A poetry reading and conversation
to celebrate the launch of
Greta Stoddart’s new collection Fool
Thursday 29 September 7pm Doors at 6.30pm
Tickets: £10 Please call 01308 459511.
Greta will be in conversation with Gill Barr, who has read her own poems at Sladers Yard on several occasions.
When knowledge is ours at the tap of a key, what is it we’re accumulating, and is it at the expense of another, more intuitive, kind of knowing?
The word ‘fool’ derives from the Latin follis, one of whose meanings is ‘empty-headed person’. Such mindlessness is not quite imaginable, but perhaps it is possible that by unknowing a thing we can start to see it differently. There’s a lot the fool doesn’t know – otherwise they wouldn’t be a fool – but can anyone be trusted to know anything?
A low-level hum of discordance runs through these poems: between inner and outer worlds, between the sceptical and the wondering mind. Ideas of belief and truth play out in various ways, often through lone figures, fools maybe, thinking aloud, continually distracted by the necessary performance of being.
Fool is Greta Stoddart’s fourth collection. Her third collection Alive Alive O was published by Bloodaxe in 2015.
Reviews of Alive Alive O:
‘Greta Stoddart sets transience against endurance: the certainty of human mortality against the mysteries of forbearance.’ – David Harsent, Chair of Judges, Roehampton Poetry Prize
‘Stoddart honors the ancient pulse of our art, and in doing so proves her mettle, wisdom, and craft.’ – Adam Tavel, Plume (USA)
‘Colloquial, faintly unruly, the poems travel light on adventures of consciousness, channelling the energies of a big, agnostic imagination into new forms.’ – Carol Rumens, Poetry Review
‘When not confronting life and death as we most vividly encounter them, Stoddart’s poems suggest the ways in which our mortality is ever-present in daily life… Alive Alive O is a compelling book, defiant in the face of life’s losses.’ – Ben Wilkinson, Times Literary Supplement
‘…an exploration of grief that is both pensively elegiac and electrifyingly alive…These are poems that feel necessary, and that show how poetry can be part of dealing with the great change of life and death.’ – Alex Pryce, Mslexia
Greta Stoddart was born in 1966 in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. She spent her childhood in Oxford and Belgium. She studied acting in Paris and worked as a performer before becoming a full-time poet. Having taught at Goldsmiths, University of London and Bath Spa University, she now teaches for Poetry School UK. She lives near Lyme Regis with her family.
Stoddart’s first collection of poetry, At Home in the Dark, was published in 2001 and won the 2002 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.
Her second collection, Salvation Jane, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Book Award.
Her third collection, Alive Alive O, was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the 2016 Roehampton Poetry Prize.
Her radio poem, Who’s there?, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and was shortlisted for the 2017 Ted Hughes Award.