Sussex poet Clare Best in Chichester

Chichester Library is joining forces with Open Mic Poetry to host Sussex poet Clare Best at A Celebration of Poetry on National Poetry Day (Thursday, October 6).


Clare will be reading from her new works CELL and Springlines where she blends words with pictures. Artist collaborator Michaela Ridgeway will also be present. Live music from Linda Kelsall-Barnett on classical guitar and open mic poetry combine to offer a mix of words and music. Open Mic spokesman Barry Smith said: “Clare Best’s first full poetry collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize in 2012. Other poetry publications include Treasure Ground, Breastless and CELL.

“Two recent projects have involved collaborations with visual artists. Clare is working with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis on Springlines, a project exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South of England, whilst in CELL, which retells the story of a medieval anchoress, Clare’s words work in harness with Michaela Ridgway’s powerful art.”

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Looking ahead to the National Poetry Day reading, Clare said: “I’ll read from CELL for part of the presentation.This is my most recent publication. It’s an unusual piece of book art, and Michaela Ridgway (the artist whose drawings appear alongside my words, and who is herself a poet) will come along too that evening and we’ll talk briefly about how we collaborated on CELL. I’ll also read some poems from Them, the extended poem cycle that will form my next full collection. Them features the unpredictable and strange lives of a nameless couple bound together by habit, co-dependence and love in its various guises.”

Barry added: “During the interval a complimentary glass of wine is served when people have a chance to chat to Clare and Michaela. Clare will also be signing copies of her books. After the interval, there will be a chance for local poets to share their work in the open mic section of the evening. Readers and listeners equally welcome.”

Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £5 available in advance from Chichester Library or 01243 777351.

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