Word made flesh 1965 / Flesh made word 2015

Tag: william blake

ReIncarnation Biographies #12: Vanessa Vie

pic by Lubka Gangarova

pic by Lubka Gangarova

The twelfth 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 Spanish singer/songwriter and artist Vanessa Vie.

Singer-lyrist & artist Vanessa Vie was born in Aviles, Asturias, Northern Spain in 1973.

From 1993 she committed to the practice & study of the Visual Arts and, in 1995, one of her drawings was used  for a Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona t-shirts limited edition. Before long, music, performing arts and poetry would become the centre of her activity. Alberto Arango from the National Cuban Opera, and jazz maestro Don Kemonah, who had moved from London to Spain, were among her various influential teachers.

In 1997 she co-formed, with folk and classical double bass player Ignacio Pozo, her first pop-rock band Ithaca, which dissolved in 2000. In the same year Vanessa resolved to live & work in London, largely in consequence of reading the works of William Blake.

In 2005, with her ex-husband, rock musician Ian Montlake, Vanessa co-formed the alternative-rock band Rockatron, which dissolved in 2009.

Since then she has presented Happenings inspired by the work of poets (including Dylan Thomas and Rumi), and on occasion inspired by the work of visual artists such as Sheila Seepersaud-Jones, and has exhibited her own Visual Art, and used it to illustrate her Words and Music and that of others.

In 2012 Vanessa met poet, artist and iconoclast Michael Horovitz, whose encouragement, inspiration, and active partnership go on feeding her muse. The duo’s renditions of their own, Lorca’s, Blake’s, Emily Dickinson’s and others’ lyrics and poetry have become a staple of Michael’s Jazz Poetry SuperJams.

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

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