Real Time Short Stories

Evolving Words in The Liverpool Poetry Cafe

Posted on: May 16, 2011

I’ll be appearing at the following event on Thursday 26th May at The Bluecoat in Liverpool. Here’s the blurb from the Evolving Words website:

Evolving Words at Bluecoat Chambers 26 May

Liverpool Poetry Cafe and the Bluecoat present

Evolving Words with Dinesh Allirajah, Valerie Laws, Ruthie Hartnoll, Craig Arnold, Greg Hurst, Siobhan Slater, Yahya Baggash, Jade Emily Bradford and Victoria Simms.

Hosted by Elizabeth Lynch.

Experiments, evil genes, the dating game, biodiversity, individual significance …

Established and emerging poets from Liverpool, Newcastle and Cambridge offer poetic responses to the radical ideas of Charles Darwin.

Thursday 26 May/7.30-9.30pm/the Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool L1 4BX

Tickets £3/£2 from Tickets & Information at the Bluecoat 0151 702 5324 and

Evolving Words was a national project, supported by The Wellcome Trust that ran through 2009, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origins Of Species. Poets, scientists and curators in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester Birmingham and Cambridge worked with groups of young people to explore the life, theories and legacies of Darwin and respond with poetry, performance and film. I was the Liverpool poet, working in the Liverpool World Museum alongside Professor Greg Hurst and young poets including Ruthie, Craig, Siobhan and Yahya, who’ll all be reading on the 26th. We’ll be joined the Evolving Words co-ordinator Elizabeth Lynch, the Newcastle poet, Valerie Laws, and two of the young Cambridge poets. Jade and Victoria. This project was great to work on and it’s had a profound impact on my thinking and writing since. Scientific reasoning offers a welcoming cradle for ideas that can’t be readily worked out within the short story disciplines I observe with my main work, so gravitate towards the personal and the poetic. If you’re in the area, come along and study some specimens.

7 Responses to "Evolving Words in The Liverpool Poetry Cafe"

[…] Comments (RSS) Blog Catalog Evolving Words in The Liverpool Poetry Cafe […]

One of the films to be shown will feature a poem by Lemn Sissay, that was commissioned for Evolving Words in 2009.

No it wasn’t commissioned fr Evolving Words. it was commissioned by Southbank Centre and Channel Four. I think. I am so proud it was on in Liverpool though!

Lemn Sissay

Oooo maybe it was commissioned by Evolving Words. I don’t know about these things. Will call agent. Sorry I may have got me stuff mixed up.

I think you were right the first time, Lemn, that it wasn’t an Evolving Words commission – my mistake (at 12.03am, which explains it!) – but one for Darwin Originals. The link is the Wellcome Trust, which (along with other bodies, including Channel 4) supported Darwin Originals, and developed Evolving Words as part of Darwin 200. Hope that clear things up a bit.
But, as you say, the great thing was having the film shown as part of a terrific evening of poetry at the Bluecoat. It gave a real sense of added value to the experience, especially for the younger poets, bringing home just how exciting it is to be part of a movement of poets who are attempting to get their heads round these vast scientific ideas.

[…] of Liverpool’s World Museum while waiting for a meeting about the Charles Darwin-inspired Evolving Words workshops I would be facilitating there over the […]

[…] with a warm glow and a pocketful of inspiration – during our work together on the 2009 Evolving Words project, Greg wrote more poems than anyone else – but the impact on the writer is seismic. If […]

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