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Rebecca Watts Shortlisted for Gladstone's Residency

Tuesday, 27 Jul 2021

cover image of Red Gloves by Rebecca Watts It's a pleasure to share the news that Rebecca Watts has been shortlisted for the prestigious Gladstone's Library Residency next year, with her second collection, Red Gloves.

The award, which is designed to support emerging and established novelists and poets working within a broad spread of literary genres, is now in its eleventh year. It was originally launched in association with Damien Barr, author of You Will Be Safe Here (2019) and the creator and host of Literary Salon.  

Every applicant is required to have published a book within the last three years and is asked to write a short piece of writing in which they discuss liberal values. Winning authors will be offered a residency extending up to a month at Gladstone’s Library, which has provided quiet and comfortable spaces for writers and researchers for more than a century. 

The judging panel for 2022 consists of Freddie Baveystock, Trustee of Gladstone’s Library and teacher at Harris Westminster Sixth Form, alongside previous Writer in Residence winners; journalist and non-fiction author Charlotte Higgins, award-winning poet Jonathan Edwards, and writer, reporter, and editor Cal Flyn. 

Peter Francis, Warden of Gladstone’s Library, said: 'The past eighteen months has demonstrated how crucial time, space and support are in terms of fostering creativity. We know our residency programme is valued by our award applicants, and we are looking forward to offering that support once again.'

Judging will take place on October 4th. To see the full shortlist and read more about the award, please visit the library's website here.

Congratulations to all shortlisted writers, especially Rebecca - and good luck!

Portrait of Rebecca Watts
Rebecca Watts was born in Suffolk in 1983 and currently lives in Cambridge, where she works for a museum and as a freelance writer and editor. A selection of her poetry was included in New Poetries VI (2015). Her debut collection The Met Office Advises Caution (2016) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and featured in the Guardian and Financial Times ‘Best Books of 2016’ lists. Her second collection, Red Gloves, was published in 2020.

In this follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Met Office Advises Caution, Rebecca Watts observes and tests the limits of humanity's engagement with the non-human. By turns lyrical and narrative, the poems examine familiar subjects - environmental crisis, hawks, hospitals, the sea, barbecues, flowers, Emily Dickinson - only to find their subjects staring, sometimes fighting, back. Nature and nurture, equally red in tooth and claw, power a book-long sparring match between the overthinking poet and the ever-thoughtless universe, between the craft's isolation and the world's irrepressible variety. Gloves on and gloves off, the poet's hands destroy and build, gather and scatter, caress and strike.

Buy the book here.

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