Graham Fawcett

     writer, teacher, lecturer, translator and broadcaster

 e-mail: grahamkfawcett@googlemail.com                                                telephone: (0044) (0)20 7405 3997

At Little Gidding                                                                           Photo: Francesca Bugliani Knox

 

                      TO SEE FULL DETAILS AND BOOK FOR ALL EVENTS   

                                  click here on [events calendar]

       and scroll down to the date of any event you are already interested in knowing more about

 

 

"If there was a prize for bringing poetry to life, you'd win it."                                             (Irena Hill, at Dylan Thomas Night in Greenwich, January 2015)

 

 

CLICK ON:

[home

[events calendar] 

[2016 England and Wales poetry lecture-performance tours]

[lectures]

[poetry school] for special one-day courses, one-to-one tutorials and e-tutorials

[events on request for venues in England in 2016]

[broadcasting, language work & publications]  

[translation coaching]

                                                                                 photo: Birgitta Johansson  

To hear Graham Fawcett in a recent Poet In The City interview about Dante, click here

 

“If you have never experienced Graham Fawcett, you have missed something. His childlike enthusiasm for the greats of the canon is the motor that drives through his two-part, two-hour monologues to a journey’s end of revelation. These are not literary events for those with contemporary attention spans. Fawcett does not give it to us in bite-size chunks. These are big talks, packed full of imagination and research”.

                                                                                                                                                  (John Pownall, The Bridport Review, at Coleridge Night, West Bay, Dorset, 21 January 2016)

 

Sladers Yard Contemporary Art Gallery and Cafe, West Bay

Poetry Events with Graham Fawcett

September to November 2016

 

Advance booking open now

 

Thursday 29th September 2016 at 630pm - Poets of New York

Sunday 6th November 2016 at 12 noon - Shakespeare the Poet

Seats and supper or lunch places for the above poetry events in blue may be booked in advance by telephone with a credit or debit card.

                          TO BOOK, CALL 01308 459511

                          Tickets £10, with supper or lunch afterwards £25

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lC5qjLS0xv8/VICfSVQD_kI/AAAAAAAAACs/ECP9LGvWjR0/s203/Sladers%2BYard%2B%2Bfrom%2BWest%2BBay%2BRoad.jpg

                      Sladers Yard

      Contemporary Art Gallery and Cafe 

             West Bay, Bridport, Dorset

 

“Warmth, humanity, passion and erudition which fitted the presentation naturally without drawing attention to itself." (George Beckmann, of John Clare Day in Helpston)

   

Graham lectures on poetry in the UK, Italy, Spain and America, and has made many programmes on literature and music for BBC Radio 3 as writer, presenter and interviewer, including a play about Myslivecek and Mozart, a verse translation of Dante's La Vita Nuova for BBC Radio Drama, documentaries with Luciano Berio and Pierre Boulez, and conversations with Miroslav Holub, Thom Gunn, Adrienne Rich, Czeslaw Milosz, Ivan Lalic, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Graham Fawcett worked for The Poetry School in London from when it began in 1997 until 2014, devising and teaching poetry courses and on-location days (among them Blake in Sussex, Hardy in Dorset, Hopkins in Oxford, Clare in Helpston, Coleridge and Wordsworth in Nether Stowey, Mallarmé in London, Keats in the Isle of Wight, Keats, Shelley and Goethe in Rome, Milton in Florence, Leopardi in Recanati, Lorca and Spanish poetry in Benissa and Sanlucar de Barrameda, and Eliot in East Coker, Little Gidding and Burnt Norton) which are designed, as is his ongoing work, to encourage the reading of poetry past and present from around the world.

The Book You Always Meant To Read, Graham’s acclaimed 2010-11 series of 15 illustrated lectures on Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Samuel Pepys church, St Olave Hart Street in London led to the commissioning of his equally well received 2012 lecture-performance series Seven Olympians, with which he toured England in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and which features Ovid, Chaucer, Byron, Pushkin, Baudelaire, Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. He gave the Neruda lecture at the 2013 Bridlington Poetry Festival in June and the Byron lecture at the 2013 Taunton Literary Festival in November.

A second lecture-performance series, World Poets, began touring in January 2014, having been launched at the 2013 Bridport Literary Festival with a new lecture on Ted Hughes. Already the lecture-series, ongoing in 2016 and 2017 and constantly being added to, features W B Yeats, T S Eliot, Robert Frost, Lorca and the Poetry of Spain, Walt Whitman, Ted Hughes, W H Auden, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Hardy, Dante Alighieri, Elizabeth Bishop, John Donne, Edward Thomas, D H Lawrence, Seamus Heaney, S T Coleridge and John Keats. In April 2013 Graham was the Italian reader at Poet in the City's celebration of Dante at Southwark Cathedral.

In May 2014 Graham gave a lecture tour in New England and Pennsylvania which featured visits to the houses of Emily Dickinson (Amherst), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Concord), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Cambridge) and T S Eliot (East Gloucester) and sessions on Dickinson, Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow, 'Heaney, Eliot and the Faber Crowd', Eliot's The Dry Salvages, Poets of New England from Anne Bradstreet to Robert Frost, Galway Kinnell, and Maxine Kumin.

He returned to America in 2016 to give five days of lectures and seminars in New York on Poets of New York, featuring Whitman, Edna St Vincent Millay, e e cummings, Marianne Moore, W H Auden, Federico Garcia Lorca and Dylan Thomas.

Graham's literary festival lecture-performances in the autumn of 2014 were: Isle of Wight Literary Festival (The Remarkable Effect of the Isle of Wight on John Keats), Bridport Literary Festival (W H Auden),  and Taunton Literary Festival (Seamus Heaney), and in 2015 Bridport Literary Festival (Edward Thomas) and Taunton Literary Festival (Robert Frost). He returned to Taunton in April and will again in November 2016 and January 2017.

Graham has been a mentor for Exiled Writers Ink, and is President of the T S Eliot Society (UK) - click here for more - and a trustee of Outside In World, the children's world literature charity - click here for more. He has been an adviser for the new arts project Artscircle - click here for more. He is a translator and interpreter in Italian and has been a radio interviewer in both languages; and he taught translation at Goldsmiths College for fifteen years.

Graham edited Anvil New Poets (Anvil Press, 1990) and co-edited, with Mimi Khalvati, of the second Poetry School anthology, Entering The Tapestry (Enitharmon, 2003).

 

 

                                                                                                                           Karen Lippoldt

Graham studied Classics at Christ's Hospital, where he was fortunate to coincide with a surviving decades-long era of teaching verse composition from English poetry into Greek and Latin metres, so that the first real encounters with Shakespeare, Keats, Tennyson and others came in translating them; read Archaeology & Anthropology and English at Cambridge, and has worked for Southern Arts, the British Institute of Florence, the Arvon Foundation, BBC Radios 3, 4, World Service and Italian Service, Art History Abroad, and TheCourse Studies. He has lived in Italy and French Catalonia and now lives in London.

"Graham creates a democratic space in which anyone present can contribute thoughts about the poems and the poet's ideas" 

                                                                                                                                                               (Workshop participant)

                 

         THREE LECTURE-PERFORMANCE TOURS BOOKING THROUGHOUT 2016 AND 2017

 

        Seven Olympians    

                 1                  

Ovid

 

"A real tour de force.  West Bay metamorphosed into a Roman drinking den. Hexameters at dawn. Excellent. I learnt a lot".

           (James Crowden, at Ovid Night in West Bay)

 

"Gripping".

              (Phil Manning at Ovid Night in London)

 

"A wonderful lecture, both informative and entertaining. I was fascinated to learn about the forgotten female poets who translated him”.

              (Sally Jenner at Ovid Night in Lewes)

 

I really enjoyed Ovid. These lectures are so worth pushing’.

              (Stephen Yeo at Ovid Night in Oxford)

 

                 2 

               

                      Geoffrey Chaucer

                   

"You made my mind dance".

(Carla Sheills Steenkamp at the Brympton Festival Chaucer Night)

 

"You gave Chaucer to us not only with a huge breadth of knowledge but managed to present the entire subject

as a great romp through the Middle Ages"

(Caroline Vero at the Gipsy Hill Chaucer Night)

 

"How much I enjoyed the Chaucer evening ! My knowledge of Chaucer was minimal; however, your talk, aided by Sue Aldred's excellent reading in Middle English of the texts, has made me really interested, and I feel equipped now to begin reading Chaucer myself.  You effectively shone a light across a dark land and I now have the paths mapped out, so I can, and want to, explore what was a hidden continent before.  I really want more people to hear you and learn more of the wonderful rich literary heritage we all share!"

      (Hanne Busck-Nielsen at Chaucer Night in Oxford)

 

                3 

              

                       Lord Byron

 

"Byron lived fast and died young. Graham brought the poet to life again for one extraordinary evening of poetry, politics and adventure. It was wonderful."

         (Lucy Moy-Thomas at Byron Night in London)

 

"I was royally entertained".

         (Annie Freud, at Byron Night in West Bay, Bridport)

 

Thank you for your wonderful talk on Byron at the Hop Blossom in Farnham.  I found myself gripped and enthralled and am so pleased to have finally understood why my late mother was so besotted with Byron. Thank you for revealing why and how his work should be approached. Can't wait, now, for some time to sit down and enjoy what I've missed all these years!

          (Jane Lees, at Byron Night in Farnham)

 

               4

            

                         Pushkin

 

"I was so uplifted by your lecture on Pushkin that I am now hugely looking forward to the presentation on Baudelaire".

     (Sieglinde Ward, after Farnham Pushkin Night)

 

"How much I enjoyed the evening ! Your lecture was brilliant”.

     (Valentina Merritt, after Farnham Pushkin Night)

 

"Thank you for a sensational evening of Pushkin- a great ”performance” and an added bonus having your two colleagues. I was personally thrilled to hear these lyrical voices complementing yours because I had read  that it can sometimes be difficult to fully appreciate Pushkin in translation.Both your rendering, and the translations that you chose, dovetailing so beautifully with Valentina and her colleague’s reading, proved that Pushkin is  most accessible and hugely enjoyable."

      (Sue Hicks, after Farnham Pushkin Night)

 

"A most stimulating evening. I am so glad I came".

(Jennifer Anderson, after the London Pushkin Night)

 

"Thank you again for an incredibly interesting and informative lecture"

(Svetlana Calladine, after Pushkin Night in Lewes)

 

"Particularly involving and pleasurable".

Member of the audience after Pushkin Night in Lewes

               5

        

                      Baudelaire

 

"I was enthralled by Graham Fawcett's talk on Baudelaire.  He painted such vivid pictures with words, that you felt you understood the troubled poet and essayist, and the 'modern' influences of Paris in the 1800s that had shaped his life, loves and work.  Graham drew the listener into the world of the poet with such skill that, despite no previous knowledge of the subject and the sometimes complex nature of his work, I was totally at ease with Baudelaire's highly unique style.  Several pieces were delivered in full in the original French, allowing the music and rhythm of the lines to be appreciated, before an equally entertaining translation was given. A thoroughly enjoyable evening".

       (Meg Depla-Lake, at Baudelaire Night in Lewes)

 

"I want to say how much I enjoyed your lecture last night; it set me thinking.... and this is always  a welcome thing".

(Audience member)

 

                                       6

              

                    Emily Dickinson

 

"A wonderful evening of Emily Dickinson, questions and a meal together. The evening was a huge success".

(Katrina Dennison after Emily Dickinson Night in Farnham)

 

"Thank you for another compelling lecture. There is a certain new slant of light in which I now look at Emily Dickinson's poetry, thanks to your inspired evocation of her as a woman of great strength, even volcanic power."

(Romee Tilanus, after the London Emily Dickinson Night)

 

“A really excellent evening, much enjoyed and appreciated by all those who have been in touch since. People were rapt, attentive and enthusiastic".                     (Liza Bingley Miller after Emily Dickinson Night in York)

 

I enjoyed this lecture so much that I have booked a trip to Amherst this summer to go to Emily Dickinson's family home, such was the impact her poetry had on my life!

(Emma Jane Turner, after Emily Dickinson Night in London)

 

Everyone I spoke to said it had been a brilliant evening, and your talk superb -- this applied to all our members who I heard from on Sunday morning too. So my very warm appreciation for your efforts and a tremendous talk, beautifully researched.  It made the whole evening a delight, including the supper afterwards. We would love you to come again.

(Jim Corrigall, after Emily Dickinson Night in Ipswich)

 

A truly memorable evening yesterday. One comes away not merely with a deeper understanding - and indeed fired with enthusiasm for your subject -  but also what a different experience altogether it is to hear you read a prepared lecture.   I so enjoyed hearing you read Emily's work but particularly relished the opportunity to enjoy your own way with words; not to overstate it, it put me in mind of good music well composed.    Thank you for it all.   How can it be that there is no CD of any of your work?   The Olympians would make a splendid album!  I'm very much looking forward to your return visit to our backwoods . . .

(Sue Key-Burr, after Emily Dickinson Night in Ipswich)

 

               7

            

                    Pablo Neruda

 

"Inspiring and brilliant. An enthralling evening"

      (Anna Powell, after the West Bay Neruda Night)

 

"Outstanding"

    (John Taylor, after the West Bay Neruda Night)

 

"Graham Fawcett is very good indeed. He has a marvellous knack of opening up a poet's life and instantly taking you on a colourful voyage through their life and work. Very illuminating”.         

   (James Crowden, after the West Bay Neruda Night) 

 

"Splendid".

(George Beckmann, after London's Neruda Night)

 

"You took a unique approach, sent me in directions I hadn't expected and left me wanting to discover more for myself".

(Christine Murphy, after the Lewes Neruda Night)

 

“Lots of people who experienced it all have said that it was fabulous. Andrew McMillan in particular was fervent in his praise for your delivery and the content of the talk – he was very impressed indeed”.

(Antony Dunn, Bridlington Poetry Festival 2013)

 

"THANK YOU so much for such a mesmerising evening last night in Taunton. My friend and I left buzzing with delight and enormously stimulated to read more  of Pablo Neruda's work. Please do come back with the six other Olympians!"

     (Jane Hole, at Neruda Night in Taunton)

 

If your city or town has not yet been visited by the tour and you would like to stage one or more of the lectures at a venue near you, telephone Graham on 020 7405 3997 or write to him at grahamkfawcett@gmail.com

 

         5

 

      World Poets

To book one or more of these lectures, write to Graham at grahamkfawcett@googlemail.com

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                                   W H Auden

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                                Robert Frost

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                          W B Yeats

 

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                          Ted Hughes

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                       Elizabeth Bishop

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                       Seamus Heaney

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                        Dylan Thomas

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                  Wislawa Szymborska

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                         Walt Whitman

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                         D H Lawrence

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             Lorca & The Poetry of Spain

                           

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                                 T S Eliot

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                      Rainer Maria Rilke

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                    Dante The Divine Comedy

               

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                               Dante Inferno

To hear Graham Fawcett in a recent Poet In The City interview about Dante, click here

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                           Homer's Odyssey

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         Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

To book one or more of these lectures, write to Graham at grahamkfawcett@googlemail.com

 

 

 

If your city or town has not yet been visited by the tour and you would like to stage one or more of the lectures at a venue near you, telephone Graham on 020 7405 3997 or write to him at grahamkfawcett@gmail.com

 

    Dante

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a4/Dante-alighieri.jpg/220px-Dante-alighieri.jpg   attrib. Giotto, Dante, Bargello, Florence

   (the oldest known portrait of Dante Alighieri)

 

 

 

 

Graham's tour of lecture-performances-with-readings on Dante's Divine Comedy is continuing from January 2016 at the beginning of a five-year run-up to the 700th anniversary of the death, in Ravenna in 1321, of Dante Alighieri, probably the greatest poet who has ever lived.

  

If you would like your city, town or village to be included on the tour and/or would like to know more about it, write to Graham at grahamkfawcett@googlemail.com.

 

 

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Gustav Dore, Dante in the Dark Wood

Halfway through the lifetime of our years

I came to, in a dark and sombre wood -

the path I should be on had disappeared.

 

I'd say what it was like there if I could;

that wood, it was so wild and harsh and bleak

the fear comes back, it cannot be withstood . . . 

(Dante, Inferno, Canto 1, lines 1-6, tr Graham Fawcett)

 

 

 

“Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third”, declared T S Eliot in his 1929 essay on the poet.  Dante’s Divine Comedy, a 14,000-line verse narrative of heart-stopping brilliance, written in terza rima, the beguiling aba bcb cdc rhyme scheme which he had invented, tells the apparently autobiographical story of how, at Easter in the year 1300, Dante had set out, with the ghost of the Roman poet Virgil as his guide, on a life-changing journey which led him down into Hell, up the mountain of Purgatory to the Earthly Paradise, and beyond.

 

 

For details of poetry events in London and across England, including the Eliot Quartets Days, the Poetry Anniversary Lunches and Suppers, and the new World Poets lecture-performances on tour in England, click here on [events calendar] 

                                                                          

 

MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE IN LEWES FOR THE CAVAFY 150 SUPPER

"Thank you so much for such a stimulating evening. I really enjoyed it and loved reading and thinking about those poems in company. Now I’m going upstairs to find my Cavafy, and I shall try to track down Brodsky and Auden talking about him – how fascinating to learn of that".

                                                                                                    


Booking will open early in 2017 for the four Eliot Quartet Days on location in 2017  

                                                                      

1.  Burnt Norton   

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date to be arranged for 2017  

    

2.  East Coker 

date to be arranged for 2017 

 

3.  The Dry

    Salvages             

date to be arranged for 2017  

              

4.  Little Gidding    

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date to be arranged for 2017  

 

            

"A terrific day out"

     (Participant after Eliot's Burnt Norton Day on 22nd September 2012)

    

"Your Four Quartets days are memorable and special".

                                (Melissa Lloyd)

 

I enjoyed your Burnt Norton day very much indeed, as did my brother David.   The whole day was so well integrated and every aspect of Eliot’s life and influences – so many! – were teased out and followed through so expertly.  A memorable day. I now have a lengthy reading list to work through.                                                 (Genista Lewis)

 

       AFTER ELIOT'S EAST COKER DAY IN 2012

Thank you so much for an excellent session on Eliot & East Coker. It tied the threads of poet and place, and taught me a lot that I didn't know: it was entertaining as well as informative.

 

                                         Richard Gaskell (London)

 

AFTER ELIOT'S EAST COKER DAY IN 2007

Many many thanks for a wonderful and illuminating day in East Coker. I am sure Eliot would have approved. Rarely do I ever get the chance to analyse a pome in such depth . . .

                           

                                               James Crowden (Crewkerne)

 

Graham at Little Gidding                          mphoto: Francesca Bugliani Knox 

                  to go back to page choice, click here         


 

                       Book now for Christmas, New Year, Easter or Summer 2017 by going to the regularly updated Fawcett website at         

                                                                                http://www.flearcountry.com

         

                     Gift Certificates and Vouchers

              2016-2017

                                                                                                            

Picture

                                                                                            Paul Skirrow – a view from Little Gidding

 

Gift Certificates

Treat someone to an Eliot Quartet Day in the country, a World Poets on tourpoetry lecture in or outside London, or one of the other events in 2016 and 2017 already posted on Graham’s Events Calendar at http://www.grahamfawcett.co.uk/events.htm * or as a special feature on his Home Page, and send your cheque for the cost of the event, made payable to Graham Fawcett, to him at: 2 Harpur Mews, London, WC1N 3PE. Please mark the back of your cheque with the name and date of the event. Graham will then send you a Certificate for that event to forward to the person you want to treat (remember to let me have her or his name !) and an e-ticket for the day.

Gift Vouchers

If you prefer, you can purchase gift vouchers, which can then be used towards the cost of any event *, in multiples of £5 up to £100.

*Please note that this gift certificate and voucher scheme cannot be extended to include Othona or The Course sessions – yet !     

 

 

                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Paul Skirrow

Reading and discussing Eliot's poem 'Little Gidding' in the Eliot Room at Ferrar House, Little Gidding

with undergraduates from Westmont College, Santa Barbara

To find out more about Ferrar House, including how to stay there, click now on: http://www.ferrarhouse.co.uk

If you would like to bring a group of adults, undergraduates or sixth-formers to Little Gidding for your own study day on T S Eliot's poem, write to Graham Fawcett at grahamkfawcett@gmail.com

 

“A voice you could eat with a spoon, wonderful, I loved him reading, I came specially."       (Blind member of audience at Lyme ArtsFest)

 

                                                                                                                       Karen Lippoldt

 

"In his Seven Olympians series, Graham wants to give audiences who love poetry a fresh experience of each poet which he hopes will feel more like listening to a live radio programme with readings rather than to a lecture, blowing away some of the more daunting associations we have with that word . . ."   

 

During 2013 and 2014, the Seven Olympians tour included all seven lectures in Lewes, Farnham and West Bay; four in Oxford, four in an ongoing series in Greenwich; two in Taunton, and first lectures in Ipswich, York, and the Bridlington Poetry Festival.

     

If you would like any or all of the Seven Olympians, World Poets or Dante series to come to your part of England or Wales, write to Graham at: grahamkfawcett@gmail.com or telephone him at 0207 405 3997

 
More from Pushkin Night at West Bay

Click here to return to the top of this page 

 

From the very early days, when you first projected up the Thomas Wyatt poem about a hart and Anne Boleyn on a screen at Somerset House, and then the other reading courses, and the seminars, you have helped me to read poetry and I have a learnt such a lot from you.    

I just enjoy the window it has opened onto a different world, and the friends and connections I have made through poetry.        

                                                                                                                                                         (Anne Boileau)

 

“Loved the Plath-Hughes Day last summer – I went straight to the Birthday Letters on my shelf and read it from cover to cover”.                                            (Kathy Wrightson)                                         

 

 

Graham gave the 2011 Annual Lecture to the Guild of Psychotherapists, entitled Reading, Writing, Groups and Selfhood.

2012 appearances included the Seven Olympians supper lecture series at St Olave's Hart Street, London, EC3, repeated during the summer at The Poetry School in Lambeth and The Rugby Tavern in Holborn, and at the inaugural Brympton Festival of Literature, Music and Art at Brympton D'Evercy, near Yeovil, Somerset.

 

 

Poetry & Autobiography, a 12-unit online writing course for £15 by Graham Fawcett is now downloadable from the Poetry School   

Graham Fawcett has just finished re-editing this course and has brought all of the web-links up to date. Watch this space for confirmation that the new version has been launched online.

Click here to be transferred to The Poetry School's Download page - scroll down to 'P' - for more information and the chance to buy and download Poetry and Autobiography now.

"The online course materials are excellent and will provide much future stimulus for poetry" (Miriam Patrick)

 

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Graham Fawcett

writer, teacher, lecturer, translator and broadcaster

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