Ambush at Still Lake by Caroline Bird: Carcanet Online Book Launch

  • DATE

    26 June 2024

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Ambush at Still Lake by Caroline Bird.

The reading will be hosted by poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell. 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.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, redeemable against the cost of the book. You will receive the discount code and instructions for how to purchase the book in your confirmation email as well as during and after the event.

Caroline Bird’s new poems show us the ambush of real life that occurs in the stillness after the happy ending. This is a collection about marriage, lesbian parenthood, addiction and recovery in which a recurring dream is playing out: a world where mums impale themselves on pogo-sticks, serial killers rattle around in basements, baby monitors are haunted by someone else’s baby and, through it all, love stays and stays like a stationary rollercoaster that turns out to be the scariest, most thrilling ride in the amusement park.

Her editor welcomed the book in these terms: ‘It is bleak, repellent and hilarious in an American Psycho-ish way. Hectic and vivid.’

‘Vegetable crisps.
The words yawn like a black hole,
sucking my eyes backwards
into my head until I see
my own brain glowing
like a radioactive cauliflower.’

About the speakers:
Caroline Bird has seven previous volumes published by Carcanet. Her sixth collection, The Air Year, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2020 and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize and the Costa Prize. Her fifth collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 TS Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. A two-time winner of the Foyles Young Poets Award, her first collection Looking Through Letterboxes was published in 2002 when she was 15. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001 and the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008 and 2010. She was one of the five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics. In 2023, she won a Cholmondeley Award. Her Selected Poems, Rookie, was published in 2022.

Glyn Maxwell is a poet, playwright, novelist, librettist and critic. His volumes of poetry include The Breakage, Hide Now, and Pluto, all of which were shortlisted for either the Forward or T. S. Eliot Prizes, and The Nerve, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His Selected Poems, One Thousand Nights and Counting, was published on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011. He has a long association with Derek Walcott, who taught him in Boston in the late 1980s, and whose Selected Poems he edited in 2014. On Poetry, a guidebook for the general reader, was published by Oberon in 2012. The Spectator called it ‘a modern classic’ and The Guardian’s Adam Newey described it as ‘the best book about poetry I’ve ever read.’ Drinks With Dead Poets, which is both an expansion of On Poetry and a novel in itself, will be published by Oberon in September 2016. Many of Maxwell’s plays have been staged in London and New York, including Liberty at Shakespeare’s Globe, and at the Almeida, Arcola, RADA and Southwark Playhouse. For the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester, the UK’s premier outdoor venue outside of London, he has adapted Cyrano De Bergerac and Wind in the Willows. His opera libretti include The Firework Maker’s Daughter (composer David Bruce) which was shortlisted for ‘Best New Opera’ at the Oliviers in 2014, Seven Angels (Luke Bedford) and The Lion’s Face (Elena Langer). These were staged at the Royal Opera House and toured the UK. In 2016 Nothing (composer David Bruce) was staged at Glyndebourne. He is currently adapting The Magic Flute for Opera UpClose.