Poetry Playback

Poetry reading

Poetry Playback

Venus as a Bear by Vahni Capildeo

Thursday 8 November, 6:45-8 pm
£5 Book

Doors open at 6.30 pm, with light refreshments served. Reading will start at 7 pm and end at 8 pm.

Poetry Playback is a new reading series in which a poet is invited to read from a recent collection or pamphlet in its entirety, from start to finish, as a single, sustained performance.

This November, we welcome one of the most exciting poetry minds at work, Vahni Capildeo, who will be reading from their latest Forward-nominated collection, Venus as a Bear, a brilliantly playful and questioning new portfolio of studies, fantasia and thought experiments on the natural world that ‘tugs language in the direction of the inhuman, and relishes the onomatopoeic results’ (David Wheatley in The Guardian).

a floorpet a fleapit a carpet a polkadot

blanket pet blanket pet answer brass doorbell what name

tin waterbowl what name thrilled vomitfall polkadot

padded on patted on turded on welcome mat name


-from ‘They (May Forget (Their Names (If Let Out)))’

Vahni Capildeo’s multilingual, cross-genre writing is grounded in time experienced through place. Their DPhil in Old Norse literature and translation theory, their travels, and their Indian diaspora/Caribbean background deepen the voices in the landscapes that inspire them. Capildeo’s poetry (six books and four pamphlets) includes Measures of Expatriation, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016. They have worked in academia; in culture for development, with Commonwealth Writers; and as an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer. Capildeo held the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge. They are currently the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Poetry at the University of Leeds.

Poetry Playbacks are co-produced with Poetry School. Founded in 1997, Poetry School is a national arts organisation providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetryaudiences.

Photo: Graeme Oxby