Word made flesh 1965 / Flesh made word 2015

Tag: gwyneth herbert

Liberty, Equality, Poetry

mhandginsbergAdam Horovitz reflects on the impact of the International Poetry Incarnation in 1965 and looks forward to the celebratory party for it.

I have spent most of my life aware of the International Poetry Incarnation, which took place in the Royal Albert Hall in 1965, very nearly 50 years ago. My father, Michael Horovitz, helped organise it, so of course I was going to be exposed of it. Growing up, I knew some of the poets. They were often about, in our house or at events, being genial and strange and merely a part of my metaphysical furniture.

For a long time, the 1965 Incarnation was a big poetry gig in the sky that people talked about and that I accepted as just another impressive thing that fathers do. As I have grown older, however, and become more interested in poetry in my own right, it has been hitting ever more forcefully home to me what a turning point this Incarnation, this 1965 happening, was.

Annie Whitehead

Annie Whitehead

Poetry in Britain was somewhat in the doldrums in the 1950s, as far as it being a public art went. It tended to sit in small rooms in universities and libraries and speak to and of itself. With my father’s generation – people like Adrian Mitchell, Christopher Logue, Pete Brown – poetry picked itself up and went running around the country talking to people who didn’t expect poetry to come leaping out of hedgerows at them. It went charging up to the Edinburgh Festival and touring through towns and cities with musicians and actors and playwrights in tow. Poetry began to listen, and to sing out in different rhythms. It offered up a party where only drier forms of symposia had appeared available before. Continue reading

ReIncarnation Biographies #6: Gwyneth Herbert

Gwyneth Herbert

Gwyneth Herbert

The sixth person in our series of introductions to performers taking part in International Poetry ReIncarnation at the Roundhouse in Camden on 30th May 2015 is the singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert.

Gwyneth Herbert is a strikingly original performer, award-winning composer and lyricist, and versatile musical adventurer who continues to redefine and challenge expectations. With one foot in the jazz world and the other somewhere in the future, she has released six albums to date on both major and independent labels, including the first Blue Note UK release for 30 years.

Since the huge success of 2013’s large-scale cross-artform project “The Sea Cabinet” (the result of an Aldeburgh Music residency), Herbert has seen her musical co-written with celebrated playwright Diane Samuels open at the Southwark Playhouse, and, with artist Mel Brimfield, has built a Fun Palace in Stratford Station, and a musical film installation about sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth in Sheffield. She’s also spent a month in Kenya collecting lullabies, sharing songs in slum schools, and staging multi-tribe storytelling happenings under the Mombasa stars.

“If Hans Eisler had been a woman and written with Ray Davies, he might have come up with something like this” – Independent on Sunday

“Brilliantly original – full of space and isolated detail” – MOJO

“A remarkably gifted talent” – The Guardian

Get your tickets for the evening’s star-laden performance here: The International Poetry ReIncarnation

Here’s the video for Gwyneth’s single Perfect Fit.