The team at Manchester-based Carcanet Press – which last year celebrated 50 years at the forefront of poetry publishing – has been stepping up to the mark since the very start of lockdown with a programme of regular online book launches broadcast live via Zoom. Most recently, we’ve heard from Katherine Horrex‘s debut, Growlery, while longtime poet Jeffrey Wainwright has been in conversation with Forward Prize shortlistee Helen Tookey about his collection, As Best We Can.
Carcanet invite you to join Jon Glover to celebrate the launch of his latest tome Birdsong On Mars, when he’ll be reading from the new work and discussing it with fellow Carcanet poets John Whale and Rebecca Goss.
Next up, it’s the turn of Jeffrey Wainwright collaborator Jon Glover, who – with his now, sadly, late wife Elaine – was on the editorial board of the long-running magazine Poetry & Audience when Jeffrey was editor. Says Jon: “Jeffrey Wainwright’s writing has remained an important touchstone ever since.” At the start of October, Carcanet invite you to join Jon to celebrate the launch of his latest tome Birdsong On Mars, when he’ll be reading from the new work and discussing it with fellow Carcanet poets John Whale and Rebecca Goss, whose third full-length collection, Girl, came out last year.
Birdsong On Mars is Jon Glover’s fifth collection with the publisher, following Glass Is Elastic (2012), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (2008), To The Niagara Frontier (1994) and Our Photographs (1986, republished 1995). Jon has also written and edited numerous academic texts and anthologies, and is an Honorary Fellow of the English Association and of the School of English at the University of Leeds, where he met Jon Silkin and began a long association with Stand Magazine, of which he is now Advisory Editor. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton, where he is Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing.
Developing the themes and fragmenting style of his previous book, Glass Is Elastic, Jon wrote most of the poems in this new collection before his wife’s sudden death from cancer in 2019. It ends with a mock-sonnet sequence, written during the pandemic, in which the poet tries all the doors and windows to try and find her to speak with her – “love poems where love has not changed but its circumstances have”.
Extracts of the text will be shown during the reading so that audience members can read along, and they will also have the opportunity to put forward their own questions. Registration for this online event is £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book, available direct from Carcanet at a special price – attendees will receive the discount code and details of how to order during and after the event.