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Green Noise and Gravestones: A Reading of Poetry and Prose

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Lecture Theatre 2, Geoffrey Manton

Rosamond Street West

Manchester

M15 6EB

United Kingdom

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Professor Jean Sprackland will read new work from two forthcoming books: Green Noise, a collection of poems, and These Silent Mansions, a collection of essays about graveyards.

The poems in Green Noise listen for what is audible and available to be known and understood, and what is not. Some inquire into the natural world and our human place in it, by investigating hidden worlds within worlds: oak-apples, aphid farms, firewood teeming with small life. Others go in search of fragments of the past: abandoned villages, scraps of shared history which are only ever partially remembered.

These Silent Mansions arises from a lifetime of exploring churchyards and cemeteries: green spaces, rich in history and biodiversity. It attempts to reconstruct the stories of forgotten individuals, exploring what they mean to the places where those people lived and died, and to their relationship with the living. Memorials stand against the fear of oblivion, but broken and abandoned graves speak of the practical impossibility of being remembered forever.

Jean will talk about some of the themes and preoccupations – place, memory, the nature of time and loss – which are at the heart of both books, and about the work of other writers which has inspired and influenced them.

This lecture will be introduced by Professor Helen Laville (Pro Vice Chancellor for Education at Manchester Metropolitan University) and will be followed with a response from James Sheard (poet and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Keele).

James Sheard was born in Cyprus in 1962, and spent his childhood abroad, mainly in Singapore and Germany. As an adult, he spent periods living in Hamburg and Helsinki. He is the author of three full collections of poetry with Jonathan Cape: Scattering Eva (2005), shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Glenn Dimplex Award for Poetry; Dammtor (2010); and The Abandoned Settlements - which deals with the literal and metaphorical abandoned places of one’s life - which was shortlisted for The T S Eliot Prize 2017; as well as a pamphlet of poems, Hotel Mastbosch (Mews Press, 2003), which was awarded the Ictus Prize. He lives in Powys with his partner, the poet and ‘Emergency Poet’ Deborah Alma, and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Keele University

Jean Sprackland has published five poetry collections, including Tilt, winner of the Costa Poetry Award in 2007. Her most recent collection, Sleeping Keys, is 'a book distinguished by rueful but unembittered wisdom' (Sean O'Brien for the Guardian). She is also the author of Strands, a book of essays which won the Portico Prize for Non Fiction in 2012. Jean has written and broadcast extensively for BBC Radio, and is Chair of the Poetry Archive.

Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to disability equality. If you have any access requirements, please let us know via 0161 247 6740 or email us at a.turbine@mmu.ac.uk before you arrive to help us to make sure that your visit to the event is as enjoyable as possible

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Lecture Theatre 2, Geoffrey Manton

Rosamond Street West

Manchester

M15 6EB

United Kingdom

View Map

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