This Wednesday (12th January) sees two beginnings at BRLSI – a new convenor for the Uni-verse International Poetry Group, and the start of this year’s major lecture programme, Perspectives on America.
The Uni-verse group was started in 2007 by Bath Stanza Society representative Nikki Bennett, and since then has focussed on bring poets and poetry from across the world to lunchtime sessions at BRLSI.
Nikki’s now retired (although we hope to still see her reading at BRLSI), and her place as Convenor has been taken by Bath-based poet, critic and author Duncan McGibbon (pictured), who’s no stranger to BRLSI, having launched his latest collection The Consolations here in 2010, and delivered a breathtaking hour of non-stop verse and scholarship entitled Roma non basta una vita (Rome, a lifetime is not enough) as part of last year’s Romans in Bath series.
Duncan says he’s going to change the focus of Uni-verse slightly, away from open-mic style readings and towards talks on poets and their works by expert speakers. To begin, he’s recruited BRLSI member Prof Charles Stirton to speak on Karel Hynek Mácha – Poet & Icon of Czech Romanticism. Despite dying at just 26, Mácha (1810-36) was immortalised by his epic poem May, and is today an icon of Czech pride and identity. Prof Stirton will explore Mácha’s life and poetry, and its place in Czech Romanticism. The event starts at 1pm and runs until 2.30pm.