Skip to main content

Latitude 2009

Well, it's that time of year again... When those festival goers with exceptional taste head out to the Suffolk countryside to enjoy three days of great music, poetry, literature, cabaret, film and comedy at the wonderful, indefatigable Latitude festival.

Sadly though, I won't be attending this year, and am particularly gutted as the line-up for the Poetry Arena looks at least as strong - if not stronger - than when I was reviewing and blogging on the festival last year and the year before. Tim Turnbull, Tim Wells, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Kathyrn Simmonds, Helen Mort, Caroline Bird, Emily Berry, Andrew Motion, Paul Farley - Latitude attracts some serious poetic talent, and unsurprisingly the tent's audience often spills into the sunshine outside: Armitage was particularly popular on both the Poetry and Literary stages last year, and Daljit Nagra drew a big, midday crowd.

This year, there's also music from the likes of The Pet Shop Boys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Regina Spektor, Patrick Wolf, Bat for Lashes, Editors, Gossip and Spiritualised, and comedy from Stephen K. Amos, Dave Gorman, Rufus Hound, Jo Brand, Lee Mack, Marcus Brigstocke and Ed Byrne.

As I say, I'm gutted I'm not going. Maybe next year...

Comments

ollie_francis said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Shame you didn't go. It was a wonderful festival and Jackie Kay was a triumph. You missed a brilliant festival.
Ben Wilkinson said…
Alright, don't rub it in! The poetry tent always has some impressive highlights; I don't doubt that this year was any different.

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology.

Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric and pow…