Writing without lines — the art of prose poetry is a sometimes marginalised and contentious area of poetry. In this online event, Maria Jastrzębska (The True Story of Cowboy Hat & Ingénue), Jane Monson (The Chalk Butterfly) and Jan Fortune (Stale Bread & Miracles) read from their prose poetry collections and discuss the place and range of prose poetry.
Renegade: from writing to launch
Launched recently, Renegade by Jane Austin is compelling story of 70s rebellion, revolution in Rojava and a family in a tailspin; a tale that touches the beating heart of our times.
Jane says about writing this novel:
“In writing Renegade, I look into the soul of a bomb-throwing anarchist in the 70s who convinces himself he’s on the right side of history, even after it all goes horribly wrong. Justin as a young man tries to throw off middle class chains to become a class warrior. Looking back at himself through the lens of time, he thinks of his workmates, and ‘nursed his soul with youthful memories of working alongside men with the weight and heft of authenticity, something he’d lacked his whole life.’
I wrote the novel drawing on my experience as an activist and as someone who lived through tidal waves of social change. I wanted to explore how global events can ricochet down the generations in unexpected ways. Justin’s youthful libertarian ideals are reflected in his son Sanjay, drawn into radical politics by his lover, who joins a Kurdish women’s militia to fight ISIS.
It’s a story of human frailty, regret and atonement and how our actions however large or small can change the lives of those around us.”
The launch of Renegade was well-attended and the book is on sale on the Cinnamon site, online platforms and, if you’re in London, in the Brick Lane Bookshop, as well as being available to order in other bookshops. Introducing the launch, Jane’s editor, Rowan Fortune, said:
The launch of Jane Austin’s Renegade was a well-attended author-interview discussion of the book’s key themes, as well as the broader writing process, interspersed with vibrant and tantalizing readings. Renegade tells the story of Leeds professor Justin as his radical, militant anarchist youth in the 70s resurfaces to haunt his contemporary academic and married life. The consequences for Justin and his family challenge both him and the reader to reflect on redemption, the meaning of the past and the importance of identity in times of political turmoil. After the readings, the audience asked diverse questions touching on the nature of class in the delivery of justice and all the way to the tricky details of a novelist researching a bombing campaign.
Read Renegade Chapter 1 and get hooked on this high stakes story.
Launching two collections of transformation
The launch of The Chalk Butterfly by Jane Monson and Life’s Stink and Honey by Lynn Valentine rounded off our Spring into Summer launch season with extraordinary readings and lively discussion. Haunting, compelling, moving and beautiful were just a few of the responses from the audience.
Each of Jane Monson’s quietly immersive prose-poems is a light cast on the different facet of a vulnerable, interdependent world. Inanimate things are as charged with sensation and volition as the human minds and bodies that respond, sometimes painfully, to their disorder. This writing leaves us with no choice but to see more clearly; it enables us to care a little more.
Lynn Valentine is a fearless writer who tackles the great unspeakables head-on – bereavement, loss, childlessness, exile; and yet it’s not death that prevails in these poems, but rather the sovereignty of life and, with all its gifts and with all its heartbreaks, the obstinate beauty of the living world.
Catch up with the event here.
Three poets, two pamphlets & a collection
Wednesday 30th April saw the launch of G.W. Colkitto’s Clyde: my river, Ian Marriott’s Touched and David Underdown’s Jigsaw. With superb readings and a discussion of writing poetry, this was a stand-out evening. If you missed the live launch you can catch up here, or revisit it.
Biography: are we making it up?
Thursday 24 March saw the second in our Readers’ Series events with brilliant readings and discussion from David Batten, Tracey Iceton and Helen May Williams reading from Rotterdam, Rock God Complex and June and discussing the elusive lines between fact and truth, memory and plausibility.
If you missed the event you can catch up with the recording here and use the discount code to buy their books (and others)