2019 sees the publication of two new books:
The Afterlife, my fifth book of poems, with Worple Press;
and Deck Shoes, a memoir of short prose pieces, 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.
As I prepare to share this new work with the world I am hoping to enlist the support of readers with the aim of opening up a conversation about these difficult subjects.
So if you would like me to come to your school, or lecture hall, or leader team, or mental health/faith/patient/remission/book/reading/hospice group, or workshop, or gallery, or festival, poetry or otherwise, or setting and begin a conversation by reading some poems and prose I would be very glad to see you. I am, as they say, available.
Please use the contact form on the menu bar at the top of this blog, and we can go from there.
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), Canford School, The Drum Theatre (Plymouth), Exeter Cathedral, Exeter Poetry Festival, Greenbelt Festival, ICA, The King’s School, The Lowry Centre (Manchester), Monkton Combe School, The British Library, The Phoenix (Exeter), The Poetry Trust (1999, 2007), The Poetry Place, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, The Sherborne Sessions (2012, 2014, 2016), SPACEX Gallery (Exeter), Tate Britain, Taunton Literature Festival, Tonbridge School, The Troubadour Café, 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, Alan Brownjohn, Alasdair Paterson, Alicia Yerburgh, 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, Deborah Fielding, Fiona Benson, Harry Baker, Helen Evans, Hilary Menos, George Szirtes, Iain Archer, Isabel Galleymore, Jacqueline Wilson, Jane Kirwan, Jean Sprackland, Jon McGregor, Josephine Corcoran, Julie-Ann Rowell, Katherine Venn, Kathryn Heyman, Lawrence Sail, Liz Lochhead, Luke Sital-Singh, Lemn Sissay, Lol Coxhill, Mandy Coe, 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