Nov: Simon Armitage / Suzanne Batty / Matt Halsall, Taz Modi, Gavin Barras & Chris Davies

Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER

Photographs © Keith Lander

We are grateful to Keith Lander for permission to use these photographs

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, he has published ten collections of poetry, including Selected Poems (2001), Seeing Stars (2010), his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007) and more recently The Death of King Arthur (2012). A broadcaster and presenter, he also writes extensively for television and radio, and is the author of two novels and the best-selling memoir All Points North. In 2010 he received the CBE for services to poetry.

Suzanne Batty is a poet based in Manchester, UK. She is co-editor of poetry magazine Rain Dog and is one of the founders of  Manchester’s A6 poets. In 1997 her pamphlet Shrink was a winner in The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. Her full length collection The Barking Thing was published by Bloodaxe in June 2007.  Currently she is working on her second collection and a long poem for theatre. She has many poems published in anthologies and magazines, and regularly performs her work in Manchester and further afield. She teaches creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University and leads workshops including one for Commonword’s Northern Gay Writers in Manchester.

Matthew Halsall, playing the trumpet, is a Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader and is one of the rising stars of the UK jazz scene. His new album ‘Fletcher Moss Park’ was released by Gondwana Records on Monday 15th October 2012. You can read more about him here.

Taz Modi (Piano) is a well-known keyboardist in the North, appearing with acts such as The Haggis Horns, Eddie Roberts and the Fire Eaters, Matthew Halsall (Gondwana Records), Jenna G, Malena (Freestyle), Homecut and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra (First Word) and many more.

Gavin Barras (Double Bass) “is currently one of the most in demand bass players in the North West, regularly touring internationally with his own groups.” Born in Kendal, Cumbria, he studied music at the University of Manchester, where he combined the study of classical music with developing his love of jazz. You can read more here.

Chris Davies, playing flute and percussion has been at the heart of Poets & Players since co-founding it with Linda Chase. He is a musician, composer and performer, who works mainly with visual theatre, Indian dance and street theatre. He is currently writing music for the mask / puppetry company Horse and Bamboo,  devising music for a street show using xylophones and Afro/Brasilian/Indian percussion…. and is an exciting, and ongoing songero in the comedy, musical duo – MariachoO.

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