Nothing Enrages The Tyrant More Than Hope: The Poem As Witness


  • Theatre/Arts, Pop-Up and Something A Little Different
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  • Embankment
  • Over 18
  • Mon, 20th May 2024 @ 19:00 - 21:00
  • 19:00 - 21:00

Join us in partnership with The Royal Society of Literature for two events with poet and novelist Anne Michaels. The first event will include a reading of a Wanda Barford poem followed by a lecture from Anne Michaels. There will also be an opportunity to network and book signing with Anne. 

This event will take place in our Historic Great Room. 

The Wanda Barford Memorial Poetry Lecture delivered by Anne Michaels.

Every poem is a poem of witness. Every poem, a form of rescue - from amnesia of every sort, from every kind of disregard and indifference. The hope of poems that witness war and political oppression is the assertion of justice spoken, spit in the eye of the oppressor, a message left for the others. And poems witness tyrannies less visible - illness, grief, shame, regret, terror, error, doubt. And others still, witness love that cannot wait – an entire life passes in a moment.

The poem says: precisely in the places where we feel most abandoned, we are not alone. No other public utterance so effectively names those places in us, and makes, in its precision, such ample space for both writer and reader. Here, the poem says, exactly in the place of dispossession – by a tyrant, by history, by a plan or policing, by chance, by time, by desire, by longing - exactly here and here and here, is the hope of being heard, and in that hope, solidarity. Every time we meet another’s gaze, here, in the poem, writer and reader, something is mended.

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RSA House
RSA House has been home to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce) and its 30,000 strong fellowship since 1774 as well as some of the greatest thinkers and social activists of the past 200 years. Some notable names of past and present fellows you might recognise include Charles Dickens, Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Attenborough and Professor Steven Hawking. The Coffee House is open to the public Mon-Fri from 8:30am. We host ticketed event throughout the house regularly and there is something for everyone. Everyone is welcome. The house also hosts 11 bookable spaces that are available for all event types - from conferences to parties. Get in touch at for more details.


RSA House

The Royal Society Arts and Commerce is long historic charity that aims to make positive change for society. They're housed in stunning Georgian town house near Charing Cross and just off The Strand, on John Adam Street. Over the past 250 years, the building is now a hub for people from across the country…


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  • Written by Amelia

    Rating: 5


    Visited 1 week ago
    The most welcoming and supportive film event I have been to for women. I was very nervous that some people wouldn’t be welcoming to chat to but everyone was so up for any kind of chat! It was so insightful too, to get to talk to people working in the industry and as well the other cogs in the machines such as producers and editors. It was inspiring. The venue is beautiful, and really suits the atmosphere of the event, making it the cherry on top!
  • Written by Peter

    Rating: 5


    Visited 1 month ago
    A stimulating and convivial evening, with a good sprinkling of interesting and interested people. The refreshments were of a very high standard, as were the musical interludes (varied and excellent). I learned much rom the platform interviewed 'debates' and left with much to think about in relation to the aims of ROARing Voices and how I'm living m

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