Please join us to celebrate the launch of Imperium by Jay Gao. Hosting the reading will be poet Will Harris. 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.
By reimagining episodes from Homer's Odyssey, Jay Gao's highly anticipated debut collection, Imperium, introduces an innovative talent whose work cuts across poetic traditions, traversing mythic cartographies and imperial formations. Exploring forms of absolute and intimate power, Imperium is an imaginative meditation on how the past lives on in the present by way of, and beyond, a global poetics of diaspora.
'Nuanced, challenging, sometimes hilarious, often anguished, this impressive reimagining of The Odyssey makes for an unforgettable road trip; Gao's Odysseus is a nervy and compelling traveller, a sort of non-hero, itinerant and always somewhat lost. Waylaid with Gao in hotel bars and tour buses, we are estranged, sensitized as we go to the dislocations and non-belonging of children of the world's diasporas, and also to the structures of appropriation and exploitation embedded in travel. We are all conditioned and implicated; but perhaps this acute and attentive Odysseus is exactly who we need to help us listen to the buried histories of Imperialism, to "wait a little differently, mourn a / little more".' - Fiona Benson
'These poems reject the heroism of the legible "I". If a central figure emerges it might be that of the Anti-Translator, not there to disclose personal information but to reveal the bareness of our "corpse-lives". Jay Gao's Imperium marks a new chapter in British poetry, bringing to bear a new complexity, richness of thought and influence.' - Will Harris
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: Jay Gao
is the author of three poetry pamphlets: TRAVESTY58
(2020), a winner of a New Poets Prize; and Wedding Beasts
(2019), shortlisted for the Saltire-Callum MacDonald Award. He is a Contributing Editor at The White Review
. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, he earned his MFA at Brown University, and is currently a PhD student at Columbia University.Will Harris
is a London-based writer. His debut poetry book RENDANG
(2020) is published by Granta in the UK and Wesleyan University Press in the US. It was a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He co-edited the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review
with Mary Jean Chan. He has collaborated with the artists Aisha Farr and Matthew Stuart. His second book of poems, Brother Poem
, will be published by Granta in 2023.