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In the Quaker Hotel by Helen Tookey: Carcanet Book Launch

Wednesday 25 May 2022, 19:00 to 20:00



Please join us to celebrate the launch of In the Quaker Hotel by Helen Tookey. Hosting the reading will be writer and critic Seán Hewitt, joining Helen to discuss the new book. The event will feature readings and discussion, and 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.  

In the title poem, the speaker sits at the window of a small hotel room. The room is a holding zone, a temporary stopping-place between memory and possibility. In the Quaker Hotel is full of questions about the world. Rooted in nature, the poems are fearful for it. They move out through identifiable landscapes (Merseyside, north Wales, Nova Scotia, southern France) to off-kilter, tilted places beyond our immediate reality. We are temporary guests in these places and in our own lives. Who will come after us, how will they see things: 'who will tend the bees / in the communal garden'?

Helen Tookey experiments with form and theme, as in her earlier books Missel-Child (Carcanet, 2014, shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize) and City of Departures (Carcanet, 2019, shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection).

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:

Helen Tookey was born near Leicester in 1969 and now lives in Liverpool. She studied philosophy at university and subsequently worked in publishing. She currently teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. She has published two previous poetry collections with Carcanet Press, Missel-Child (2014, shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize, 2015) and City of Departures (2019, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, 2019). She is collaborating with writer and musician Martin Heslop on text and sound work developed from a residency in 2019 at the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, Nova Scotia, some of which can be seen here. Since 2009, Helen has been involved with a Merseyside-based project focused on the Wirral-born novelist Malcolm Lowry, and has co-edited (with Bryan Biggs) two books on Lowry: Malcolm Lowry: From the Mersey to the World (Liverpool UP, 2009) and Remaking the Voyage: New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and In Ballast to the White Sea (Liverpool UP, 2019). She is currently working on a creative non-fiction book about her engagement with the work of Lowry and Elizabeth Bishop and, through them, with place and landscape.

Seán Hewitt was born in 1990. His debut collection, Tongues of Fire, is published by Jonathan Cape. He is a book critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin. His debut collection, Tongues of Fire, won The Laurel Prize, and was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, and a Dalkey Literary Award. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their "30 under 30" artists in Ireland. He is also the winner of a Northern Writers' Award, the Resurgence Prize, and an Eric Gregory Award. His book J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism is published with Oxford University Press (2021). His memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape in the UK and Penguin Press in the USA in 2022.

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