Contemporary poets Greta Stoddart, Elaine Beckett, Helen Evans and Gill Barr host this lively event, discussing how ‘voice’ shapes the meaning and music of their poetry. The four poets, from Devon and Dorset, illustrate their thoughts with readings of their own and others’ poems. They read their work variously, as individual poets, sometimes as a quartet, and sometimes they read the same poem, each in her distinctive voice.
The poets reveal the voices that have inspired them, consider the authenticity of the ‘I’ in poetry, and explore the ethics of using others’ voices in their work. They ask who owns a poem, whose ‘voice’ it is anyway. They explore suppressed voices, how voices are found and how a poet might get his or her voice heard.
The historic atmosphere of the Customs House is an ideal location for the weighing of ideas and opinions on contemporary poetry.