31st October 2013 18:30
Bloomsbury Theatre
15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH
Poet in the City presented a special event exploring the ancient Greek female poet and icon, Sappho.
One of the most important lyric poets of her time, Sappho’s work was a passionate call to lovers of both sexes. Owned and disowned by the establishment over the centuries, she has been both immortalised on coins and so neglected that all that remains of her works are found fragments.

This fascinating event looked at Sappho the poet, Sappho the female artist and Sappho the sexual icon. By piecing together her own story we will attempt to recreate the life of one of the greatest poetic voices from the ancient world.

Margaret Reynolds is Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London, presenter of BBC Radio 4 ‘Adventures in Poetry’, and the author of The Sappho Companion (2000) and The Sappho History (2003).

Tony Harrison is an English poet, translator and playwright. His poetry collections include V (1985), Under the Clock (2005) and Collected Poems (2007). He has created acclaimed version of plays from ancient Greek including the tragedies Oresteia and Lysistrata, and numerous original plays including The Trackers of Oxyrhynchu.

Edith Hall is Professor of Classics at King's College London and Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama at Oxford University. Her most recent books include The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer's Odyssey (2008) and Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris: A Cultural History of Euripides' Black Sea Tragedy (2013).

Josephine Balmer is a poet and classical translator. Works include: Chasing Catullus: Poems, Translations and Transgressions, published by Bloodaxe Books in 2004. Her acclaimed translations include Sappho: Poems and Fragments (1992), Classical Women Poets (1996), Catullus: Poems of Love and Hate (2004).

Richard Parkinson is Assistant Keeper, Ancient Egyptian Pharonic Culture at the British Museum. He is the curator responsible for the care, research, publication and display of the collection’s papyri, and also hieratic and hieroglyphic texts. He is author of A Little Gay History, Desire and Diversity Across the World (2013).

Sappho’s poetry will be read by the acclaimed and award winning actress Sian Thomas. Star of TV, film and theatre, recent roles include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Spring Awakening (West End 2009) and in BBC TV’s Merlin (2012).
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