Throughout the month of October The Birmingham Literature Festival and their partner organisations across England have been running a magnificent project entitled #APoemADay. Since 1st October (National Poetry Day 2020) they have uploaded a reading of a different poem from Staying Human, the new anthology published by Bloodaxe Books.
Staying Human is a deeply moving and powerful collection that gives readers and in the case of this project listeners, insights into the lived experiences of international poets from all walks of life. Each poem features unique content that is personal to its individual writer whilst at the same time speaking to something profoundly relatable within all of us. It is an anthology which evokes compassion, empathy and reveals the inescapable universality of the human condition.
The daily readings released by The Birmingham Lit Fest and co are performed by an array of hugely talented creative people including Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey, writers William Gallagher, Garrie Fletcher and Alex Townley as well as Birmingham Young Poet Laureate Fatma Mohiuddin to name but a few.
I was also asked to lend my humble Midlands tones to proceedings and recited Longing by Teresa Samuel Ibrahim.
I feel honoured to be a part of such a poignant and far-reaching collaboration. The #APoemADay playlist is still growing and becoming more impressive with every new addition.
Listen to the #APoemADay playlist as it expands on The Birmingham Lit Fest’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/BhamLitFest
Check out my reading of Longing by Teresa Samuel Ibrahim here: https://soundcloud.com/user-467684198/longing-by-teresa-samuel-ibrahim-read-by-george-bastow
Alternatively if you feel like completely immersing yourself in this beautiful project, you can find all 31 readings here: https://soundcloud.com/user-467684198/sets/bham-lit-fest-2020-staying-human-anthology