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The University will welcome academics, poets and creative writers from overseas to the virtual launch of An Insubstantial Universe; an anthology of original poetry in celebration of the 2019 bicentenary of the birth of English novelist George Eliot.

Pile of books laid out on a desk.

The University will welcome academics, poets and creative writers from overseas to the virtual launch of An Insubstantial Universe; an anthology of original poetry in celebration of the 2019 bicentenary of the birth of English novelist George Eliot.

Co-edited by Dr Amina Alyal and Edwin Stockdale, An Insubstantial Universe is a collection of original poems written by poets connected to the University, in collaboration with the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies (LCVS).

The anthology has been sponsored by the LCVS, an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Victorian Studies, and published by independent Leeds publisher Yaffle Press; an independent publisher set up by Leeds Trinity Creative Writing alumna Gill Lambert and Mark Connors, an award-winning writer from Leeds.

Taking place on Tuesday 12 May, the event is the first time the University has hosted a virtual book launch and contributors from Canada, France, Nigeria and Romania will be reading their poems from the anthology.

Dr Amina Alyal, Senior Lecturer in English and Co-Editor of An Insubstantial Universe, said: “I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing the poems read out by their authors. It's a dynamic collection and hearing them read one after another will be a sustaining, distilled experience. The anthology has come out of the strengths of individuals connected with Leeds Trinity and the multiple talents of people who weren't previously connected, but who we hope will form part of our future adventures.

“This is the first time the University has hosted an online book launch and it has been a steep learning curve, but it brings its rewards too. We might even take something from this necessity to enhance our future offerings. Of course, we'll all be on standby to cope with breaks in connectivity and will be ready to improvise as necessary if technology fails us.”

Reverend Professor Jane de Gay, Professor in English at Leeds Trinity University and Co-Director of the LCVS, said: “This anthology is the first collaborative project between LCVS and Creative Writing colleagues at Leeds Trinity. The LCVS has always taken a strong interdisciplinary approach, but this is the first time we have worked with creative writers and this is a very exciting development.

“I thoroughly enjoyed all the poems in this collection. They ask interesting questions about George Eliot’s life and bring new insights to her works. Victorian culture is of perennial interest worldwide – as is attested by the fact that this collection includes tributes to George Eliot by poets from Canada, Nigeria, Romania and France.”

The virtual launch is taking place on Tuesday 12 May, 5.00 – 8.00pm. It is a free event, and everyone is welcome to attend. To register your interest, please email: events@leedstrinity.ac.uk.

To purchase a copy of An Insubstantial Universe, please contact Dr Amina Alyal

Categories: English

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