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24 January 2024
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please join us to celebrate the launch of Something, I Forget by Angela Leighton. Hosting the reading will be fellow Carcanet poet and the Oxford Professor of Poetry, A.E. Stallings. 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.
Angela Leighton’s sixth collection of poems turns on the strange arts of remembering and forgetting. From Rome to Yorkshire, Naples to the Fens, she sets contemporary moments of hope and loss against a classical or Christian backdrop, while tracking a path that goes, more impersonally, from winter’s cold to the growth of a garden. There are poems about war, love, childhood, age, and the wiping of memories they (differently) encourage. Whether elegiac or humorous, each tightly written poem is its own imaginable place, where words have the keen touch of things, yet things – a creaky old lift in a palazzo, a glass harp played in a backstreet, the CDs hanging on a tree, a clay doll in a museum – resonate like memorials to ‘something’ beyond themselves.
Whether in strict or free form, in rhyming stanzas or verbal openwork, this is a collection that tests the sound-shapes of language while always listening for the tunes and rhythms that make it sing.
About the speakers:
Angela Leighton was born in Wakefield, educated in Edinburgh and Oxford, and has taught at the universities of Hull and Cambridge. The daughter of a Yorkshire (composer) father and a Neapolitan mother, she has always recognised her heritage of mixed languages and conflicting standpoints. Perhaps for this reason her work has always pushed at the boundaries of literary form. Her most recent critical work, Hearing Things: The Work of Sound in Literature (2018), sets autobiographical creative prose alongside critical writing to suggest the connections between them, while her volume of poems, Spills (2016), interweaves memoir, short story and translation with original poetry. The permeable flow of the language, towards music on the one hand and other literatures on the other, lies at the heart of her own writing.
She has published poetry and short stories in many magazines, including the New Yorker, TLS, Poetry Chicago, Archipelago, The Dark Horse, and others. Something, I Forget is her sixth volume of poetry.
A.E. Stallings is a U.S.-born poet and translator who lives in Greece. She studied Classics at the University of Georgia (in Athens, Georgia) and Oxford University, and lives now in Athens. She has published four volumes of poetry (Archaic Smile, Hapax, Olives, and Like), and three volumes of verse translation, including Lucretius’ The Nature of Things and Hesiod’s Works and Days with Penguin Classics. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her translation and poetry, including a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur fellowship. Her poetry book, Like (FSG), was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize.
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