Lively evening of tales and music from around the world.
We are delighted to bring to Crawley WORDfest writer Colin Grant and poet Hannah Lowe, who will be reading from their latest books. We are pleased to also present poet Dean Atta, in association with New Writing South.
Food and drink by donation. Music from African Night Fever.
Colin Grant will give a talk and reading called Grand Mal. Julius Caesar is said to have had epilepsy along with other notable figures such as Van Gogh and Dostoevsky. As Colin Grant recalls in his new book, A Smell of Burning, the condition also had a profound impact on his brother, Christopher who sometimes had an aura, an hallucination of a burning smell before the onset of a seizure.
Grant's book has been called "a wry and gentle masterpiece" by the TLS and in Grand Mal, he explores the history, fears, myths and science behind epilepsy, and how it has been translated in art, film and literature, as well as in his own Caribbean culture.
Hannah Lowe will read from her latest collection of poems Chan (BloodAxe, 23 Jun 2016). Chan is a mercurial name, representing the travellers and shape-shifters of the poems in this collection. It is one of the many nicknames of Hannah Lowe’s Chinese-Jamaican father, borrowed from the Polish émigré card magician Chan Canasta. It is also a name from China, where her grandfather’s story begins. Alongside these figures, there’s Joe Harriott, the Jamaican alto saxophonist, shaking up 1960s London; a cast of other long-lost family; and a ship full of dreamers sailing from Kingston to Liverpool in 1947 on the SS Ormonde.
Hannah Lowe’s second collection follows her widely acclaimed debut, Chick, which took readers on a journey round her father, a gambler who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London’s old East End to support his family.
Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Atta was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. His debut poetry collection I Am Nobody's Nigger was published in 2013 by The Westbourne Press. Atta is currently Artist in Residence at Tate Britain and Guest Artistic Director at New Writing South.
“Dean Atta’s poetry is as honest as truth itself” – Benjamin Zephaniah
“One of the UK’s finest poets” –Time Out London “Dean Atta is one of the leading lights in London's poetry scene. His powerful reflections on race, identity and sexuality have won him recognition from BBC Radio, Channel 4 and Tate Britain - not to mention a formidable reputation on the spoken word circuit.” – Huffington Post