Music and poetry: in perfect harmony?

Saturday 26 October, 1.00pm until 2.45pm, Hollingworth Suite at the new Rochdale Central Library, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU UK Satellite Events 2013

While performance poets and popular songwriters used to revel in their status outside the poetry establishment, the critical acclaim afforded to veteran performers such as John Cooper Clarke, feted lyricists such as Bob Dylan and rising stars such as Kate Tempest point towards its contemporary respectability. Yet if the celebration of such artists by the literary world is no longer controversial, there seems less consensus over whether their work fits into a poetic tradition. Some point towards the rich history of collaboration between the ‘sister arts’ of poetry and music, and see performance artists and rappers as a contemporary extension of the Bardic tradition or the lyric poets. Yet some critics and performers remain sceptical over whether such judgements are being made on a purely artistic basis, or whether they’re driven more by a desire to prove poetry can still be popular and relevant in the 21st century. Where is the line drawn between a witty rap or a catchy lyric and the intense lyricism of poetry? Does music enhance what is innately powerful and unique about poetry or embellish poetry with a veneer that makes it less intellectual and less challenging? When poetry becomes sung performance what happens to the interior experience of how we encounter poetry as individuals?

Kingslee Daley (Akala)
rapper, label-owner and educator

Dr Shirley Dent
communications specialist (currently working with the British Veterinary Association media team); editor,; author, Radical Blake

Mike Garry
performance poet; author, Men's Morning and Mancunian Meander

Norman Warwick
poet, Just Poets

Rania Hafez
programme leader, MA Education, Greenwich University; fellow, The Muslim Institute

Produced by
Simon Belt IT consultant; coordinator, Manchester Salon
Session partners