The Illustrated Woman: the art of tattoo at Manchester Poetry Library

The Illustrated Woman: the art of tattoo
Manchester Poetry Library
12th July 2022

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To mark the launch of Helen Mort’s new Forward Prize shortlisted collection The Illustrated Woman, you are invited to a free day of discussions, workshops and performances exploring tattoos as art. The programme is presented by the Manchester Writing School and Manchester Poetry Library.

The Illustrated Woman is Helen Mort’s third poetry collection. Here are women’s bodies. Hungry adolescent bodies, fluctuating pregnant bodies, ailing aging bodies. Here are bodies as products to be digitized and consumed. Here is the body in nature, changing and growing stronger. Here are tattooed women through history, ink unfurling across their skin. This is a tender and incisive collection about what it means to live in a female body – from the joys and struggles of new motherhood to the trauma of deepfakes. Amidst the landscapes of the Peak District and the glaciers of Greenland, Helen Mort’s remarkable poems transfix the reader in a celebration of beauty and resilience.

‘These are poems that will leave their indelible mark’ – ANDREW MCMILLAN

‘A raw, tender, potent collection’ – JESSICA ANDREWS

DAYTIME PROGRAMME – Room GE 1.04 (first floor, Grosvenor East Building)

11am-1pm – Panel discussion on tattoo-as-statement with special guests:

  • Professor Eva Dadlez – University of Oklahoma – Insurrectionist tattoos and philosophy
  • Dr Deborah Jump – Manchester Met – Evil and the Needle: the history of tattoos and their relationship with crime and delinquency
  • Leena Norms – poet and presenter – Tattoos, art and imposter syndrome
  • Joolz Denby – poet and tattooist

2-4pm – Creative workshop with poet Helen Mort and tattoo artist Jen Langfield. Come along and play with words and image. Design your own tattoo, find words for pictures, learn a new skill. No experience or equipment necessary.

EVENING PROGRAMME – Manchester Poetry Library (ground floor, Grosvenor East Building)

6-7pm – Helen Mort and Leena Norms in conversation, plus special guest TBA.

7-8pm – Book launch with poetry readings from Andrew McMillan, Helen Mort, Leena Norms and Nikolai Duffy. Includes refreshments and Blackwell’s bookstall.

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