Sassoon’s Poetry Please

By , May 22, 2010 3:43 pm

David Bamber (left) and Roger McGough during the recording of 'Poetry Please' in the University Library.

A team from BBC Radio 4’s ‘Poetry Please’ visited the Library in April to record two programmes based on our holdings of manuscript poetry.

The second of these programmes, due to be broadcast on Sunday 6 June at 16.30 (and repeated at 23.30 on Saturday 12 June), focusses exclusively on the writings of Siegfried Sassoon, as represented in the Sassoon manuscript collections here.

The presenter, poet Roger McGough, was shown treasures from our recently-acquired archive of Sassoon’s papers, MS Add. 9852, together with items from Sassoon collections accessioned in earlier years. Actor David Bamber (whose television roles include Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice and Cicero in Rome) voiced a selection of Sassoon’s poems, as well as the ‘Soldier’s declaration’, Sassoon’s 1917 statement protesting against the continuation of the First World War.

The recording took place in the Library’s Sir Geoffrey Keynes Room, a fitting venue given Keynes’s close links with Sassoon and involvement with the publication of many of his small press poetry editions, from Vigils onwards.

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