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Thursday 11th March 2021 | 7pm to 8pm | YouTube 

Join us for the PBS Spring Showcase hosted virtually by NCLA, Newcastle University, and chaired by the poet, John Challis. We're delighted to present our Spring Choice Jen Hadfield, all the way from Shetland, and recommendation Rowan Ricardo Phillips from across the Atlantic.

Jen Hadfield's fourth poetry collection The Stone Age (Picador, 2021) explores neurodiversity. Passionately involved with the wild world, she uses poetry, lyrical essay and, occasionally, sculpture in cast porcelain, to try and share her intense experience of the here-and-now. Her work has garnered numerous awards, including the 2008 T.S.Eliot Prize for her second collection, Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe, 2008). Hadfield is a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow at Glasgow University and is building a house in Shetland, very slowly.

The PBS’s Spring Choice The Stone Age is a timely reminder that our neurodiversity is a gift: we do not all see the world in the same way, and Hadfield’s lyric line and unashamedly high-stakes wordplay provide nothing less than a portal into a different kind of being. The Stone Age is the work of a singular artist at the height of her powers – one which dramatically extends and enriches the range of our shared experience.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the author of three books of poems (Heaven, The Ground and Living Weapon) and two essay collections (The Circuit and When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness). As well as being a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize, his awards include a Whiting Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing and the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award.

PBS’s Spring Recommendation Living Weapon (Faber, 2021) is a love song to the imagination, a new blade of light homing in on our political moment. His poetry reveals the limitations of our vocabulary, showing that our platitudes are inadequate to the brutal times we find ourselves in. And yet, through interrogation of allegory and symbol, names and things, time and musicality, a language of grace and urgency is found. For still our lives go on, and these are poems of survival as much as indictment. Living Weapon is a piercing, flaring collection from ‘a virtuoso poetic voice’ (Granta).

John Challis is the author of The Resurrectionists, due out from Bloodaxe in 2021, and the pamphlet, The Black Cab (Poetry Salzburg, 2017), which was a 2019 New Writing North Read Regional title. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Northern Writers’ Award. Challis gained a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, where he currently works as a Research Associate.

The event is free to attend, and all welcome. Book here to receive the youtube link.

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