Grenfell poetry update
On April 15th the Harrow Club near Latimer Road – close to Grenfell Tower, in west London – hosted the launch of Poems for Grenfell Tower. It was a moving and powerful event, supported by the local community, several of whom feature in the fundraising anthology itself.
These include Alemu Tebeje, who lost several neighbours in the fire, and Christine Barton, a former headteacher at the nearby Maxilla Nursery and Children's Centre. About a dozen contributors read their poems – introduced brilliantly by Christine –_ among them Ricky Nuttall, a firefighter who worked at the horrific blaze on June 14th last year.
It was an honour to meet them all and read my own poem 'due diligence', as well as heartening to see the fantastic work the Harrow Club does for children and young people in the area. This is close to where I grew up.
Here is a BBC Radio Oxford interview with Alemu Tebeje and the editor of the anthology, Rip Bulkeley.
On April 28th a second London launch takes place at the Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden. The issues behind the Grenfell atrocity resonate throughout the whole UK, and further events are planned all over the country in the coming weeks and months.
I'm excited to be organising the Edinburgh launch of this book at the Scottish Poetry Library on June 23rd. More details will follow soon.
A Glasgow event is also provisionally scheduled for June 15th (details to be confirmed).
The book is published by Onslaught Press and costs £10. If you buy it you will be supporting the Grenfell Foundation.