Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Man Booker-nominated poet drops in with a long take

Poetry riches continue after National Poetry Day, as one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary poets visits Wellington on Tuesday for a one-off LitCrawl event.

Robin Robertson has been described by genius novelist John Banville in The Guardian as “one of the finest lyric poets of the age”. Earlier this year, Robertson released a narrative poem of over 200 pages called The Long Take. This cinematic visionary work is the first book of poetry to be long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Banville described The Long Take as “a beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring… a masterly work of art, exciting, colourful, fast-paced … and almost unbearably moving”.

Perthshire-born Robertson is the author of several collections of poetry. His debut collection in 1997, A Painted Field, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize, and the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award.

His fourth book of poems, The Wrecking Light, from 2010, includes “At Roane Head,” which was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Robertson is the first poet to have won all three categories in the Forward Prize.

He lives in London, and is an editor at Jonathan Cape, where he has worked with Irvine Welsh, Anne Enright, Michael Ondaatje and Seamus Heaney among others.

During Robin Robertson: The Long Take next Tuesday 28 August from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at the National Library ($20:00), he will perform his poetry and speak with Wellington poet Harry Ricketts.

His visit is presented by LitCrawl in association with WORD Christchurch, supported by British Council, Creative Scotland and National Library of New Zealand.