Join acclaimed writer Colm Tóibín online as he launches his – remarkably – debut collection of poetry, Vinegar Hill. Hosting the reading will be John McAuliffe, associate publisher and editor at Carcanet Press as well as Professor of Poetry and co-director of the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, and director of Creative Manchester.
It’s great to hear these highly anticipated poems from one of the most notable novelists and essayists of our time. While Vinegar Hill is Colm Tóibín’s first collection of poetry, his interest in poetry is lifelong and his work is mature and complex.
John will be introducing the readings by Colm (himself formerly of the Centre for New Writing) and discussing the new work with the recipient of the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2021. We’ve been hearing a little about Colm Tóibín as a result of the success of fellow Carcanet poet Padraig Regan, who was chosen by Colm to receive the Clarissa Luard Prize 2021, so it’s great to hear these highly anticipated poems from one of the most notable novelists and essayists of our time (his novel The Magician is shortlisted for the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize, the winner of which is announced on 22 March). While Vinegar Hill is Colm Tóibín’s first collection of poetry, his interest in poetry is lifelong and his work is mature and complex.
The collection takes its title from the site of the battle between Irish rebels and British forces in 1798 near the author’s native Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Ireland, so expect subjects that are accordingly radical. Much of it written as he was being treated for cancer, themes include changing Dublin, life and death in the pandemic, gay marriage rights and rites, childhood, bereavement and religion.
Says Carcanet Press: “His world may start in County Wexford but it becomes wide with his travels in the United States, the Iberian peninsula and other far-flung geographies. The clarity of his writing and the narratives that underpin his lyrics, elegies, personal poems and satires, reveal the impact of his long discipline as a novelist (ten volumes including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament Of Mary And Nora Webster and House Of Names) and story writer. Followers of his fiction will relish the opportunity to encounter Tóibín in verse. This rich collection, written over several decades, shot through with keen observation, emotion, and humor, Tóibín offers us poems to provoke, ponder, and cherish.”
As always with Carcanet Press events, extracts of the text will be shown during the reading so that you can read along, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. Registration for this online event is £2, redeemable against the cost of the book – attendees will receive a discount code and details of how to get hold of the new book during and after the event.