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Bricks Made of Air: poetry for architects / architecture for poets

Wednesday 28 February 2018, 7:00 pm9:30 pm

£10 – £25

Emily Hasler and Fawzia Kane – two writers fascinated by the built environment – join poetry-inspired architects Colin Davies and Alexander Allen for readings and conversation exploring the connections between two disciplines.

‘Every architect is necessarily a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age’ said Frank Lloyd Wright. Bold claims are often made for the indistinguishable similarities / irreconcilable differences between poetry and architecture: tonight, let’s reassess and counter those claims with lively poems, sociable discussions and paint-fresh ideas.

The Poetry Café was recently refurbished by Mills Power architects, the funding of which was supported by generous donations from many philanthropic organisations and individuals. In the planning of this event, we were charmed to discover that the last stage of finishing off a new project – installing the Fixtures, Fittings and Equipment – is known to architects as FiFi. Proceeds from tonight’s event will go towards the Poetry Society’s FiFi work.

Join us at 7pm for a drink, and the event will start at 7.30pm.

Standard tickets are £10. £25 tickets include an exclusive limited edition relief print by Roy Willingham RE of Emily Hasler’s ‘Building’ poem.

Emily Hasler was born in Suffolk but has ended up on the Essex side of the river Stour. She has been a Hawthornden Fellow and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2014. A pamphlet, Natural Histories, was published by Salt in 2011 and her collection The Built Environment is forthcoming from Pavilion Poetry (April 30, 2018). 



Fawzia Muradali Kane is an architect and poet. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, she came to the UK on a scholarship to study architecture, and is now a director with Mike Kane of KMK Architects based in London. Her poetry has been extensively published in journals including The Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry Wales and Poetry London. Her debut poetry collection Tantie Diablesse (Waterloo Press 2011) was a poetry section finalist in the 2012 Bocas Lit Fest Prize, and Thamesis published her long sequence Houses of the Dead as a pamphlet in 2014. She is now working on her a novel La Bonita Cuentista which explores the Caribbean’s storytelling tradition.

Alexander Allen is an experienced architect from London who has worked across a number of sectors. He studied at the University of Sheffield where he somehow conspicuously avoided the whole poetry gig. He is now a thoroughly poetry-curious architect interested in the twilight zone between building and language and has explored their ekphrastic connections through concrete poetry.


Colin Davies is an architect, a writer and a lecturer, who was until recently Professor of Architectural Theory at London Metropolitan University. His books include A New History of Modern Architecture, Thinking about Architecture, The Prefabricated Home, High Tech Architecture, Key Houses of the Twentieth Century and several monographs on the work of architects such as Norman Foster, Michael Hopkins and Nicholas Grimshaw. He frequently used poetry in his teaching, and has written poetry for many years.


Roy Willingham RE makes prints based on landscape both urban and rural. His linocuts are small gems of rich complexity which often include many layers of printing. His work ranges from figurative to abstract but his main interest is on the nebulous borderline between the two. Born in Southampton in 1957, he studied painting and printmaking at Central School of Art in London. He became an associate member of the RE in 2009 and a full member in 2013. He joined the Printmakers Council in 1981 and was Treasurer for four years, and remains a member.


Build Us A House: all the details of the event are here in a handy paper house format – Bricks Made of Air invitation

 Print off, cut out, make up and tweet the results to @poetrysociety