Ekphrasis in Walsall – From Pictures to Poems

Join us for a poetry reading featuring poet Annie Freud, daughter of Lucian Freud and grand-daughter of Jacob Epstein, and the Cattistock Poetry Group reading new poems inspired by works from the Garman Ryan Collection.

Join us for a poetry reading featuring poet Annie Freud, daughter of Lucian Freud and grand-daughter of Jacob Epstein, and the Cattistock Poetry Group reading new poems inspired by works from the Garman Ryan Collection. 


 

Annie Freud studied English and European Literature at the University of Warwick. A pamphlet, ‘A Voids Officer Achieves the Tree Pose (Donut Press 2006), was followed by her first full collection from Picador, The Best Man That Ever Was (2007) which was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and received the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. She has taught the Advanced Poetry Writing Course at City University and teaches poetry composition classes in the UK and abroad. Her second collection The Mirabelles (Picador 2010) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She is also an embroidery and tapestry artist. Being the granddaughter of Sir Jacob Epstein and Kathleen Garman, she has a close connection to The Walsall Art Gallery and has exhibited her work there. Her poems have been published widely in anthologies and magazines and she is renowned for her live performances.

 

Elaine Beckett has written poems from an early age. She studied Music Composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music, where she later was a visiting professor. In 2008, she joined a poetry writing class with Annie Freud, and in 2010 three of her poems were shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She has given readings with the Cattistock Poets in Dorset. This year, three more of her poems have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Coming from a musical background, Elaine is interested in the different ways that poems find their shape, sonority and rhythms.

 

Steve Wareham was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1964.  He has been writing poetry for six years and is a member of the Cattistock Poets, reading his poems to live audiences. His influences range from John Clare to John Cooper Clarke.

 

Free, no need to book, just drop in!

 

Annie Freud studied English and European Literature at the University of Warwick. A pamphlet, ‘A Voids Officer Achieves the Tree Pose (Donut Press 2006), was followed by her first full collection from Picador, The Best Man That Ever Was (2007) which was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and received the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. She has taught the Advanced Poetry Writing Course at City University and teaches poetry composition classes in the UK and abroad. Her second collection The Mirabelles (Picador 2010) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She is also an embroidery and tapestry artist. Being the granddaughter of Sir Jacob Epstein and Kathleen Garman, she has a close connection to The Walsall Art Gallery and has exhibited her work there. Her poems have been published widely in anthologies and magazines and she is renowned for her live performances.

 

Elaine Beckett has written poems from an early age. She studied Music Composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music, where she later was a visiting professor. In 2008, she joined a poetry writing class with Annie Freud, and in 2010 three of her poems were shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She has given readings with the Cattistock Poets in Dorset. This year, three more of her poems have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Coming from a musical background, Elaine is interested in the different ways that poems find their shape, sonority and rhythms.

 

Steve Wareham was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1964.  He has been writing poetry for six years and is a member of the Cattistock Poets, reading his poems to live audiences. His influences range from John Clare to John Cooper Clarke.

 

The Yes and the No and the Terrible Thank You by Annie Freud


I don’t know what to say about you.

There is nothing to say about you,

except that you are in my mind,

hideous complexity.

 

It is only a film that I have watched

too many times, and I have often driven

long distances, worrying about money

and the people I have wronged.

 

Many films have swamps

with dead bodies hidden in them

and I feel implicated when the car

is winched to the surface.

 

Then everything will be proven,

the wounds and the weapon,

the approximate times of death,

the missing girls, poor Arbogast.

 

We are almost at the end.

I can go back to my own swamp

and its wise-cracking inhabitants,

their stitches coming loose.

 

The psychiatrist’s theory is watertight.

She was a clinging, demanding woman.

He was always bad. The Yes and the No

and Marion, for whom no one cried

and the terrible Thank You.


Ivory Chess Piece in the Shape of a Seated King by Elaine Beckett

 

Washed up wild

in black cold time

sand blasted dune

so kist tight shut,

five hundred years

of moon on moon

no wonder look

of horror

 

groined in, carved

from Walrus tusk,

hands clasped, fixed,

sword can’t lift,

can’t open mouth,

impaled on stare

of terror horde

and bludgeon.

 

Queen not there

had her own chair,

nice snake on back

and floriated dragon.

 

My Eyes Are Opened Wide by Steve Wareham

 

When the wind is after trophies

on days not fit for dogs.

I see the savage breakers

exploding at the Cobb.

 

The dew clings ever longer

where shadows grow and wilt,

its droplets bead the lavender

on threads of anchored silk.

 

The borders drain of colour,

the flocks desert the sky,

and swarms that scrape the barrel

have drunk the nectar dry,

 

and though I mark the changes

with the absent dragonflies,

it’s in the hours of darkness

my eyes are opened wide.

 

Free, no need to book, just drop in!