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Annual Lecture Series 2021: m nourbeSe philip

Wednesday 3 November 2021, 7:00 pm8:30 pm

The Poetry Society and University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing have teamed up to present a series of three online lectures in 2021, and are delighted to announce that the multi-award-winning poet m nourbeSe philip will give the third lecture of the series, following the spring and summer lectures by Valzhyna Mort and Terrance Hayes.

m nourbeSe philip’s lecture ‘Small Islands Long Poems or the (un)Epic of Small in the Spiralling Memory of History’ will include a conversation between nourbeSe and Sandeep Parmar, a Q&A from the audience, and a reading of selected poems, chosen to respond to her theme.

Through an exploration of the long poem, the poetics of the fragment and how they engage with issues of language, memory, space, place, and exile, the lecture enacts a literary and personal journey in the shadow of empires past and present, to follow the tensile thread of memory back through history from Canada, her present place of abode, to her (un)beginnings in the small Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

Jason Allen-Paisant’s searching essay on the work of m nourbeSe philip, first published in The Poetry Review, 111.1, spring 2021, is available to read here.

The Poetry Society Annual Lecture given by m nourbeSe philip is the third of a series of lectures in 2021 presented by The Poetry Society in association with University of Liverpool (as the Kenneth Allott lectures), and will be published in The Poetry Review. The lectures by Valzhyna Mort and Terrance Hayes are published in the spring and summer issues of The Poetry Review respectively. Click here to view full details of Terrance Hayes’ lecture.

About m nourbeSe philip

Born in Tobago, m nourbeSe philip is an unembedded poet, essayist, novelist, playwright and independent scholar who lives in the space-time of the city of Toronto where she practised law for seven years before becoming a poet and writer. Among her published works are the seminal She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks; the speculative prose poem Looking for Livingston: An Odyssey of Silence; the young adult novel, Harriet’s Daughter; the play, Coups and Calypsos, and four collections of essays including her most recent collection, BlanK. Her book-length poem, Zong!, is a conceptually innovative, genre-breaking epic, which explodes the legal archive as it relates to slavery. Among her awards are numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants, including the prestigious Chalmers Award (Ontario Arts Council), the Canada Council’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (Outstanding mid-career artist), as well as the Pushcart Prize (USA), the Casa de las Americas Prize (Cuba), the Lawrence Foundation Prize (USA), the Arts Foundation of Toronto Writing and Publishing Award (Toronto), and Dora Award finalist (drama). Her fellowships include Guggenheim, McDowell, and Rockefeller (Bellagio). She is an awardee of both the YWCA Woman of Distinction (Arts) and the Elizabeth Fry Rebels for a Cause awards. She has been Writer-in-Residence at several universities and a guest at writers’ retreats. m nourbeSe philip is the 2020 recipient of PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.