Chris Agee conclude this spring’s series of “Literary Lunchtimes” at 1.00 pm, Wednesday, 25 March at Bar Gandolfi, 64 Albion Street, Merchant City, Glasgow. This is Chris's final semester as Keith Wright Literary Fellow and he will be reading from his last book, Next to Nothing, as well as his new Glasgow-based collection, Now and Then.
'I very much look forward to seeing some of the Strathclyde colleagues, friends and students that have made my time here so pleasurable and interesting. I will continue to come regularly to Glasgow – so will not be vanishing entirely.'
'The four series of "Literary Lunchtimes" have proved a memorable sampling of some of the best writers in Scotland – in the very convivial setting of Bar Ganolfi. "Literary Lunchtimes" is now a well-known feature of the Glasgow literary scene, and will hopefully continue after my departure.'
'The previous 24 readers have been Liz Lochhead, Rob McKenzie, James Robertson, Andrew Greig, Kirsty Logan, John Glenday, John Burnside, Sandy Hutchison, David Kinloch, Andrew Philip, Bernard MacLaverty, Beatrice Colin, Louise Welsh, Alasdair Gray, Aonghas MacNeacail, Tom Leonard, Kathleen Jamie, Christine de Luca, Malachy Tallack, Karen Campbell, Donal McLaughlin , Alan Gillis and Rodge Glass.
The series is sponsored by the School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde.
Chris Agee is the author of three books of poems, most recently Next to Nothing (Salt, 2009), shortlisted for the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. He has also edited Scar on the Stone: Contemporary Poetry from Bosnia (Bloodaxe, 1998, Poetry Society Recommendation), Unfinished Ireland: Essays on Hubert Butler (Irish Pages, 2003), The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland (Salt, 2011) and The Other Tongues: An Introduction to Writing in Irish, Scots Gaelic and Scots in Ulster and Scotland (Irish Pages, 2013). A Bosnian translation of Next to Nothing, Gotovo ništa, funded by Ireland Literature Exchange, appeared in 2011. His poetry appears in the seminal Bloodaxe anthology, The Hundred Years’ War (2014), among many others. He is the Editor of Irish Pages: A Journal of Contemporary Writing, Ireland’s premier literary journal, and currently the Keith Wright Literary Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He holds dual Irish and American citizenship, and spends part of each year at his house on Korčula, near Dubrovnik, in Croatia. He now divides his time between Belfast and Glasgow. Also a photographer, Agee is currently working a new Glasgow-based collection of poems, Now and Then.
On Next to Nothing:
“It is a profound and exceptionally moving book. I haven’t read anything so powerful for a long time. I was left with a sense of both the fragility and the huge importance of the here and now, as well as with an expanded sense of poetry’s capacity.”
Hugh Dunkerley The London Review
“Next to Nothing chronicles the years after the death of his four-year-old daughter, Miriam Aoife in a series of episodic, technically perfect and pitch-reticent lyrics. For this poet, grief crashes upon the shore of language in three distinct waves: a series of brilliant couplets, a series of minimalist, impressionistic lyrics and a series of more discursive, muscular stanzas. The whole enterprise adds up to something beyond lyric poems … a work that breaks through the barriers of literature to become something more, a palliative journal, a chronicle of the heroism of lost parenthood, a handbook for the bereaved.”
Thomas McCarthy, The Irish Times
“[It] is the most compelling book of poems I have read for years … a very significant, permanent tribute to Miriam, and representation of her. She joins the son who was Ben Jonson’s best piece of work.”
Bernard O’Donoghue, Wadham College, Oxford