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28 October 2014

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You are in: Cambridgeshire > Entertainment > The Arts > Theatre and Dance > Tobias Hill - patron of poetry

Tobias Hill

Tobias Hill

Tobias Hill - patron of poetry

CB1 Cafe's monthly poetry readings have become so popular that they're having to change venues. A man who has been touted as one of the best UK poets of his generation will be overseeing the move.

CB1 Cafe's poetry nights will now move to the Michaelhouse on Trinity Road from October 9th and every second Tuesday of the month thereafter

"You can read a poem on the page and think you understand their work and when you hear them stand up and actually read, the work can take on a whole new dimension because it has a music within it," says Tobias Hill, mid-way through our conversation.

It's National Poetry Day when we talk, so it seems quite fitting that he should wax lyrical with me from his London home in preparation for his performance at the debut of the CB1 poetry night's new venue.

Tobias has picked up a plethora of awards in a writing career that spans a couple of decades, three novels, numerous poetry collections and even a spate of rock music reviewing.

So all in all, when CB1 were looking for a patron (and a big name for the opening night), Tobias was top of their list.

Helen Mort

Helen Mort

"One of the most interesting things about this new series would be to see what the new poets are doing, both those from Cambridge and those who are attracted to Cambridge."

One such person is Helen Mort, an Eric Gregory National Award winner and Cambridge resident, she will be supporting Tobias in the new venue.

The new setting should be a comparatively comfortable experience for Tobias, who was apparently resident in London Zoo for a while.

"I had my own cage and they looked after me very well," he laughs. "It was actually great, I have very mixed feelings about zoos but I made that clear from the outset. People who go to zoos are not always the same people who read poetry so it was interesting to bring poetry people into the zoo."

Tobias recommends his novel The Love of Stones and poetry collection Nocturne in Chrome and Sunset Yellow as good starting points if you want to get to grips with his work.

He opens the latter book with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: "Cities give us collision."

"That says something to me about what is troubling about cities, but what is also interesting about cities. I like that quotation because it doesn't say whether the collisions are good or bad, it just says that the collisions exist."

So does Cambridge have its fair share of collisions?

"I think you probably have plenty with all the bicycles."

That's very metaphorical Tobias. Very metaphorical indeed.

You can hear the full interview in two parts by clicking the links below and find out more about the readings by clicking the link to CB1 poetry.

last updated: 08/10/07

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