Forthcoming events
Book now

David's Bookshop, Music & Cafe is located in Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE
Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DE

Le Bataillon Francais - Poetry Evening

An evening of poems in English with strong French connections - words, music and images guaranteed to fill you with joie de vivre.

  • Thu Oct 03, 2019 - 19.30
  • David's Bookshop

David’s Bookshop Poet in Residence John Gohorry will be joined by local poet Dick Jones, artist Natalie d’Arbeloff and guitarist Doug MacGowan in an evening of words, music and images guaranteed to fill you with a sense of joie de vivre.
It begins with John reading a selection of poems from his collection Adagios on Ré / Adagios en Ré, which was published in a dual language edition by Lapwing in 2014. The Adagios are short (7 or 10 line) poems that capture immediate impressions experienced over the course of three summers spent on the Île de Ré. John’s selection is in five parts, giving a picture of the moods of the island and the activities of its occupants, holidaymakers and locals, in all its sun-drenched variety. Doug MacGowan’s guitar-playing reinforces the changing atmosphere throughout.
In the second part, Dick Jones reads his translation of Blaise Cendrars’ epic poem The Prose of the Trans Siberian and of Little Jeanne of France, detailing a train journey he made in 1905 from Paris through the heart of Siberia to Vladivostok, accompanied by his lover, Jeanne. Cendrars’ poem, first published in 1913, is a landmark poem of the 20th century, and Dick’s translation, published with Natalie d’Arbeloff’s stunning illustrations by The Old Stile Press in 2015, has been enthusiastically praised by Cendrars’ daughter, Miriam Gilou Cendrars. The Old Stile Press edition, of which there are only 160 copies, sells at £295.00, but the good news is that this reading will feature Natalie d’Arbeloff’s illustrations rendered by her as a video sequence and projected as a backdrop, together with an accompaniment by Doug MacGowan which captures the driving momentum of the train as its tempo fluctuates in response to the various adventures the poet encounters on the way.