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The Acts of Oblivion by Paul Batchelor: Carcanet Book Launch


Wednesday 8 Dec 2021, 19:00 to 20:00
Location:

Online

Description:

Please join us to celebrate the launch of The Acts of Oblivion by Paul Batchelor. Hosting the reading will be poet and Associate Publisher at Carcanet, John McAuliffe, joining Paul to discuss the new book. The event will feature readings and discussion where audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along. Register here and let us know you can make it by joining the Facebook event.

The 'Acts of Oblivion' were a series of seventeenth-century laws enacted by both Parliamentarian and Royalist factions. Whatever their ends - pardoning revolutionary deeds, or expunging revolutionary speech from the record - they forced the people to forget. Against such injunctions, Paul Batchelor's poems rebel. This long-awaited second collection, The Acts of Oblivion, listens in on some of England's lost futures, such as those offered by radical but sidelined figures in the English Civil War, or by the deliberately destroyed mining communities of North East England, remembered here with bitter, illuminating force. The book also collects the acclaimed individual poems 'Brother Coal' and 'A Form of Words', alongside visions of the underworld as imagined by Homer, Lucian, Lucan, Ovid, and Dante.

Intensely characterized, and novelistic in their detail and in their grasp of national catastrophes, the poems in The Acts of Oblivion vindicate Andrew McNeillie's description of Batchelor as 'the most accomplished poet of his generation'. Batchelor's first book, The Sinking Road (2008) was shortlisted for the Jerwood-Aldeburgh Best First Collection Prize. He has also published a chapbook, The Love Darg (2014), and edited a collection of essays, Reading Barry MacSweeney (2013). He has won an Eric Gregory Award, The Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation, and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. His poems and translations have appeared in several anthologies and in Granta, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Poetry, PN Review, Poetry Review, The Times, and the Times Literary Supplement.


Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.

Please note that there is a limited number of places for the reading, so do book early to avoid disappointment. You should receive a confirmation email with details on how to join after you register. If this does not arrive, please contact us to let us know. Please also be aware that clicking 'attending' on the Facebook event will not guarantee your place - you must complete the Zoom registration here.

About the speakers:

English poet and critic Paul Batchelor's first collection of poems, The Sinking Road, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008. A chapbook, The Love Darg, was published by Clutag in 2014. He has won the Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize. His reviews have appeared in the New Statesman, the Guardian, Poetry, and the Times Literary Supplement. He is Director of Creative Writing at Durham University.

John McAuliffe grew up in Listowel, County Kerry, and has lived in the UK since 2002. He has published five collections with The Gallery Press, most recently The Kabul Olympics, which was published in April 2020. His Selected Poems will be published in October by Gallery and by Wake Forest University Press in the US in 2022. John now lives in Manchester, where he is Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing and edits The Manchester Review. He wrote the regular poetry column in The Irish Times from 2013-2020 and, since 2020, has worked as Associate Publisher and editor at Carcanet Press.

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