On Wednesday 2 April, the Isle of Man Poetry Society is hosting an evening of poetry and music to celebrate award-winning poet Usha Kishore’s debut collection ‘On Manannan’s Isle’. The event was originally scheduled for 12 February but had to be postponed due to the severe storms.
Everyone is welcome at the free event, which runs from 6.30 to 8.30pm at Jabberwocky in Duke Street, Douglas. Usha will be reading from her collection and there will be music from Manx musicians and poetry from guest readers. Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for DEFA, will be presiding, with Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, in attendance.
‘On Manannan’s Isle’ is published in the Isle of Man by dpdotcom, with the support of awards from the Isle of Man Arts Council and the Manx Heritage Foundation. Usha will be signing copies of the book on the night, which will be
available at a discounted price. The collection is also on sale in a range of stores WH Smith and Lexicon bookshop in Douglas, St Paul’s Bookshop in Ramsey and Presence of Man in Laxey.
“On Manannan’s Isle is inspired by the Isle of Man and the Celtic myth of Manannan Mac Lir,’ said Usha. “Coincidentally, the title poem ‘On Manannan’s Isle’ is one of the first poems I wrote after coming to the Isle of Man in 2001 – and it inspired the Isle of Man Soap Company to create a soap called ‘Manannan’s Cloak’. In the collection I explore various aspects of the island, including landscape, culture, history, archaeology and art. I also highlight my diasporic Indian culture and juxtapose the contrasts of integration and alienation. I am very grateful to the awards from the Manx Heritage Foundation and the Isle of Man Arts Council, and to the Isle of Man Poetry Society for their great support and encouragement.”
Ruth Baxendale, Chair of the Isle of Man Poetry Society, said, “Usha’s work is heartfelt and powerful, and I am delighted that the Isle of Man Poetry Society has been able to assist in launching ‘On Manannan’s Isle’.”
An Indian-born poet, writer and translator, Usha teaches English at Queen Elizabeth II High School. Her poetry is internationally published and anthologised by Macmillan, Hodder, Oxford University Press and Harper Collins, among others. She recently won the Pre-Raphaelite Poetry Prize in the UK and has been shortlisted in several other prestigious poetry competitions. Her work has featured in many international projects and is part of the British primary and Indian middle school syllabus. A book of translations from the Sanskrit, ‘Translations of the Divine Woman’, is also forthcoming in 2014, from Rasala Books, India.
Formed in 2000 to promote and celebrate poetry on the island, the Isle of Man Poetry Society holds events throughout the year. The society meets on the third Sunday of every month at the South Douglas Old Friends Association on Prospect Hill in Douglas, 7.30 for 8pm. Everyone is warmly welcomed to come along to these informal get-togethers and read some poetry or just listen and enjoy.