Poetry reading Lisa Robertson in Leeds and Manchester

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Lisa Robertson
Lisa Robertson

Poetry reading and discussion: Lisa Robertson & Mia You at The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Leeds 15 — 16 November 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

There’s a double helping of Lisa Robertson this November: first at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds then, next day, at Peste bar-cum-bookshop loitering on the liminal edgelands of Ancoats in Manchester.

Canadian-born Lisa Robertson is a writer who experiments with genre and form to stretch new directions for political and imaginative thinking, in poetry and prose.

In Leeds, she will be joined for an in-person poetry reading by writer Mia You, a writer and translator who thinks through poetry about diasporic experiences, the power of the lyric and the value of the aesthetic. Together they will read a sample of new and recent work, and discuss what makes cross-art form thinking and making so interesting. This will be followed by discussion as part of The Weight of Words exhibition, which includes a special commission by the Carcanet poet Anthony Vahni Capildeo.

You can also join Lisa Robertson the following evening in Manchester (Thursday 16 November, 7pm, free), when she’ll be reading from her new book The Baudelaire Fractal – which came out in August with Peninsula Press – and engaging in a Q&A hosted by Austin Collings. Expect a night of self-discovery as they explore the phenomenon of self: we are what we have been told about ourselves – our balance comes from instability.

The Baudelaire Fractal is Lisa Robertson’s first novel cum biography/artist statement/political tract, praised by the likes of Anne Boyer: ‘As far as I’m concerned, it’s already a classic.’

Here’s the publisher’s blurb: “One morning, Hazel Brown wakes in a badly decorated hotel room to find that she’s written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. In her bemusement the hotel becomes every cheap room she ever stayed in during her youthful perambulations in 1980s Paris. This is the legend of a she-dandy’s life. Woven into the reminiscences of Hazel’s early life are episodes from Baudelaire’s youth, as well as reflections on the history of tailoring, the passion of reading and 19th century painting. Lisa Robertson’s debut novel is an exploration of life lived in pursuit of beauty, and a celebration of the mind of a girl.”

Charles Baudelaire – lest you know not – is, according to the Peste blurb: “The original cursed poet, the drug addict, riddled with syphilis, forever in debt {despite inheriting a fortune}, feted by doomed dreamers like Jim Morrison…” They go on to say: “It raises the question: how much a fictional story about a fictional self can shed, & still remain a story about a vivid self. Often writers take an idea for a walk. Here Robertson leads it into intricate, spiralling & daring routes.”

The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson
The Baudelaire Fractal by Lisa Robertson

Poetry reading and discussion: Lisa Robertson & Mia You at The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Leeds 15 — 16 November 2023 Entrance is free Visit now


Session Features
16 November 2023
7:00pm — 9:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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