Michael Symmons Roberts will be reading from his poetry, and (with Professor David Fuller) discussing issues related to religion and beauty, the body in sacred and secular aspects, and, on the basis of his particular interest in genomics, the relations of poetry and science.
Roberts is the author of five collections of poetry including Raising Sparks (1999), Burning Babylon (2001), which was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot prize, Corpus (2004), winner of the Whitbread Poetry award (also short-listed for the Forward Prize, the T. S. Eliot prize, and the Griffin International prize), and most recently The Half-Healed (2008). He is the author of two novels, Patrick’s Alphabet (2006), and Breath (2008). With Paul Farley he has also written Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness (2011), which won the Foyles Best Book of Ideas award for 2012. You can listen to his poetry at The Poetry Archive.
Roberts also writes for radio, including the drama Soldiers in the Sun (2007), exploring the effects of post-traumatic-stress-disorder, and poems commissioned by the BBC to mark Hiroshima Day 2000 (‘A Fearful Symmetry’) and the first anniversary of 9/11 (the sequence ‘Last Words’ published in The Half Healed). His documentaries and features include (for radio) a history of Christianity in Britain, series on sacred mountains, and on the Bible, a history of multi-faith Britain, and a feature about the philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist, Simone Weil; also (for television, with accompanying series book), The Miracles of Jesus. He works closely with the composer James MacMillan for whom he has written several libretti, including the chamber opera, Parthenogenesis (2001), the song cycle Raising Sparks (2002), and the operas The Sacrifice (2007) and Clemency (2011). He is currently Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Location: Lecture Room 140, Elvet Riverside, Durham University. Click here for a map.
Admission for this event is free.