Latest News

  • 21st February 2016
    Written By Fiona Sampson

    I'm very pleased to announce that March 8 will see the UK launch both The Catch and the Romanian translation of Volta, poems from The Catch and Coleshill, at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square, at 7pm. The Romanian Cultural Institute is a generous supporter of artists across genres and nationalities, and is a tireless advocate of cross-cultural exchange between Romania, the UK and other European countries, so I am incredibly proud to have been offered this opportunity. It's a wonderful venue too - if you haven't been before then you are in for a treat! There will also be drinks! Being, serendipitously, International Women's Day, the night will also look at the broader theme of collaboration between women artists. I will be joined by Emma Harding, producer of the Radio 4 documentary Postcards from the Village, on which the Romanian poet and translator of Volta, Ioana Ieronim and I discussed our respective villages and their place in our work; by my English editor, Parisa Ebrahimi; and by Dr Fiona Doloughan, Head of English at the Open University, for a discussion of my work and broader themes around poetry and collaboration. The evening will conclude with a musical setting of my poem ‘Bee Sama’  - from my last collection Coleshill - composed by the prize-winning UK and Romanian composer Luminiţa Spînu and sung by mezzo-soprano Adriana Feşteu. It is a wonderful work, and I can't wait to hear it live. For more information, go here, or to secure a free ticket, go here. I look forward to seeing you there!

  • 4th February 2016
    Written By Fiona Sampson

    The wait is over! I’m really excited that my new collection, The Catch, is published today. Thank you so much to everyone who’s played a part in making it happen. I’ve have to admit I’ve really loved writing this collection. I keep wanting to push at boundaries - of feeling, of consciousness, of form. In The Catch I’ve been exploring a sense that breath is fundamental to poetry.  Most of the poems are a single sentence, shaped by a push-me-pull-you rhythm of line-breaks and stanza-breaks. And I’m fascinated by the transformational movement between experience and history, experience and myth. This book is full of the time I’ve spent in France over the last year, where I’ve been overwhelmed by the richness of the natural environment - and by happiness, that most difficult of all experiences to evoke. Is there anything more thrilling than finding new ways of doing things? For me this book represents a real process of searching and in some senses finding such ways. A “catch” is an old word for a round-song, one that keeps on going, and which you can join if you want to... Thank you again to everyone who has helped with The Catch.  For more information and to get a copy go here

  • 3rd February 2016
    Written By Fiona Sampson

    Following on from my recent visit to Banja Luka, I am really excited to announce that the new Bosnian translation of Coleshill - Kolshil! - is hot off the presses. And I mean that literally, as you can see from these pics of my wonderful publisher Zdravko Kecman. Zdravko is one of the region's most important writers and publishers - last year he was awarded Slovenia's Pretnar Life Achievement Award for his lifetimes work, and for actively promoting  Slovenian-Serbian-Bosnian-Herzegovinian literary relations. It has been an honour to work with him, and with my translator Minja Golubovic. Both are consummate professionals and gifted artists, and both share the region's endlessly inspiring attitude to poetry, and literature in general. As readers familiar with my work will be aware, the Balkans have been a literary touchstone for me for a great many years - the writers and artists across the region, whatever their aesthetic principles, share a dedication to producing work of the highest artistic standard, and also share a collegiate attitude to making art. Perhaps this is forged in an environment where art is seen as absolutely necessary, so all practitioners share an urgency and a level of professionalism that is often missing elsewhere. As Zdravko himself says, "The song will never disappear from us". Whatever the reasons, it truly is an honour to be part of the literary life of the region, and I encourage all writers to actively engage with regions that fall outside the mainstream of Anglophone literature. The rewards are terrific.

  • 31st January 2016
    Written By Fiona Sampson

    With The Catch coming out on February 4, I am very excited to see a first review by Kim Moore. Kim - who won a New Writing North Award in 2014, and Eric Gregory Award in 2011, and whose first collection, The Art of Falling came out in 2015 - looks in detail at my poem 'At Bleddfa'. As she points out, the poem explores the formal concerns that are at the heart of The Catch - the notion of 'the breath' as the fundamental unit of poetry. In The Catch, I attempt to use this idea to create works that are moved by thought, rather than constrained by punctuation. I believe it is my most challenging  work to date, and can't wait to see it out in the world. Details of various launches will appear on this site over the coming days; meanwhile, Kim's review is here.

  • 27th January 2016
    Written By Fiona Sampson

    As part of my ongoing engagement with European and other non-Anglophone literary culture I am thrilled to announce that I am the new patron of the Anglo-Russian Culture Club (ARCC), The club, which brings together scholars and amatuers, aims to trace an arc of Russian culture with Europe and the UK. Poetry and music, cinema and pop culture. Upcoming events include a screening of the 1993 film 'Walking with Brodsky' at the Open Russia Club, Hanover Square, Mayfair, on Saturday January 30, 2016 - an event which will feature contributions from the director of the film, Yelena Yakovich, and Joseph Brodsky's daughter, Anna Maria Brodsky. Then, on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at Clementi House in W8, the Club will host an open round top discussion on The Miracle of Soviet Mathematics. In the 1950s-80s, despite various political and administrative restrictions and obstacles, a generation of brilliant mathematicians emerged in the Soviet Union, and mathematics became a symbol of independent thought. How did the mathematical community overcome the barriers? For more information, visit their newsletter, here, or join their facebook group here.


- 23 hours ago

RT @gavinesler: The prime minister of the United Kingdom appears to be a coward as well as a liar. Who would have guessed?
h J R

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.