Michael Laskey and Andrea Holland on 13th November


“Our poetic Alan Bennet” – Craig Raine

Michael Laskey has long championed the spoken poem. He founded the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989 and directed it through its first decade. As chairman he continues to be involved in the development of the Festival. He also founded the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll with Roy Blackman in 1991 and since Roy's death in 2002 has been editing it with Joanna Cutts.

He is a full time freelance poet, editor, and tutor with many years experience of promoting contemporary poetry. As a poet he has published three collections and two pamphlets - Cloves of Garlic (1988), which won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, and In the Fruit Cage (1997). His first two collections were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations: Thinking of Happiness (Peterloo, 1991) and The Tightrope Wedding (Smith/Doorstop, 1999), which was also shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. His most recent book is Permission to Breathe (Smith/Doorstop, 2004).




In the spring of 2005 he was awarded an Arts Council International Writing Fellowship at the Banff Centre in Canada.

Andrea Holland was born in England in 1965 and moved to the USA in 1981, where she lived for fifteen years. Her poetry has appeared in many publications in the USA and the UK. She was a 2006 Poetry Business Competition winner, and currently teaches at the University of East Anglia and the Norwich School of Art and Design.

The curiosity of a stray dog is like quicksand: don't stand still
for too long, take a good look around. Eyes button black,
black as two ellipses, something left out of the line on a page.

'A very fine poet, Andrea Holland’s work is intelligent, graceful and poignant. The voice comes with a lightly American inflection, but the quality of experience in it is universally humane, the form precise and necessary, the perception original, the language sharp, on a knife-edge.' – George Szirtes.

The event also features short poem floor spots, books for sale and a licensed bar. Doors open at 7:30pm.