alice in 3D", is in the Alice in Wonderland Anthology: Writing, Art & Photography Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Classic Book | Celebrating 150 Years (1865-2015), published by Silver Birch Press, Los Angeles. The collection includes many wonderful poets and artists and is available in a color edition and in a black-and-white edition.

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