Two of Britain’s most acclaimed and respected poets are coming to Monmouthshire to share a stage in Chepstow Castle for a unique event as part of the final weekend of the 2014 Chepstow Festival. Sir Andrew Motion and Simon Armitage are both known, not just as poets, but also as authors, social commentators and for their regular appearances on radio and TV. This unique “Poetry Picnic” will be held under the giant castle canopy on Friday 18 July at 7 PM. As always for open-air performances at Chepstow Castle the audience are invited to bring their own refreshments.
Sir Andrew Motion was poet laureate from 1999 to 2009. Motion says that he “aims to write in clear language without tricks” The Independent describes this stalwart poet as the “charming and tireless defender of the art form”.Motion has won the Arvon Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Eric Gregory Award, Whitbread Prize for Biography and the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. He was knighted for services to literature in 2009. He is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and co-founder of The Poetry Archive.
Simon Armitage will draw on his 25 years of writing poetry, including extracts from his memoir, Walking Home, and his new play The Last Days of Troy. Simon was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. He has published over a dozen collections of poetry including Seeing Stars, his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and, more recently, The Death of King Arthur . His bestselling memoir Walking Home describes travelling the Pennine Way as a modern troubadour, without a penny in his pocket, giving readings en route in village halls, pubs and living rooms. Simon was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.
The Castle gates will be opened at 6.15pm and the readings will start just after at 7pm. There will be a short interval and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of both poets before the finish at around 9.15 pm.
£15 full, £12 conc. In advance
From Chepstow Museum Tel. 01291 625981
£18 and £15 on door.