Thursday, 10 September 2020

This Friday's Leap in the Dark

A Leap in the Dark 47 8pm Friday 11th September 2020 [Snappy heading needed here*] We’ll have readings by the poet Sasha Dugdale from her brilliant new collection Deformations; Laura Waddell will join us to mark the launch of her sparkling non-fiction debut exit; Susanna Crossman will deliver a Letter from Dinan; Linda Mannheim will make a close reading of ‘Locksmiths’, a superbly unsettling short story by Wendy Erskine (who will also be with us). The author Kevin Davey will introduce his forthcoming novel Radio Joan and there will be some Very New Poems from Christodoulos Makris. There's no charge for taking part in A Leap in the Dark, so please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust. * This is a deliberate metatextual gesture. The Programme 1 The Pale Usher welcomes you 2 Poems from Deformations read by Sasha Dugdale (published by Carcanet) Deformations includes two large-scale works related in their preoccupation with biographical and mythical narrative. 'Welfare Handbook' explores the life and art of Eric Gill, the well-known English letter cutter, sculptor and cultural figure, who is known to have sexually abused his daughters. The poem draws on material from Gill's letters, diaries, notes and essays as part of a lyrical exploration of the conjunction between aesthetics, subjectivity and violence. 'Pitysad' is a series of simultaneously occurring fragments composed around themes and characters from Homer's Odyssey. It considers how trauma is disguised and deformed through myth and art. Acting as a bridge between these two works is a series of individual poems on the creation and destruction of cultural and mythical conventions. Deformations is published by Carcanet www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9781784108984 3 Laura Waddell on her new book exit Exits are all around us. They are the difference between travelling and arriving, being on the inside or outside. Whether signposted or subversive, personal or political, choices or holes we've fallen through, exits determine how we move around our lives, cities, and the world. What does it really mean to 'exit'? In these meditations on exits in architecture, transport, ancestry, language, garbage, death, Sesame Street and Brexit, Laura Waddell follows the neon and the pictograms of exit signs to see what's on the other side. exit is published by Bloomsbury www.bloomsbury.com/uk/exit-9781501358159/ 4 A Letter from Dinan by Susanna Crossman 5 Linda Mannheim undertakes a close reading of ‘Locksmiths’, a short story by Wendy Erskine When we got back to the house all was quiet. She said, ‘So there’s no party?’ She would not have been surprised by a surprise party. ‘No there’s no party,’ I said. 6 Wendy responds to Linda’s close reading. ‘Locksmiths’ appears in Wendy’s debut collection Sweet Home (published by Picador) www.panmacmillan.com/authors/wendy-erskine/sweet-home/9781529017069 Interval 7 Kevin Davey on Radio Joan (published by Aaaargh! Press) www.aaaarghpress.com/books-pamphlets/radio-joan/ 8 Christadoulos Makris: Very New Poems 9 A second reading by Sasha Dugdale 10 The Pale Usher signs off The Company Susanna Crossman is an award-winning Anglo-French fiction writer and essayist. She has recent/upcoming work in Trauma (Dodo Ink, 2020), Neue Rundschau, (S. Fischer, 2019), (translated into German), We’ll Never Have Paris, (Repeater Books, 2019), The Creative Review, 3:AM Journal, The Lonely Crowd, Berfrois and more. Co-author of the French book, L'Hôpital Le Dessous des Cartes (LEH, 2015), she regularly collaborates on international hybrid arts projects. Her debut novel Dark Island will be published in 2021. For more: @crossmansusanna http://susanna-crossman.squarespace.com/ Kevin Davey is the author of Playing Possum and the forthcoming Radio Joan, both published by Aaaargh! Press. His non-fiction work includes the essay collection English Imaginaries (1999). Sasha Dugdale is a British poet, playwright and translator of Russian literature. She has published five poetry collections with Carcanet Press: Notebook (2003), The Estate (2007), Red House (2011), Joy (2017) and Deformations (2020). She won the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem, Joy in 2016 and a Cholmondeley Award in 2017. Dugdale specialises in translating contemporary Russian women poets and post-Soviet new writing for theatre. She has worked both in the United Kingdom and the United States on a number of productions, translating modern Russian plays. In 2020, she won an English PEN Translate Award for her translation of a collection of poetry by the Russian poet Maria Stepanova. Wendy Erskine works full-time as a secondary school teacher in Belfast. Her debut short story collection, Sweet Home, was published in 2018 by Stinging Fly and in 2019 by Picador. Her work has been published in The Stinging Fly, Stinging Fly Stories and Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland. She also features in Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber and Faber), Winter Papers and on BBC Radio 4 Buy Sweet Home here: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/wendy-erskine/sweet-home/9781529017069 Christadoulos Makris, described by the RTÉ Poetry Programme as “one of Ireland’s leading contemporary explorers of experimental poetics”, has published three books of poetry, most recently this is no longer entertainment (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019), as well as several pamphlets, artists’ books and other poetry objects. Recent commissions and residencies include the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Maynooth University. He is the poetry editor at gorse journal. Linda Mannheim is the author of three books of fiction: Risk, Above Sugar Hill, and This Way to Departures. Her short stories have appeared in magazines in the US, UK, South Africa, and Canada. Her broadcast work has appeared on BBC Witness and KCRW Berlin. She is also the cohost of Why Why Why: The Books Podcast. https://www.lindamannheim.com Laura Waddell is a writer of fiction and narrative non-fiction published in 3:AM Magazine, McSweeneys, and Kinfolk and contributor to several books including Nasty Women, Know Your Place, The Digital Critic, We’ll Never Have Paris, We Were Always Here, and others. She writes a weekly column for the Scotsman newspaper, and her debut non-fiction book, Exit, was published this week by Bloomsbury. The Pale Usher is David Collard, who organises these gatherings. The pale Usher—threadbare in coat, heart, body, and brain; I see him now. He was ever dusting his old lexicons and grammars, with a queer handkerchief, mockingly embellished with all the gay flags of all the known nations of the world. He loved to dust his old grammars; it somehow mildly reminded him of his mortality. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville Tomorrow’s Leap in the Dark is curated by Marie-Elsa Bragg, and, for one night only, we’ve renamed it A Leap of Faith for reasons that will become clear. Marie-Elsa’s guests include: - theologian Professor Paul Fiddes - author Gary Lachman - psychotherapist and writer Mark Vernon - poet Amali Rodrigo - soprano Melanie Pappenheim Please note that this unique gathering will be recorded. Stay well! The Pale Usher

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