Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot Live

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Poets across the UK and Ireland come together to mark the nine-month anniversary of Pussy Riot’s performance in a Moscow Cathedral by reading from Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, English PEN’s anthology for the group.

On 21 February, members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot staged a protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, denouncing the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for President Vladimir Putin. Three members of the collective, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested and held in custody until August when they were each sentenced to two years in prison on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’. At their appeal hearing in October, the two-year jail term of Samutsevich was suspended, but the sentences against Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were upheld. They have since been separated and transferred to notorious prison colonies, far from Moscow and their young children.

In order to raise and maintain awareness of their case, English PEN launched the Poems for Pussy Riot project, inviting poets from all over the world to write creative responses to the case. A collection of the contributions, Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, was published as a pay-by-donation e-book on 1 October 2012 to coincide with their first appeal hearing. A print-on-demand version is now also available, with all proceeds going to the Pussy Riot Legal Fund and English PEN’s Writers at Risk Programme.

To help mark this significant anniversary, on 20 and 21 November contributors to the anthology will be holding events across the UK and Ireland – in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dublin, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford. For details of your local event, please see below.

MANCHESTER

7.30pm, Tuesday 20 November
Thomas Restaurant & Bar
49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA
Free Entry

With Richard Barrett, Leanne Bridgewater, John Calvert, Ursula Hurley, Judy Kendall, Anna Percy, Steph Pike, Sian S. Rathore, Adrian Slatcher, Gareth Twose and Steven Waling.

For more details, please click here.

LIVERPOOL

8pm, Tuesday 20 November
Mello Mello
40-42 Slater Street, Liverpool, L1 4BX
www.mellomello.co.uk

Featured poets Sarah Crewe, Betty Doyle, Maria Gornell, Sandeep Parmar and Andrew Taylor will be reading poems from Catechism and in support of Pussy Riot.

For more details, please click here.

LONDON

6.30pm (doors), 7pm (start) Wedneday 21 November
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA 
www.freewordonline.com
£3 entry

Featuring Tim Atkins, Becky Cremin & Ryan Ormonde, Tim Dooley, Francine Elena, Gareth Evans, SJ Fowler, Lucy Furlong, Charlotte Geater, Sarah Hesketh, Michael Horovitz, Jeff Hilson, Kirsten Irving, Antony John, Marek Kazmierski, Amy Key, Robert Kiely, Alex MacDonald, Candy Parfitt, Deborah Pearson, Frances Presley, Katy Price, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Fathieh Saudi, Marcus Slease, Jon Stone, Philip Terry, M. Lý-Eliot, Stephen Watts, Michael Zand and Francesca Lisette.

Tickets: £3 with all profits going to the Pussy Riot legal fund and our Writers at Risk Programme. To reserve your place please email cat@englishpen.org   

For more information, please click here.

DUBLIN

6.30pm, Wednesday 21 November
The Grand Social
35 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin
www.thegrandsocial.ie
Admission free

Hosted by Christodoulos Makris & Barbara Smith, in association with Irish PEN, and featuring poets Kimberly Campanello, Sophie Collins, Sue Cosgrave, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Christodoulos Makris, Máighréad Medbh, Paula Meehan, Alan Jude Moore, Christine Murray, The Poetry Divas, and Sam Riviere.

For more information, please click here.

ABERDEEN

From 7pm, Wednesday 21 November
Project Slogan
48 Langstane Place, Aberdeen
www.projectslogan.com
Free admission, donations welcome

With Richie Brown, Lesley Dickson, Kit Fryatt, Wayne Price, Natalie Stypa, Ginna Wilkerson and more tbc. Join us for an evening of incendiary free speech, humour, protest and riot. Luminous balaclavas optional but recommended.

NOTTINGHAM

7.30 pm, Wednesday 21 November
Antenna
Beck Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EQ
www.antenna.uk.com
£4/£3 concessions.

Escape a cold November night with an evening of spoken word wanderings as Nottingham Writers’ Studio celebrates Journeys and Free Expression…

…with readings that range from the British countryside through Europe and on to Russia and Nepal, writing that flies in the face of repression and out into the future, before returning home to our very own Notts. Enjoy!

Hosted by our very own travel agent and three-time novelist Megan Taylor.

OXFORD

12:45 pm- 2:15 pm, Wednesday 21 November
English Faculty, University of Oxford
Manor Road. OX1 3UL
Lecture Theatre 2 (downstairs from English Faculty library entrance)

The newly formed Oxford Student PEN will be celebrating the publication of Catechism in Oxford as part of their termly General Meeting. Kiran Millwood Hargrave, a contributor to the collection, will be reading her poem and several others to help mark PEN’s publication of the collection. There will also be readings of the Russian translations of some of the poems by Oxford student and Russian Society member Yan Mikhaylov. Make sure to join us in celebrating this important initiative in support of literary and artistic freedom of expression!

For more details, please click here.

CAMBRIDGE

7.45 pm, Wednesday 21 November
Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English
University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP
 
Those taking part in the Cambridge solidarity night include: David Grundy, Tom Hall, Jeremy Hardingham, Ian Heames, Sophie Mayer, Drew Milne, Redell Olsen, David Rushmer, and Ali Smith.

Programme subject to last minute additions as soldarity gathers strength!
 
For more details, please click here.

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Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot Live tiistaina ja keskiviikkona 20. & 21. marraskuuta « Mielestä pois

[…] Next week, poets across the UK and Ireland will be coming together to mark the nine-month anniversary of Pussy Riot’s performance in Moscow by reading from Catechism. On Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 November contributors to the anthology will be holding events in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dublin, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford to help raise local and national awareness of Pussy Riot’s situation. We hope you’ll be able to join us! For more details of your local event, please click here. […]

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