Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 19:00

Online from the comfort of your own home. 

Wales Book of the Year Poetry Shortlist Readings

In this special online reading, we will be joined by the three poets shortlisted in the poetry category for the Wales Book of the Year 2020 ahead of the winner being announced on Friday 31st July. 

To register for the event, please RSVP to sarahjohnson@serenbooks.com and you will be sent the link. 

About the books:

Footnotes to Water, Zoë Skoulding

Footnotes to Water imagines a river as a transverse section, cutting through urban and rural spaces, connecting places that are themselves in flux. Zoë Skoulding follows the mysterious path of the culverted Afon Adda in Bangor, close to where she lives, as it draws her into conversations with the city as well as with the sound of the river itself, half-heard under the metal plates of the observation chambers along its route. It leads her to the Bièvre, a lost Parisian stream that once ran through streets of tanneries and past the Gobelins tapestry factory, where the quality of a famous red dye was attributed to the river’s polluted water. Following literary traces as well as exploring landscapes, a sequence on hefting sheep links the two rivers, extending the idea of local habitat or cynefin to encompass the interweaving lives of different cultures and species.

Erato, Deryn Rees-Jones

Named after the Greek muse of lyric poetry, Erato combines documentary-style prose narratives with the passionate lyric poetry for which Rees-Jones is renowned. Here, however, as she experiments with form, particularly the sonnet, Rees-Jones asks questions about the value of the poet and poetry itself. What is the difference, she asks in one poem, between a sigh and a song? Erato’s themes are manifold but particularly focus on personal loss, desire and recovery, in the context of a world in which wars and displacement of people has become a terrifying norm. 

Fur Coats in Tahiti, Jeremy Over (Carcanet)

Fur Coats in Tahiti is a cocktail of borrowed forms and modes from Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, the OuLiPo, the Vienna Group and the New York school. There are scissor snips and slips of the tongue and eye in a sequence of word and image compositions derived from an Edwardian illustrated dictionary. Elsewhere there are childlike, and plain childish, oral and aural pleasures to be had with bananas, cherries and Slobodan Živojinovic; tahini and Petroc Trelawny. The book begins with 'O', an openmouthed astonishment at nativity, and ends, not with Z but, in the hope of further connection, with the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet: '&'.

Have your say! Vote for your favourite shortlisted title to win the WBOTY People's Choice Award. Vote now.

Find out more about Wales Book of the Year and the other shortlists on the Literature Wales website www.literaturewales.org