22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Tim Liardet

The poet, critic and lecturer Tim Liardet was born in London. He studied at the University of York in northern England and currently is Senior Lecturer in Creative Studies at Bath Spa University in the south. To date he has published five volumes and one pamphlet of poetry, as well as reviews of contemporary poetry in newspapers and magazines such as »The Guardian«, »The Independent«, »The Independent on Sunday«, »Poetry Review« and »PN Review«.

Liardet’s poems are explorations of different situations and patterns of thought that delve below what is visible, revealing the inner chasms of society and of the soul. Honest, bold and direct, his work probes the cracks in reality – how we discover and produce it – arriving more often than not in the realms of the dark and surreal. Alongside poetic devices such as echo, rhyme and strong rhythms, Liardet relies especially on imagery and description. In his essay »Ekphrasis and Ekphrasis« he explains the achieved effect: »In my poems, I tend not to go for the symbolical afflatus that grows out of every day experience; I tend to invest more in the transforming nature of physical description, trusting in the fact that if you describe physical qualitites with enough precision they will collect into something approaching liturgy.«

In 2001 he spent a year teaching poetry in the second largest young offenders’ prison in Europe. The poems that resulted from this period make up the volume »The Blood Choir« (2006). The title poem evokes the horrifying process by which inmates in prison surrender their individuality. The central metaphor of this echoes Goya’s painting »La Romería de San Isidro«. In Liardet’s poetry, paintings by Boccioni and the Futurists, photographs by Kertész and Brassaï, pieces of music and references to significant poets and thinkers – as well as the work of Goya – serve as catalysts to open his subjects to unfamiliar contexts.

His new collection of poems constantly circles the death of his brother, at an early age and in very mysterious circumstances, two years ago. »It is a book-length elegy, but also broadens out into the psychodrama of family and touches on the possibilities of evolutionary psychology.«

Liardet was long-listed for the Whitbread Poetry Prize in 1998, won an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award in 2003, and was short-listed for the 2006 TS Eliot Prize. There have been numerous Poetry Book Society Recommendations and other literary awards. He lives with his family in Bath.

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