NEWS: Sampo: Heading Further North Launch @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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You might be forgiven for not knowing about The Kalevala. Despite it being one of the most significant works of Finnish literature, it’s a relatively unknown epic poem. Composed in the 19th Century by Elias Lonnrot, it takes in the Finnish creation myth as well as a wealth of stories revolving around list, romance, kidnapping and seduction. Like many epic poems, its protagonists often have to overcome unreasonable trials, which they often fail, leading to humiliation and defeat.

The Sampo, a magical talisman said to bring its possessor great fortune and prosperity, is a key element of The Kalevala; many actions and consequences in the epic are either caused by the Sampo or a character’s interaction with it. This is where Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby have taken most of the inspiration for their latest poetry collection, which is being published by Red Squirrel Press. The launch event for the highly ambitious project takes place at Newcastle’s Lit & Phil on Monday 12th January.

Coming about through an ongoing exchange project with Finnish poets, Sampo: Heading Further North uses the Finnish epic as a method of exploring what is means to be an artist, how to confront and come to terms with the loss of love and life and how modern ideas of masculinity are reinforced or challenged through the myths. It also examines the relationship between humanity and mineral resources, such as iron, in shamanic and secular cultures, and the price we pay for their use.

Also at the event is a secondary launch party for a new pamphlet by the Black Light Engineer p.a.mobid, Gorged On Light.

The launch of Sampo: Heading Further North and Gorged on Light takes place at the Lit & Phil, Newcastle on Monday 12th January.

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