Poetry project in Norwich to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

Photo dated 01/07/1916 of British soldiers from 331 Infantry waiting to advance on the first day of

Photo dated 01/07/1916 of British soldiers from 331 Infantry waiting to advance on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Photo credit: PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke are well known for their poignant words about the First World War.

NNF16 - Fierce Light - Simon Armitage. Photo: Paul Wolfgang Webster.

NNF16 - Fierce Light - Simon Armitage. Photo: Paul Wolfgang Webster. - Credit: Paul Wolfgang Webster

And now, a century on, a group of contemporary poets are to follow in their footsteps and reflect on the horrors of war for a new project being presented at this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Fierce Light is a co-commission involving the festival, Writers' Centre Norwich and 14-18 NOW, the UK's official arts programme for the First World War centenary. It was announced today alongside a number of other 14-18 NOW events taking place across the country.

The Fierce Light project will see Simon Armitage present Still, a series of poems written in response to aerial photographs of the Somme. Other poets including Yrsa Daley-Ward, Jackie Kay, Bill Manhire, Paul Muldoon and Daljit Nagra will also create work that reflects on the battlefield. This will culminate in a poetry event at Norwich Playhouse on May 13, followed by an exhibition of poetry, films and images at East Gallery until 29 May.

William Galinsky, artistic director of Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and Chris Gribble, chief executive of Writers' Centre Norwich, said: 'Fierce Light premieres on the opening night of the 2016 festival and will bring together poets of international standing with contemporary film makers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and explore how poetry and art can help us understand the horrors of war and our sometimes incomprehensible world.'


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For more about Fierce Light and other events in the national arts programme to mark the centenary of the First World War, visit www.1418now.org.uk

This year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival will run from May 13 to 29. Visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

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Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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