Bright outlook for poet’s award-winning debut collection

Abi Curtis, a University of Sussex creative writing lecturer, launches her award-winning debut poetry collection, Unexpected Weather, on 9 June, 2009.

The collection is one of four winners of Salt Publishing's inaugural Crashaw Prize in 2008. The award includes the publication of her work in hardback and in paperback.

Dr Curtis's work has featured widely in magazines and anthologies. She received an Eric Gregory Award for poets under 30 from the Society of Authors in 2004 and published a pamphlet, Humbug, with Tall-lighthouse in 2007.

Unexpected Weather is a collection of poems that take science, art and nature as their subjects and are experimental in form. Describing her writing, she says: "I try to make the familiar extraordinary and the supernatural everyday."   

Dr Curtis, who gained a DPhil at Sussex in creative and critical writing, teaches creative writing workshops and has taught courses on the relationship between psychoanalysis and creative writing. She says: "The study and teaching of psychoanalysis has encouraged me to be interested in the strangeness of language; and investigating the creative process with my students has enhanced my own practice as a writer."

Fellow published poet and Forward Prize nominee Luke Kennard says: "Curtis never tells you things you already know - she tells you things you are, things you've always felt and have never managed to put into words. It's wondrously satisfying - like being broke then finding a twenty pound note in an old pair of jeans."

The three other winners of the Crashaw Prize were English poet Tom Chivers, with How to Build a City, and Americans Jamey Dunham, with The Bible of Lost Pets, and Jared Stanley, with Book Made of Forest.

Unexpected Weather will be launched at RedRoaster Coffeehouse, St James' Street, Brighton, on 9 June at 8pm.  Dr Curtis will be joined by fellow Crashaw Prize winner Tom Chivers and the evening  will be hosted by poet and University of Sussex creative writing lecturer Catherine Smith. Entry is free. Poets will read from their work and sign books.

 Notes for editors

 For further details of Unexpected Weather see Salt Webpage:

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Thursday, 10 September 2009