Phoebe Walker book launch at The PorticoSarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Manchester-based poet and novelist Phoebe Walker launches her debut novel Temper – out with Fairlight Books on 13 April – with a special event at the recently reopened and renovated Portico Library.
Originally from Northumberland, Phoebe has lived in both London and the Netherlands, where her new book is set, and is now working in Manchester as a development consultant, alongside writing. In 2021, her debut poetry pamphlet, Animal Noises, received an Eric Gregory Award, given annually by the Society Of Authors for a collection by British poets under the age of 30. Phoebe also won the Mairtín Crawford Poetry Award in 2019 and has received a Northern Writers’ Award for poetry. Phoebe’s poetry has been published in Ambit, Under the Radar, The Tangerine, The Moth and Magma, and was included in the Poem Of The North exhibition at Northern Poetry Library in Northumberland’s Morpeth. Her arts criticism has appeared in the TLS and the Observer and was shortlisted for the Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize 2020.
In 2021, her debut poetry pamphlet, Animal Noises, received an Eric Gregory Award, given annually by the Society Of Authors for a collection by British poets under the age of 30.
Winner of the Portico Prize and author of Saltwater and Milk Teeth, Jessica Andrews says of Phoebe’s debut: ‘Temper explores loneliness, alienation and transience in lucid, gorgeous prose. Walker’s observations on the nature of work and the hollowness of modern life are stark and brilliant; a must-read for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.’
Here’s the book blurb: ‘Following a move to the Netherlands, a young woman dissects the developments of her new life: awkward exchanges with the people she meets, days spent alone freelancing in her apartment, her confrontation with boredom and unease. In her newfound isolation, she develops an unusual friendship with Colette, a woman she neither likes nor can keep away from. As her feelings of dislocation grow, larger anxieties about her purpose – or lack of it – begin to encroach. And underneath it all, a burgeoning frustration bubbles. Intimate, incisive and brilliantly observed, Temper explores loneliness, self-worth and disconnection with head-nodding accuracy.’