An evening with Andrew McMillan
Join award-winning poet and author Andrew McMillan as he discusses his hotly-anticipated debut novel, Pity, exploring community, masculinity and post-industrialisation in Northern England.
Andrew will be in conversation with Norwich-based novelist Ashley-Hickson Lovence. The event will include an author Q&A and be followed by a book signing.
Doors open at 6pm, for a 6.30pm start.
The town was once a hub of industry. A place where men toiled underground in darkness, picking and shovelling in the dust and the sleck. It was dangerous and back-breaking work but it meant something. Once, the town provided, it was important, it had purpose. But what is it now?
Brothers Alex and Brian have spent their whole life in the town where their father lived and his father, too. Still reeling from the collapse of his personal life, Alex, is now in his middle age, and must reckon with a part of his identity he has long tried to mask. Simon is the only child of Alex and had practically no memory of the mines. Now in his twenties and working in a call centre, he derives passion from his side hustle in sex work and his weekly drag gigs.
Set across three generations of South Yorkshire mining family, Andrew McMillan’s short and magnificent debut novel is a lament for a lost way of a life as well as a celebration of resilience and the possibility for change.
Andrew McMillan was born in Barnsley in 1988. His debut collection of poetry, physical, was ‘the sort of once-in-a-generation debut that causes everyone to sit up and take notice’ according to Sarah Crown. physical was the only poetry book to ever win the Guardian First Book Award; it was also awarded a Somerset Maugham award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and in 2019 was voted as one of the Top 25 Poetry Books of the Past 25 Years by the Booksellers Association. His second collection, playtime, won the inaugural Polari Prize. A third collection, pandemonium, was published in 2021 and in 2022 he co-edited the acclaimed anthology 100 Queer Poems, which was shortlisted in the British Book Awards. He is professor of contemporary writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Image © Sophie Davidson