We're delighted to be working with the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing to host Jason Allen-Paisant as part of their Literature Live series. Jason will be reading from and discussing his second collection of poetry SELF-PORTRAIT AS OTHELLO.
About the book:
Jason Allen-Paisant's debut collection Thinking With Trees won the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for poetry and was an Irish Times and White Review Book of the Year 2021. In Poetry London Maryam Hessavi wrote, 'Jason Allen-Paisant is uncompromising when digging down through the undergrowth of our imperialist past – and yet he succeeds in replanting new narratives in the same soil where these toxic ideologies used to, and still, reside.'
The interlocking poems of his second collection, Self-Portrait as Othello, imagine Othello in the urban landscapes of modern London, Paris and Venice and invent the kinds of narrative he might tell about his intersecting identities. Poetic memoir and ekphrastic experiment, Self-Portrait as Othello focuses on a character at once fictional and real. Othello here represents a structure of feeling that was emerging in seventeenth-century Venice, and is still with us.
Portraiting himself as Othello, Allen-Paisant refracts his European travels and considers the Black male body, its presence, transgressiveness and vulnerabilities. Othello's intertwined identities as 'immigrant' and 'Black', which often operate as mutually reinforcing vectors, speak to us in the landscape of twenty-first-century Europe.
About the author:
Jason Allen-Paisant is a Jamaican poet and academic who works as a senior lecturer in Critical Theory and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. He's the author of two poetry collections, Thinking with Trees (Carcanet Press, 2021), winner of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for poetry, and Self-Portrait as Othello (Carcanet Press, 2023). His non-fiction book, Scanning the Bush, will be published by Hutchinson Heinemann in 2024. He lives in Leeds with his wife and two children.
'SELF-PORTRAIT AS OTHELLO' will also be available to purchase on the night and Jason will be signing copies after the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make the event, please contact Blackwell's on 0161 274 3331 or firstname.lastname@example.org and they can arrange this for you' to the description part (even though on Eventbrite it comes after the ticket price, just so all the information is the same)