Pascale Petit Readings
‘Pascale Petit manages to do the impossible, weaving together a story of trauma, illness, and tragedy and steeping it in the natural world, transforming her troubled relationship with her mother into a story of the Amazon rainforest. It is a feat both stylistic and imaginative, and the result is something utterly original.’ – Tahmima Anam, on behalf of the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2018 Judges
Pascale Petit’s seventh poetry collection Mama Amazonica, awarded Poetry Book Society Choice for Autumn 2017 and shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018, has won the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2018 - the first time in the prize's 15-year history that a poetry title has won.
Pascale launched the book in September 2017 with readings at King’s Lynn Poetry Festival, North Cornwall Book Festival, The Cheltenham Literature Festival and at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, with further appearances at festivals in 2018, including Birmingham's Verve Festival in February and the Cuirt Festival in April, Ledbury Poetry Festival in July and Winchester Poetry Festival in October. She'll be appearing at Birmingham Literature Festival and Poetry in Aldeburgh in October and November 2018.
Mama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazonian rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. The book tells the story of Pascale Petit’s mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse, as well as celebrating the beauty of the wild, whether in the mind or the natural world. As the PBS selectors note: ‘…her greatest, most singular achievement has been to tackle difficult subject matter head-on, while simultaneously distancing herself from it through the use of exotic metaphor.’ Pascale has commented that it is a book that took her ‘63 years to write’.
Pascale will be a guest on Radio 3's The Verb of Friday 19 October, 10pm. She'll be discussing the forest as metaphor with host Ian McMillan and writer Terry Deary. Listen live, or after broadcast here.
PASCALE PETIT WORKSHOPS & READINGS FOR MAMA AMAZONICA
Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival, Sunday 4 November 2018, 4-5pm (plus workshops on Saturday 3 November)
Pascale Petit, Mimi Khalvati and Jane Duran co-founders, give a reading to celebrate 20 years of the Poetry School.
Pascale will also give two workshops on Saturday 3rd November.
Click here to book.
Monday 12 November 2018, Yehuda Amichai Festival, Free Word Centre London, 7-8.45pm
Eva Hoffman, Pascale Petit, Erez Bitton, Yvonne Green, Aviva Dautch and Eve Grubin each read their favourite Amichai poem, then read their own work. Hosted by Amichai's widow, Hana, and his son David who will read some of Amichai's poems in the original.
Ticket price £10
Click here to book.
Click here to read Pascale's blog and see photos of her trips to the Amazon.
[09 October 2018]