Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Events Items

A Poetry Reading with John Challis and Sean O'Brien and in conversation with Bill Herbert

Date/Time: Thursday 7th October, 7pm to 8pm

Venue: Via YouTube - details to be sent on booking

NCLA: A Poetry Reading with John Challis and Sean O’Brien and in conversation with Bill Herbert

Thursday 7th October 2021, 7pm to 8pm via YouTube

Join us for an in-house celebration!

NCLA’s Research Associate John Challis’ debut collection was published by Bloodaxe this year. He will be reading with Sean O’Brien who was John’s PhD supervisor and in conversation with Newcastle University’s Bill Herbert.

John Challis is the author of The Resurrectionists (Bloodaxe, 2021). His pamphlet, The Black Cab (Poetry Salzburg, 2017), was a 2019 New Writing North Read Regional title. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Northern Writers’ Award. His poems have appeared in AmbitPoetry Ireland Review, Poetry LondonThe NorthThe RialtoStand, and elsewhere. He gained a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University where he currently works as a Research Associate.

‘These poems throw a great arc of light out of the city’s storeyed past into the present, place, trades, family, vulnerable fatherhood. Here, balances at the very edge, where “light will fall out of our language”, John Challis shines his words into the workings of the heart and of nature, with all their unpredictable transformations.’ Imtiaz Dharker

Sean O’Brien’s tenth collection of poems, It Says Here, was published by Picador in 2020. He is currently completing its successor. Other recent publications include Abai, his translation of the complete poems of the Kazakh national poet Abai Kunanbayuli (CUP, 2020) and This is the Life: Selected Poems by Alistair Elliot, which he edited (Shoestring Press, 2021). Sean O’Brien is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

‘The greatest pleasure, whatever he chooses to write about, is O’Brien’s unforced gift, the ease of the writing, the phrases that seem to roll off his pen…wondrous musicality.’ Kate Kellaway, The Observer

‘In both technical mastery and his belief in the seriousness of the poetic art, O’Brien is WH Auden’s true inheritor. It is reassuring that poetry of this quality is still being written.’ Caitriona O’Reilly, The Irish Times

Bill Herbert is mostly published by Bloodaxe Books. Recent collections include The Wreck of the Fathership (2020), and, with Shearsman, a book of translations from the Persian, produced in collaboration with the author, Alireza Abiz (2021). He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

The event is free to attend, and all very welcome.

John Challis