Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published six collections of poetry, most recently The Built Moment (Faber 2019) which features a sequence about her father’s dementia and his disappearance into the present tense. This was also the subject of her short film, The Sea is an Edge and an Ending, which she wrote and directed in 2016. Her awards include a Forward Poetry Prize and the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger. Her third novel, In the City of Love’s Sleep, was published last year.  

Her non-fiction prose includes Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland and The Importance of Music to Girls (Faber 2007), a memoir of punk, disco, country-dancing and piano-playing, which explores music as agency for experience and the role of music in growing up. In 2003 she received an award for opera development from the Genesis Foundation. Her works for music include the opera Peter Pan (composer: Richard Ayres) which has been performed in Germany, Poland and the UK; the chamber operas Hamelin and Minsk (composer: Ian Wilson); and the song cycle Slow Passage, Low Prospect (composer: Richard Baker). She has written about music, art, perception, poetry and fiction for London Review of Books, New Statesman, TLS, Guardian, Frieze, New Yorker, The White Review, Wall Street Journal among others.

In 2000, she was given a three-year NESTA fellowship in order to pursue her interest in perception, landscape, and making and reading the image.  She received the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for her sound work Audio Obscura, an immersive experience of interrupted and heightened perception, commissioned by Artangel.  She was the first artist-in-residence at the Science Museum and one of the first artists to receive a Wellcome Engagement Award. Her work for BBC radio includes documentaries about Arctic light midwinter and midsummer, the darkest place in England, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, and dramatisations of Woolf, Chaucer and Hesse.

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