Salena Godden is a jack of many trades – poetry and performance, memoir and essay writing, teaching and mentoring – and is a master of all. She is a powerful poet in her own right, with publications such as Fishing In The Aftermath (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press, 2011), as well as the album LIVEwire (Nymphs and Thugs, 2017), which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. Her essay ‘Shade’ featured in the Book of the Year’s Readers’ Choice, The Good Immigrant (Unbound, 2016). Why wouldn’t we be excited to host this poetry titan at Verve 2018? Watch her perform her iconic poem ‘Red’, here.
Luke Wright is a hugely successful poet, theatre-maker and performer, whose nine spoken-word shows and two verse plays have toured worldwide and received great acclaim. But long before Wright brought Johnny Bevan (2015) and Frankie Vah (2017) to the stage, he formed the poetry collective Aisle16, with fellow student at the University of East Anglia, Ross Sutherland. We’re thrilled to announce that Aisle16 will be reforming for a special one-off performance here at Verve 2018, in a stand-up reunion that is not to be missed!
All the way from New York… We are beyond excited to announce that Nuar Alsadir will be joining us at Verve 2018! Alsadir’s work as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, as well as her fierce engagement with politics and media, makes her poetry some of the most striking writing around today. Her most recent collection, Fourth Person Singular (2017), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in England and Ireland, and her work has previously appeared in publications including Granta, The New York Times Magazine, Magma, and the Poetry Review. With an interest in how the mind perceives sensations and orders thoughts, Alsadir’s poems make you think, and think again. Read Nuar’s recent piece in Granta here.
Hailing from Birmingham’s close neighbour, the Black Country, Liz Berry writes poems that are at the same time familiar and otherworldly. Distinctive for their use of Black Country dialect, her poems combine the stories of everyday lives with folkloric imaginings, and always seem to be just on the edge of metamorphosis. Berry’s debut collection, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award. Watch and listen as Liz Berry brings a little bit of local magic to the stage at Verve 2018. Hear Liz read her poem ‘Bobowler’ here.