The Bookblast 10×10 Tour – Claiming the Great Tradition: Women Recalibrate the Classics

Thursday 8 November • Waterstones, Deansgate, Manchester • 6.30 p.m.

Chair: Michael Schmidt, founder & publisher, Carcanet Press. A highly-regarded, leading publisher of poetry, established in 1969.

London-born poet, Jane Draycott, is a tutor on postgraduate writing programmes at Oxford University and the University of Lancaster. Her work has been shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Poetry and for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Book focus: one of the great treasures of the British Library, the 14th century poem Pearl, (September 2018), is a work of poetic brilliance. Its account of loss and consolation retains its force across 6 centuries. It is the winner of a Stephen Spender Prize for Translation.

Jenny Lewis teaches poetry at Oxford University. She has published 3 collections and written 7 plays including After Gilgamesh (Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, 2011). In 2013 she embarked on a PhD at Goldsmiths, London University, writing a new version of the epic of Gilgamesh. The resulting book, Gilgamesh Retold, won the Warden’s Prize at Goldsmiths as part of Jenny’s “Writing Mesopotamia” project and was shortlisted for a Gladstone’s Library Residency.

Book focus: Jenny Lewis’ versatile, inventive, “woman-friendly” version of Gilgamesh, (October 2018), brings alive a story that is as resonant today as it was when first composed in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) four millennia ago. Lewis is the first practising woman poet to produce a full poetic translation.

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