23 Jan. St Stephen’s Cultural Center presents an evening of poetry, images, and perfumes, as Moira Egan reads from her latest book, Synæsthesium, at 19.00 on Tuesday 23 January.
Winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize, Synæsthesium is an unusual exploration of ekphrasis—poetry that takes a real or imagined work of art as its muse. The first half of the book, Olfactorium, is inspired by various fragrances and the olfactory flashbacks—real or imagined—induced by them. From everyday Old Spice to exotic Casbah, the poems take the reader on journeys peppered with the luscious language of perfumery. The second part, Love and Work, is based on the artwork of Suzanne Valadon, the bold and unconventional model-turned-painter who was one of the great and under-appreciated artists of the Impressionist era.
This synæsthetic evening will feature projections of Valadon’s images, as well as samples of the perfumes that inspired the poems.
“Moira Egan's Synæsthesium, like a unique perfume in a beautiful flask, expertly mingles the base-notes of memory and desire, art and womanhood, in the clear container of form. She writes from deep within the senses, but she spills nothing, with assurance of her craft. When we read these poems, we find that our own senses are renewed.” —Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
“There is no one writing like Moira Egan. No one. These poems detail irreverent discoveries and always-vivid excursions into unknown worlds… places where, at first, you may think you’ve been but, oh no, you definitely haven’t. You may have seen a river wear the gold of sunset followed by the cloak of night; but, I promise, you’ve never seen it like this. … Egan has given us one hell of a book.” —Erica Dawson, Winner of The Poets’ Prize
A note to the fragance-sensitive: There will be a corner devoted to the olfactory muses. Fragrances will be present at this event.
is the Creative Writing Teacher at St Stephen’s School
. She is the author of six previous collections of poetry and, with her husband, Damiano Abeni
, has published more than a dozen volumes in translation in Italy. Their translation of Charles Wright’s Italia won the “Premio letterario Benno Geiger per la traduzione poetica.”