Hugo Williams in Conversation with Adam Phillips – Wednesday 25th September, 7pm


Poet Hugo Williams will be interviewed by psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips at this intimate event at our west London bookshop.


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‘Lines off’ is a term used for lines spoken from the wings of a theatre, or off camera in a film. It was while Hugo Williams was out of circulation following transplant surgery that he wrote the poems for this new collection – his first since 2014.
From youthful days ‘upside down in the Crazy Room, / rising and falling on the Haunted Swing’, he takes us to distant countries, both actual and metaphorical; participates in the ‘mortal pantomime’ of the hospital ward with humorous frankness; and offers a percipient account of growing older, with all its attendant doubts and disturbances.
Autobiographical, psychological, remedial, Lines Off heralds the return of this acclaimed poet, back to the stage of the page, offering us ‘the performance of a lifetime’.
Hugo Williams was born in 1942 and grew up in Sussex. He worked on the London Magazine from 1961 to 1970, since when he has earned his living as a journalist and travel writer. Billy’s Rain won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 1999. His Collected Poems was published in 2002, and his last collection, I Knew the Bride, was published in 2014 and shortlisted for the Forward and the T. S. Eliot prizes. In 2004 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.
Adam Phillips, formerly Principal Child Psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital, London, is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of numerous works of psychoanalysis and literary criticism, including most recently Attention Seeking, and One Way and Another. He is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations, and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.