‘One of the great poets of family life’ -Christopher Reid

In 2019 I published two new books:

The Afterlife, my fifth book of poems, with Worple Press;

and Deck Shoes, a memoir of influences and enthusiasms, with Impress Books.

They are very different books, but there is a lot of crossover between them. Most centrally, they were both written during the period of what is increasingly looking like my permanent remission from cancer.

The books are not about cancer in the same way that Riddance and Love for Now tackled that subject head-on, but the shadow of cancer, it would be more accurate to say mortality, is never far from their pages.

Instead they are about other themes also present in those books: mental health; identity; the body; how to be present, to oneself and one’s family; what it means to let go, even to die, but without actually dying.

You can read samples from both books here and here.

If you would like to discuss booking me for a reading, workshop or talk about these topics, please email me at a dot c dot wilson at exeter dot ac dot uk. Thank you.

I have performed my poetry at venues across the UK including:

The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival (2002, 2014), The Arvon Foundation (The Hurst), The Arvon Foundation (Totleigh Barton), The Bike Shed Theatre  (Exeter), Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival, Brilliant Lives Festival (Apples and Snakes), The British Library, Canford School, The Drum Theatre (Plymouth), Exeter Cathedral, Exeter Poetry Festival, Greenbelt Festival, ICA, The King’s School, The Lowry Centre (Manchester), Manchester Cathedral, Monkton Combe School, The Phoenix (Exeter), The Poetry Trust (1999, 2007), The Poetry Place, Quay Words (Exeter), Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, The Sherborne Sessions (2012, 2014, 2016), Shute Festival, SPACEX Gallery (Exeter), Tate Britain, Taunton Literature Festival, Tonbridge School, Tonbridge Talks (2019), The Troubadour Café, Trowbridge Stanza, Ty Newydd Writers’ Centre of Wales, University of Exeter, The Watershed Centre (Bristol), Ways With Words Literature Festival, Wenlock Poetry Festival.

I have read with the following artists and poets:

Afric McGlinchey, Ailsa Holland, Alan Brownjohn, Alasdair Paterson, Alicia Yerburgh, Andrew Rudd, Andy Brown, Andrew Motion, Ann Gray, Ann Sansom, Anne Carson, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Annie Fisher, Beverly Rycroft, Boo Hewerdine, Brian Patten, Candy Neubert, Catherine Smith, Cathy Burton, Chrissie Banks, Christopher Reid, Christopher Southgate, Connie Bensley, Damian Furniss, David Woolley, Dawn Gorman, Deborah Fielding, Fiona Benson, Harry Baker, Helen Evans, Hilary Menos, George Szirtes, Iain Archer, Isabel Galleymore, Jacqueline Wilson, Jane Kirwan, Jean Sprackland, John Wedgwood Clarke, Jon McGregor, Josephine Corcoran, Julie-Ann Rowell, Katherine Venn, Kathryn Heyman, Lawrence Sail, Liz Lochhead, Luke Sital-Singh, Lemn Sissay, Lol Coxhill, Mandy Coe, Marc Woodward, Mark Totterdell, Mario Petrucci, Martin Wroe, Martyn Joseph, Matthew Francis, Matt Harvey, Michael McKimm, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Donaghy, Miriam Darlington, Paul Casey, Paul Cookson, Paul Farley, Philip Gross, Peter Carpenter, Peter Daniels, Phil Bowen, Richard Nicholson, Richard Skinner, River Wolton, Roger McGough, Rose Cook, Rosie Shepperd, Roz Goddard, Rupert Loydell, Sally Flint, Sandeep Parmar, Sarah Salway, Selima Hill, Siân Hughes, Simon Mayo, Stephen Boyce, Stewart Henderson, Susan Utting, Valerie Bloom, Wednesday’s Wolves

To contact me for future readings and residencies please email me at a dot c dot wilson at exeter dot ac dot uk.

Performance photo credit: Charlie Hawkins

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