Blake Morrison & Helen Mort discuss Poetry, Fact & Fiction
In 2019, The Portico Library will relaunch The Portico Prize: a major literary award celebrating contemporary writing that encapsulates ‘a sense of the North’. The Portico Library and the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University have come together to organise, in the months leading up to the announcement of the Prize, ‘Rewriting the North’: a series of events celebrating writers and writing connected with the North of England. In each event, two leading writers will read from their work and will discuss the role that place plays in their creative practice. ‘Rewriting the North’, then, will explore the relationship between writing and place across a range of forms and genres. By extension, it will celebrate how such writers and rewriters are reimagining the North of England.
Born in Skipton, North Yorkshire, Blake is a poet and novelist. He has translated and adapted plays, written libretti and critical studies, and edited anthologies of contemporary writing; and he has also written an account of the murder of James Bulger. He is perhaps best known for his two memoirs: And When Did You Last See Your Father? (1993) and Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and former Vice-Chair of PEN, Blake has been Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, since 2003.
Helen is a poet, novelist, creative non-fiction writer, editor, and broadcaster. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize, and in 2018 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2010, she became the youngest ever Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere; and she was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. Her debut novel, Black Car Burning, was published in 2019. Helen lives in Sheffield and lectures in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.