Mario Petrucci and John Lyons

Mario Petrucci is a Selwyn physicist, an ecologist, Arvon tutor and the only poet to have held residencies at the Imperial War Museum and BBC Radio 3. A genuine and memorable performer, he brings innovation and excitement to language whose subjects are by turns uplifting and harrowing, but always powerfully rendered. Shrapnel and Sheets (Headland) won a PBS Recommendation, while Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl (Enitharmon) captured the Daily Telegraph/ Arvon Prize and is the subject of an internationally award-winning film by Seventh Art.

"Inflicts on the reader the finest sort of shock, not just to the senses, but to the conscience, to the soul... necessary, cathartic and profound" – Poetry London

Flowers of Sulphur (Enitharmon) won both the Arts Council Writers and New London Writers Awards. i tulips (due 2010) has received praise from both sides of the Atlantic, with the rarity of an endorsement from Roy Fisher.

"Projects a fierce and utterly modern lyricism to confirm his place among the most vital and thrilling of contemporary poets" – Perdika Press

An entertaining and powerful performance poet, John Lyons is also known nationally and internationally as a painter and Caribbean cook and has recently launched Cook-up in a Trini Kitchen, which sensationally combines the poetry of food and language. He enjoys the rarity of endorsement that falls to poets like Mario Petrucci:

Poems "made from the tough materials and the tough language of folklore and custom. Say them aloud and improve your English as well as your Trinidadian" – Roy Fisher

"In hauntingly beautiful language, John Lyons recounts snippets of Caribbean life through poems which dance in the memory long after the book is closed" – Valerie Bloom

[Tuesday 9th March 2010, Michaelhouse, Doors 7.30pm Readings 8pm £5/£3]

from Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl

That reactor, says Ivan, is deliverance.
Will spawn new words. Chernobylite.
I tell him

they will hang us like overalls on his new words –
so they can always find us and put us away.

Ivan is shaking his big head. But think, he says,
of our genius children. They will be called

out of bed by their friends. Just to see them stand
there in nightclothes, a pale blue ember. A splinter

of dawn.

Mario Petrucci

Trini Wisdom

In the evening shadows
of Toco’s wild bush,
where the quenk and gouti run,
a wake stirs the trees
and the macaque adds
its descant screeches to the dirge.

Someone is left
to gather a shattered life
in this vigour of flora,
this dance of fauna;
and Trinis continue
wining their bodies
to soca and parang,
to maco-talk
and mauvais langue.

John Lyons