We hosted a very special event yesterday with the launch of RAS Archivist Nancy Charley’s new book, Little Blue Hut. As well as being the Society’s Archivist, Nancy is a poet and author, and Little Blue Hut is a collection of poems inspired by six weeks spent “in a little blue beach hut on Tankerton Slopes, near Whitstable on the Kent coast, recording the changing tides and shifting moods of the shingle beach.” The publisher, Smokestack Books, describes the book as being “about weather and water, bladderwrack and gutweed, swimmers, dog-walkers and sea-anglers, cormorants and blackheaded gulls, ‘resident birds’ and ‘transient people’. And always the horizon where sky merges with sea.”
Nancy began by providing some context for the collection, and explained that rather than merely recite individual poems, she had woven them into an ongoing tale to serve as a live performance. Nancy proceeded to give a wonderful performance which strongly evoked themes of nature, magic, and mythology, and powerfully demonstrated the potential of oral poetry to engage, entertain and inspire. This was followed by a discussion with the audience, and a reception and book-signing session for those lucky enough to attend, and whose travel plans had not been thwarted by Storm Doris.
Little Blue Hut is available for purchase here: http://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=129
Next Thursday, 2 March, the Society is hosting two events. In the RAS Council Room from 6.30pm-9pm, Bérénice Guyot-Réchard (King’s College London) is launching her book Shadow States: India, China and the Himalayas, 1910–1962. We are also hosting an Armenian Institute lecture with Patrick Donabedian, one of the world’s leading experts on Armenian medieval history and arts, in our Lecture Theatre from 7pm-9pm (tickets £10). We hope you will be able to join us for one of these events.