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Creative Writing Masterclass: Anthony Vahni Capildeo
7 December 2022 @ 18:30 - 19:30
Gentle Housework of the Sacrifice is the working title for Anthony’s new book of poems. It is also a key phrase in a multi-part essay on mourning and touch. This essay is appearing as a series in PN Review. What’s the inspiration for this phrase, and what is its reach? ‘Living on Zoom’ is becoming associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, living at long-distance is the norm for many people. For example, military and other families are separated by work. Young people may be housebound by illness. Diasporic communities may ‘celebrate’ their festivals together, despite being distance from each other by thousands of miles, and separated perhaps by a whole day and night of time zone differences. Anthony is going to look at the small details of everyday life that escape into the formal Zoom frame: a cat’s tail across a face, a figure in a dressing gown crossing the background, a window of nightfall broadcast to a daytime audience on the other side of the world. These details will be compared to the poetics of writers (older and contemporary) who marry domestic interiors and long distance thinking in their work. Anthony will also offer a unique insight into putting together the core sequence of a new collection.
Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo is a Scottish Trinidadian writer, with interests in silence, plurilingualism, memory, music, place, and traditional masquerade. Recent work includes Like a Tree, Walking (Manchester: Carcanet, 2021), the Poetry Book Society winter choice, and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize. Research on trees and silence was facilitated by a Visiting Scholarship at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and conversation with the Blackfriars community. A residency at the Charles Causley Trust in Launceston, Cornwall (2022) saw more site-specific work, in dialogue with stones, wood, and blood. A Happiness (Sheffield: Intergraphia, 2022) is the first to feature Capildeo’s doodles, accompanying creaturely poems. Capildeo is Writer in Residence and Professor at the University of York.
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