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Frieda Hughes/Youngest Authors/Keorapetse Kgositsile and Lebo Mashile/Greyworld

Ian McMillan talks to Frieda Hughes about her latest poetry collection, The Book of Mirrors. Plus a chance to experience the Greyworld sound installation from Free Thinking 2009.

Frieda Hughes
Over four collections Frieda Hughes has established a direct and vivid poetic world; her poems whizz between confession and a kind of mythic storytelling, between nature writing and striking images of childhood pain and revelation. She joins Ian McMillan to talk about her latest book of poetry, The Book of Mirrors, and to explain why she finds love poetry hard to write - unless the object of affection is a motorbike.

The Verb Guide to...the youngest-ever published authors
Verb Guide Toby Litt considers the efforts of prodigious authors, including Lucretia Maria Davidson, Marjory Fleming and a very ambitious seven-year-old HP Lovecraft.

Keorapetse Kgositsile and Lebo Mashile
South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile endured many years in exile as a result of his stand against apartheid, before returning to his homeland in 1990. He is currently the South African poet laureate. Lebo Mashile is a poet, writer and actress, and grew up in the USA before returning to South Africa. In the UK as part of a tour of South African poets, they both reflect on the central role that poetry plays in the cultural and political life of their country.

For more information about the Beyond Words South African poetry tour, please go to

Andrew Shoben from art collective Greyworld on their cutting-edge word forest installation at Radio 3's 2009 Free Thinking festival.

45 minutes


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