5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 20th Jan 2020
Poetry and Lyrics
Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. The Adoption Papers (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. Fiere was shortlisted for the Costa award and her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. Red Dust Road (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and the London Book Award, and was shortlisted for the JR Ackerley prize. Her third collection of short stories, Reality, Reality, was praised by The Guardian as ‘rank[ing] among the best of the genre'. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories Wish I Was Here won the Decibel British Book Award. Jackie Kay also writes for children and her book Red Cherry Red (Bloomsbury) won the Clype award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her plays, Manchester Lines (produced by Manchester Library Theatre) and The New Maw Broon Monologues (produced by Glasgay), were a great success. Her most recent collection, Bantam, was published in 2017 to critical acclaim. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland—in March 2016.
Shahidha Bari is a Professor at University of the Arts London. She works in the fields of poetry, philosophy and visual culture. She is the author of “Keats and Philosophy” (2012) and “Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes” (2019). Shahidha is the presenter of BBC Radio 3's nightly arts and ideas programme Free Thinking and the occasional host of BBC Radio 4's Front Row and Saturday Review. She writes for The Guardian, Frieze art magazine, The Observer and the TLS among others. In 2011, she was a BBC New Generation Thinker, and in 2016, she was the winner of The Observer Anthony Burgess Arts Journalism Prize. She was Chair of Judges for the Forward Prizes for Poetry in 2019.
William Sieghart is a philanthropist and publisher. He is the founder of National Poetry Day, the Forward Poetry Prize, the Big Arts Week, Bedtime Reading Week and co-founded StreetSmart: Action for the Homeless in 1998. In 2012, he edited a collection of British poems called Winning Words: Inspiring Poems for Everyday Life, to tie in with the London Olympics. The Poetry Pharmacy is William's best selling book bringing together tried-and-true prescriptions for the heart, mind and soul. He has taken his Poetry Pharmacy around the length and breadth of Britain, into the pages of the Guardian, onto BBC Radio 4 and onto the television. His pocket-sized book presents the most essential poems in his dispensary: those which, again and again, have really shown themselves to work, whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is a poem here to ease your pain.
Stephen William ‘Billy’ Bragg is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, with lyrics that span political or romantic themes. His music is heavily centred on bringing about change and getting the younger generation involved in grass-roots activist causes. His book Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize, and was a Rough Trade, Mojo, and FT Book of the Year 2018. His latest book is the political pamphlet The Three Dimensions of Freedom published in 2019.