As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Constantine Petrou Cavafy (1863 – 1933)
Bath Writers & Artists’ fascinating journey is only just beginning, but what an adventure we are about to have!
This afternoon ( 27th May) at least six of us – VERONA BASS, AMA BOLTON, SARAH GREGORY, ANN PRESTON, TESSA STRICKLAND and me – were swept away in Bath Assembly Rooms by the vivacity and brilliance of Emily Wilson’s presentation of her new translation of The Odyssey which is inspiring our next meetup on 28th July. Already ideas for an afternoon paying homage to this greatest of all literary journeys are flowing in. Cavafy, for example, (portrait above) whose marvellous Ithaka ( read by the right person ) is going to electrify the room. Margaret Atwood, Derek Walcot, Joseph Brodsky, Louise Gluck, Chaim Gouri, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley….. I have already been offered mesmerising poems by all of these. We will be using extracts from Emily Wilson’s book to provide a simple framework for the afternoon contributions – which means we need an authoritive and compelling voice or pair of voices to play the part of guiding narrative.
ALSO ON JULY 28TH…
AMA BOLTON is going to share her journey to St Kilda,
and VERONA BASS the journey she has made to create her two debut poetry pamphlets.
Meanwhile, in St Ives this very evening, MALCOLM ASHMAN RWA, RBA, ROI, who recently joined the Bath Writers & Artists group, is at the opening of his latest exhibition, which will feature some of his journeys as a painter to the heart of landscape. On a forthcoming meetup afternoon, we hope to present a slideshow of Malcolm’s landscape paintings, to mark and celebrate his joining of the group.
Friend of Bath Writers & Artists, PAT MILLNER, having very suitably been in Patmos during our last meetup, is hoping she might be able to make the long journey from Appledore to take part in our Odyssey afternoon.
And for journeys of the spirit, one of Bath Writers & Artists great adventurers, Sherborne singer/songwriter MIRANDA PENDER is allowing me to share this recent portrait. Miranda recently created a musical setting for William Henreysen’s final letter from Mexico, beginning with the words “I have been anointed for a journey”, which just might, therefore, find its tiny way into our afternoon.
As RS Thomas wrote, and that was only on one island….
And I haven’t yet sent out the message requesting contributions and contributors for July!
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU HAVE IDEAS AND THOUGHTS TO SHARE ABOUT OUR ODYSSEY AFTERNOON, OR WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE BY READING / PERFORMING /SINGING SOME OF THE WORKS WE CHOOSE.
WE WILL WELCOME SHARED PRESENTATIONS & STORYTELLING AS WELL AS POETRY, AND WILL BE DELIGHTED TO BE OFFERED COMPACT TALKS, WITH SLIDES.
ANYTHING , REALLY, WHICH DELIGHTS THE GIVER, SPRINGS OFF SOME MOMENT IN HOMER’S ODYSSEY, AND WHICH WILL ENTHRALL AND ENTERTAIN THE AUDIENCE…..
DRESS CODE : BLACK FEATHERS (see below)