From the Pindrop Press announcement:
“Mary-Jane Holmes, winner of the Bridport Prize 2017, dazzles with this, her debut collection. These poems range far and wide – from the landscapes, stories and traditions of the North Pennines, rich with dialect; to an Occitan hamlet with its chanterelles and walnut harvests, via the many voices of wind, water and rural history; some agonising, some benedictory. Meet the female roofer determined to shove it to the men; Eros escaping from a nursing home. Witness the intimate rites of a family preparing a body for burial; the ordeal of tattoo removal; the girl in a pencil skirt and Doc Martens on the edge of a bridge during rush hour. You’ll never see things quite the same again.
“What we hear distinctly in these vivid geographies is a new voice in the poetics of landscape. In the musical interweave between her haunting evocations of the English Pennines and her echoing conversations with the 20th-century Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni, Holmes has created a richly generative space in which her searching imagination seems vitally at home.” Jane Draycott
“I can hardly believe this rich, intense and compellingly readable collection is a debut. I have rarely read so many poems in a row filled with lines as fresh, as lively and as apt to the complexity of such wide-ranging subject matter. Those who love strikingly original language for its own sake will enjoy this book, as will those who like their poems to be located in the reality of time and place, with strong narrative underpinning. It’s a perfect coming-together of concern for the environment and for the human with a commitment to the highest standards of aesthetic representation. For me, Holmes is perhaps the most convincingly rural and at the same time most convincingly contemporary English poet since Ted Hughes. Surely one of the collections of the year.” Dave Lordan
MSt tutor Alice Jolly’s novel Mary Sate, Imbecile will be launched in London on Wednesday 20th June 2018 at Daunt Books. To attend, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee’s play, Finding José, is one of four in Tamasha’s “Over to You” scratch night on 25th May 2018.
Date: Friday, 25 May 20178, 7:30pm
Venue: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
From Tamasha’s website:
“We want to scratch the plays a company like ours – a diverse, cutting edge touring theatre company of 27 years – should be producing. …Over the course of three weeks, 70 artists submitted plays to scratch … we have narrowed this down to the four gripping short plays we will present, including:
Finding José by Amal Chatterjee
Graveyard Girlz by Lakesha Arie-Angela
Other Please Explain by Lynsey Martenstyn
The Affairs of Men by Sid Sagar”
The plays will be followed by a Q&A with the writers.
From the website:
The AfOx insaka is a gathering for sharing ideas and knowledge about Africa-focused research with speakers from diverse and varied academic disciplines. There are two events each term. On Friday of Week 3, and Friday of Week 7. Each event will feature two talks by speakers from different disciplines, followed by questions and discussion. Drinks will be served afterwards.
A Wordly War: Battle Experiences through the Eyes of African Cultures
by MSt alumna JC Niala
This podcast examines the First World War through the lives of African soldiers and labourers. Based on historical fact, it discusses fictional poetry and letters that could have been written by Africans involved in the war. It looks at WW1 through a global perspective – the interaction of peoples from different parts of the world. What impact that had on their existence and the shifts that it made for better or worse in their perspectives on the world as a whole.
This podcast was the runner-up in the TORCH and Academic IT Services WW1 Research Competition 2016”
MSt alumna Jana Casale’s novel The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky will be published by Knopf on 17th April 2018. Jana will be appearing in Cambridge (MA), Brooklyn, and San Francisco (see below for details)
From the press release:
“What defines a life? In Jana Casale’s stunning debut The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky (Knopf; April 17, 2018), the experience of contemporary womanhood is put under the microscope: from pursuing career goals to trying on bathing suits to meeting your future spouse. Told in supremely relatable vignettes,The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky examines life’s little moments in all their exquisite, ordinary beauty, and speaks to urgent questions women face today – even as it offers the possibility that, in the end, it might all really be okay. Timely and timeless, Casale’s work will resonate with readers of Maggie Shipstead, Rona Jaffe, and Sheila Heti….”
“Readers meet Leda, the ‘girl’ at the steady center of Casale’s sharp debut, during her college years and spend the rest of the novel, which is also the rest of Leda’s life, getting to know her. … [t]here are thousands of things [Leda] does, thinks reads, and writes, which Casale relays with a careful, assured, and light touch – each one veritably thrilling in its ordinariness.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“Elegant, sharply drawn…[A] clear-eyed examination of a woman’s life [done] with abundant humor…Readers will be captivated.” —Publishers Weekly
“A funny, tender and touching illumination of the extraordinary beauty contained in a seemingly everyday life. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” –Julie Buntin, author of Marlena
“The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is bright with life, emotionally honest and powerfully observant. Jana Casale is a wise and exciting new voice.” –Julia Pierpont, New York Times bestselling author of Among the Ten Thousand Things.”
Jana will be appearing in bookshops:
Wednesday, April 25th | Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM – Harvard Bookstore, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., 02138
Thursday, April 26th | Brooklyn, NY
7:30 PM – Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St., 11231
In Conversation with Karah Preiss of Belletrist & Weike Wang
Saturday, April 28th | San Francisco, CA
Bay Area Book Festival Appearance
After a “hotly contested” auction, MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first adult novel is to be published by Picador.
From The Bookseller:
“Award-winning children’s author Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first foray into adult fiction has gone to Picador for a significant six-figure sum after a “hotly contested” 13-publisher auction.
Picador senior commissioning editor Sophie Jonathan bought UK and Commonwealth rights (including audio) to Vardø, and another novel, from Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit. There has been a pre-empt in Spain, with auctions ongoing in Germany, France and Italy and “major interest in the US”.”
Read the full article on The Bookseller website
MSt tutor Jane Draycott is to judge the SciPO 2018 science and poetry competition. First prize, £100, second prize, £75, third prize, £50.
Deadline: 23rd April.
For details of competition and how to enter, go to
The Shortest History of Germany – An Evening with James Hawes in Oxford
Thu, 12 Apr 2018, 7 pm. Waterstones, Oxford.
From the Waterstones website:
The brilliant James Hawes will be in store to discuss his work The Shortest History of Germany.
This is our non-fiction choice for April’s Book of the Month and we are very excited to have James in to discuss it!
‘Yes, the Nazis are here, but so too is a history stretching from the Germanic tribes who took on the Roman Empire, right up to Chancellor Angela Merkel… Comprehensive, vivid, and entertaining… if you want to understand a country on which much of the free world is now pinning its hopes, you could do worse than start here.’Irish Examiner.