Two invitations from The Poetry Business

  
  
Simon Armitage, The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its Own Right
     
    
You are invited to the launch of Simon Armitage’s new pamphlet, The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its Own Right (Smith/Doorstop, 2010).
   
Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield S1 2DS (map)
Monday 8 March, 7:30pm
Tickets £5 (£3 concs)
   
To book tickets, email The Poetry Business
at office@poetrybusiness.co.uk or call 0114 346 3037.
     
     
The English Astronaut
Simon Armitage
     
He splashed down in rough seas off Spurn Point.
I watched through a coin-op telescope jammed
with a lollipop stick as a trawler fished him out
of the waves and ferried him back to Mission
Control on a trading estate near the Humber
Bridge. He spoke with a mild voice: yes, it was
good to be home; he’d missed his wife, the kids,
couldn’t wait for a shave and a hot bath. ‘Are
there any more questions?’ No, there were not.
I followed him in his Honda Accord to a Little
Chef on the A1, took the table opposite, watched
him order the all-day breakfast and a pot of tea.
‘You need to go outside to do that,’ said the
waitress when he lit a cigarette. He read the
paper, started the crossword, poked at the black
pudding with his fork. Then he stared through
the window for long unbroken minutes at a time,
but only at the busy road, never the sky. And his
face was not the moon. And his hands were not
the hands of a man who had held between finger
and thumb the blue planet, and lifted it up to his
watchmaker’s eye.
   
   
from The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its Own Right (Smith/Doorstop, 2010)
   
   
Sally Baker
  
Reading alongside Simon will be Sally Baker, whose latest pamphlet — The Sea and the Forest — has just been published by Smith/Doorstop.
   
   
The Sheffield Poetry Prize 2009
    
The winners of the 2009 Sheffield Poetry Prize — chosen by Andrew Motion — will also read their winning poems, and will be presented with their prizes.
   
The Sheffield Poetry Prize is sponsored by The University of Sheffield.
 

 
*
     
George Szirtes and Ann Atkinson reading in Sheffield
 
 
Poetry Readings and State of the Art Panel Discussion
Thursday March 4th, 7:30pm
Bank Street Arts, Sheffield S1 2DS
  
A rare chance to hear the T S Eliot prizewinning poet, George Szirtes. Also appearing are Nathan Hamilton (poet and editor of Egg Box Publishing) and the poet and translator Agnes Lehoczky. Plus Derbyshire Poet Laureate and former editor of Staple, Ann Atkinson, whose brilliant pamphlet Drawing Water has just been published by Smith/Doorstop.
  
Readings and discussion plus questions from the floor on the State of Contemporary Poetry — in terms of contemporary practice, issues of availability, audience, canon formation — and life after a creative writing degree…
  
Tickets £5 or £3 concessions/Bank Street Arts members.
Pay on the door.
Email info@bankstreetarts.com or call 0114 346 3034
for more information.

One thought on “Two invitations from The Poetry Business

  1. Julie

    Oh, how I wish I could go hear the poets read in person! But I’m happy to have the information and links. “Drawing Water” looks fantastic, as does “The Sea and the Forest.”

    I’m loving the form and flow of “The English Astronaut.” I love how the narrator takes us from the splashdown through the lens of a “coin-op telescope jammed with a lollipop stick” and then back to the everyday life of black pudding and kids. The ending rhythm takes my breath away:

    “…And his
    face was not the moon. And his hands were not
    the hands of a man who had held between finger
    and thumb the blue planet, and lifted it up to his
    watchmaker’s eye.”

    Excellent! Thank you!

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