NORTHERN VOICES PRESS RELEASE 16/8/2007
The North East creative writing and community publishing enterprise Northern Voices Community Projects has just received an Awards for All grant of £5150 for work on a touring show, display and publication on the poet Christopher Smart (1722-1771).
Smart's works include A Song to David and Jubilate Agno, both of which were at least partly written during his confinement in an insane asylum.
Smart was the son of Peter Smart, of an old north country family, and was born at Shipbourne, Kent. His father was steward for the Kentish estates of William, Viscount Vane, younger son of Lord Barnard of Raby Castle, Durham.
Christopher Smart received his first schooling at Maidstone, and then at Durham School. He spent part of his vacations at Raby Castle, and his gifts as a poet gained him the patronage of the Vane family.
His idiosyncratic Jubilate Agno was published in 1939 and has become relatively well-known. One section of the poem, beginning with "For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffrey", has been reprinted separately and is popular among cat-lovers.
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