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Dr Jack Mapanje, one of the most important living African poets told millions of BBC Radio 4 listeners that his most favourite record he would want to take with him on his castaway island would be the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, performed by Janet Coxwell, a former member of the choir of St Bride's, with Christopher Enston on the organ at the world-famous church. The record appears on the church's CD 'Favourite Hymns from St Bride's.' In the programme, hosted by Sue Lawley, Dr Mapanje selected Ave Maria as his eighth and final piece of music from a mixture of performers, including Three Degrees, Gerry Rafferty and Simon and Garfunkel.
The African poet has had a remarkable career, part of which he was imprisoned for three years - without charge. - in Mikuyu Gaol. He was arrested while enjoying a drink in a bar. When he was finally released, without warning or explanation, he believed his life was still in danger and fled with his wife and children to Britain.
The former Rotterdam International Poetry Prize winner has lived in the UK ever since and lectures at the University of Newcastle.
(To purchase a copy of the recording contact the office by email on email@example.com or call 020 7427 0133)