Walking over the Water: Pia Tafdrup poetry tour

Principal Investigator(s): Dr Niall Munro

Project start: February 2017

Project finish: February 2017

Funded by: Danish Arts Foundation

About us

The Poetry Centre is delighted and honoured to coordinate a short tour by internationally-acclaimed Danish poet Pia Tafdrup. The tour, entitled Walking over the Water (which refers to Pia's 1991 essay about her poetic method), is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, and also by the University of Reading and Roehampton Poetry Centre. Pia will visit Reading, Ledbury, and Oxford during her tour, and at each stop will read or be in discussion with a celebrated British poet: Peter Robinson in Reading, Fiona Sampson in Ledbury, and Philip Gross in Oxford.

Pia Tafdrup, one of Scandinavia's best-known poets, was born in Copenhagen in 1952. She is a member of the Danish Academy, and has published 17 collections of poetry, two novels, and two plays. Pia received the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1999 and the Nordic Prize in 2006 from The Swedish Academy. Her most recent poetry collections translated into English are Queen's Gate (Bloodaxe, 2001), Tarkovsky's Horses & Other Poems (Bloodaxe, 2010) and Salamander Sun & Other Poems (Bloodaxe, 2015). Her latest books published in Denmark are entitled The Taste of Steel and The Smell of Snow.

Pia has also published a statement of her poetics entitled Walking over the Water (1991), and edited two poetry anthologies. She has produced literary translations of a number of Swedish writers, including Tua Forsström and Katarina Frostenson, and her own poems have been translated into more than 30 languages in books, anthologies and magazines. English translations of her poems have been published in 60 literary journals in the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Pia was the subject of a 2003 documentary film about her work, Thousandborn, directed by Cæcilia Holbek Trier, and she has read from her work in more than 40 countries. She represented Denmark at Poetry Parnassus, the festival of readings, performance and debate that took place during the London 2012 Festival.

Full schedule and ticket details

Wednesday 15 February, Pia Tafdrup reads with Peter Robinson

University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, HumSS 127 from 6pm

More details: peterrobinso@gmail.com

Thursday 16 February, Pia Tafdrup in conversation with Fiona Sampson

The Panelled Room, The Master’s House, Ledbury, HR8 1EA 7-9pm, £5 (on the door)

More details: http://www.poetry-festival.co.uk

Friday 17 February, Pia Tafdrup reads with Philip Gross

Large Senior Common Room, Oriel College, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4EW

7-8.15pm, £5

Philip Gross (www.philipgross.co.uk) is a poet, for adults and children, and a keen collaborator across art forms. A Fold In The River, with artist Valerie Coffin Price, is published by Seren (2015). The Water Table won the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009, and Love Songs of Carbon the Roland Mathias Award (Wales Book of The Year) 2016. Much of his work carries echoes of his family history, especially his Estonian father's experience of exile. A new collection, A Bright Acoustic, is due from Bloodaxe in June 2017. Philip is Professor of Creative Writing at University of South Wales.

Story Museum workshops

To coincide with Pia Tafdrup's visit to Oxford, the Story Museum is running two exciting workshops for primary-age children about the work of Hans Christian Andersen (a significant source of inspiration for Pia Tafdrup). The workshops, based on Andersen's stories The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea take place on Friday 17 February from 11-12.15pm and 1-2.15pm, and are suitable for children aged 5-8. Visit the Story Museum website for more information and to book places. Tickets are £6.

The Poetry Centre is very grateful for the support of the Danish Arts Foundation and deeply indebted to Hanne Busck-Nielsen for making the tour possible.