Charly Cox has recently released her latest collection of poetry called She Must Be Mad, meanwhile Nadine Aisha Jassat has also published a new collection. Let Me Tell You This is her debut and has just been release by local publisher 404 Ink. This afternoon both poets are at the Aye Write Festival in Glasgow to read from their new collections and are in conversation with Glasgow Poet Laureate Jim Carruth.
The first poet to read is Nadine Aisha Jassat and is described by Carruth as “A poet who shares her own experiences in an open and frank way”. She begins with the poem The Old Codgers, which looks at family and the words that we use at family gatherings. Nadine mentions that “you can learn a lot about a person from their language” and this investigation into people and words are common themes in her poetry. My Three Earliest Memories of My Father and Scot-Mid underline this. They are read with heart and passion and showcase the ability that Nadine has with words. She can capture a deep emotion succinctly and hold it tenderly with her use of language.
After Nadine, Charly Cox takes centre stage. Carruth mentions that Charly “captures in an open and honest way the anxiety of growing up today”. The poet begins by reading Funny and states that it is an inappropriate word to use to describe mental health problems, but one which is commonly heard. Words and apprehension are a common theme, where optimism and unease sit next to one another. This is expressed when Charly reads the poem Bodies. Body image and perception are the topics covered, yet there is a positivity in the fact that someone can be open and honest in their emotions. This honesty is the power of Charly Cox’s poetry. She has the ability to put into words common feelings and this lets people understand that they are not alone. This is echoed during the Q&A when Charly states that the advantage of sharing her work online is that she can hear from people who have had similar experiences.
Charly concludes the event with a reading of the poem Sea Weed. The piece is a tribute to her grandfather and ends the events in an optimistic and upbeat tone that shows the potency of poetry and language.