Sir Andrew Motion: Essex Clay

Thu 14 June
Spirella Ballroom

Andrew Motion’s prose memoir, In the Blood (2006), was widely acclaimed, praised as ‘an act of magical retrieval’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘a hymn to familial love’ (Independent). Now having left the UK’s shores, Motion looks back once more to recreate a stunning biographical sequel but this time, in verse. Essex Clay rekindles, expands and gives a tragic resonance to subjects that have haunted Motion throughout his writing life. The poem’s wealth of physical detail and its narrative momentum make it as compelling as a fast-paced novel: a settling of accounts which admits that final resolutions are impossible.

Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009 and is co-founder of the online Poetry Archive; in 2015 he was appointed a Homewood Professor in the Arts at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including most recently the Ted Hughes Award (2015), and has published four celebrated biographies, a novella, The Invention of Dr Cake (2003) and a memoir, In the Blood (2006). Andrew Motion was knighted for his services to poetry in 2009.

‘Lucid, brilliant, melancholic… Motion’s most achieved collection’ David Morley, The Guardian

‘Motion’s greatest and most distinctive gift…is to look squarely at the world and describe it with a plain and unsentimental eloquence that makes world value seem all the more questionable.’ Independent on Sunday

Booking information

Tickets are available online using the Eventbrite form below. Alternatively, visit the Tourist Information Centre on Station Road, Letchworth, to buy your ticket in person; or call 01462 476067 to book over the phone. Tickets will not be available on the door.

Note for wheelchair users: due to safety requirements, we have limited space for wheelchair users. If you will be using a wheelchair to attend this performance, please book by calling 01462 476067 so we can confirm wheelchair space availability.