Poetry @ the Print Room
Readings from David Harsent and Jo Shapcott.
Salt is the twelfth collection from the multi-award winning David Harsent; these intense and primal pieces stretch out across the measure of a page in brief utterances. The poems in this collection form, as the poet says ‘a series not a sequence. They belong to each other in mood, in tone, and by way of certain images and words that form a ricochet of echoes – not least the word “salt”‘ Resting somewhere between fragment and exposition, one extends to sonnet-length , one is a line long; but each uniquely completes its own world.
Harsent’s Legion won the Forward Prize for best collection; Night was triple short-listed in the UK and won the Griffin International Poetry Prize; His previous collection Fire Songs (2014) , won the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Harsent has collaborated with a number of composers, though most often with Harrison Birtwistle. Birtwistle/Harsent collaborations have been performed at major venues throughout the world. An oratorio, The Judas Passion, (music by Sally Beamish) premiered in this country in September and was recently performed in America. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Hellenic Writers’ Association.
‘It is hard to think of any poet working in this country today who is so demanding, both of himself and of the reader; harder still to think of one who is as morally and imaginatively rewarding.’ John Burnside
Jo Shapcott was born and lives in London. Twice winner of the National Poetry Competition, she has published seven collections with Faber including Her Book: Poems 1988-1998 which selects from three earlier volumes: Electroplating the Baby (1988) which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) which won the Forward Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection Of Mutability (2010) won the Costa Book Award and in 2011 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She will read some eagerly-awaited new poems.
Jo Shapcott is a Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
‘Shapcott’s is a voice that reaches out and grabs. In all her work, she transforms the extraordinary into the immediately plausible … Whatever her province, her concern remains for the chaotically unaccountable in humanity.’ TLS
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