Joe Bidder launches his new poetry collection: ‘Blue in Green’, online


Price: £5 / £3 Concessions


An older man with grey receding hair sits on a bench in a garden. They are wearing a dark denim jacket, a navy blue t-shirt and lighter blue jeans.

Join poet and Survivors’ Poetry co-founder Joe Bidder and special guests comedian Barbara Lisicki, poet Patience Agbabi, Disability Arts Online editor and founder Colin Hambrook and others for an online book launch of Joe’s new poetry collection, Blue in Green, which will be published on Dizzy Press on 30 March 2021.

The book launch will take place online on Thursday 22 April from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. The event will include an introduction, author Q&A and readings of selected poems from the book by the author, plus poetry performance and talks from our special guests.

Blue in Green’s 43 poems span across Joe Bidder’s vibrant life, reflecting his well-travelled life around the world as an oil businessman, visiting jazz clubs in New York City, London and Paris in the 1960s and 70s, to more recent works written in retirement, such as 2020 poem Hackney Downs. Many of the poems delve into Bidder’s personal experiences as a survivor of the mental health system and a disabled person.

Dynamic black and white and colour photographs of jazz giants Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and others accompany the poems in the book, taken by photographer Freddy Warren at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club during the 1960s.

Joe Bidder says: “Blue in Green is important because it brings together jazz, poetry, disabled poetry and survivors of the mental health system. I would recommend everyone buy a book and read it. It’s taken one year of hard work to get this book published, and we’re grateful to Arts Council England for enabling this to happen. And this is not the end of it — it’s just one book. We want to publish more poetry by disabled writers. When I published Eyes and Spirals with Hilary Porter, we started with 200 copies and sold out. Then we did another 100. In the end, we sold 1000 books. When I started writing, I set out to write a novel — I didn’t intend to or envisage spending half my life doing this!”

Blue in Green is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and disability arts organisations Disability Arts Online and Shape Arts.

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