A Manx Litfest event featuring local poets going global

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'No Poet is an Island'
A Manx Litfest event featuring local poets going global

As part of Manx Litfest 2016, a group of Island-based poets will be reading at the Henry Bloom Noble Library in Douglas. The event runs from 1.30 to 3pm on Sunday 2 October 2016 and will also include music from local guitarist John Gregory.

Organised by Usha Kishore and supported by Isle of Man Poetry Society, the event is called 'No Poet is an Island' for good reason. Literary poetry is flourishing in the Isle of Man. The Island's poets are proudly flying the Manx flag for poetry in the UK and around the world, between them winning multiple awards and prizes and featuring in international journals and initiatives. The theme of 'No Poet is an Island' reflects Manx poets' determination to be heard locally, nationally and internationally.

The line up of poets for the event comprises Usha Kishore, Janet Lees, Jeff Garland, Fiona Gell, James Penn, Bethany de Legh Runciman, Gill Stephens and Liz Atzori.

Usha Kishore is the author of two poetry collections and a book of translations from Sanskrit poetry. She has been widely published in international magazines and anthologies and her poetry features in both the UK and Indian syllabi. She won the Exiled Writers Ink Poetry Competition in 2014 and the Pre-Raphaelite Poetry Prize in 2013. Usha has read on Manx Radio, Near FM Ireland and at the House of Lords and the Indian High Commission. Her third collection is forthcoming in Autumn 2017 from Eyewear Publishing, London.

Janet Lees has been published in many national and international journals. She has been widely anthologised, most recently via the 2015 Templar anthology and the Aesthetica International Creative Writing Award. She won the Olive Lamming prize for poetry in 2012 and was runner-up in 2014. In 2014 Janet represented the Island as one of 72 Commonwealth nation poets in BBC Radio's 'Poetry Postcards' project. Her poetry films have been selected for a wide range of festivals and prizes, including the British, Irish and European poetry film festivals.

Poems by Usha and Janet are also forthcoming in the international anthology, Trainstorm.

Isle of Man Poetry Society members Fiona Gell and James Penn are also enjoying success beyond our shores. Fiona has been published in leading journals such as Mslexia, Rialto, Smith's Knoll, The Stinging Fly and Wasafiri, and was shortlisted for the Mslexia Poetry Competition. A past Olive Lamming winner and runner-up, James was shortlisted in the Live Canon Pamphlet Competition in 2015. He was highly commended in New Poetry Comp, 2013 and published in 154 as part of a series of poets' responses to Shakespeare's sonnets on the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death.

The Isle of Man Poetry Society is a very active organisation which has supported many Island poets over the years. Founder member and current secretary Jeff Garland edited the highly successful poetry anthology, This Island Now. Current chairman Bethany de Legh Runciman has been organising readings at a wide range of venues on the Island, most recently 'poetry bombing' at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and as part of the MakeMarket initiative. Bethany has also organised the Manx Litfest Poetry Trail 2016, which this year features a winning poem from Liz Atzori. As one of last year's winners, Gill Stephens had a poem featured in the 2015 trail.

'No Poet is an Island' is a free Litfest event, but seats need to be reserved by emailing library@douglas.gov.im or calling 696461. For more details about the event, please see http://library.douglas.gov.im/

A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government