Matthew Sweeney, one of Ireland’s most enigmatic and highly respected poets, reads from his tenth collection, Horse Music (Bloodaxe). ‘A poet of obsession and ritual … often elusive or mysterious … enlivened with his saturnine, uncomfortably insistent humour … grim as death and very funny.’ – Sean O’Brien (The Guardian)

Catherine Smith, short story writer and playwright as well as poet, will read from her recent collection, Otherwhere, as well as new poems from a pamphlet to be published next year by Pighog Press, provisionally titled The New Cockaigne. Catherine Smith previously developed Weight: three stories about secrets with LLL Productions. ‘A fierce talent.’ Ian McMillan

John Agard, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and ever-popular man about town, performs an extract from a brand new collaboration with musician Deirdre Pascall. Debussy’s Day Out with the Gamelan revisits the life and artistc vision of the great French composer, blending Agard’s idiosynractic insights with the exquisite musicianship of Deirdre Pascall.

‘A unique and energetic force in contemporary Britsh poetry, John Agard’s poems combine acute social observation, puckish wit and a riotous imagination to thrilling effect.’ – Ben Wilkinson

Deirdre Pascall, composer/singer/songwriter/pianist/cellist, awarded fellow of Royal Society of Arts (RSA), 2004, interweaves a commitment to the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra with composing for contemporary ballet and documentary film.  As a performer her repertoire includes classical music, rhythm & blues, jazz and calypso, always conveyed with her own distinctive quirkiness and dramatic flair.