David and Hilary Crystal
In ‘Wordsmiths and Warriors’ (OUP), David and Hilary Crystal become language tourists, travelling the country for traces of the story of the English language. On their journey they discover treasures including the place where the Anglo-Saxons first landed, the first recorded English sentence, and monuments to dialect poets.
Roger Davies sings songs informed by the Yorkshire landscape and people, such as ‘Huddersfield Town’, which gives the A629 the romance associated with Route 66 . Roger also sings ‘Beerbelly Blues’, a song that catalogues the idiosyncrasies of pub names across the country. His latest album is ‘Songs in Plain English’.
In Iain Sinclair’s ‘American Smoke’ (Hamish Hamilton), he travels America in search of the beat poets, the subject of his schoolboy obsession. Iain discusses the way in which the American landscape and weather influences his sentences, and explains why this book couldn't have been written at an earlier point in his life .
Rommi Smith discusses the life and work of Amiri Baraka. Rommi has been poet in residence for the Commonwealth Games, BBC Music Live and was Parliamentary Writer in Residence. Her most recent publication is ‘Selected Poems from Mornings and Midnights’, a chapbook of poems from her forthcoming, narrative sequence of poems inspired by Jazz and Blues.