Adam Thorpe is a rare breed: extremely gifted both as a novelist and as a poet. In Voluntary, his sixth collection of poems, he takes us on a wide-ranging journey through states of gain and loss, alienation and belonging. The poems explore our chances, record our traces – in the marks on skin, home movies, stone walls, the pressure of our blood, or the clearing of a dying father’s study: ‘foraging backwards’ until something is revealed, however tentative. He teases out the senses of ”voluntary”; suggests chance’s extempore music: the gleeful play of a sea-otter, the extraordinary gift of a passing gull to his small daughter, or poetry itself. This is a rare chance to hear one of our finest writers reading from his poetry.