Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Circus Elephants in Leamington Spa: this Saturday, May 24th 2008

A few months back, you may recall that I was commissioned to write a poem on the history of circus elephants in Leamington Spa.

Not as random as you might think - two circus-owning brothers in the Victorian era kept a number of elephants from Ceylon in the town, and walked them up and down the famous Parade to bathe in the river each day!

So, in my capacity as this year's Warwick Laureate, I wrote a poem about elephants in Leamington, and the big day for its first public reading is this Saturday:

"On Saturday 24 May at 12noon the seat sculpture, ‘Elephant Circle’ by Nicholas Dimbleby will be officially unveiled by Councillor Chris White at its new location in Jephson Gardens. The sculpture has been relocated from its former position outside the northern entrance to the Royal Priors shopping complex in Leamington Spa where it was first installed in 1988 and will include a newly recast bronze elephant made by the artist.

The unveiling will be celebrated with a series of events and activities for all ages:

* At 12noon in Jephson Gardens Councillor Chris White will officially unveil ‘Elephant Circle’.

* From 12noon to 2pm events in Jephson Gardens will include a poetry reading by the Warwick Poet Laureate, Jane Holland, readings from a written anthology by local writers which celebrates Leamington Spa’s connection with circus elephants and photography workshops lead by Anand Chhabra, Spencer Yard Artist in Residence."

I'll be posting up the poem online at some point in the future. Meanwhile, you can read more about this commission at my Warwick Laureate blog.

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