Guest Poet: Claire Crowther
Claire Crowther has had three collections, and a pamphlet arising from her residency at the Royal Mint, published with Shearsman Press. Three other pamphlets have been published by Flarestack, Nine Arches and Hercules. Her first collection was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection. Her poems appear in such journals as the London Review of Books and she has been called 'one of our most intelligent surrealists'. Her new pamphlet, Knithoard, is published this year by Happenstance, while her upcoming book Solar Cruise (March 2020) has been awarded a PBS Recommendation for Spring 2020. Claire is co-editor of Long Poem Magazine.
Guest Poet: Carrie Etter
Carrie Etter's fourth collection, The Weather in Normal (US: Station Hill; UK: Seren), explores the losses of home through parents' deaths, the sale of the family house, and the effects of climate change. As Philip Gross remarks, "One of the particular gifts of poetry is here in force: the power of a few words to create great spaces. The spaces of a prairie landscape round a small town or between present and past, between people in a family or between words on the page, these are not emptiness but tingling with resonance, with the poems' fine attention. Touched and unsettled, we slip seamlessly between the intimate detail of loss and the vast perspective in which even the prairies are dwarfed by the scale of climate change." Carrie is a Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and also regularly teaches for Poetry Swindon and The Poetry School.
28th November 2019, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
Belated thanks (with huge apologies, it's been a crazy-busy few days) to everyone who came to Words & Ears on Thursday, in particular, of course, our fabulous guest poets Carrie Etter and Claire Crowther. In a powerful reading from Carrie, we heard about The Weather in Normal, her father's obsession with weather and, memorably, the blizzard that brought central Illinois to a halt as he himself approached his own halting place in hospital. And it was good to hear poems from Imagined Sons, too, many of which Carrie wrote in Bradford on Avon. Claire read for us from Knithoard, each poem a fatras (a 'lost form' of 11 lines), and then, after 'knitting together so many couplets of stiches', switched to her upcoming book Solar Cruise. This is about saving the world, no less, and the role her partner, Keith Barnham, a solar physicist, is taking in that... Keith joined in with Claire's reading, and showed us the quantum well solar cell, (a 'black speck' which 'lies heart-like on his palm') that may be our salvation.
With an extra special thank you to Carrie's talented students, Lucy Waller, James Godwin, Will Bedding and Esosa, who brought exciting new energies to our open mic, and to our other readers, Dan Lupton, Linda Saunders, Frances-Anne King, John Powell, Mike Grenville, John Hawkhead, Peter O'Grady, Moira Andrew, Norman Leater, Verona Bass, Heidi Beck, Eileen Cameron, Ann Preston and Mark Sayers.