Poetry & Grief Panel

Featuring carrie etter, Rosalind Hudis, k. michel and Claire williamson

Date: Sunday 31st July
Time: 13:30
Venue: Theatre
Price: £5.00 / £3.00

This event will include BSL interpretation

Poetry has always straddled the space between private emotion and public…

This is especially true of the elegy – the poetry of mourning and celebration of the dead. There is a tension between the need to establish a lost person forever in cultural memory as the person who was that, who is particularly remembered for this, who can be reduced to a summarising entry in Wikipedia, and the person who is remembered in complex, nuanced, time-heavy ways by those who knew them intimately. There are differences in the intensity and experience of grief in either case. Between generosity towards a public need to remember and the ambivalence of private pain. Faced by vanishing, sometimes sudden and violent, sometimes protracted, sometimes subtle, of a loved person, or place or part of our identity, or our dreams and ideologies, how do we find a balance between memory and memorial? 

In Carrie Etter’s Seren collection Imagined Sons, Carrie has written a book of vivid, heartbreaking poems on the experience of giving up a child for adoption. ​​Rosalind Hudis’s Seren collection Restorations is a journey into what it means to preserve – a monument, a moment, a life-story, a poppy. K. Michel has written a series of elliptical poems about his sister’s death, and is now similarly dealing with his father’s dementia. Claire Williamson’s poetry explores many themes, including coping with bereavement; Claire is a doctoral candidate at Cardiff University, exploring ‘Writing the 21st Century Grief Novel, drawing on Arthur Frank’s responses to ‘narrative wreckage’ –chaos, restitution and quest.


American Carrie Etter has lived in England since 2001 and published four collections of poetry: The Tethers (Seren, 2009), winner of the London New Poetry Prize, Divining for Starters (Shearsman, 2011), and Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry by The Poetry Society, and The Weather in Normal (Seren, 2018) which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She also edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010) and Linda Lamus’s A Crater the Size of Calcutta (Mulfran, 2015). She is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and lives in Bath.

Rosalind Hudis is an award winning poet and writing tutor from West Wales. She gives writing workshops at events and festivals, mentors privately, and also teaches in higher education. She is a two times holder of a Literature Wales Writers Bursary (2013 and 2018) and a twice Hawthornden Fellow (2017 and 2022). She is also a former editor on the literary journal The Lampeter Review. Her poetry has won a number of prizes, including in the National Poetry Competition. Her most recent collection is Restorations (Seren 2021) which was a Poetry Book Society spring choice. Photo credit: Hayley Madden.

K. Michel studied philosophy. Published several volumes of poetry and 2 prose collections. His poetry was awarded with several prizes. For years he was editor of the magazine Raster. He also translated poetry by Octavio Paz, Russell Edson, Arthur Sze. He worked in radio. Lives in Amsterdam. Photo credit: Melle Hammer.

Claire Williamson was Director of Studies for Metanoia Institute’s Masters in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, also for ten years. Her poems have won prizes, including in the Bridport Prize. Her latest collection is Visiting the Minotaur from Seren Books and before that Split Ends from Eyewear. Claire has written extensively with Welsh National Opera and has been involved with a dementia awareness project called Cradle for three years. Her doctoral studies explore representations of grief in various 21st Century novels. She lives in Chepstow. She has two daughters and a borderline border collie. Photo credit: Ruth Garner Photography.