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First in the new season. Janice Galloway, The Waterboys set Yeats's poetry to music, David Bellos and Verb New Voices

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 16 September 2011

Ian McMillan presents a new season of Radio 3's Cabaret of The Word.

Janice Galloway writes and performs an especially commissioned new story about how a visit to Glasgow for her fourteenth birthday opened up a new world for her - the world of art, and in particular the artist Bruegel. Janice talks about the importance of using detail in her writing, which has won praise for its perception of childhood. Her new memoir All Made Up covers her youth, and she explains that as a child she was very quiet, but keenly observed the world around her, in readiness for any unpleasantness.

Mike Scott, of the band The Waterboys, has created a suite of Yeats's poetry set to music. He performs two pieces in The Verb studio, Before The World was Made and Song of Wandering Aengus.

David Bellos is Professor of French at Princeton University. He and Ian discuss his new survey of translation theory, Is That a Fish in Your Ear?, where David lays out his theory that it's an illusion that language consists of words, and that the translator's task is more than mere translation of the words on the page. He imagines how the linguists working on Janice Galloway's memoirs will approach translating Scottish cultural references - like a Scotty dog ashtray, into Italian.

And there's more from The Verb's new voices, a scheme run between Radio 3 and the Arts Council, supporting emergent talent on the spoken poetry scene. This week we feature poets from Birmingham and their mentors, Sean O'Brien and Aoife Mannix.


    All Made Up is published by Granta.

    Janice Galloway's website

    Mike Scott and the Waterboys’ new CD, a suite of the poetry of W.B. Yeats set to music, is An Appointment with Mr Yeats and is out on Proper Records.

    Mike Scott and the Waterboys' website

    Tickets for the Verb at the MAC Birmingham

    Is That a Fish in Your Ear? - Translation and the Meaning of Everything is published by Particular books, an imprint of Penguin.

  • SAMUEL MENASHE 1925-2011

    American poet Samuel Menashe died on 22 August. As a tribute we heard archive of him reading his poem Landmark. Used by permission of The Library of America, from the volume Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems, copyright © 2005 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. All rights reserved.


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