The Best In Contemporary Uk Poetry
(This is a past event and is no longer running)
Sean O’Brien, Rachael Allen and Raymond Antrobus
Our atmospheric candlelit bar plays host to another unmissable evening for anyone who loves modern poetry. Enjoy readings from three celebrated UK poets, before joining them in the bar for a drink, where they will be signing copies of their books.
Sean O’Brien’s ninth poetry collection, Europa, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. It is a necessary and timely work by one of the UK’s most accomplished poets.
His Collected Poems appeared in 2012. His poetry has received various awards including the T.S. Eliot, Forward (three times) and Roehampton Poetry prizes. In 2016 his second novel, Once Again Assembled Here, and a chapbook of poetry and photographs, Hammersmith, were published. His second collection of short stories, Quartier Perdu, appeared in 2018. He is a critic, translator, editor, playwright, novelist, broadcaster and experienced writing tutor and mentor. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
‘Europa by Sean O’Brien, a dark meditation on the idea of Europe, and of those slaughtered in the name of its individual nationalisms, couldn’t be more apposite, or timely. Ambitious, prophetic and intensely atmospheric, Europa is yet another outstanding collection from one of Anglophone Poetry’s most accomplished practitioners.‘- Chair of Judges’ Comments, T S Eliot Prize 2018
‘O’Brien’s work stands out as unusual in its formal and cultural ambition: this is work which passionately and obstinately asserts that poetry does not need to beat a retreat either to the disenfranchised sphere of the private self or to the ghetto of specialism, but can stand against the separation of the realms of history, politics and art in useful ways…”. – The Irish Times ‘
‘O’Brien makes a deep music out of human and political engagement.’- The Independent
Kingdomland is Rachael Allen’s first book-length collection. It was published by Faber and Faber in January and is a Poetry Book Society Spring Choice. She was born in Cornwall and studied at Goldsmiths College. She is the co-author of Jolene, a book of poems and photographs with Guy Gormley, and Nights of Poor Sleep, a book of poems and paintings with Marie Jacotey. She has received a Northern Writers’ Award and an Eric Gregory Award, and was made a Faber New Poet in 2014. She is poetry editor at Granta and co- founder of the poetry press clinic and online journal Tender.
‘Up-to-the-minute contemporaneity, alternative humour, and occasional shoulder-shrugging cool . . . ‘- The Guardian
British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus is the author of The Perseverance (PBS Winter Choice and a Sunday Times / The Guardian poetry book of 2018) and To Sweeten Bitter. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works 3, Jerwood Compton Poetry. He has an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths. In 2018 he was awarded ‘The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize’. He was born in Hackney, East London and now divides his time between Kingston, Jamaica and the UK.
‘His monologues are stunning studies of voice and substance, and his lyric poems are graceful and finely crafted.’- Kwame Dawes
‘Raymond Antrobus’s compelling debut, The Perseverance, confronts deeply rooted prejudice against deaf people.’ – The Guardian – Poetry Book of the Year
‘[A] memorable collection … Antrobus interlaces wit and pathos as he examines his identity as a deaf British-Jamaican man in a world between sign language and speech.’ – The Sunday Times – Poetry Book of the Year