Sunday, October 16, 2016


Dorothea Lange,(1895 - 1965)
Oklahoma Refugees from the Dust Bowl, 
Looking for Work on the Cotton Fields, 
Now Encamped Near Bakersfield, California
November 1935
Sixty poets reading non-stop for 10 hours makes a Poemathon.

It's an idea which successfully raised thousands of pounds in Sheffield and London in 2015 and on December 11, a group of us in Brighton are doing the same.

The Brighton Poemathon will take place at Komedia in Brighton, starting at midday and ending at 10 pm.

We're raising funds for displaced people - migrants, refugees. It started when I put out a call on social media for poets who wanted to do something locally. And how it's snowballed - such interest, such enthusiasm and generosity.

Mark Doty, a wonderful American poet I read with years ago at a TS Eliot prize reading said this in a seminar on why poetry matters: "it has never been more important in human history that we learn to listen to the voices of others".

He goes on to say: "Poetry’s work is to make people real to us through the agency of the voice."

This is, I hope, what the Poemathon will also achieve on Sunday, December 11, Komedia, Brighton.

Tide of Voices, Why Poetry Matters Now, Mark Doty for Academy of American Poets, 2010.