Poetry & Spoken Word Group Panel : Activism in Poetry and AGM 2019

Location: The Society of Authors
Address: The Society of Authors, 24 Bedford RowLondon WC1R 4EH
Event time: 2-6 pm
Join us for the Poetry & Spoken Word Group's third AGM, followed by a panel on activism and poetry readings from SoA Award winners.

Event details

Panel: Activism in Poetry

How can we become activists within poetry in the world we live in today? Poets Khairani Barokka and Jacqueline Saphra will discuss the role of activism in poetry in a panel chaired by Will Forrester (English PEN).

Khairani Barokka is an Indonesian writer, poet and artist in London whose work has been presented extensively in 15 countries. She is Modern Poetry in Translation's Inaugural Poet in Residence. Her books are Rope (Nine Arches) and Indigenous Species (Titled Axis). www.khairanibarokka.com

Jacqueline Saphra’s collection All My Mad Mothers from Nine Arches Press was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot prize. In the same year A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller was published by Hercules Editions. Dad, Remember You Are Dead was published by Nine Arches Press in September 2019 and Veritas: Poems after Artemisia Gentileschi will be out from Hercules Editions in May 2020. Jacqueline is a founder member of Poets for the Planet. She lives in London and teaches at The Poetry School. www.jacquelinesaphra.com

Will Forrester runs the Writers in Translation programme at English PEN, managing PEN Translates, PEN Transmissions, International Translation Day and the World Bookshelf. Previously, he worked for Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, and at Shalini Ganendra Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has a BA in English and an MSt in World Literatures from the University of Oxford. Elsewhere, he is Assistant Editor at Review 31, and nurses a fraught relationship with the writing of J. M. Coetzee.

Readings: Eric Gregory Awards' winners 2019

Enjoy the poetry of this year's SoA Award winners Mary Jean Chan, Dominic Leonard and Phoebe Stuckes.

Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is the author of A Hurry of English (ignition, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and Fl├Ęche (Faber, 2019), her debut full-length collection, which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She won second prize in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted in the Forward Prize Best Single Poem category twice. She is also a former winner of The Poetry Society’s Anne Born Prize. A Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University, she lives in London.

Dominic Leonard grew up in Yorkshire. He studied English in Oxford and Postcolonial Studies at Leeds University, and in 2018 he was the runner-up for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Hollingworth Prize. His pamphlet of medieval centos, 'love, bring myself' (Broken Sleep), was a Poetry Book Society Selection. He lives and teaches in London.

Phoebe Stuckes is a writer from West Somerset. Her debut pamphlet, Gin & Tonic was shortlisted for The Michael Marks Award 2017. In 2019 she was the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award for her first full-length poetry collection, Platinum Blonde, which will be published by Bloodaxe Books in 2020.

AGM (members only)

The 2019 Poetry & Spoken Word Group (PSWG) Annual General Meeting (AGM) will consist of the Chair’s report and results of committee elections announced. Please email Nadia Bonini (PSWG Secretary) with any issues that you would like to raise in advance.

The AGM is open to SoA Members and Associates only. It is free to attend, but attendees will need to reserve a place.


1.30 pm  – Registration desk opens 

2 - 3 pm – Panel on activism in poetry

3.15 - 4.15 pm – Readings from this year's SoA Awards' winners

4 - 5 pm Tea, coffee and cake

5 - 6 pm – AGM (SoA members only)



The AGM is free to attend for members.

SoA Members: £10

Non-Members (Guests): £15

For further information, please contact PSWG Secretary Nadia Bonini.