Roman poetry and music evening coming up in Chichester

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New to the Novium Museum’s award-winning Chichester Roman Week is a unique Roman poetry and music evening, held overlooking the remains of the ancient bath house.

On Friday, May 31 at 6.30pm, special guest author Timothy Adès will be reading from his translations of the lyric odes by Horace – not only a poet but also a participant in the battles of Philippi and Actium alongside the likes of Brutus, Octavian (later Augustus) and Mark Antony.

Tickets £15 (includes wine) 01243 816525 or online at

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Timothy is a rhyming translator-poet with several books and awards to his name. He has an Oxford classical degree. Amongst his many works, Timothy’s publications include Alfonso Reyes, Miracle of Mexico; Robert Desnos, Surrealist, Lover, Resistant; Florentino and the Devil. He is currently working on translations of Bertolt Brecht and has won the John Dryden Prize and the TLS Premio Valle–Inclán Prize.

Timothy Ades credit Sam LaneTimothy Ades credit Sam Lane
Timothy Ades credit Sam Lane

The evening also features a unique reconstruction of Roman music by classical guitarist Linda Kelsall-Barnett. Mentored by Armand D’Angour, one of the leading experts on Roman music and currently Professor of Classics at Oxford, Linda will be using the rhythms of the classical odes as springboarding for her musical interpretations to offset the poetry. And to complete the Roman flavour, audience members will be treated to a glass of sparkling Italian prosecco wine to enjoy as they are inspired by the words and music.

The event is jointly organised by the Novium Museum and the South Downs Poetry Festival. SDPF director Barry Smith said: “It’s a delight to be able to join forces with the Museum for this unique event. It’s going to be a real treat to hear the great verse of one of the outstanding poets of all time rendered into modern English so we can all appreciate Horace’s insights into human nature and the natural world. We’ve been privileged to have had input from the leading expert on Roman music, Armand D’Angour, Professor of Classics at Oxford University. Chichester audiences will be experiencing something that just isn’t available anywhere else. To perform in the atmospheric setting of the Roman Bath house will transport us all back in time and hopefully give people a taste of Roman life and culture at its finest.”

Joining Timothy and Linda for the evening will be South Downs poets Mandy Pannett, Chris Hardy, Cherrie Taylor and SDPF director Barry Smith presenting a reading of new poetry on classical and historical themes. Chris Hardy has published five collections. He is the guitarist in LiTTLe MACHiNe, performing settings of poems at literary festivals. Mandy Pannett is a distinguished Sussex poet with several books in print, including her latest, The Daedalus Files, on the Greek inventor. Cherrie Taylor has written about Roman Sussex in her verse, while Barry’s poems will touch on the Greek myths of Antigone and Oedipus.

Friday, May 31, 6.30pm, the Novium Museum, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH.

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