Top names at Chichester's Poetry & Jazz Café

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One of the highlights of this year’s Festival of Chichester, the Poetry & Jazz Café will be at the Assembly Room in North Street at 7.30pm on Tuesday, June 25.

Headlining the show are author Maura Dooley and Sussex poet Jeremy Page, who both have new poetry collections recently published, together with the Big House Jazz Band. Tickets £15 from the Novium, 01243 816525. Info/tickets at

Organiser Barry Smith said: “The Poetry & Jazz Café has been one of the big events in every Festival of Chichester since its launch and before that with the Festivities. We’ve been able to establish it on the national scene as one of the premier words and music offerings, featuring star names like Sir Andrew Motion and Jo Shapcott from the poetry world and top jazz players like Jo Fooks and Julian Stringle.

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“This year is no exception as Maura Dooley is a poet with a background in literature as a live event. She worked for the Arvon Foundation and was director of literature at the South Bank Centre. Her collections of poetry include The Silvering (2016). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her poetry has won the prestigious Eric Gregory and Cholomondley Awards and been shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize. Her latest collection from Bloodaxe is Five Fifty-Five, a book of quizzical poems concerned with time and mortality which ask fundamental questions about our lives, such as: ‘Where have you gone?’ and ‘Who were you anyway?’

Jeremy Page (pic by Stuart Robinson Sussex University)Jeremy Page (pic by Stuart Robinson Sussex University)
Jeremy Page (pic by Stuart Robinson Sussex University)

“Joining Maura on the poetry bill is Lewes-based writer Jeremy Page, the founding editor of The Frogmore Papers, one of the UK’ s top poetry magazines. He has published several collections of poems, among them Closing Time (Pindrop, 2014), and translated Catullus, Leopardi and Boris Vian. His novella London Calling was published by Cultured Llama in 2018. His latest book The Naming is a collection that is chock full of work about the power of memory and recall.”

Barry added: “The jazz part of the evening is in the safe hands of Arundel-based keyboardist, Mike Carey, whose Big House Band will be regaling the audience with jazz classics from greats like Duke Ellington as well as his own toe-tapping tunes. And, of course, we offer complimentary cake in the interval to keep people in the party mood!

“The brand-new Poetry & All That Jazz magazine, published by the South Downs Poetry Festival, will also be launched at the event, featuring top poets including Penelope Shuttle and Louis de Bernieres alongside local writers. The Poetry and Jazz Café is always one of the most popular events of the Festival of Chichester and it is definitely advisable to book in advance to make sure of a seat.”

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The Poetry & Jazz Café, Tuesday, June 25, 7.30pm (doors 7pm), Assembly Room, North Street, Chichester, PO19 1LQ.

•The Festival of Chichester is delighted to welcome Kenton Budd Estate Agents as its principal sponsor.

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