This month we sat down with our Notting Hill neighbour and long-term friend of the brand – Allie Esiri. Allie is a distinguished poetry anthologist and the author of five bestselling poetry books, notably the "A Poem for Every Day of the Year" book series.
Credited with bringing poetry into the digital age, Allie is an award-winning poetry curator and host of live poetry events including a yearly show at London’s National Theatre, at the Bridge Theatre, and at major literary festivals.
Allie styled our party season new arrivals while we chatted about career highlights, gift ideas and her most recent bestselling book.
How would you describe what you do you do professionally?
I curate and champion poetry in various ways. I compile poetry anthologies and shows where actors – from Helena Bonham Carter to Dominic West - join me on stage or screen to bring the poems to life.
It all began with an idea I had for a poetry app. I thought it might be a way to reach the new generation and make reading and hearing poems accessible and fun.
What’s been a major career highlight for you?
This year, my sixth annual poetry event at the National Theatre was in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal with actors including Tom Hiddleston and Asa Butterfield. Poetry can't stop a tank, but art can move people and it was a very powerful night. If interested, you can watch it free on National Theatre YouTube.
Best advice you have been given personally & professionally?
Be early and do your prep.
Please can you tell us about your most recent book.
365 Poems for Life is an uplifting poem-a-day collection with poetry from a wide range of our greatest poets, including Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver, Kae Tempest, Dylan Thomas, William Wordsworth, Ocean Vuong and many more. My publisher, Macmillan, is calling it the perfect gift for poetry lovers and newbies alike, as the anthology brings a burst of inspiration and a moment of solace and the poems are beautiful and very accessible.
What is your favorite poem if you had to pick.
My favorite poem changes almost daily. Today I would choose the poem 'I worried' by Mary Oliver, which is the opening gift in 365 Poems for Life. It is a joyful instruction to stop worrying.
Why it would make such a great present for this time of year.
I sent the book to my sister and she immediately thought of four friends she wanted to buy it for. It is uplifting and you somehow feel better for having read your daily poem. Also –have you seen the cover?
What do you look for when shopping for clothes?
When shopping, I look for clothes that are well-cut and have something a little different about them, just like Cefinn.
What is your favourite piece from this Cefinn shoot and why?