Bill Griffiths

Bill’s Big Birthday Bash: An Evening of Readings in Celebration of Bill Griffiths

Monday 20th August. Doors 6:30pm, readings from 7pm. In the Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD. Free admission, all welcome with no need to book.

Bill Griffiths (1948-2007) was a poet, publisher, translator, archivist, Anglo-Saxonist, prisoners’ rights activist, biker, classical pianist and much more. He was born in Middlesex and was primarily based in the London area before moving to Seaham, County Durham, in 1990. Monday 20th August 2018 would have been his 70th birthday. The Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck and the Poetics Research Centre at Royal Holloway are pleased to announce an evening of readings to mark the occasion and celebrate Griffiths’ achievements.

Professor Robert Hampson, FEA, FRSA, Royal Holloway, University of London and Matt Martin, Stuart Hall Research Scholar, Birkbeck, University of London, also wrote a blog post for the British Library to mark Bill’s birthday.

This event featured:

  • Mendoza and Peter Manson reading to launch their new collection WINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS (SONNOTS for Griffiths). Published by MATERIALS (UK) / MATERIALIEN (Germany), this collaboration is inspired by Griffiths’ research into the lexicons of County Durham’s fishing and mining communities.
  • A collaborative performance by poets Geraldine Monk (who has described Griffiths as her ‘very first poet friend’) and Alan Halsey (editor of Griffiths’ three-volume Collected Poems, published by Reality Street, 2010-2016).
  • A talk by poet and historian John Seed about Griffiths’ life and lexical research in County Durham, plus a reading from Seed’s own poetry about the region.
  • An opportunity for audience members to read excerpts from Griffiths’ work, share their own poems in response to his accomplishments, or speak about their memories of this remarkable writer – if you would like to participate in this segment, please honour a time limit of two minutes, so that everyone has a chance to contribute.

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