Polkadot Wounds by Anthony Vahni Capildeo: Carcanet Online Book Launch

  • DATE

    31 July 2024

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Polkadot Wounds by Anthony Vahni Capildeo. The reading will be hosted by James Womack. 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.

Polkadot Wounds is a delight, wrestling with life in our restless times. Capildeo entices us to enter conversation with others (dead and living), amongst glimpsing reflections of encounters. Landscapes become ‘landskips’, playing on traditions of travel and nature writing, childlike spontaneity, and movement across gaps. Dante’s Divine Comedy frames untimely deaths and breakthroughs of joy, during the pandemic and in queer and far-flung communities. The title of the book is inspired by the stones of the ruined Norman castle in Launceston, Cornwall and the local martyr, St Cuthbert Mayne, where Capildeo was writer in residence with the Charles Causley Trust. Polkadot Wounds invites us to transformations of self.

‘[E]verything comes together in this sparkling book of responses, of interlocutions, a poet situating a body of work amid other bodies and other poets. […] This exciting book could be Capildeo’s finest yet: come for the querewolves. Stay for the panoply.’ – STEPHANIE BURT

‘Capildeo’s poetic language is its own creature, a bestiary, fierce and tender, generous and resilient. […] The poems demonstrate again and again how attention can be an act of radical hospitality.’

About the speakers:

Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo FRSL is a Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction. Currently Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of York, their site-specific word and visual art includes responses to Cornwall’s former capital, Launceston, as the Causley Trust Poet in Residence (2022) and to the Ubatuba granite of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (2023), as well as to Scottish, Irish, and Caribbean built and natural environments. Their numerous books and pamphlets, from No Traveller Returns (Salt, 2003), Person Animal Figure (Landfill, 2005) onwards, are distinguished by deliberate engagement with independent and small presses. Their work has been recognized with the Cholmondeley Award (Society of Authors) and the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection. Their publications include Like a Tree, Walking (Carcanet, 2021) (Poetry Book Society Choice), and A Happiness (Intergraphia, 2022). Their interests include silence, translation theory, medieval reworkings, plurilingualism, collaborative work, and traditional masquerade. Recent commissions include research-based Windrush poems for Poet in the City and for the Royal Society of Literature. Capildeo served as a judge for the Jhalak Prize (2023).

James Womack was born in 1979. His new collection, Why Are You Shouting?, is published by Carcanet in July 2024. He is the author of three previous collections of poetry with Carcanet: Misprint (2012), On Trust: A Book of Lies (2017) and Homunculus (2020). He is also an award-winning translator, and has translated widely from Spanish and Russian, including works by Vladimir Mayakovsky (‘Vladimir Mayakovsky’ and Other Poems, Poetry Book Society Translation Choice Winter 2016), Aleksandr Tvardovsky, Manuel Vilas and Camilo José Cela. He lives in Cambridge.