Celebrate 35 years of Michael Horovitz’s eclectic Poetry Olympics festivals, the 50th anniversary of the First International Poetry Incarnation that filled Albert Hall (filmed as Wholly Communion) and the 80th birthday of British beat troubadour Horovitz himself (pic, right). The P.O.E! (Poetry Olympics Enlightenment) Festival will suffuse Kensington Town Hall with wide-ranging poetry, music and wordsounds from famed pop-lyricist Pete Brown to the ebullient Afro-vernacular of Kayo Chingonyi, and multi-instrumental improviser and singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson to Roundhouse poet in residence and rising star of the UK spoken word scene, Cecilia Knapp, amongst many others.
P.O.E! 2015 at Kensington Town Hall will be graced with a rare performance by novelist and evergreen global human rights champion Edna O’Brien. It also features the likewise passionate and fiery Anglo-Ethiopian bard Lemn Sissay, inventive poetry performer Adam Horovitz and fellow poet, artist and musician Vanessa Vie.
“I have been putting these multi-media shows together since my last year as an Oxford undergraduate,” says Michael Horovitz, “and this one may be my swansong as a producer, to focus more closely on publishing ever newer departures in print, film and recordings. It will be a special pleasure to feature sax maestro Knoel Scott of the Sun Ra Arkestra among the jazz alumni, alongside Alec Dankworth and Clark Tracey in the New Departures All Stars, and also Annie Whitehead, Jennifer Maidman and Peter Lemer with the William Blake Klezmatrix, as part of an extraordinary assemblage of top-flight experimental performers coming together to uncork the party spirit in poetry, music and song.” It sounds like a great evening.
P.O.E! 2015 takes place on Saturday, October 17th from 7.30pm – 10.45pm. Tickets £10 in advance from poetryolympics or £12:50 on the door, if any are left on the night (doors open at 7.30pm)