MSt tutor Helen Mort explores voices from around the world for BBC Radio 4

MSt tutor Helen Mort presents BBC Radio 4’s “Bodies in Motion” series. From the Radio 4 announcement:

The first edition of a new globe-trotting poetry series. Poet Helen Mort explores exciting voices from around the world. This week, she hears poetry in Arabic, German and Spanish while thinking about the phrase ‘Bodies in Motion’: seeing how movement, through space and time, filters through the work of some very different poets.

Helen Mort travels to Paris to meet Syrian poet Golan Haji. He’s drawn inspiration from many sources, including Bill Viola’s video art and a pet ram. Being multilingual, for him, every piece of writing is an act of translation. They meet up with veteran American poet and translator Marilyn Hacker, to hear her version of a Haji poem and talk about the friendship struck up through this translation partnership.

A journey to the centre of the Earth; watching the Berlin Wall fall on a badly tuned TV; and a futuristic German language, have all inspired poems by the compelling German poet and performer, Ulrike Almut Sandig. She tells Helen Mort about her early political ‘guerrilla poetry’ project, ‘eyemail’, which found her pasting poems onto lampposts, and its live performance equivalent, which she calls, ‘earmail’.

Exploring the fascinating process of translating a poem into another language, Helen Mort takes part in a poetry translation workshop at the Poetry Translation Centre in London. In this case, the original Spanish language poem is by Cuban poet Legna Rodriguez, about her experience of moving from Cuba to Miami. Progressing from the line-by-line literal translation towards a version made collectively, involves discussions on cliché and idioms – and on nuances of the noun ‘sofa bed’!

You can listen to the series on the radio or online.

MSt alumna Romola Parish reads at the Oxfordshire Museum, 15 July 2017

MSt alumna Romola Parish reads at the Living Landscapes exhibition, 15 July 2017, the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock

Romola Parish, who graduated from the MSt programme in 2016, is currently  Poet in Residence at the Historic Landscape Classification Project at Oxfordshire County Council. She will be reading from her pamphlet of poems, In Polygonia, at the launch of the interactive digital map at the Living Landscapes exhibition, 15 July 2017, at the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock.

The day also includes presentations on the project, exhibitions, work by artist Miranda Cresswell, workshops and two events – post-it poems and photographs, to which everyone is invited to contribute.

For more information on the exhibition please visit the website and event page:


MSt tutor Jenny Lewis in “‘Poetry in Motion’ the Songwriter’s Art”, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, 22 May

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis takes part in ‘Poetry in Motion’ the Songwriter’s Art, at Regent’s Park College, on 22nd May at 5-6.30pm, Regents Park College, Oxford.
Jenny will be looking at the relationship between poetry and songwriting and describing how, in the 60’s,  she co-wrote, with Vashti Bunyan, the original song from which the iconic ‘Train Song’ was developed. ‘Train Song’ has had over 4 million hits on YouTube and been used on high profile TV commercials such as Reebok and Samsung and US TV series such as True Detective and, currently, The Patriot. Free event, all welcome.

MSt tutor John Retallack to direct “As You Like It” at Corpus Christi College, 10th – 13th May

MSt Creative Writing tutor John Retallack is directing a production of As You Like It at Corpus Christi College. The play will be performed both indoors and outdoors in the college Gardens,  Cloisters,  Chapel and  Dining Hall.

The older characters in the play are played by Corpus Christi staff: the
recently retired President, Richard Carwardine in the role of Duke Senior;
and the gardener of the college, David Leake, plays Adam. Students play all
the young roles and also the wonderful music that Howard Goodall has
specially written for As You Like It. 

There are only five performances of the show; evenings at 7.30pm from
Wednesday May 10th until Saturday 13th when there is also a matinee at 2.30
Audience numbers are restricted to 90. For the price of your ticket, wine
is served on the roof terrace overlooking Christ Church Meadow during the
interval and also at the end of the performance in the Dining Hall.”

Further details and booking information can be found here:

MSt tutor Nicoletta Demetriou film “Cypriot Fiddlers” at Wolfson College, 2nd May 2017

MSt tutor Nicoletta Demetriou’s  film “Cypriot Fiddlers” will be screened at Wolfson College, on 2nd May 2017.

“The Cypriot Fiddler is an attempt to trace the life stories of a dying class of traditional musicians on both sides of the Cypriot divide. The documentary, released in 2016, was entirely funded by members of the public through an online crowd-sourcing campaign.”

Time: 17:00 to 19:00

Location: The Haldane Room

For more information, visit the event site.

MSt alumna Maya Catherine Popa’s “The Bees Have Been Cancelled” UK Poetry Book Society’s Summer Pamphlet Choice

MSt alumna Maya Catherine Popa’s chapbook The Bees Have Been Cancelled has been selected by the UK Poetry Book Society as their 2017 Summer Pamphlet Choice.

From the PBS announcement:

“The poems in The Bees Have Been Canceled are ravenous, rich, and exquisitely built. Maya Catherine Popa’s language makes visible how yearning tethers the mind to the world and how hurt spawns an astonishing self-awareness. Her gaze alights on beauty and violence; it ‘scurries from birth to blight.’ Such attentive looking brings closer the brokenness of the world. This gaze is also restorative; it alleviates and mends and delights.” – Eduardo C. Corral

“Maya Catherine Popa’s The Bees Have Been Canceled is haunted by violence and catastrophe, by the consequences of human desire turned to incommensurate ends, and anxious about the resources of language. There are no glib answers, only a certain kind of belief (the kind Emily Dickinson might recognize) embodied afresh in poems that are richly textured, and filled with energy, wit, and intelligence. Popa’s work is serious, but there’s joy here, too, in a balance that defies gravity.” -Averill Curdy