BLOG POST: Rivers, Bodies, Stars with award winning poets
We are thrilled to have an event scheduled with award winning poets,
Rebecca Goss, Emily Hasler and Joanna Ingham
Amongst other accolades, Rebecca is the winner of the Sylvia Plath award 2022, Joanna won second place in the BBC Wildlife Poet Competition and Emily received an Eric Gregory Award. Their new work is strongly focussed on place or person. Our event, Rivers, Bodies, Stars, on 1st June 2023 can be found on our Events page https://shorturl.at/hwRY6
Rebecca Goss is a poet, tutor and mentor living in Suffolk. Her first full-length collection, The Anatomy of Structures, was published by Flambard Press in 2010. Her second collection, Her Birth, (Carcanet/Northern House, 2013) was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection, won the Poetry category in the East Anglian Book Awards 2013, and in 2015 was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Portico Prize for Literature. Carousel, her collaboration with the photographer Chris Routledge was published with Guillemot Press in 2018. Rebecca’s third full-length collection, Girl, was published with Carcanet/Northern House in 2019 and shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards 2019. She is the winner of the Sylvia Plath Prize 2022. Her most recent collection, Latch, is published with Carcanet in 2023. Twitter/Instagram @gosspoems
Rebecca Goss’ fourth and most ambitious collection, Latch, is a study in the act of returning. It is about reconnecting to a place, Suffolk, and understanding what it once held, and what it now holds for a woman and her family. These poems unearth the deep, lasting attachments people have with the East Anglian countryside, gathering voices of labour, love, and loss with compelling particularity. The book is various, unpredictable: memory and magic interweave, secrets tangle with myth. As in her earlier books, Goss again draws on her distinctive ability to plough difficult, emotional terrain. Here is an anatomy of marriage, her parents’ and her own, while the natural world becomes an arena for the emotional push and pull that exists between mothers and daughters. The return to a childhood home recalls young siblings retreating into nature as they steer the adult lives that disintegrate around them. Readers will find themselves beckoned to barns, fields, weirs, to experience both refuge and disturbance: we are shown a county’s stars, and why a poet needed to return to live under them.
Joanna Ingham lives in Suffolk and writes poetry and fiction. Her first pamphlet, Naming Bones, was published by ignitionpress in 2019. Her second pamphlet, Ovarium, (The Emma Press, 2022) was shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards 2022. She won second prize in the BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year Competition 2008, and first prize in the Paper Swans Press Single Poem Competition 2020. Her poems have been widely published in magazines, journals and online, in The Sunday Times and anthologies including The Best British Poetry 2012 (Salt). She has taught creative writing in community settings for many years. Joanna is represented by Susanna Lea Associates. Twitter @ingham_joanna
Tender, loving and visceral, Ovarium is a pamphlet of poems about a giant ovarian cyst. The poet charts her journey with the cyst, from diagnosis to surgery to recovery, via a landscape of scanner rooms and hospital wards. The poems explore the impact of illness, and the body as a site of disgust and shame but also healing and endurance. Ingham’s poems are forensic as she looks at the disorientating and sometimes patriarchal language of anatomy and medicine, and the way illness can change the relationship we have with our own bodies.
Emily Hasler lives beside the River Stour on the border of Suffolk and Essex. The Built Environment, her critically-acclaimed first collection, was published by Pavilion in 2018. She has been an Early Career Resident at Cove Park, a Hawthornden Fellow and in 2014 received an Eric Gregory Award.
Book description:Situated where salt and freshwater meet, where floods and fields ‘mingle parts’, Emily Hasler’s second collection exposes the dailiness of disaster to chart the constantly shifting courses of rivers and lives. Taking its name from the sections of libraries where much of Hasler’s research began, Local Interest maps the friable and slippery landscapes of south Suffolk and north Essex: estuaries and water meadows, coastal defences and disused decoys, possible futures and forgotten pasts. This is a book of habitats lost, created and threatened, teeming with plants, people, animals and ‘legless, uneyed life’. Here are promontories, precarity and potential; the first English sea battle and a forgotten stuntman; rare and familiar birds; a fish die-off and a vanished world; a historic earthquake and continuous erosion. Moments and millennia are as muddled as the elements. In these poems nothing is pure and everything is borrowed. Language is hybrid; poems are ‘stolen’ and ‘observed’. Local Interest questions boundaries and belonging, squinting at ideas of invasion and migration, borders and crossings. It asks what is ‘local’ and to whom; how we might celebrate dwelling while looking beyond permanence and ownership. This is poetry that wallows at the muddy edges of things, that asks you to follow it ‘through every breach that was and could be’.