Kate Tempest and John Cooper Clarke headline BBC's Contains Strong Language poetry festival in Hull
Kate Tempest and John Cooper Clarke are among the top poets being featured by the BBC in a four-day festival it is staging as part of Hull’s City of Culture celebrations. Contains Strong Language will begin on National Poetry Day, 28 September.
The events also include Imtiaz Dharker and JoinedUp Dance Company, who present a new piece of contemporary dance inspired by Dharker’s poem, ‘This Tide of Humber’.
At the heart of the festival will be the Hull 17, who have been commissioned to create new work in the city. They are Alice Oswald, Jacob Polley, Imtiaz Dharker, Michael Symmons Roberts, Kate Fox, Helen Mort, Hannah Silva, Zena Edwards, Louise Wallwein, Dean Wilson, Vicky Foster, Bohdan Piasecki, Joelle Taylor, Isaiah Hull, Fred Voss, Joe Hakim, and the BBC’s poet in residence for the season, Harry Giles.
Hull poets Dean Wilson and Vicky Foster have also been working with BBC Radio Humberside to gather 2,017 poems from across the region, asking the public to put pen to paper and write about where they live.
Among features to be broadcast by the BBC is a film by Michael Symmons Roberts, Men Who Sleep in Cars, written entirely in verse, and featuring Maxine Peake. On BBC2 Stand Up Poets will capture performance highlights from Isaiah Hull, Asma Elbadawi, Amina Jama, Solomon OB, Reuben Fields and Liam McCormick. Also on BBC2, WH Auden In A New Age Of Anxiety will explore the relevance of his work in the 21st century.
BBC4 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Mersey Sound, the best-selling poetry anthology featuring Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten. It will also explore the thousands of photographs that Philip Larkin took during his lifetime in Through The Lens Of Larkin. His images are held in the Hull History Centre and poet and academic John Wedgewood Clarke examines some of his previously unseen pictures whilst tracking Larkin’s relationship with Hull, his family and his lovers.
Jonty Claypole, the BBC’s director of arts, said: “Poetry has never been more vital nor diverse, with traditional boundaries and forms of distribution breaking down. Contains Strong Language is a site-specific and broadcast festival that captures modern poetry in all its variety - page poets, performance poets, and artists of all backgrounds experimenting and creating with the spoken word.”