In the Event by John Birtwhistle: Carcanet Book Launch

Please join us to celebrate the launch of John Birtwhistle's new poetry collection, In the Event.


Wednesday 2nd December, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

  • Book Launch
  • In Conversation
  • Online event


About the Event

Please join us to celebrate the launch of John Birtwhistle's new poetry collection, In the Event. Hosting the reading will be Hugh Haughton, joining John to discuss the new work. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will also be showing extracts of the text during the reading so that you can read along.

John Birtwhistle has said that 'one writes each poem just to learn how to write it', and insists that he 'doesn’t care a dried pea for Artistic Development or Finding One's Own Voice'. The result, of course, is that a strongly recognisable voice comes through. For all their variety of forms and ideas, his poems are consistent in their visual precision, their scrupulous phrasing and their formal clarity. These qualities are brought to everything he touches, whether it is a passing moment of childhood, a natural detail, a wryly stoic observation, or perennial emotions in the face of events from before birth (first foetal movements) to after burial (removal to an ossuary). Many scores of individuals are named or make their appearance in some way. If one poem is satiric, the next is unashamedly lyrical. Several reflect on the adequacy of art, and a feature is the stream of very short pieces by way of illustration or riposte, like the border of the Bayeux Tapestry. Wit and feeling are so interwoven in Birtwhistle's technique, that when it comes to the register of loss and death he is able to find what an otherwise hostile critic admitted 'can be a kind of bridled eloquence'. Word frequency analysis shows a high incidence of time, thought, light, morning, child, apple tree, painting and fossil.

John Birtwhistle is an English poet published by Carcanet Press.

Hugh Haughton is Professor of English at the University of York.

Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.

About the Book

In the Event
In the Event

John Birtwhistle

Publisher:Carcanet Press Ltd

Publication date:29 Oct 2020


John Birtwhistle's first collection since 2013, this is a thematic sequel to his previous collection Eventualities.