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Accidentals • St Nicholas Priory Thursday 4 November



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.