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Return of the Oxfam Series

I was down but not out the last six months - and now am coming up for air, a little battered but once again able to crawl on my own hands and feet. One day I may be Homo Erectus again. For now, I'll paddle and inch forward, one day at a time, best as I can - no Prince William, nor meant to be. The Oxfam Series (a long-running London event that has raised over £25,000 for the charity over the years since its launch in 2004 when the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, Wendy Cope and Charlie Dark read for a packed shop, and also launched a variety of CDs, pamphlets, contests and a DVD of poetry, which have raised an additional £50,000) is now back too. Future guests will be announced at surprising intervals.

In the meantime, the March 1st event will be a wonderful occasion, and I hope you will attend, or tell others to. David Lehman, poet, critic, writer and editor/anthologist extraordinaire, is over from NYC, and will be reading with fellow Ashbery fan, Faber poet, essayist, and scholar, Mark Ford. All in aid of the new Oxfam project, 35 Young Poets for Oxfam. Reading short sets in the first half will be five of the best of the younger Brits: Heather Phillipson, Emily Berry, Liz Berry, Kayo Chingonyi and Luke Kennard - among them they have a clutch of award wins and noms (Eric Gregorys, Forwards, tall-lighthouse, Poetry London, and slam competitions), and some darn fine books and pamphlets to their name (and more forthcoming), including from Salt, Faber and tall-lighthouse.

It should be a very good night of poetry and cheer, indeed. Do rsvp by calling Martin Penny at the Oxfam shop, where the event will start, Monday March 1, 7 pm, at 91 Marylebone High Street, London W1. He can be reached at 020 7487 3570. Hope to see you there.

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