Leading names set for lyric festival

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A HOST of big names are set to appear at Sheffield University’s Lyric Festival – the city’s annual celebration of poetry, music and the written word.

John Burnside, Jo Shapcott and dub-poet Linton Kwesi Johnson are set to appear at the event, which is curated by Professor Simon Armitage. the university’s professor of poetry.

Now in its second year, Lyric will take place from Wednesday to Friday, May 9 to 11.

It begins on with an exploration of the life and work of the late poet Peter Redgrove.

Wednesday will also feature the music and poetry of World War I poet Ivor Gurney.

Prof Armitage will read from Gurney’s poetry, while Dr Kate Kennedy, from Cambridge University, will talk about his life and read from his letters, and students will perform some of Gurney’s songs.

The second day will see a celebration of 25 years of Poetry Business, a Yorkshire-based arts group and small press that fosters new talent.

It will include readings from James Caruth and Geoff Hattersley, both of whom will launch new poetry collections at the event, as well as River Wolton and Peter Sansom.

John Burnside, recent winner of the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry and the Forward Prize, will perform alongside Jo Shapcott on May 11.