Penelope Shuttle Readings
'... a singular, arresting and moving book' - Kate Kellaway on Lyonesse, Poetry Book of the Month, The Observer
Penelope Shuttle's thirteenth collection Lyonesse was published by Bloodaxe Books on 24 June 2021. Penelope launched the book with an online reading at Cheltenham Poetry Festival on 15 June, and an in person event at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 9 July. Her joint live-streamed Bloodaxe launch event took place on 22 June (see video below).
The submerged land of Lyonesse was once part of Cornwall, according to myth and the oral tradition, standing for a lost paradise in Arthurian legend, but now an emblem of human frailty in the face of climate change. And there was indeed a Bronze Age inundation event which swept the entire west of Cornwall under the sea, with only the Isles of Scilly and St Michael’s Mount left as remnants above sea-level. Lyonesse was also Thomas Hardy’s name for Cornwall where Penelope Shuttle has lived all her adult life. The first part of her new book Lyonesse is an extended sequence inspired by this submerged land. This is followed by a separate collection New Lamps for Old.
Penelope Shuttle’s previous collection Will You Walk a Little Faster? explores cities (London, Bristol) on foot and via inward exploration, drawing on architecture, history and personal memory. This was her first new book-length collection since her Bloodaxe retrospective, Unsent: New & Selected Poems (2012).
Penelope Shuttle was a guest on the Irish podcast Books for Breakfast, hosted by poets Peter Sirr and Enda Wyley, on 10 June 2021. She was talking to Peter about her 13th collection Lyonesse, and read four poems from the book. Penelope is introduced at 23:00. Listen to the interview here.
Lyonesse was featured as The Observer's Poetry Book of the Month for July 2021.
‘Combining two collections in one, the veteran poet immerses us in a mythical kingdom in this extraordinary flow of work’ Read the review in full here.
Lyonesse was reviewed in the second of Mab Jones’ round ups of new independently-published poetry in the Welsh magazine Buzz. Read online here.
‘Fluid, thoughtful, and full of imagination, this is quite simply a must-read.’ – Mab Jones, Buzz Magazine
Tuesday 14 September 2021, 7.30pm, Poetry Teignmouth (in-person event)
The Alice Cross Centre, 1-3 Bitton Park Road, Teignmouth TQ14 9BT
Penelope Shuttle: Lyonesse
Penelope Shuttle will be reading from Lyonesse at Poetry Teignmouth. This is planned as an in-person event.
You will need a ticket (to monitor numbers) but tickets are FREE. Maximum capacity of The Alice Cross Centre is 50, and it’s first come, first served.
Book via eventbrite here. Doors open 7.15pm.
Tuesday 22 June 2021, 7pm BST, Joint live-streamed launch event
This wonderful joint launch reading by Penelope Shuttle, A.B. Jackson and John Challis celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections was live streamed on 22 June 2021. The audience was taken on a journey under the sea to the submerged land of Lyonesse with Penelope Shuttle, over the ocean with A B Jackson's The Voyage of St Brendan, and both underground and overground in London with John Challis in his debut The Resurrectionists.
The event was hosted by editor Neil Astley from his home in Northumberland. Penelope joined from her home in Falmouth, John from Whitley Bay, and Scottish poet A B Jackson from his home in Leeds. Their collections are all published on 24 June 2021 by Bloodaxe Books - all three are 'making something new out of things that have been lost', as Penelope put it.
John Challis read first in each set, followed by Penelope, then A B Jackson. The readings were followed by discussion and Q&A with the online audience. All three books explore the past in one form or another - 'archaeology by verse', according to one audience member.
Thursday 10 June 2021, 9am, Wenlock Poetry Breakfast
Penelope Shuttle, A B Jackson, Susan Wicks, Imtiaz Dharker, Fleur Adock & David Constantine
Penelope Shuttle took part in a special event on 10 June 2021 celebrating Bloodaxe Books, hosted by Poetry Breakfast (Zoom bookclub event hosted by Anna Dreda of Wenlock Books) – together with fellow Bloodaxe poets A B Jackson, Susan Wicks and Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry winners David Constantine, Fleur Adcock and Imtiaz Dharker. Bloodaxe Books was Poetry Breakfast's first guest publisher.
The event itself is not available on YouTube, but a blog featuring all six poets and the three poems they read from their new and recent collections is here.
[26 May 2021]