Susan Utting and Will Stone on 13th May 2008

Susan Utting was the 2007 Peterloo Poetry Prize winner, and her poems have been featured in The Independent and The Forward Book of Poetry. She has worked as Community Laureate and teaches poetry at Reading University. Publications include Something Small is Missing (a Poetry Business prize winner) and Striptease (both Smith/Doorstop). Her latest collection, is Houses Without Walls (Two Rivers Press) which Poetry Society Chair Anne Marie Fyfe praised as: ‘a stunning book; its disarming, kaleidoscope vision takes the reader into the jumbled interiors of houses without walls, into the heart of what it is to be human.’ Already striking on the page, Susan Utting’s poems are brought to life by her compelling performances.

Forget Delilah: remember all the lovers you will leave,
forget the few who will leave you, remember then
the smell of just washed hair, the squeak between
somebody else’s fingers, the towel cape, clipped
at the front like a bunch of paid-off cheque stubs.

Feel the tug of the comb, the teasing through
to smooth, the cold curtain across your face,
the wait. There is a pleasure in the sound of sharp steel
cutting wet hair, like a guillotine through heavy paper
or your mother’s pattern scissors cutting taffeta.

(from from To a Woman at the End of an Affair)

“Utting animates life’s brittle edges and her poems carry unforced emotional weight” – Moniza Alvi


Will Stone is a poet, critic and translator. His first full collection, Glaciation, was published by Salt in 2007, and his work has appeared in the TLS, the Guardian, PN Review and Poetry Review. His latest book of translations To The Silenced – Selected Poems of Georg Trakl was published by Arc in 2005, and two translations of Belgian symbolist poets Emile Verhaeren and Georges Rodenbach will appear in 2009.

“Will Stone is the sharp eyed beachcomber on the shore of our self destruction. Read him before the tide comes in.” (Hugo Williams)

“Will Stone is the lycanthrope of contemporary poetry, a haunter of the haunted, at loose in the European necropolis.” (Stephen Romer)

Helpless you stand above them
held by the wind’s strong hands.
Nothing before or beyond.
Only a lost shoe flattened on an outcrop,
the hair of drowned sailors, still knotted,
riding the foam...

(from Storm off Speke’s Mill Mouth )

Then the ocean, nicked by ships,
the slow agony of their bow wave,
against our tyrannical speed.
Who are we, now we have ignored
the blunt warning of the woods,
the relentless counselling of streams,
the sonorous caution of stone?
We who for warmth try to light
the sand of our desert.

(from Take Off)



The event also features short poem floor spots, books for sale and a licensed bar. Doors at the Michaelhouse open at 7:30pm.