Episode 7: Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott reading at the Shifting Territories conference, 22 May 2013

This is a special recording made of a reading given by the Forward Prize and Costa Book Award-winner Jo Shapcott. It was recorded at the Shifting Territories conference on 22 May 2013 at the Institute of English Studies in London.

A conference designed to bring together postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers, as well as poets and academics, Shifting Territories considered the recent wave of new nature writing and poetry which has gone beyond traditional representations of landscape to venture into borderlands, edgelands and urban environments. Jo Shapcott provided the keynote poetry reading which opened the conference, offering a generous selection of her own work which related to place, space, and identity. The conference also featured a keynote reading by David Morley, a paper by Eóin Flannery addressing ecocriticism and contemporary Irish poetry, and a workshop by Steven Matthews about the particular challenges of writing about modern and contemporary poetry. 

This podcast is introduced by Anna Hewitt, the main organiser of the Shifting Territories conference, who is currently completing a PhD on the work of Jo Shapcott at the University of Reading.

In the recording, Jo Shapcott reads a mixture of published and unpublished work. The Poetry Centre is very grateful both to Jo Shapcott and to Faber and Faber Ltd. for allowing us to use this recording.

  1. 'Motherland' [version of a Marina Tsvetayeva poem from Her Book (2000)]
  2. 'A Letter to Dennis' [Her Book
  3. 'On Tour: the Alps' [Her Book
  4. 'Heather' [unpublished]
  5. 'La Serenissima' [from Of Mutability (2010)] 
  6. 'I Go Inside the Tree' [Of Mutability
  7. 'My Oak' [Of Mutability
  8. 'Cedar of Lebanon' [Of Mutability
  9. 'Cypress' [Of Mutability
  10. 'Gladestry Quatrains' [Full Sequence from Tender Taxes (2002)] 
  11. 'I Tell the Bees' [unpublished]
  12. 'The Threshold' [unpublished]
  13. 'The Hive' [unpublished]
  14. 'Going About with the Bees' [unpublished]
  15. 'CCD' [unpublished]
  16. 'P' [unpublished]

'Motherland', 'A Letter to Dennis', and 'On Tour: the Alps', are taken from Her Book © Jo Shapcott, 2000, and reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd.

'La Serenissima', 'I Go Inside the Tree', 'My Oak', 'Cedar of Lebanon', and 'Cypress', are taken from Of Mutability © Jo Shapcott, 2010, and reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd.

'Gladestry Quatrains' is taken from Tender Taxes © Jo Shapcott, 2002, and reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd.

'Heather', 'I Tell the Bees', 'The Threshold', 'The Hive', 'Going About with the Bees', 'CCD', and 'P' are all © Jo Shapcott and reproduced by kind permission of the author.