Launch events for Soul Feast

Launch events for Soul Feast

A companion anthology to Soul Food.


Soul Feast: nourishing poems of hope & light, edited by Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson-Pearce, offers up a new feast of thoughtful poems to stir the mind and feed the spirit, bringing hope and light in dark, uncertain times. This book’s inspiration – Soul Food – was published in 2007 and achieved its wide popularity by word of mouth. For many thousands of readers feeling adrift in the early years of the 21st century, the poems in that book offered support and sustenance. Drawn from many traditions, Soul Feast includes work by poets ranging from Lal Ded and Tukaram to Pessoa, Borges, Cummings and Langston Hughes, as well as poems by celebrated contemporary poets such as Ellen Bass, Imtiaz Dharker, Jane Hirshfield and Naomi Shihab Nye.

Neil Astley is editor of Bloodaxe Books, which he founded in 1978. His books include novels, poetry collections and anthologies, most notably those in Bloodaxe's Staying Alive anthology series: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Being Human (2011), and Staying Human (2020), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Pamela Robertson-Pearce is an artist, filmmaker and translator. Her films include IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim (1996) and Gifted Beauty (2000), about Surrealist women artists including Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. She has worked with Neil Astley on several Bloodaxe DVD-books, including the anthologies In Person: 30 Poets (2008) and In Person: World Poets (2017).




Saturday 27 April

Cork World Book Festival - Breaking the Heart Open: Psychology and Literature

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Neil Astley will be launching Soul Feast in person at a poetry and well-being event shared with psychologist Tony Bates.

Free event, but booking is essential. More details and booking here.


Sunday 5 May, 4.15pm

Hexham Book Festival - Imtiaz Dharker & Bloodaxe Books: Shadow Reader & Soul Feast

Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS

This two-part event features Imtiaz Dharker reading from her new collection Shadow Reader and sharing a presentation of the new Bloodaxe anthology Soul Feast with editors Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson-Pearce.

Tickets: £11/£9 - more details here.




Launch reading by Jane Hirshfield & Maria Stepanova with Sasha Dugdale – plus Soul Feast

Jane Hirshfield, Maria Stepanova and Maria's translator Sasha Dugdale celebrated the publication of their new poetry books at this online reading for Bloodaxe Books on 19 March 2024. They read live and discussed their work with each other and with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. The event also included readings of poems from Soul Feast, which features four of Jane Hirshfield’s poems as well as Sasha Dugdale’s translation of a poem by Elena Shvarts.


Seven poems from Soul Feast read by the poets

Seven poems from Soul Feast are read here by the poets: Imtiaz Dharker: ‘Living Space’; Arundhathi Subramaniam: ‘Prayer’; Kerry Hardie: ‘Flesh’; Jane Hirshfield: ‘The Envoy’; Naomi Shihab Nye: ‘The Art of Disappearing’; Imtiaz Dharker: ‘How to Cut a Pomegranate’; Tomas Tranströmer: ‘Tracks’ (‘Spår’), translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton. The poets were filmed in London, Mumbai, Galway and Stockholm, and on Achill Island, by the editors of Soul Feast, © Neil Astley & Pamela Robertson-Pearce 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2024.

[02 April 2024]

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