Penelope Shuttle Readings

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 2021 (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).

Lyonesse was longlisted for the Laurel Prize 2022.


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.

An in-depth interview with Penelope Shuttle about Lyonesse is online at Wombwell Rainbow Book Reviews here. Penelope was speaking to Paul Brookes.

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.

Penelope Shuttle's 'wonderful 13th collection' Lyonesse was reviewed in The Guardian 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




Thursday 7 April 2022 (online)

Lyonesse: An Interview For Fire River Poets with Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle read and was interviewed in a Fire River Poets online event. A transcript of the interview can be read here.


Tuesday 22 June 2021, 7pm BST, joint live-streamed launch event hosted by Bloodaxe Books

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]

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