Exhibition celebrating UK poetry landmark at Poetry Foundation in Chicago

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An exhibition celebrating Morden Tower, a mediaeval turret on Newcastle’s city walls that became a poetry landmark when poet Tom Pickard and his wife Connie launched poetry readings there in the 1960s, is being staged at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago from September 5 to December 20.

From Basil Bunting’s first reading of Briggflatts to Allen Ginsberg’s European debut of Kaddish, Morden Tower housed poetry history. Other poets that have read there include Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Adrian Henri, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Norman MacCaig, Roger McGough, Barry MacSweeney, Derek Mahon, Adrian Mitchell, Edwin Morgan, Norman Nicholson, Brian Patten, JH Prynne, Tom Raworth, John Silkin, Stevie Smith, Hugo Williams, Fleur Adcock, Gillian Allnutt, Simon Armitage, Jean Binta Breeze, John Burnside, Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Dunmore, Ruth Fainlight, Kate Fox,  John Hegley, Michael Horovitz, Jackie Kay, Kathleen Jamie, Linton Kwezi Johnson, Tom Leonard, Liz Lochhead, Ian McMillan, Lemn Sissay, Matthew Sweeney, Attila the Stockbroker, and Luke Wright. To name but a few.

The exhibition, The Life of Poetry in Morden Tower, will record that history with “a showcase of posters from the 1960s and 1970s advertising the readings, photos, letters, and ephemera that tell a story of the graphic anarchy emblematic of the times”. It is at 61 West Superior Street in Chicago, and entry is free.

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