Poetry @ the Print Room
With readings from Sarah Howe, Rebecca Perry and Amali Rodrigo.
Sarah Howe was born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, and moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia, was published in 2009, Loop of Jade is her first collection, which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and for which she was awarded The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award 2015 and the TS Eliot Prize 2016.
‘One of the very best books of poems I have read for a long time — complicated and moving and very accomplished.’ – A S Byatt, New Statesman, Books of the Year 2015
‘After reading Loop of Jade, the world seems larger and more nuanced than ever before, one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had reading a contemporary poetry collection. Howe more than holds her own among the heavyweights in a memorable year for new poetry, a year in which poets took our accepted ideas of race, heritage and tradition and blew them wide open.’ – Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph
Rebecca Perry‘s first full collection, Beauty/Beauty (Bloodaxe, 2015) is a book with tenderness running through its veins, exploring salvation, reparation and the fullness of being alive; the difficulty of defining what love is, the heartbreak, the faraway friends, the overwhelming abundance of things in museums. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection and the T S Eliot Prize. She co-edits the online journal Poems in Which and is currently Poetry Fellow at The University of Manchester.
‘Perry’s Beauty/Beauty is a book of reflection and symmetry, with several of the poems spaced to look like mirror images of each other. Interested in the ways that languages express love, she is on a quest to view emotion from all possible angles.’ – Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph
Amali Rodrigo grew up in Sri Lanka. She has lived in Mozambique, Kenya, India, and is now based in London. She is a PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University. Her work has won several prizes in competitions and has been widely published in journals such as The Poetry Review, Magma, PN Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, and Poetry London.
Her first collection Lotus Gatherers is published by Bloodaxe Books in May 2016. At the heart of the collection are her multi-voiced Aftersongs exploring the nature of the male gaze, religious didacticism and artistic inspiration. This epigrammatic sequence is based on the ekphrastic graffiti-poems inscribed between the 8th and 10th centuries at a royal pleasure palace and fortress in Sri Lanka, addressing the frescoes of the beautiful ‘cloud maidens’.
‘This is a world of paradoxes – exotic and familiar, a deeply spiritual world which delights in passion; that celebrates love, but does not hesitate to focus on unsettling histories of gender violence. Lotus Gatherers is an astonishingly sensual book, in the literal sense – these are poems we can feel; poems we can hear resonating on the page, aromatic poems, laced with breathtaking imagery; poems we can hold up to our lips and taste.’ – John Glenday