Lessons from StAnza 2018
I think form for me is absolutely everything… And I still don’t understand form – I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it.
— Sinéad Morrissey
In a guest episode of the podcast, Suzannah V. Evans interviews Sinéad Morrissey, who won the Forward Prize for best collection for her 2017 book, On Balance. Morrissey was delivering the keynote lecture at this year’s StAnza Poetry Festival in St. Andrews, where the interview was recorded, in the spring. They discussed the importance of form, the development of On Balance, and Les Murray’s influence on Morrissey’s work. She discusses and reads her poems ‘On Balance’ and ‘The Rope’ at 9m30s and 13m43s.
A review of On Balance by Sean Robinson was featured in Issue 3 of The Scores.
Photo by Lukas Becker on Unsplash.
Sinéad Morrissey was Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate, and is now Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. She has published six collections, including the 2013 T. S. Eliot Prize–winning collection Parallax, and the 2017 Forward Prize-winning On Balance.
Suzannah V. Evans is a poet, editor, and critic. She has written for the TLS, The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The North, Eborakon, and elsewhere, and she is Reviews Editor for The Compass. A selection of her poems was recently longlisted for the 2018 Ivan Juritz Prize for creative responses to modernism, and she is an AHRC-funded PhD researcher at Durham University.
Sean Robinson is a poet from London, living in Leith, and studying for an MFA under Don Paterson at the University of St. Andrews. His work has appeared in The Scores and The Moth.
Stephen Sacco is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, where he is researching representations of dwarfs in modern and contemporary literature and writing a novel, called Little Aldo, about a right-wing dwarf who gets in a lot of trouble when he tries to find love. He was previously a journalist in New York and the American South, and a playwright. His play, ‘Dance of the Fat Kid,’ received the B. Rod Marriot Award for Playwriting.
Lessons from the School of Night are an irregular series of video or audio interviews and tips from poets and writers who visit St Andrews. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
The School of Night – inspired by the group which included Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh – is Topping & Company Booksellers’ Year-Round Poetry Festival in St Andrews. Curated with the help of Don Paterson and playing host to poets as varied as Paul Muldoon and Lorraine Mariner, Simon Armitage and Annie Freud, it is anchored to a regular fixture on the last Tuesday of the month. The School of Night offers the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. For more details on these and other events, please visit the Topping & Company website.