Following poetryartexchange, where poets from England and Romania wrote and performed over a period of two years from 2015 to 2017, Steve Rushton has worked with Anticus Multicultural Association, Contemporary Literature Press and frACTalia press on an Ovid inspired Arts Council England/British Council funded project (2000 years since the Roman poet’s death). He’s performed in Constanta (modern day Tomis, where Ovid died in exile), and two illustrated books are set for publication. Thanks (to Ovid), a hundred verse poem in English and Romanian (translated by Taner Murat and Margento) and illustrated by the author, is about a writer and artist struggling with doubt and aesthetics in the shadow of history, and is to be published by frACTalia press in 2020.
Notes… (Contemporary Literature Press March 2019) is a free illustrated online book from the publishing house of The University of Bucharest exploring translation, culture, art and politics within the context of Ovid.
Both books are irreverent in tone, and capture and update the wit of Ovid and his best two English translators, Christopher Marlowe and John Dryden (both from London). And as rhythm (and rhyme) are central to the construction of the poems and translations, performing them was always going to be part of the project. Hundred Years Gallery will host the first performance of Notes featuring (among others) Lorrain Baggaley, Steve Rushton on cajon, and Sebastian Sterkowitz on bass clarinet on 28th April.