10 Nov 2019, 13:00-15:00

Event hosted by Dean of Coventry Cathedral, John Witcombe.

This remembrance day 2019 sees the book launch event of The Unknown Civilian* by Antony Owen featuring Coventry Cathedral Choir and Emily Bogiatjis on Viola.

Special guests also include poets Roy McFarlane and Andrea Mbarushimana. Owen’s reading will be supported by the beguiling voices of Coventry Cathedral Choir and professional musician Emily Bogiatjis (playing Viola)

The Unknown Civilian is a requiem of poems from 1918 to present day for civilians killed or affected by conflict. Beginning with the last moments in the life of soldier poet Wilfred Owen this collection acknowledges the people of war rarely covered by popular media or remembrance ceremonies – The Unknown Civilian.

Praise for The Unknown Civilian (published by The Knives, Forks & Spoons Press)

“There is no doubting the profound intent and varied ambition of this collection. Caught in the withering and implacable gaze of war, Owen refuses to flinch”
Mario Petrucci

“Feathers and scalpels, I thought, reading this collection on the train between Lancashire meetings about banning nuclear weapons and blocking London roads with Extinction Rebellion. They caress, raising Goosebumps on my skin. And they cut, so sharp and swift and fine, I suddenly found my heart was bleeding”

Dr Rebecca Johnson – Founding Co-Chair of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Nobel Prize Winner) / Greenham Activist

“A tour de force of power and beauty, heartfelt poetry leaving us with impressions of hope”
Roy McFarlane

Event: Free Entry (Books available to purchase on the day)

*This event has adult themes.

About the performers:

Antony Owen is from Coventry and the author of six collections of poetry. His collection The Nagasaki Elder by V.Press was shortlisted for the coveted Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry. His poems have been published worldwide and translated in several languages. An advocate of progressive peace poetry his poems also appear in UK School peace education resources for CND. His sixth collection, The Unknown Civilian will be published in November 2019 with Knives Forks & Spoons Press and it has been listed as one of Quaker UK’s books of the month for November 2019

Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and has spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and Starbucks’ Poet in Residence, and is presently the Birmingham & Midland Institute’s Poet in Residence. Roy’s writing has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe, 2012), Filigree (Peepal Tree, 2018) and he is the editor of Celebrate Wha? Ten Black British Poets from the Midlands (Smokestack, 2011). His first full collection of poems, Beginning With Your Last Breath, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016. Roy was shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry (2018). His latest collection The Healing Next Time was listed as one of the best poetry titles of 2018 by The Guardian

Andrea Mbarushimana is a poet, artist and community connector. You can find her work in lit mags, anthologies, brick walls and sometimes in galleries. Her book ‘The Africa in my House’ is available from Silhouette Press. Andrea describes herself as a searcher and a Cov Kid with wings. A trained Ask Me ambassador, she’s currently writing about domestic abuse.

Emily is a young and motivated solo musician and has performed numerous professional events around the UK and internationally, providing an artistic and experienced performance on Viola.

She was identified from an early age as musically talented and gained a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she has now graduated with a distinction for her Masters in music performance.

Emily has great deal of professional freelancing, having toured with G4 alongside Lesley Garrett and Merrill Osmond; she has performed in various classical concerts, orchestral pit work, and sessional recording, not to mention delivering soundtracks for weddings across the UK. Her talents have taken her across the world, from London to South Korea, to the Birmingham Symphony Hall, and the BBC3 Royal Gala Opening. She has produced two albums during her studies.

Her artistic and cultivated performance has wowed audiences at events across the UK and internationally on both viola and on violin, and she has a great love for performing all genres of music – faithfully reflected by her broad repertoire. From elegant classical music for your ceremony to modern pop and film scores to Bollywood sensations.


This event takes place in the Chapel of Unity at Coventry Cathedral.

More info
Coventry Cathedral (CV1 5FB)

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