The Glass Aisle – Songs From Poems

Paul Henry and Brian Briggs are breathing life to an ancient tradition. Reinvigorating the oral storytelling of epic poems and blending with this the transporting magic of music and song, The Glass Aisle, the collaboration between poet Paul Henry and singer-songwriter Brian Briggs is a haunting and lyrical story. The tale takes place at a stretch of canal above Crickhowell, and we are introduced to the figure of a telephone engineer trying to reconnect a telegraph line back over the water to a block of homes converted from what once was an old union workhouse. Elegiac and masterfully told, the Henry-Briggs duo give a captivating performance.

Acclaimed poet Paul Henry has written 10 books of verse and is a Writing Fellow at the University of South Wales, who has presented for BBC Radio Wales, Radio 3 and Radio 4. He also has a background in songwriting, which is complemented by Brian Briggs’s musical skill – as the frontman of the band Stornoway – who has already been featured on BBC Radio 2 and at festivals across the country. The Glass Aisle has also been published as a book of poetry earlier this year, and it is a show that Carol Ann Duffy calls “virtuoso”, and Gillian Clarke praises as a musical collection that “leaves a reader’s mind full of phrases[…] that catch the heart and lodge in the memory”.

A chance to experience their unique blend of new storytelling with word and song, The Glass Aisle will be visiting Bridport for this year’s BridLit festival and is not to be missed.

Sunday 11th Nov/ Event 38
12.00 PM
£10 or £35 with lunch
Sladers Yard

Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Oscar Wilde: A Life – Matthew Sturgis Chronicles an Icon

Poet, author, social iconoclast and cultural icon, Oscar Wilde left his mark on the world with literary masterpieces such as The Ballad of Reading Gaol, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Known for his hedonism and artistry, Wilde’s writing changed our 19th century culture and his ideas impacted countless creatives to come. Acclaimed biographer Matthew Sturgis brings Oscar Wilde’s own story to life in the first major biography written for thirty years, in Oscar Wilde: A Life.

A recent addition to the fantastic BridLit roster, Sturgis brings his research on Wilde to the table, as truth, in Wilde’s case, is as compelling as fiction. Sturgis will be giving a talk and presenting his biography this year, and he will be discussing Wilde’s life. As one of the first people to experience “celebrity culture”, one of the first men to break the 19th century taboo of homosexuality, and one of the most controversial figures of his day, Wilde’s history both reflects and generates much of our own culture today. The man who declared “I don’t regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure”, and ultimately died in a tragic way.

Chronicled with compassion and thorough attention, Matthew’s wealth of knowledge is eye-opening and reverential – do yourself a favour and don’t miss this event!

Thursday 8th Nov / Event 24a
2.30 PM
£10
The Bull Hotel Ballroom

Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Pot Luck: Flash Interview with Nick Fisher

Depravity, desperation – and crab fishing. Pot Luck is a Rime of the Modern Mariner, and Nick Fisher holds nothing back in his crime novel about the underbelly of Weymouth’s fishing scene. Preceding his highly-popular event, I caught him for the delectation of you readers.

Opening up about his writing process, Nick answers five questions…

I: I know that your writing accolades so far have been earned through scriptwriting. How has writing this novel differed from writing for television?

NF: It’s really a sort of antidote to scriptwriting; there’s a huge machine of people employed around you, and so many real factors that have to be addressed in the script. Writing feels like only 20% of the actual task. Writing a book is different – no one sitting over you, no deadline, no budget, no policies – you can enjoy yourself. The most joyful thing for me was no planning. I would think “what do I write now? I wonder what’s going to happen now.”

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I: Many of your characters are “untrustworthy”. What attracts you to turbulence? Do you believe that it is necessary in a story?

NF: You look for the colour in a character, and colour is often deviousness. Contradictions and surprises are really what dramatic literature is about. Even [Pot Luck’s character] Helen, she was golden in my eyes. She was honey – I couldn’t work with it. It’s about being flawed. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people, just look at where Donald Trump is right now! I think turbulence has to drive things.

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I: This brother dynamic between the main characters, Adrian and Matty, is entirely fraught. Do you know it personally?Where did you draw from to portray this?

NF: Oh, I always wanted a brother. I’m surrounded by bad realities of it, however. My neighbour hasn’t spoken to his brother for decades. The differences I see in my three sons, magnified, could be an Adrian and Matty relationship. Older and younger sibling relationships I can really see. The younger one is fun and negligent, and the older one is responsible and less amused. Closeness of two people with a shared history, I think, is a very good purchase point for a story.

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I: Do you subscribe to the idea that you must love all of your own characters?

NF: That’s an interesting question… No, I think, not at all. You just have to manage them. You must be interested in them; some get under your skin and others just don’t connect. I’ve written for characters I can’t remember, or have even hated.

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I: I have seen Pot Luck reviewed as “the Fargo of Dorset”, and I was wondering if this was intentional. Who has inspired you creatively and is this what you set out to do?

NF: George V. Higgins and Carl Hiaasen for a start. Those sort of fleet-of-foot American books did it for me. I had an idea, an event that would be the start of the story. I thought about doing it as a screenplay, but I had never tried to write a book before, why not take that path? So it was an experiment, very much so. If you transferred it to New England this plot would seem so normal, but as it’s something new to me, it grew itself, and this seemed natural. I didn’t anticipate it growing into what it is.

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Thank you Nick Fisher, there’s food for thought. Seafood, perhaps.