Poetry on Campus: Ruth Valentine and Marilyn Longstaff

28 February 2017
Public event:
8.00PM - 10.00PM
Booking required:
Terrace Bar, Students' Union
Contact information

Name: Francesca Whisker
T: 01642 738232

A new season of poetry readings on campus, organised by Smokestack Books and supported by Ek Zuban.

Two of Smokestack Books' most original and compelling poets launch their new collections about the world, the flesh and the devil.

Ruth Valentine has worked as an undertaker and as a celebrant at secular funerals. Her new collection, Downpour, is an extended meditation on dying and death, its emotional grammar and its painful but necessary rituals – hospital corridors and waiting rooms, winter tides, tearful winds and rain-swept cemeteries – and the strangers who must escort us towards oblivion.

When Marilyn Longstaff’s Salvation Army Officer parents dedicated her to God, they promised to keep her from jewellery, finery and other worldly pleasures. At the age of fourteen, she signed the Army’s ‘Articles of War’, vowing to reject ‘the values of the world’, to be ‘a faithful steward’ of her time, body, mind and spirit, and to abstain from ‘all else that could enslave the body or spirit.’ Her new book, Articles of War is a book about a jealous God, a life haunted by ‘the ghost of a faith she’s lost’, about rules and hierarchies, belief and freedom and the small steps that pave the path to hell.

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