Hard Drive by Paul Stephenson: Carcanet Book Launch

  • DATE

    12 July 2023

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Hard Drive by Paul Stephenson. Hosting the reading will be poet and writer Susannah Hart. 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, 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.

When his partner suddenly died, life changed utterly for Paul Stephenson. Hard Drive is the outcome of his revisiting a world he thought he knew, but which had been upended. In poems that are affectionate, self-examining, sometimes funny and often surprised by grief in the oddest corners, the poet takes us through rooms, routines, and rituals of bereavement, the memory of love, a shared life and separation. A noted formalist, with a flair for experiment, pattern and the use of constraints, Stephenson has written a remarkable first book, moving and, despite everything, a hopeful record of a gay relationship. It is also a landmark elegy collection.

‘This is a heart-stopping debut of real emotional force and poetic intelligence. Paul Stephenson approaches the elegy through a kaleidoscopic, inventive, and genuinely moving use of form. The disorientating world of grief is captured with a blade-like precision, and yet Hard Drive is also full of hard-won light. Stephenson looks death in the eyes, and holds his nerve like few others.’ – Seán Hewitt

About the speakers:

Paul Stephenson studied modern languages and linguistics. He has published three pamphlets: Those People (Smith/Doorstop, 2015), which won the Poetry Business pamphlet competition; The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016), written after the November 2015 terrorist attacks; and Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). In 2013/14 he took part in the Jerwood/Arvon mentoring scheme and the Aldeburgh Eight, before completing an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) with the Manchester Writing School. In 2018 he co-edited the ‘Europe’ issue of Magma (70) and currently co-curates Poetry in Aldeburgh. He is a university teacher and researcher, and lives between Cambridge and Brussels.

Susannah Hart’s poems have been widely published in magazines and online. Her debut collection Out of True won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018. She won first prize in the 2019 National Poetry Competition and was commended in both the 2020 and 2022 competition. Susannah lives in London, is on the board of Magma Poetry and is a long-serving governor at her local primary school.