'Romanticism isn’t a cultural artefact; it’s a way for thought to move,’ Fiona Sampson
Following the publication of her new book, Starlight Wood: Walking Back to the Romantic Countryside, Fiona Sampson talks to Polly Atkin about the ways in which the Romantics were shaped and impelled by the rural environment, and what that can teach us today.
Join two writers and RSL Fellows who are keenly attuned to the world natural world around them, for a conversation which roams from Cumbria to cultural history, personal reflections to radical politics.
This is will be a pre-recorded discussion. If you have a question for either Polly or Fiona, please email it to [email protected] by Tuesday 27 September for the chance to have it answered during the recording.
Fiona Sampson MBE FRSL is a leading British poet published in thirty-eight languages. Come Down was awarded the Naim Frashëri Laureateship, the European Lyric Atlas Prize and Wales Poetry Book of the Year. A biographer and critic, librettist and literary translator, her In Search of Mary Shelley was internationally acclaimed, and Two-Way Mirror: The life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Washington Post Book of the Year, a Sunday Times Paperback of the Year, and finalist for the Plutarch Prize and the PEN Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography.
Polly Atkin FRSL has two poetry collections, Basic Nest Architecture and Much With Body, both published by Seren. Her first nonfiction book, Recovering Dorothy: The Hidden Life of Dorothy Wordsworth, which explores Dorothy’s later life and disability, was published by Saraband in November 2021. She has also written a hybrid memoir exploring place, belonging and chronic illness. Her doctorate on Romantic legacies and the Lake District was conducted under the AHRC Landscape and Environment project, in collaboration with The Wordsworth Trust and Lancaster University. Polly has taught English and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria.