RSL Events

Mar 2013
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A reading

Robin Robertson and Alice Oswald

James Wood

Somerset House, 7pm



For Alice Oswald, a poet committed to the live performance of her work, the role of poetry is to go ‘lower than rhetoric, lower than conversation, lower than logic, right down to the very faint honest voice at the bottom of the skull’. Noted for her visionary precision and love of nature, she won the T.S. Eliot Prize for Dart (2002), her poem about the Devon river and the people who live and work on it. But in her most recent work, Memorial, she leaves England for the killing fields of Troy, in a reworking of the Iliad described by Andrew Motion as ‘an elegy of quite extraordinary power’. The Classics, and especially Ovid’s Metamorphoses, have also been a lodestone for Robin Robertson. The first person to win the Forward Poetry Prize in all three categories - A Painted Field (1997) was Best First Collection, Swithering (2006) Best Collection, and ‘At Roane Head’ (2010) Best Single Poem - Robertson has been praised by John Banville for his ‘genius for exact and gorgeous imagery, his dazzling metaphorical gift’. In the newly published Hill of Doors, he combines loose retellings of stories of the shape-shifter Dionysus with poems about his childhood on the north-east coast of Scotland. It is his most powerful book to date.

We are grateful to Old Possum's Practical Trust for sponsoring this reading.

Booking Information

Seats for guests (one per meeting, £5) must be booked and paid for in advance. This can be done through the RSL website as part of the usual booking process.

The RSL takes bookings from the public in advance of each event. We are able to take payment for bookings over the phone, but, as we do not have a box office, we ask that the public book online.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, for £8 (£5 for students).

Read our Terms and Conditions for ticket purchases here.


This event is now sold out, but there may be a small number of tickets available on the door. Please call 020 7845 4678 on Monday (note that the RSL office is closed over the weekend) to check for cancellations.


Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House

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