Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer and founder of The Midnight Run – an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, identity, displacement and destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional African storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His poetry is published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches and he has several plays published by Oberon.
Making your Truth in Poems
Selima Hill has said: “There is no other way but through. You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go THROUGH it! Go naked into the shower of truth”. Are there poems you must write, or poems that you’d like to go deeper, wilder or longer with? There might be a sequence or a longer poem, a story that you must tell. Inua and Pascale will share their own writing experiences, and help you find strategies to write your truth and make it compelling to the reader. Using exercises and games, they’ll show how poems can arrive from reading other poems, looking at art, myth, or from playing with images and language.
Pascale Petit’s seventh collection, Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe, 2017) draws on her travels in the Amazon rainforest and won the 2018 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for best evoking the spirit of a place and was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Her eighth collection Tiger Girl (Bloodaxe, 2020), won a Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters Award while in progress. Fauverie (Seren, 2014), was her fourth to be shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and five poems from it won the Manchester Poetry Prize. She was one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation poets in 2004 and has had three collections selected as Books of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and The Observer. Her books have been translated into Spanish in Mexico, Chinese, French and Serbian. In 2015 she received a Cholmondeley Award.
Jay Bernard is a writer, film-programmer and inter-disciplinary artist. In 2018, Jay won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. They are the author of three pamphlets, The Red and Yellow Nothing (Ink Sweat & Tears Press, 2016), English Breakfast (Math Paper Press, 2013), and Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl (Tall-Lighthouse, 2008) which was selected as the Poetry Book Society’s pamphlet choice.