The highly popular Writers in Conversation series returns to the University of Southampton with Costa Book of the Year winner Helen Macdonald headlining the autumn programme.
The author of the bestselling H is for Hawk comes to the main stage of the Nuffield Theatre on Monday, 5 December. The book, a touching memoir of the year Helen spent training a goshawk named Mabel in the wake of her father’s death, won both the Costa award and The Samuel Johnson Prize in 2014. Helen is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian, naturalist and professional falconer. Throughout her career, Helen has worked as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge and assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia and bred hunting falcons for Arab royalty.
“Helen’s book is an astonishing mix of science and memoir, fact and emotion, told with a poet’s ear for language, and a storyteller’s sense of drama,” says Carole Burns, Associate Professor and Head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, who hosts the series. “H Is for Hawk has become a modern classic, and I can’t wait to hear her read and talk about how this book came to be.”
Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle. The talks are hosted by Carole Burns, a former journalist who still writes for The Washington Post. She is also a fiction writer, whose collection, The Missing Woman and Other Stories, won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award last year from Ploughshares.
“Reading stories is a part of our education that we most often bring with us into our adult lives – whether by reading the latest Costa Prize winner, or taking a thriller to the beach,” says Carole. “I hope this series gives people a chance to deepen that interest, by hearing writers read their own work, and asking them questions about their art. “Nuffield provides a wonderful setting for this event, lending the readings a salon-like feel,” she continued. “They’re casual and engaging, and writers seem to love Writers in Conversation as well.”
All Writers in Conversation events in the autumn series start at 19:30. Tickets for Helen Macdonald priced at £12.00 each.
Follow Helen on Twitter: @HelenJMacdonald
Follow Carole on Twitter: @Carole_Burns