The School of Night – inspired by the group which included Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh – is our Year Round Poetry Festival. Curated with the help of Don Paterson and playing host to poets as varied as Paul Muldoon and Lorraine Mariner, Simon Armitage and Annie Freud it is anchored to a regular fixture on the last Tuesday of the month. The School of Night offers the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene – three of the shortlisted poets on both the 2015 and 2016 T S Eliot Prizes have been School of Nighters, so we feel quite confident in saying this is one of the most exciting Poetry series in the UK.
Jenni Fagan is a poet, novelist and screenwriter, as well as an accomplished play and short story writer. Her sensational debut novel The Panopticon set her out early as a talent to be reckoned with and earned her the once in a decade accolade of Granta Best Of Young British Novelists in 2013. Her second novel The Sunlight Pilgrims was just as compelling and critically well received. The Sunday Herald named her Author Of The Year and she has been listed for prizes such as The Sunday Times, IMPAC Dublin, James Tait Black & Desmond Elliott.
Fagan is fierce and clear eyed, creative and ever more assured in her writing. As in love as we are with her fiction, we are in thrall of her sassy, compelling poetry, recently collected in The Dead Queen of Bohemia.
As the Guardian observed: “her poems describe a world of dive bars and old cinemas, roll-ups and homemade cherry wine, hangovers and tenements, moons and caravan parks. It is easy to get giddy on Fagan’s imagery… her keen observations … poignant portraits”.
Fagan’s readings will be paired with the musical stylings of St Andrews’ own Don Paterson and his Jazz ensemble.