Inua Ellams who was included in our Bang Said The Gun anthology is looking for some help with a project – care to assist?
“In October I began the #Afterhours project which is resident at the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library. The aim of the project is to rewrite my Nigerian and immigrant childhood through British poetry; to take existing poems published by British poets and write responses to them while staying as close as possible to aspects of the original poem, form, structure, language, length or any combination. For instance, I might take a poem about climbing a hill in Devon to watch roaming deer and write about climbing a hill is Jos to watch wild elephants.
The name #Afterhours refers to three aspects of the project:
1/ In poetry, it refers to the tradition of subtitling a poem written in response to another poet with the word ‘After’ and the first author’s name. For instance something inspired by Neruda would subtitled #After Pablo Neruda. #Afterhours is entirely about writing after poets.
2/ The phrase ‘after hours’ refers to after normal working or licensed opening hours. The theme of the project is about the end of childhood, writing after the hours of youth and I will be looking to rewrite poems published between the years 1984 and 2002, when I was born to when I turned 18.
3/ It also refers rather romantically to the practice of poets ‘toiling the midnight candle’, writing after daylight hours.
The success of the project rests on discovering great poetry and thus far, the staff at The Poetry Library have been magnificent in suggesting poets and specific poems published in those years. This is where I wondered if you could help. To further the reaches of project, for greater interactivity within our poetry community and to widen the possibility of discovering great poems, I wondered if you could suggest and/or send poems by *British* poets, published between the years 1988 – 2002? (1984 – 1987 are written).”
There is some information about the project on the Poetry Library’s website here http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/library/?id=1257