Peter Sutton: poet, playwright, translator

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Poems of Armenian War and Peace

Poems of Armenian War and Peace by Liana Hayrapetyan and Peter Sutton, with illustrations by Patricia Arbelina and Martha Moderitz, presents two contrasting views of Armenian culture and history.

Buy the Book

Poems of Armenian War and Peace is published in Armenia by Edit Print with the support of The Tekeyan Trust of London, which works to develop and promote Armenian culture, science and art throughout the world.

ISBN 978-9939-75-346-1

Copies available via our sales page: armenianwarandpeace.com/shop/

“Reading these poems is a complex pleasure. Those which narrate the small sensory act, or the evocation of place, are haunted with histories and oppressions; and those which address those oppressions directly often have a simple clarity, like the ringing of a bell.” Highly recommended.

James Sheard

“This book is a truly powerful collaboration. The beauty and tragedy of Armenia unfold, and by the end one shares in the profound sense of attachment and love which the poets and artists feel for this country. To engage with it is a deeply moving experience.“

Fergus McGonigal

“A fascinating collection. Here we read of hopes and lamentations; there we read how to open and eat a pomegranate, or how sounds are coaxed from a duduk. The particular shares space with the eternal, and the disquiet, and joy, of the individual heart find echoes in the heart of a nation.“

Michael W. Thomas

Piers Plowman

Peter Sutton has completed a modern verse translation of William Langland’s great 14th-century poem Piers Plowman. Langland’s disturbing and humorous commentary on corruption and greed remains apposite today.

Peter Sutton has given readings from his translation at Ilkley Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, South Downs Poetry Festival, Stamford Verse Poetry Festival, Worcester Festival, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the International Piers Plowman Society Conference, and many similar events.

“Congratulations on this major achievement. The rest of us Langlandians are in your debt!”

Lawrence Warner, Director of the International Piers Plowman Society

“I hope your book will receive a warm reception. It has something distinctive to offer and presents the poem in a very attractive and accessible way.”

Carl Schmidt, editor of the Middle English original

“Sutton’s translation succeeds as a readable, rhythmic representation of the original.”

Choice

“Sutton is to be congratulated for producing a highly readable rendition of the poem that may intrigue new readers and will certainly entertain those of us familiar with the poem in its Middle English version.”

Yearbook of Langland Studies

“I’m still fuelled with inspiration”

Audience member, International Piers Plowman Society Conference

“A masterclass in how to engage and hold an audience”

Peter Williams, Hereford Times online

“Able to connect perfectly with his audience”

Audience member, South Downs Poetry Festival

How to Buy the Book

William Langland, Piers Plowman: A Modern Verse Translation by Peter Sutton is published by McFarland of North Carolina.

ISBN print 978-0-7864-9503-0

ebook 978-1-4766-1817-3

Available from bookshops and online booksellers. Click the book cover for a PDF of four sample pages.

Distributed in the UK and Europe by The Eurospan Group (c/o Turpin Distribution), Pegasus Drive, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade, Beds SG18 8TQ

Poems in Journals

Since the publication of his Piers Plowman, other poems by Peter Sutton have been accepted by poetry journals such as Orbis, Poetry Salzburg and Sarasvati. For details see the Poetry section of his full c.v. (link below). He regularly reads from his work at Ledbury Poetry Salons and other West Midlands events.

Readers and listeners have said:

“engaging mixture of humor, wordplay, grit, and mythology”

“cleverly mixing humour with very dark subjects”

“tremendously energetic and playful...”

“a skilled and generous performer”

“Peter made the stage come alive”

Elgar and Alice

Peter Sutton’s play Elgar and Alice was first performed on 5th June 2007 as part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Gerald Harper played Elgar and the Director was Gene David Kirk.

Elgar and Alice is set in 1920 at the Elgars’ home in Hampstead, and explores the extraordinary marriage that resulted in great English music ranging from Land of Hope and Glory to oratorios, symphonies and popular songs.

“I was immensely pleased to undertake a happy period of rehearsals, then stick on that massive moustache and commence the tour. It was a joy to do, and meant a great deal to me.”

Gerald Harper

“A superbly crafted play”

Music and Vision Magazine

“Peter Sutton has got right under Elgar’s skin”

Elgar Society Journal

“Sutton does a skilful job”

Birmingham Post

“Very neat. It’s neatly done, altogether”

Oxford Times

“My wife and I were absolutely bowled over”

Sir Charles Mackerras

Elgar and Alice returned to the Swan Theatre Worcester during the 2011 Three Choirs Festival. It received a third production in 2016, sponsored by the Elgar Society.

Performing Rights

Professional and amateur performances of Elgar and Alice are by negotiation.

Contact chris@onarole.co.uk

The Prebumptious Mr Punch

The Prebumptious Mr Punch is the story of a present-day Punch. Now it’s prison, not the noose, that Punch faces, with its teacher and doctor and chaplain and governor. Will they reform him? And what will happen when he gets out? This funny and thought-provoking play bends the rules of theatre while providing the answers.

The play was premiered at the Swan Theatre Studio, Worcester, in 2013, directed by Chris Jaeger.

Death of a Hunter

Peter Sutton’s translation of the play Death of a Hunter by Rolf Hochhuth, adapted by Peter Thiers, received its UK and English language premiere at the Finborough Theatre, London, in April 2018. Edmund Dehn played Hemingway, and the play was directed by Anthony Shrubsall.

The same team presented the play again at the 2019 Brighton Festival.

My Son Will

Peter Sutton’s playwriting began with his winning first prize in West Midlands playwriting competitions and being named runner-up in the 2005 Kings Cross Competition. In 2006 he was invited to write a play for an international Shakespeare Festival, and further plays have been given readings at Actors & Writers London.

About Peter Sutton

For some years Peter Sutton was Head of Publications at the UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg, where he edited the International Review of Education and published books and articles in six languages. Since 1994 he has worked freelance for international organisations, lawyers and arts centres, translating or editing some 50 books and journals and around 1500 other documents.

Peter Sutton has read from Piers Plowman and his other poetry at events including Chipping Campden Literature Festival, The Elgar Festival, Ilkley Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, South Downs Poetry Festival, Stamford Verse Poetry Festival, Worcester Festival, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the International Piers Plowman Society Conference, Ledbury Poetry Salons, Licensed to Rhyme, Worcester Speakeasy, and meetings of Herefordshire Stanza.

He has led workshops and given presentations on Elgar, Langland, languages, translation, poetry and education at meetings, conferences and universities in a dozen countries, and has lived and worked in Armenia, Germany, the UK and the United States. He has also written German language textbooks.