South Specific - Andrew Motion et al

‘Take Tigris and Euphrates; once they ran through childhood-coloured slats of sand and sun. Not any more they don't; I've filled them up with countless different kinds of human crap.’

When Richard The Lionheart made Guglielmus Peregrinus his official ‘poet laureate’ he didn’t mean the post to be used for spiky poems that tacitly criticize the country’s foreign policy. Since then the post has been held by some of the greatest figures in British literary history, from Chaucer to Dryden, from Jonson to Wordsworth, from John Masefield to Ted Hughes. Andrew Motion, the current holder of the most prestigious position in British poetry, wrote the lines that prefix this article as a protest about the illegal invasion of Iraq by British and American troops. Motion later stated that he saw his remit ‘to write about events in the royal calendar as and when I can, but also to write about matters of national interest.’ It’s an interesting take by Motion on the responsibilities of his job, and an issue he will no doubt address in the reading and public interview he is giving as the finale of this year’s South Specific literature weekend.

Also included in today’s package, which includes a number of workshops for writers, are crime bestseller Peter James, satirical crime writer Peter Guttridge, memoirists Ciaran O’Driscoll and Debbie Taylor, non-fiction art specialist Debbie Roe, and poet, dramatist and translator Sasha Dugdale. AL

Specific Motion: the poet laureate at the Gardner Art Centre
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 10am-6.30pm
How Much? Adults £12/£8; Kids £6
Gardner Arts
(t) 01273 685861
(w) Website

-The South
(w) Website