Wrestliana: Toby Litt in conversation with Steven J Fowler
11 May @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm| £4
“Toby Litt’s father wanted him to find about their ancestor: William Litt, a champion Cumberland Wrestler. William was one of the greatest ever ‘kings of the green’ – a man who reigned undefeated in one of the nineteenth century’s most popular sports, taking home over 200 prize belts. William had other talents, as well. He was almost certainly a smuggler – and definitely published poet and novelist. But Toby knew that coming to terms with him would be hard. A huge and fascinating man, William was also troubling. He ended his life in poverty and exile. And as well as having to measure himself up against this apparent paragon of masculinity, Toby would have to uncover uncomfortable memories and hard truths. Would Toby like what he found out about himself along the way? As a novelist, as a son, and as a father in turn? Would he have to get in the wrestling ring? … Would he even want to?
Using the nineteenth century as a guide, Wrestliana asks vital questions about modern-day masculinity, competition, and success. It is a beautiful portrait of two men and their different worlds, full of surprises and sympathy, and a wonderful evocation of a lost place and time.”
TOBY LITT is best-known for writing his books – from Adventures in Capitalism to (so far) Patience – in alphabetical order (apart from the non-fiction ones); he is currently working on Q. Wrestliana, a family memoir about fighting and losing, will be published by Galley Beggar Press on May 1st 2018. You can read an excerpt here. His most recent novel, Notes for a Young Gentleman, came out in February 2018. His previous book, Life-Like, also published by Seagull Books was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 and long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
STEVEN J FOWLER is a writer and artist. He has published multiple collections of poetry and artworks, and been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Tate Britain, the London Sinfonietta, Wellcome Collection and Liverpool Biennial. He has been longlisted for the Forward Prize. He is the founder and curator of The Enemies Project, Poem Brut as well as editor at 3am magazine and executive editor at The European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture (Versopolis). He is lecturer in creative writing at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern, Poetry School and Photographer’s Gallery and is the director of Writers’ Centre Kingston. His newest collection, The Wrestlers, will be published by Kingston University Press in June 2018.