War poetry is the focus of a Poetry Festival at Padiham Unitarian Chapel in Lancashire in June, entitled ‘Edward Thomas and the English War Poets’.
The Festival marks the centenary of the death of the poet Edward Thomas, who was killed at the Front (at Arras) in April 1917. It aims to celebrate the range and power of 20th century English war poetry, drawing on poets from the First and Second World Wars -- with lectures, readings and music.
The Festival – now in its third year -- takes place on the first three Saturday evenings of June: from 7 to 9 pm. Lecturers and themes are:
Saturday 3rd June: ‘Never Such Innocence’ Theresa Sowerby will explore the impact of the Great War through its poets. The powerful voices of Wilfred Owen and Isaac Rosenberg, both killed in action aged 27, will be heard alongside others, including Vera Brittain and Siegfried Sassoon. And was that pre-1914 world really one of lost innocence?
Saturday 10th June: Edward Thomas – Nature Poet or War Poet? Edward Thomas is now seen as one of the leading poets of the 20th century. Ted Hughes called him ‘the father of us all’. Thomas was killed at Arras in 1917, at the age of 39. Remarkably, all his sharply-observed nature poems were written during the First World War. Jim Corrigall will consider whether Thomas is in fact a poet of war.
Saturday 17th June: ‘Beyond the Horror: the Genius of Keith Douglas’ Keith Douglas fought as a tank commander in North Africa in the Second World War, and wrote about what he saw there. Edmund Prestwich will present Douglas’ ruthlessly-honest poetry, which stands in sharp contrast to the poetry of the Great War. Douglas was killed in 1944 in the Normandy landings, at the early age of 24.
The speakers: Theresa Sowerby was until recently head of English and Drama at Bolton School. She is a prize-winning poet. Edmund Prestwich taught at Manchester Grammar School from 1975 to 2010, and has published two books of poetry. Jim Corrigall is Minister at Padiham Unitarian Chapel, and has lectured at poetry festivals in England and Ireland.
All events take place from 7 to 9 pm, at the Unitarian Chapel, Church Street, Padiham, Lancashire. BB12 8JH.
Tickets cost £8 per evening (including a glass of wine or juice, and light refreshments), and £20 for all three evenings. Tickets can be purchased by sending a cheque and stamped, addressed envelope to: Rev. Jim Corrigall, Flat 11, Lincoln Court, Station Road, Padiham BB12 8EW, Lancashire. (Cheques payable to: Jim Corrigall).
Tickets can also be bought on the door, on the night.
[FURTHER INFORMATION: Rev. Jim Corrigall on 07909 572 279 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ]