HANNAH LOWE’S MEMOIR LONG TIME NO SEE TO BE BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK!

Hannah Lowe’s LONG TIME NO SEE, published in the UK by Periscope, will be BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week next week. The first episode will be broadcast at 09.45 a.m. on Monday 27 July and the last episode will go out on Friday. An accomplished poet and performer, Hannah Lowe will be reading her own work. 

Hannah’s memoir was listed for Guardian Hottest Caribbean Reads and picked as an Observer Holiday Read 2015. Poet Malika Booker called it ‘heartbreakingly tender, poignant and honest’ and Kerry Young, author of PAO and GLORIA said the following: ‘Sometimes we don’t cherish what we have until it’s gone. Such is the case with Hannah Lowe’s beautifully woven tale of father and daughter – a half-remembered, half-imagined reminder that our stories begin long before we are born, and never end.’

Hannah was chosen for the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets List 2014. Her debut poetry collection, CHICK (Bloodaxe, 2013), also about her father, was called ‘outstanding, unputdownable’ by John Glenday, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry 2014 and most recently the Michael Murphy Award. Penelope Shuttle described her as ‘as a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic’ – a voice that comes through in her moving memoir too.

Hannah’s father, Chick, a half-Chinese, half-black Jamaican immigrant, worked long hours at night to support his family – except Chick was no ordinary working man. A legendary gambler, he would vanish into the shadows of East London to win at cards or dice, returning during the daylight hours to greet the daughter whose love and respect he courted.

In this memoir, Hannah calls forth the unstable world of card sharps, confidence men and small-time criminals that eventually took its toll on Chick. She evokes her father’s Jamaica, where he learned his formidable skills, and her own coming of age in a changing Britain. LONG TIME NO SEE speaks eloquently of love and its absence, regret and compassion, and the struggle to know oneself.

Visit Hannah’s blog and follow her on Twitter

Hannah Lowe shortlisted for Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

Hannah-Lowe.jpg

Hannah Lowe's CHICK has been shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize - one of the most influential and established prizes in the UK for a first book of poems. Hannah features on the shortlist alongside four other poets, including Emily Berry and Dan O'Brien. Now in its second year of funding by The Fenton Arts Trust, the winner of the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize will be announced at the start of the 25th Aldeburgh International Poetry Festival on Friday 8 November 2013.
 
Hannah was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The winner of the £5000 prize will be announced in a ceremony at the South Bank Centre on 1 October. CHICK is published by Bloodaxe Books.
 
Hannah is also performing at a benefit for James Berry on 27 September, at 7pm at The Tabernacle, London. Tickets cost £45 including entertainment and food buffet and money raised goes to the James Berry Trust and the Alzheimer's Society. James was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease nine years ago and has been in residential care for over two years.
 
Hannah Lowe's memoir LONG TIME NO SEE was recently acquired by Telegram, and will be published July 2014.
 
Praise for CHICK:

'CHICK opens with a powerful sequence of poems centred around the poet's memories of her Chinese/black Jamaican father - a complex, larger than life character who came to London in the late 40s and eked out a living as, among other things, a gambler. But the book is very much more than a personal reminiscence and family history. This is a collection cross-hatched with myth and history, a hymn to London as much as to its characters. Though all the poems have a strong, vividly cinematographic line, they are also beautifully lyrical - sung stories, offering us the glimpsed lives of strangers and lovers. But however poignant and moving it may be, the collection remains doggedly celebratory of life itself, of people and place, loved and remembered. Each poem takes us a little further into the mystery of lives in a world that is as incomprehensible as it is unforgettable. This is an outstanding, unputdownable first collection' - John Glenday.

'Here is a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic. These are poems springing from the page with vitality, rue and insight. Her elegies are restrained and devastating. An extraordinary debut' - Penelope Shuttle.

'CHICK is an unforgettable book. In an age where blurby superlatives compete on debut book covers, this one has an edge: it is about someone, namely the poet's late father, from whose name it takes its title. …The reader approaches the book not only as a set of poems but as a narrative with a fascinating central character. …The early poems about him are riveting. … [The poem] 'Say', which exploits understatement to the full, is remarkable, and heartbreaking. … And did I like the poet? Yes, enormously. You couldn't not. She is there as a child, and a young, vulnerable adult, and then as a grown woman lamenting her own unfatherly father with compassion, but without sentiment.' - Helena Nelson, Magma

'A notable achievement, particularly in a first book … a sustained elegiac sequence, raw, but consistently well-wrought. … Lowe's poetry is vibrant and sensual.' - Chloe Stopa-Hunt, Poetry Review

Hannah Lowe’s poetry collection CHICK shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize.

Hannah-Lowe.jpg

A panel headed by Jeanette Winterson, who is joined by the poets Paul Farley and Sheenagh Pugh, the actor Samuel West and journalist David Mills have included Hannah Lowe's CHICK in the shortlist for the £5,000 Best First Collection prize. Hannah's collection is published by Bloodaxe Books.

Previous winners have included Sam Riviere's 81 Austerities and Kid  by Simon Armitage.

The awards will be announced at a ceremony in London's Southbank Centre on 1 October 2013.

Praise for CHICK:
'CHICK opens with a powerful sequence of poems centred around the poet's memories of her Chinese/black Jamaican father - a complex, larger than life character who came to London in the late 40s and eked out a living as, among other things, a gambler. But the book is very much more than a personal reminiscence and family history. This is a collection cross-hatched with myth and history, a hymn to London as much as to its characters. Though all the poems have a strong, vividly cinematographic line, they are also beautifully lyrical - sung stories, offering us the glimpsed lives of strangers and lovers. But however poignant and moving it may be, the collection remains doggedly celebratory of life itself, of people and place, loved and remembered. Each poem takes us a little further into the mystery of lives in a world that is as incomprehensible as it is unforgettable. This is an outstanding, unputdownable first collection' - John Glenday.

'Here is a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic. These are poems springing from the page with vitality, rue and insight. Her elegies are restrained and devastating. An extraordinary debut' - Penelope Shuttle.

'CHICK is an unforgettable book. In an age where blurby superlatives compete on debut book covers, this one has an edge: it is about someone, namely the poet's late father, from whose name it takes its title. …The reader approaches the book not only as a set of poems but as a narrative with a fascinating central character. …The early poems about him are riveting. … [The poem] 'Say', which exploits understatement to the full, is remarkable, and heartbreaking. … And did I like the poet? Yes, enormously. You couldn't not. She is there as a child, and a young, vulnerable adult, and then as a grown woman lamenting her own unfatherly father with compassion, but without sentiment.' - Helena Nelson, Magma

'A notable achievement, particularly in a first book … a sustained elegiac sequence, raw, but consistently well-wrought. … Lowe's poetry is vibrant and sensual.' - Chloe Stopa-Hunt, Poetry Review

Links to some of Hannah's blogs and readings:

Hannah's blog: www.hannahlowe.org/blog/

Video of Hannah reading, from the Bloodaxe site: http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/titlepage.asp?isbn=1852249609

Video of the Edinburgh World Writers' debate, with address by Hannah Lowe at the beginning and responses to questions re memoir:
http://www.edinburghworldwritersconference.org/national-literature/marlon-james-a-national-literature/

Hannah's blog about the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference:
http://www.edinburghworldwritersconference.org/national-literature/why-investigate-the-question-of-a-national-literature-hannah-lowe-blogs-from-ewwc-trinidad/

http://paperbased.org/2013/06/06/chick-by-hannah-lowe/

http://www.camdenreview.com/reviews/books/against-the-odds-chick-by-hannah-lowe-bloodaxe-books

http://www.apoemandapint.co.uk/images/reviews/hannahlowe.htm

http://www.bocaslitfest.com/2013/father-figures-colin-grant-and-hannah-lowe/

http://www.susumba.com/books/reviews/literary-patchwork-jamaican-chinese-experience

http://grasmerepoetry.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/w-n-herbert-and-hannah-lowe-21st-may-2013/