News from Steve Griffiths
Getting Him to Read: six themed readings
Steve Griffiths’ Weathereye: Selected Poems pulls together the best of seven collections over forty years. There are poems of childhood and family and love poems, poems of being alive and conscious – and perhaps above all a continuing quest to understand what’s going on ‘among scatterings of lived material’, exploring the nature and fragilities of community against a backdrop of the deep changes that are shaping us and challenging our beliefs. There are veins of loss, commemoration, resistance to injustice, self-questioning; living landscape and interrogated history. Griffiths’ capacity to celebrate and lament develops and deepens as he calls increasingly on a lightness of touch and a mischievous glint.
Six themed readings
- It took years to find a generous place to write from; then a lifetime to find it again, lose it, find it, again and again
Learning to write political poems, love poems, seeing myself clearly in a moment of my life, celebrating those around me, learning to forgive myself and others. Poetry can help you to grow up and stay grown up, again and again. And there’s a balance somewhere between being reflective, and being instrumental. Who threw that thing just now, and why? Is it new, or is it old? Where’s home?
- Seven Ages – About Time
One of my takes on age is that a part of me is 5, a part 15, a part 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 – all simultaneously, as I go about my life: seven of them, in that long, jawdropping turnover of cells. I have written about 50 poems clustered around these Seven Ages. I will read some of them. Increasingly they talk to each other. You are welcome to join in.
- Five places: Anglesey, London, Spain, Ludlow, and an imaginary place
My poems are made out of an interaction between four places that shaped what I am; and a fifth, only half imaginary, that I made from the others. This was a Utopia that flourished and failed. It came from the sense that I and my generation grew up with, of being on a journey that involved progress – then finding out that history could turn back on itself; and could be both shared and subjective in ways that would hurt, challenge and enrich.
- Sometimes, when there’s a story to tell, a poem needs space to breathe and explore.
It takes on its own life, and you let yourself be led towards a poem that’s ambitious, and frequently awkward. Eight longer poems and eight tiny ones from Steve Griffiths’ Weathereye: Selected Poems.
- From a generation that grew up believing in progress: from Amlwch to the failed Utopia of al-Chwm, via a struggle with the city. Steve Griffiths reads from Weathereye: Selected Poems.
- Restorations – reading with Powerpoint: what he did to some of his early poems
Putting together a Selected Poems became an unexpected journey. I was always a very, very slow poet. But when I was shocked at how unfinished some – not all – of my early poems seemed, an old publisher reminded me there was some good stuff in there, and I began a process of restoration – many cuts, many tweaks, and some radical re-entry into the original spirit that led to major rediscovery. Of course, some failures. The excisions were satisfying. It became a creative undertaking that led to a sense of summation in the best cases, a realisation that I’d taken forty years to finish a poem.