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Accidentals at the Priory

Accidentals at the Priory

The last of the Partner events at ExeLitFest 2021 takes us back to St Nicholas Priory, and is one for lovers of poetry or memoir. Lawrence Sail will be reading from, and discussing, his most recent book, Accidentals (Impress Books, 2020). A successor to his memoir of childhood, Sift (Impress Books, 2010), it celebrates occasions and instances seen in the perspective of a whole lifetime, bringing together a disparate range of subjects–among them, capsizing a small boat in a North Sea gale; two visits to Petra, thirty-eight years apart; the paintings of Samuel Palmer; lighthouses; favourite films; bluebells; seahorses; a school desk from Exeter, c. 1951; and Dover sole. Choosing it as his Christmas book for 2020, Michael Morpurgo wrote, (in the i Paper): ‘I would wrap up Accidentals by Lawrence Sail, with illustrations by Erica Sail. It’s a book of essays by a terrific writer and poet of a certain age, looking back over his life. Illuminating, gently funny, deeply enjoyable.’

Lawrence Sail, who has lived in Devon for much of his life, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has published thirteen collections of poems, two books of essays and two volumes of memoirs, as well as editing a number of anthologies. He has been chairman of the Arvon Foundation and director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. In 2003 he received a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry. His most recent publications are a new collection of poems, Guises (Bloodaxe Books), and Accidentals (Impress Books) which combines memoir, essays and poems, and is illustrated by Erica Sail.

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