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October 09: Cornish writers – an extract from the TLS

Nothing Broken: Recent Poetry in Cornish, edited by Tim Saunders  ... contains work by poets born between 1917 and 1977. One bears the surname Chaudri; another is American, author of probably the first gay love poem in Cornish. We have always favoured writers having real jobs, and these poets’ professions range from revenue officer for Penzance (Mick Paynter) to clergyman (Michael Palmer) to chemical engineer (Jowann Richards). Several have alternative bardic names, such as Worm’s Fool, Moor of Thorns, or, in the case of Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Bryallen – “Primrose”. There are long poems (one by Saunders himself), love lyrics, political verse (“Kows Kernewek... Na wra omblegya”; “Speak in Cornish ... No surrender”) and many poems about the sea (mor), its sailors and creatures. Thanks to Neil Kennedy’s “Brilli a Clappia”, we know that the vivid Cornish word for makerel is brilli ... [Saunders] believes there is a significant group “who think and feel in Cornish. The language articulates their experience,  gives voice to their national aspirations”. The implication is that some Cornish speakers have separatist intentions, expressed by Cliff Stephens (b 1961) in his poem about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. In translation – what Stephens calls “the foreign tongue” – it begins “ England mouns the death of a princess,  / And so we must mourn too / For the ex-wife of an uncaring Duke / Who used Cornish money ...”.

NB, Times Literary Supplement, 21 August 2009

> More details of Nothing Broken: Recent Poetry in Cornish, edited by Tim Saunders

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Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

London. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery permanent exhibition of women in medicine.

First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

Second Wednesday of every month, Luxulyan. Prys Ton – Cornish Music Session.

Until 6 January 2018, Southend. Exhibition – From Mile End to Mayfair: The East London Group & their contemporaries.

until 17 December 2017, Bow, London. Exhibition – The Working Artist: The East London Group.

20 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. Cornish songs from the Red River Singers at the National Dialect Festival 2017.

20–22 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. National Dialect Festival 2017.

25 October 2017, Bangor Universoty. Cyflwyno The Old Red Tongue / Introducing The Old Red Tongue.

2 November 2017, St Columb Major, Cornwall. Hark! A talk about Cornish carols by Sally Burley and Hilary Coleman.

9 November 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Talk by Paul Holden on the architect Richard Coad.

16 November 2017, Liskeard, Cornwall. Paul Holden gives the Inaugural George Vaughan-Ellis RIBA Memorial Lecture.

26 November 2017, Heartlands, Cornwall. Red River Singers at the Weekend Market.

29 November 2017, London. Paul Holden talk on Princes to Paupers: portraiture in the Lanhydrock photographic collection.

14 December 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Shout at Picrous Night.

22 December 2017, St Day, Cornwall. Carols with the red River Singers and the Carharrack & St Day Silver Band.

24 December 2017, Tregajorran, Cornwall. Christmas Eve carols in the Square.

29 November 2017, London. Paul Holden talk on “Estate Mapping at its Finest”: the Lanhydrock Atlas, 1696.