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The Christmas Verb

In a Christmas edition, Ian McMillan is joined by Elbow singer Guy Garvey. Plus the language of the carol and spoken word from John Hamilton May, one of the Verb New Voices.

For the Christmas Verb Ian McMillan will be joined by Guy Garvey lead singer of Elbow to explore the art of writing songs described as encounters with the 'mysteries of the human heart' and to explore why Guy is 'happiest on the inside of a good song'. The Verb will also be getting inside the language of the carol, and there'll be spoken word from John Hamilton May, one of our 'Verb New Voices'.

45 minutes

Guy Garvey

Guy Garvey
Guy Garvey, singer-songwriter for the Mercury Prize winning band Elbow, shares extracts from his writing journal, and explains how he crafts his lyrics, particularly for anthems like ‘One Day Like This’. Guy also celebrates the writing of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, their ability to write ‘turns’ of emotions into their lyrics
Elbow
Guy Garvey on Twitter

Kate Fox

Kate Fox

We challenged the performance poet Kate Fox to come up with a poem using only lyrics from the most popular Christmas songs, Kate explains that without ‘Fairy-tale of New York’, it would have been hard to come up with the commission, entitled ‘The Martian Uncovers a new Theory of Relativity while picking up Radio 2 in December’, She also explores the way such songs make us think about time.


Kate Fox


Kate Fox on Twitter 

John Hamilton May

John Hamilton May

John Hamilton May is one of our Verb New Voices. He performs his poem ‘The Space Between Teeth’, which is about young men leaving to fight in World War One. John is interested in the ways that communication between men breaks down, today and in the past.

 

John is joined by his fellow Verb New Voices, Louise Fazackerley and Matt Miller to perform ‘A Northern Christmas’. Verb New Voices is an initiative created by Arts Council England and BBC Radio 3, providing three talented Northern writers with mentoring from the BBC and from other organisations, including The Writing Squad in Yorkshire, Contact Theatre in Manchester and ARC in Stockton-on-Tees.


John Hamilton May on Twitter

Shaun Usher

Shaun Usher

Shaun Usher curates the popular’ Letters of Note’ website. He shares some of the best letters about Father Christmas, from writers such as J.R.R. Tolkein and Mark Twain. For Shaun, the letter has ‘a special magic’ and a depth that we find ‘nowhere else’  His latest book is ‘Lists of Note’ (Cannongate).


Letters of Note


Shaun Usher on Twitter


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