UEA Live: Sophie Collins and Joanna Walsh
Women’s History Month Celebration
Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland, and now lives in Edinburgh. She is co-editor of tender, an online quarterly promoting work by female-identified writers and artists, and editor of Currently & Emotion (Test Centre, 2016), an anthology of contemporary poetry translations. small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in November 2017 as part of a commissioned residency at Glasgow Women’s Library. Her debut collection of poems Who Is Mary Sue? was published by Faber & Faber in 2018.
In the language of fan fiction, a ‘Mary Sue’ is an idealised and implausibly flawless character: a female archetype that can infuriate audiences for its perceived narcissism. In a series of verse and prose collages, Who Is Mary Sue? exposes the presumptive politics behind writing and readership: the idea that men invent while women reflect; that a man writes of the world outside while a woman will turn to the interior. This is a book that will resonate with anyone concerned with identity, shame, gender, trauma, composition and culture: everyone, in other words, who wishes to live openly and think fearlessly in the modern world.
Joanna Walsh is the award-winning author of four story collections, two memoirs, and a digital Novel. Her latest book is Worlds From The Word’s End. She is 2017 Arts Foundation Fellow for Literature (UK) and is a PhD research candidate in digital literature at the University of Eas tAnglia.
Joanna invites you to a performance of Seed, adapted from her digital book, which is available to read, free, online at seed-story.com. Seed is the story of a 1980s Ophelia coming of age in isolated countryside outside a raw new town. Brutalised by her environment, she is, like Ophelia, “incapable of her own distress,” but also has the capacity for moments of great joy and love. Accompanied by a soundtrack by sound artist, Simon Thorne, and performed by 16 female-identifying voices, Seed evokes a landscape, an era, an adolescence.
Joanna Walsh’s work Seed was developed with the support of Arts Council England.
With special faculty guest reader Tessa McWatt
Tessa McWatt is a Guyanese-born Canadian writer and currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, UK. She is the author of novels, stories, essays and libretto, along with There’s No Place Like… a novella for young adults. Her second novel, Dragons Cry, was shortlisted for the City of Toronto Book Awards and the Governor General Awards of Canada. Her other novels include Out of My Skin, This Body, Step Closer, Vital Signs, which was nominated for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and Higher Ed.
Doors open for all events at 6.30 for a 7pm start. No booking necessary. Arrive early to secure your seat.
About UEA Live
Join us for UEA Live – a season of free literature events where we showcase the very best of UEA’s past, present and future literary talent. Our headline authors are supported by writers from across the current UEA Creative Writing programmes.
Grab a drink from the bar, browse books from The Book Hive and settle in for a cosy evening in the company of words, in the heart of England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. All are very welcome.