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Mexborough Business Centre
Friday 23 June
6.30pm – 9.30pm
Our opening night kicks off the festival in style, with readings from award-winning poets Simon Armitage and Vahni Capildeo, and local favourite Mike O’Brien. Festival regulars Ian Parks and Mick Jenkinson will close the evening with a preview of their new collaboration. Don’t miss a lively event with its heart and soul connected to the local community.
To reserve your place, please book through our TicketTailor event page.
Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is a poet who also writes extensively for theatre, television and radio. His acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has sold over one hundred thousand copies and his most recent collection of poetry is The Unaccompanied (Faber & Faber, 2017). He is the author of three best-selling memoirs, and editor of a selection of Ted Hughes’ poems for Faber & Faber’s Poet to Poet series. Armitage has won numerous accolades, including a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for his song lyrics in the BAFTA winning television film Feltham Sings. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield and in 2015 was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.
Vahni Capildeo writes across genres. Her seventh publication, Measures of Expatriation, was awarded the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection (2016). She is working on two books: a set of performance texts, and a series of phenomenological poems: both due from the Manchester-based independent press, Carcanet.
Other poetry collections by Vahni Capildeo include include No Traveller Returns (2003), Undraining Sea (2009), Dark and Unaccustomed Words (2012) and Utter (2013).
Click here for further details of Vahni Capildeo’s Carcanet publications.
Click here to hear Vahni Capildeo reading her poems on the Poetry Archive website.
Like typewriters, bathroom furnishings and cod, Mike O’Brien was produced in Kingston upon Hull in the 1960s. Despite being proud of his East Yorkshire heritage, Mike has now lived in the Mexborough area for 15 years, two years longer than Ted Hughes managed.
During this period, Mike has written two slim volumes of poetry and a less slim volume of lyrics and stories from his unsuccessful career in the music business with chart dodging popsters, Pocketful O’Nowt. His hobbies include writing brief biographical notes about himself in the third person, using no more than one hundred words.
Who are the unsung heroes of Doncaster and district? What are the stories and tales we rarely hear? Songs of our Town is a creative collaboration between musician Mick Jenkinson and poet Ian Parks dedicated to recognising and celebrating just that.
The 6-month project, funded by Right up our Street, encompasses performances and workshops aimed at engaging townspeople in the process of discovering little known aspects of our locality that deserve to be eulogised.
Exploring the landscape, the buildings and the lives and loves that our town holds, Ian and Mick have created a series of songs and poems that are due to be recorded for an album launch in September at Doncaster’s DNweekeND.