Reading: Sumita Chakraborty & Karen McCarthy Woolf - Echoes and Disturbances

“Five Bodies” in black on a green and yellow gradient background

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Join us for our Five Bodies series of free monthly talks and readings exploring creative-critical writing, hybrid methodologies and experimental thinking.

A collaboration between the Critical Poetics Research Group at Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham Contemporary, this series of talks and readings investigates poetic ecologies in the Anthropocene. Exploring ideas from weeds and water to eco-trauma and deep time, and featuring some of the most important international creative-critical voices working today, the talks and readings aim to open up new conversations about entanglement, coexistence, resilience and sustainability.

A recording of this event will be made available to view after the live stream.

Sumita Chakraborty is a poet and a scholar. She is the author of the poetry collection Arrow (Alice James Books (U.S.)/Carcanet Press (U.K.), 2020), which received coverage in the New York Times, NPR, and the Guardian. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, PN Review, Stand, and elsewhere. Her scholarship has appeared in Cultural Critique, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Modernism/modernity, College Literature, and elsewhere. She has received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, been shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem by the Forward Arts Foundation, and will be a 2022 Kundiman Fellow. She is also at work on a scholarly book that is under advance contract with the University of Minnesota Press titled Grave Dangers: Poetics and the Ethics of Death in the Anthropocene. After three years at the University of Michigan as the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Poetry, she will join the faculty at North Carolina State University as an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing in the fall.

Karen McCarthy Woolf was born in London to English and Jamaican parents and is the author of two poetry collections and the editor of six literary anthologies. Shortlisted for the Forward Felix Dennis and Jerwood prizes for bst first collection, her début Ân Aviary of Small Birds tells the story of losing a son in childbirth and was an Observer Book of the Year. Her latest, Seasonal Disturbances, explores gentrification, the city and the sacred and was a winner in the inaugural Laurel Prize for ecological poetry.

In 2019 she moved to Los Angeles as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar and Writer in Residence at the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA exploring the relationship between poetry, law and the impacts of capitalism on black, brown and indigenous bodies. Published everywhere from Granta to the Financial Times her writing has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Turkish and Swedish. Karen also writes for radio: recent highlights include a multi-authored version of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando which was nominated for a BBC Audio Award and a reversioning of Homer’s Book of the Dead for BBC Radio Four’s Book of the Week.

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