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Saturday, November 24, 2012

A C Clarke @ The Bakehouse

A C Clarke
Saturday November 24th 7.00  for  7.30

Prize- winning poet A C Clarke has had three full collections published, most recently Fr Meslier's Confession, inspired by the atheist priest, Jean Meslier (Oversteps Books 2012). (If you are interested in a bit of background to this fascinating story - scroll; down!) Her pamphlet A Natural Curiosity, inspired by Glasgow’s Museum of Anatomy, was shortlisted for this year’s Callum Macdonald award for Pamphlet Poetry.
‘The writing is vividly atmospheric, combining suspenseful narrative drive with a theological and philosophical gravitas that is never portentous or pretentious’. Donny O’Rourke on Fr Meslier’s Confession
‘To the bizarre garden of excrescences that is a Victorian Anatomy Museum, A C Clarke brings a steady eye and a gift for delicate metaphor ... and reminds us of the way in which a poem, like a living creature, can find ‘the shape to be itself’. Kona Macphee
‘A collection that should be on every shelf alongside that old gardener Voltaire’ Sam Smith in The Journal

Followed by our usual Bakehouse Floor spots
The Fickle Tupperware Bowl of Fate awaits once more!!
Bring a poem of your own, a favourite poem or an instrument.
A keyboard can be provided.

Tickets £7.00 (£6.00 concs) includes a glass of wine.
Booking: or 01557 814175

Father Mesnier

You will certainly be surprised, and perhaps even more than surprised – I dare say utterly astonished – when you hear tell of the thoughts and opinions in which I have lived and in which I have ended my days,

With these words, Jean Meslier, parish priest of Etrepigny and Balaives in the archdiocese of Rheims, in the Ardennes, opens the letter which he left for the parish priests of neighbouring parishes to find in his presbytery after his death.

Jean Meslier (1664-1729) was parish priest of Étrépigny from 1689 until his death. A closet atheist, he wrote in secret a Memoir, more usually referred to as his 'Testament', for his parishioners, as he said, to read after his death. This work was apparently circulated in secret soon after his death and came to the notice of Voltaire, who gives a heavily abridged and otherwise edited version in Extraits des sentiments de Jean Meslier (1762).

A C Clarke gives a flavour of these various aspects of Meslier in her poem sequence, but of course her Meslier is as much a fiction as Voltaire's!

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