Night & Refuge

Date: 20th May 2020

Time: 18:00-21:00

Location: Online

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Caroline Bergvall & Sonic Atlas present:


A collaborative live writing event – A unique opportunity to witness the creation of a collaborative poem between five different UK-based poets.

via Zoom – a link will be sent to you on the day of the event – book on

Recommended Age 14+

Date & Time: 20 May – 6 pm BST for 3 hours.

The event will close with a short reading by the poets.

Following a brief set by Caroline Bergvall, the poets will be exploring themes of the night, of seeking refuge, and share their processes while developing the shared poem. This collaborative process is loosely inspired by the tradition of Renga – an ancient and strict rule-bound Japanese form of collective writing.

The writing process, its developments and the conversations between the poets will be visible throughout on a Shared Writing Desk.

The Live Writing Room has been developed with visual artist Mays Albaik who will act as the event’s Desk Manager. Poets have been filmed by the project’s cinematographer Andy Delaney. The conversations and the developing lines of the poem will be recorded by the project’s sound artist Jamie Hamilton. These will be recomposed for our next event: a live broadcast event for Berlin Werkstatt International Poetry Festival, 9 June 9 pm.

Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian Scottish writer working on their eighth full-length book (their fourth from Carcanet Press). Recent collaborations include with Andre Bagoo, linked to Capildeo’s Light Site (Periplum, forthcoming 2020). Capildeo is Writer in Residence at the University of York and a Seamus Heaney Centre fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Will Harris is a poet and critic from London. He has had work published in The Guardian, The White Review, the TLS, and the LRB. He was the co-editor of the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review. His debut collection RENDANG (Granta) is the Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring.

Leo Boix is a Latinx bilingual poet born in Argentina who lives and works in the UK. Boix has been included in many anthologies, such as Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe) and Un Nuevo Sol: British Latinx Writers (flipped eye). He is a fellow of The Complete Works Program and the recipient of the Keats-Shelley Prize 2019. Boix debut collection will be published by Chatto & Windus (Penguin/Random House) in 2021.

Nisha Ramayya grew up in Glasgow and is currently based in London. Her debut collection States of the Body Produced by Love (2019) is published by Ignota Books. Other publications include ‘Notes on a Means without End’ (2020) in Poetry Review; In Me the Juncture (2019) published by Sad Press; Threads (2018), a critical-creative pamphlet co-authored with Sandeep Parmar and Bhanu Kapil, published by clinic.


Caroline Bergvall – Initiator and Host-poet of the event. Writer, artist, and performer who works across art-forms, media and languages. The recipient of many international commissions, she is a noted exponent of writing and performance methods adapted to contemporary audiovisual and contextual situations, as well as multilingual identities and translocal exchange. Cholmondeley Award for Poetry for her book and project Drift (2017). Latest book Alisoun Sings (2019).

Night & Refuge is a project within Bergvall’s ongoing cycle of interdisciplinary perfomances Sonic Atlas, which explores languages in movement and in transfomation through speech, sounds, songwork in a range of performative situations. It began with Ragadawn (2016), staged at daybreak in locations as diverse as Marseille and the Isle of Skye, and continued with Conference of the Birds (2018) a discussion soundwork first presented at the Whitstable Biennale.

Hosted by event partners Cement Fields & Counterpoints Arts. Co-hosted by Festival of Hope, Versopolis.

This event was made possible with funding from Arts Council England and support from Cement Fields and Counterpoints Arts.

Photo by Thierry Bal