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Helen Tookey: The Bluecoat, Liverpool

Thursday 20 Feb 2020, 18:30 to 20:00

The Bluecoat
School Lane
L1 3BX


Three leading contemporary poets read from their new collections exploring more-than-human perspectives on place and landscape. Cities, rivers, parklands and docks all come to life as these innovative poets re-imagine, for these complex times, what it is to be human.

About the Poets 

Zoë Skoulding is a poet, critic and translator who lives on Anglesey and lectures in Creative Writing at Bangor University. Her collections of poetry include The Mirror Trade (Seren,2004); Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008), longlisted for Wales Book of the Year; and The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her new collection from Seren, Footnotes to Water, follows two rivers, one in Bangor and the other in Paris, via a detour through the wandering paths of sheep in the Welsh uplands. Her poems have been translated into over thirty languages andshe regularly performs her work at international festivals. She received the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 2018 for her body of work. One of the judges, Rod Mengham, writes: 'Zoë Skoulding is a truly international poet whose work is earthed into real places but tuned into rich and strange frequencies - it sends the language of the senses over frontiers where most poems stop short'.

Eleanor Rees's visionary poetry immerses you in another world from which you leave transformed. Her pamphlet collection Feeding Fire (Spout, 2001) received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and her first full-length collection Andraste's Hair (Salt, 2007) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, UK and the Irish Glen Dimplex New Writers' Award. Her second collection is Eliza and the Bear  (Salt, 2009). In 2015, Eleanor published a long pamphlet Riverine (Gatehouse, 2015) and a third collection Blood Child (Pavilion, 2015). Eleanor's fourth collection of poetry, The Well at Winter Solstice (Salt, 2019), received a Northern Writers' Award 2018. Selections of Eleanor's poems have been translated into French, German, Lithuanian, Slovak and Spanish (Versopolis, 2016, 2019). As the philosopher Rosi Braidotti writes, 'These are poems writtenin a state of grace, trusting in the infinite wisdom of the universe. And Rees gives us hope that all manner of things shall be well in the end, if we are only able to shift our vision.' Eleanor Rees is senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Liverpool Hope University and lives in Liverpool.

Helen Tookey is a poet and academic based in Liverpool, where she teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Her debut collection Missel-Child (Carcanet, 2014)was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize, and her second Carcanet collection, City of Departures, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2019. She has collaborated with musicians Sharron Kraus and Martin Heslop; in September 2019, Helen and Martin spent two weeks in the Elizabeth Bishop House in Nova Scotia, having been awarded a residency to make new work there responding to the location. Helen has also published critical work on modernist writers including Anaïs Nin and Malcolm Lowry; Remaking the Voyage: New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and In Ballast to the White Sea, co-edited by Helen with Bryan Biggs, is forthcoming from Liverpool University Press in 2020. Helen's poems often focus on fleeting moments, dream-scenes and uncanny places, driven by 'haunting transformative energies' (Dundee University Review of the Arts) and by the pervasive sense of the present moment as threshold, caught between lost pasts and uncertain futures.

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