Poet Sam Buchan-Watts and publisher Lavinia Singer celebrate the links between poetry and the visual arts with reference to their new publication Try To Be Better, inspired by W.S. Graham and the St Ives school.
The talk will include a film screening of the current Film For Friday, a segment from the BBC Monitor documentary, Why Cornwall (September 1958). Writing at his desk in a cottage overlooking Gurnard's Head in Cornwall, the poet W.S. Graham considers what it was that lured him so far from his place of birth, Greenock in Scotland. During his answer, the film celebrates the vibrant community of artists in and around St Ives.
Try To Be Better is a multi-faceted curatorial project aiming to inspire new approaches to visual art and poetry. It seeks to raise awareness and consolidate the reputation of the poet W.S. Graham, while exploring the relationships and influences he shared with artists living in and around St Ives. A multidisciplinary anthology of art, poetry, prose and collaborations, published by Prototype, the publication gathers together a diverse range of contemporary writers and artists who were commissioned to respond to prompts Graham left himself in notebooks and letters, foregrounding ideas of experiment and process.
Lavinia Singer is the Poetry Assistant Editor at Faber & Faber. She edited the magazine Oxford Poetry for four years, and her writing has been published in various magazines, anthologies and journals. Sam Buchan-Watts has acted as Reviews Editor of Poetry London and is an editor and director of the clinic poetry press and anthology series. The author of an AHRC-funded PhD on W.S. Graham, he is also a Faber New Poet.