Suzanne Vega’s recording career has spanned nearly thirty years and seen her release top ten singles, platinum albums and win numerous awards. Suzanne performs from her new album ‘Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles’ (Cooking Vinyl) – and reveals the inspiration for ‘Small Blue Thing’ (from her 1985 eponymous debut album).
Zaffar Kunial’s poetry explores how intimate or estranged we can feel from language, particularly from the language of our parents. Zaffar is the 2014 Wordsworth Trust Poet in Residence, but has also worked for a greetings card company - he talks about the challenge of writing verse to a brief, and the magic of being able to touch Wordsworth’s letters and journals.
Julie Hesmondhlagh in Blindsided
Blindsided is the new play by Simon Stephens, his fourth set in his hometown of Stockport. Simon tells us about his feelings for Stockport, and we also hear from actors Andrew Sheridan and Julie Hesmondhalgh on their experience of working with Simon’s text. This is Julie’s first role since leaving Coronation Street, and she tells us about the evolution of her character Hayley Cropper’s language, culminating in her final scene.
Chris Jones is a lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews. To mark the death of Pete Seeger, Chris considers the roots of his classic protest song ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone’, and explains how it fits into the ‘Ubi Sunt’ tradition, beloved of Old English and Medieval poets.